“Oh dear god.”
That was my first thought on realizing I would have to fight “Red”, the creature that tormented me through nearly the whole game.How would I be able to fight something that can kill with one touch? It seemed totally impossible.
Thankfully, Red was no longer able to deliver one hit kills. But despite that, this was still the most difficult battle I’ve ever faced, in this game or otherwise. If I had any real comprehension of what I was getting into before I started the fight, I would never have done it.
I very soon learned what a horrible mistake I had made. Red reached out and clawed at Godzilla. And when those claws cut through him, I felt it.
I know that it’s common for people to cringe up when their video game character gets hit or loses a life. But this was not that. This was genuine, physical pain.
When the pain struck me I paused the game. I hadn’t suffered any actual injuries, but it felt just like my shoulder had been clawed through. I had seen and experienced many unpleasant things at this point, but the game causing me real pain was where I drew the line. Yes, I would be disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see the ending, but the risk was no longer worth it. I was about to get up to take one last screenshot and turn off the NES, when I realized something else-
-I couldn’t get up.
I was paralyzed to my seat. The only muscles I could move were my fingers and thumbs. As the terror set in, a new message appeared on the screen.
I started to scream, but only a weak choking sound was coming out. I desperately tried to get my body to move, but it did nothing. I was looking every direction, and then I looked over at the computer.
Somehow, the computer was taking screenshots of the game on its own when I began the fight. I still don’t know how or why. Something in the game must have been causing it.
Since Red could hear what I was saying, I tried begging for him to let me go. From here things start to get hazy as I was under extreme stress at the time, but from what I can remember I said:
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I insulted you. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t know things would get this serious. Please just let me go. If you let me go I promise I will never tell anyone or turn the game on ever again. PLEASE!”
And Red replied:
“Only one will survive.”
The statement could not be any more clear. If I couldn’t kill Red, then he would kill ME. Like an idiot I had played around with something I didn’t understand, and now it might cost me my life.
I stopped struggling to move and accepted the reality of the situation.
There was only one way to get out of this alive.
I had to kill Red.
It all went by so fast. If it weren’t for the screenshots, I might not have remembered any of this. Just like in the chase levels, Red moved at a horrifyingly fast speed. There was barely enough time to process a thought
And thus, there was no time to form a strategy. I had to rely solely on my wits and reflexes. To make things worse, there was no way to predict what kind of attacks Red might use, so I constantly had to be on the offensive AND defensive.
I felt every hit that Godzilla took. They all hurt. I tried so hard to avoid the damage, but every attack that I dodged left me vulnerable to another. And the pain would only get worse.
After he jumped over me, Red’s eyes started to glow. I moved as far back as I could and ducked, but there was no dodging this one:
When THIS hit me, I really did scream. I screamed so loud that someone else in the apartment should have heard me, but they didn’t. Just looking at the image hurts me, making me remember the incinerating burn.
I paused the game because it hurt so bad, but Red unpaused the game to attack me again, which made me furious.
I immediately counterattacked with the heat beam, again and again until the power meter was totally diminished. I wanted Red to hurt like I did.
Just before the timer ran out, Red transitioned into his swimming form. I didn’t think the timer would still be affecting a battle like this. I’m thankful for it, because it gave me a few minutes to collect my thoughts and decide what to do next.
I chose to fight Red’s next 2 forms with the monsters I had encountered them with, so Anguirus was next. It probably wasn’t all that smart of an idea, but it’s what I did.
I jumped up and heat beamed Red in the face, and he moved offscreen where I couldn’t reach him. Then a wave of large mines started to fall from above.
I felt this was unfair so I shouted:
“If you’re going to cheat, then why do you even let me use the controller?!”
And then he came at me, rushing from the top left of the screen downwards:
“DAMN IT!” Now I wouldn’t even be able to see where his next attack was coming from. Red continued to strike from random angles, I constantly moved to swerve around him.
Another forty seconds went by and Anguirus was nearly gone, but together we had forced Red into his flying form, so it was Mothra’s turn next.
Deciding to fight Red with Mothra was a terrible idea. Mothra was instantly overwhelmed by Red, and the life meter was devastated in a mere fifteen seconds.
And once Mothra’s life was down to two bars, Red did something I didn’t see coming:
He reached out, grabbed Mothra, and ate her.
After Mothra was devoured I felt an agonizing pain, like being crushed to death. Mothra had been killed for my stupidity and I would share the pain.
It was a short transition from the battle to the board, but it felt like an hour.
The pain, combined with being unable to move was driving me insane. I wanted so badly for this to end. I never wanted anything so much.
But I still had hope. There was only one monster left that could be brought to full health by engaging Red in battle. Solomon. If any of them had a chance to save my life now, it would be him.
Solomon apparently had some history with Red, as when the fight started this dialogue happened:
Red took me by surprise again by immediately burning me with his demonic fire a second time:
As much as it hurt, it actually worked to my advantage: since Solomon started at full life he still had some to spare, but now Red had used up all his energy and could not use his ultimate weapon any longer. Now he would die.
As he drew close to the end of his life bar, Red turned his whole body to face the screen and flew upwards, then slamming back down in an attempt to crush Solomon:
When that failed to work, he tried to devour Solomon like he had Mothra. But he wouldn’t be eating my monster this time:
I thought I had won. But something was wrong. Red wasn’t sinking to the bottom, and I still couldn’t move. Red was still alive…