Amphetamine Arcade

Amphetamine Arcade

A Story by Mike Lamb

More random nonsense that may or may not find its way into Jack's Inferno Volume Two.


There's a rush of childhood nostalgia as I enter the shopping mall. It's a glittering three-floored palace of wonder, filled with bright lights and dazzling colors. A breathtaking cathedral of consumerism and a monument to its many illustrious cults. I have seen the Great Shrine of Pig-W***e Capitalism, and it is glorious. Simply glorious. Rows and rows of mysterious storefronts, with merchants everywhere peddling shiny useless trinkets, overpriced and without any real function or purpose. I must have it.

Knock it off, Jack. You're broke.

Besides...this a business trip. So it's me and Cruz. Cruz is a drug dealer, incidentally. I suppose I should mention that.

Our first stop is a candy store. There's a glossy purple sculpture of a smiling cartoon caterpillar waving at us from the shop's entrance. It's taller than me, and far creepier than its job description calls for. The floor is the color of assorted jellybeans and the wallpaper is brighter than a forty-megaton atomic rainbow.

There's a cute girl working, maybe 18 or 19. She smiles as we enter. Braces on her teeth. Red hair and freckles. Pale skin, petite frame. Green eyes like jade. Round face, cute smile. Pink, pouty lips. Small tits, no bra. Stiff n*****s. I should really stop staring now.

"Hey Cruz," she says in a sugar-sweet voice.

"What's up, baby doll. Got something for me?"

"You know I do."

They go to the back office and talk in low voices, mostly mumbling and giggling. Cruz collects a wad of cash from the redhead. He tells her that he'll be back after he re-ups **[re-up v. To replenish one's supply of stock, typically illicit drugs, available for wholesale distribution and/or direct sales. [informal] ]**, and then he asks for some free candy. She grabs a plastic baggie and starts shoveling scoops of colorful confectionaries inside. As she hands him the bag, smiling, she tells him to come back soon. Her voice is like syrup.

Once we're out of the store, Cruz tells me, "That girl's the best dealer on my payroll. If she keeps up the way she does, I might just retire in a few years."

Next stop is a toy store full of little crazy crippled robots and plastic action figures of cyborg ninjas and battery powered space monsters. Press the button to hear my low volume static roar! My eyes light up! I glow in the dark! Look at all my accessories! Battle damage! Kung fu grip! I have a spring! I can turn into a spaceship! I make war! I flash bright red when I'm angry! Collector's edition! Gold edition! Platinum edition! Limited edition! Special edition! Big spender's edition! Collect all thousands and thousands and thousands!

Across from the guns and car crash aisle is the kitchen and babies section. Ovens are fun! I like ponies! Yay, cupcakes! This is what a baby looks like! You can change my wet diapers! I come with a bottle, a potty, and three plastic turds! Pull my string, I cry for hours!

Stuffed animals, pink plastic dollhouses, cheap light up games, coloring books, and...well there's other crap too, get the picture. I'm not taking inventory of the place.

The clerk is a tall lanky kid with short dark hair and a chinstrap beard. He greets us. Cruz says, "That s**t was straight, right?"

"Yeah, it's straight."

"Cool. You got that loot?"

"Yeah, come on back, I got you." More clandestine backroom meetings. Money changes hands.

When they reemerge Cruz looks around the store and says, "Let me get some of this Star Wars s**t."

"Yeah, man, grab whatever you want."

"Oh s**t! Ninja Turtles!"

He snags a handful of action figures and dumps them on the counter. "Bag that s**t up."

Our third destination is a business casual men's clothing store. Predictably, the man behind the counter recognizes Cruz immediately and has money for him. Cruz tells me to pick out a new outfit. I settle for a pair of grey slacks and a black button-up shirt almost identical to the one I'm wearing, but new and clean. I admire my reflection in the mirror for a moment. Just look at that sexy b*****d. Ruggedly handsome. Devilishly charming. Mildly narcissistic.

Cruz grabs a leather briefcase for himself. He opens it and places the toys and candy inside. He shuts the case and hands it to me, saying, "Now we're ready to deal. Hang on to this." I have no clue what he's talking about.

We exit the store and resume the hike, flowing back into the meandering river of human traffic. Twenty paces later Cruz says, "This is the place," as we walk into a video arcade screaming with digital noise pollution and flashing psychosis in 64 million colors, most of them red.

A nine year old white kid with blonde hair and blue eyes nods to us and says, "You're late, m**********r. I'm missin' my nap right now for this."

"Cruz," I say, "that's a child. What exactly are we doing here again?"

"Oh that's my n***a Kevin. What up, Kevin? Your mom still strippin' at the same place? I ain't see her out there last weekend."

The child lifts up his shirt just enough to reveal the 9mm tucked in his belt and says, "Better watch your mouth, spic."

"Hey Jack, check out this little Hitler Youth muthafucker. All makin' racist comments and s**t. You kiss your mother with that mouth?"

"I don't kiss my mother."

"I could tell you where her mouth's been."

"F**k you, beaner."

"That hurts, Kevin. I thought we were boys and s**t. More to the point--what you got on my pills?"

The kid starts pulling out little orange plastic cylinders of prescription meds. "Bottle of Ritalin."


"Bottle of Dexedrine."


"Bottle of Adderall."

"Better not be that ten milligram bullshit again."

"Thirties. Plus some left over tens."

"That's more like it. Let me see that s**t."

"F**k you, this s**t's not free."

"Yo Jack, open the briefcase. Show him the offer." I do as he says, officially incriminating myself into the most ridiculous drug deal ever.

The child examines the candy and toys inside the case. There's a brief flash of excitement followed by a look of dissatisfaction tinged with anger. "You said you'd get me a Playstation 5."

"Actually, I said Sega Dreamcast, but your mom still owes me a hundred bucks so no dice."

"F**k you, w*****k."

"See, that's just unnecessary. Alright Jack, shut the case. Maybe somebody else'll take it since the little Aryan boy doesn't want it."

Kevin gets a sudden look of concern. "Now hang on...I never said that." He stares into the treasure box and grapples with his indecision before finally accepting Cruz's offer. He hands over the stash of kiddie crank.

"See you around, Kevin. Give your mom a kiss and a finger-f**k for me." The kid shouts back something obscene on the way out. Cruz laughs and tells me, "Wanna hear some funny s**t? I sell these pills right back to his mom. And she pays out the a*s, plus free lap dances. Hey you like video games? We got plenty of time to kill." We head over to the guy in the corner with all the keys. I guess he works here. The three of us go into the arcade's office. Cruz crushes up an orange pill and a blue pill on the desk using a dollar bill and a lighter as he makes chit-chat with the guy with the keys. He uses a law firm's business card to cut the swirled dust pile into three brightly colored lines that make me think of cotton candy cocaine. I take the first line. It's like eating a Pixy Stick through my nose. Arcade Boy takes the middle line and Cruz finishes off the last one. Cruz says, "I don't know why they give speed to hyper kids. You'd think the lazy kids would need it more."

I say, "Nah, lazy kids are quiet failures. Parents and teachers don't mind the quiet kids so much. It's the loud ones that they try to fix."

Arcade Boy tells us to pick out a game. We take a look around in search of something interesting. There's a console labeled as Ultimate Fisting Fighter, but that was obviously just a product of bad translation, seeing as how the actual game has nothing to do with fisting at all. There's a game called PSYCHOFACE GUNCRAZY 4, and the controller is a plastic Uzi. There's a futuristic driving game called Mega Turbo Murder Machine, which seems to revolve around vehicular manslaughter and machine guns. There's a little dorky kid hopping up and down like a retard in front of a big screen console playing Pansy Dancer. I shake the urge to kick his legs out from under him.

Cruz points to something called Super Ninja Monkey Wizard and says, "That one."

"Excellent choice." Arcade Boy sticks a key in the machine and opens up a panel. He sticks his hand inside and gropes at the machine's circuitry, and then presto--free credits.

There's something distinctly late eighties/early nineties about the overall look and feel of the game. It's as if the designers were frozen in time, completely unaffected by technological advances and radical new theories concerning coherent plot writing. Personally I prefer simple games that are deeply rooted in nonsense. None of that pretentious 3D crap, I don't care if it is cutting edge and revolutionary and state of the art. Hell with the new s**t...I'm a dinosaur and I like dinosaur things. Stay out of my stone age. Back in my day, you could buy a car for a nickel and blah blah blah. Shut up old man, no one's listening.

Cruz explains the game to me. "Okay, so I'm Player One, that's the blue monkey. You're Player Two, that's the red monkey. This button jumps, this button attacks, and this button does some kinda crazy nuclear magic s**t that kills everybody, but you only get one."

The first screen that pops up at the start of the game is a generic cityscape of blocky grey skyscrapers and a pleasantly bright blue sky. Primitive synthesizer music hums along to set the scene. The happy chirping tune suddenly switches to an ominous belching tune as the sky shifts from light blue to blood red. Some things appear in the sky that--on a purely visual level--seem to be either dishes or frisbees, but I'm willing to bet that flying saucers is what the designers were shooting for. "IN THE YEAR 1999, EARTH WAS CONQUERED BY ALIEN DRUGLORDS". Funny, I don't remember that. Must've been a hell of a cover-up.

A square box pops up onscreen. There's a face in the box, and it vaguely resembles a low-grade digital caricature of Christopher Walken holding a telephone. A caption slowly types itself beside the face. KING OF NEW YORK: "SUPER WIZARD MONKEY! MY DAUGHTER THE PRINCESS HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED!" Another box appears below the King of New York. This one has the face of a monkey wearing sunglasses and a pointy Merlin hat. SUPER NINJA MONKEY WIZARD: "YOU GOT IT DUDE!" The garbled computerized voice makes an attempt to say the line, but all that really comes out of the speakers is "Doo gobbet, bloog!"



So we're in the jungle being attacked by snakes and lions and gorillas and a bunch of spear-throwing chicks that all dress like Tarzan's girlfriend. Okay, makes sense. Monkeys live in the jungle. They know karate. They're on their way to New York to save the princess. There might be phones in the jungle. It's the retro-future, who knows.

Then some ninjas show up. Okay, sure, still trying to keep up. Ninjas always hang out in jungles and pick fights with monkeys. No law against it. Happens all the time. Cruz mentions that I'm almost dead following a volley of shurikens to the face that I completely neglect to duck under or jump over. The Player One blue monkey kicks apart a wooden crate with a roasted chicken inside. Cruz says, "Dude, pick up the chicken, that's health."

"I'm not gonna eat that! It's just lying around in the dirt. What if I get worms?" A ninja cuts off my head and Cruz chastises me for not eating the chicken.

"Chicken has no medicinal purposes. That monkey needed a veterinary clinic. Chicken can't heal sword wounds."

"It's magic chicken. Press start, you're dead."

I press the button to resurrect my dead monkey, no longer headless. Thirty or forty ninjas later we hit the boss fight. It's an Amazon girl riding on an elephant.

JUNGLE QUEEN: "THE PRINCESS IS MINE! SHE WILL BE MY BRIDE!" The elephant charges and we get trampled. There's a purple banana lying in the grass, so I walk over to it. My Player Two red monkey picks it up and eats it, then instantly pukes and drops dead. "Why did that banana just kill me?"

"Don't eat the purple ones, they're poisonous."

"But the chicken wasn't?"

"No, the chicken never goes bad."


"Press start, you're dead."

I jump back in the game and immediately get trampled by the b***h on the elephant. F**k this, I'm hitting the nuke button. A bolt of lightning strikes the ground and everything explodes in a huge mushroom cloud followed by a tidal wave and four tornadoes. The smoke clears and I get trampled again. Then the Player One blue monkey jump kicks the b***h in the head and she falls over.


Stage One clear. Flash to King of New York. "MONKEY SUPER NINJA! THE MAYOR OF CHINA IS IN TROUBLE!" "Doo gobbet, bloog!"



I don't know how we got from the Amazon Jungle to a subway train, but we're on a subway train. And, oh no! Punk rock thugs with nunchucks and green mohawks! I ask, "Why are the punk rockers always criminals in these games?"

"Got any punk rock friends?"


"Are they mostly criminals?"


"Well, there you go. Oh s**t, pick up that gun!" I'm a monkey with a gun on a subway train, and I'm murdering punk rockers to save the mayor of China at the request of a Christopher Walken doppelganger. Let's take a moment to stop and appreciate just how surreal that is. Add to the mix ninjas, luchadors, sumo wrestlers, purple haired dominatrixes with cattle prods, the occasional pirate on a motorcycle, and a guy that looks like Vivian from The Young Ones running amok with a goddamn rocket launcher...this is the quintessential image of Japanese New York. And of course, we all eat out of dumpsters and trash bins.

The boss fight rolls around and we have to slay a giant. It's a ten foot tall steroid freak in yellow spandex and sunglasses. He's got a green mohawk. Obviously.


The giant leaps thirty feet into the air and stomps us into the ground. Son of a b***h. I fire three shots into his crotch, run out of bullets, and toss the gun at him. He kills us many times. We only have to kill him once.


Stage Two clear.


"Doo gobbet, bloog!"



I'm not going to dwell on the fact that we just rode a subway from the jungle to the desert. What do I know, I failed geography. For all I know that subway train goes all over the planet.

So anyway, we're in the desert. The first wave attack is a band of Indians riding on camels. I feel like I'm seeing a stereotype from another dimension. This game should win an award for creative excellence in racism.

"Look out for the flaming arrows!"


"Press start, you're dead."

This game makes no sense. I resurrect my dead monkey and immediately get killed by a winged lion that breathes fire.

"Press start, you're dead. You suck at this."

More ninjas show up for some reason. I ask Cruz, "Why are there ninjas on every stage?"

"Why wouldn't there be?"

Boss fight with the pharaoh. He's riding on a giant robot scorpion and firing lasers at us.


Same deal. We get killed a lot. Eventually we win.


Stage Three clear.





Why the f**k are know what, never mind. Pirate ship full of ninjas, whatever. Octopus, octopus, shark-man, Kraken.


F**k you, you're dead.


Stage Four clear. Great job. You're a winner.


Stage Five, Las Vegas. KING OF NEW YORK: "CRAZY TALKING MONKEY! MY WIFE JUST LEFT ME!" Insert stupid catch phrase here. We fight some Elvis guys and hookers. The boss is a seven headed dragon. We kill him and a lawyer pops up with a restraining order against the Christopher Walken guy, courtesy of his wife. You got it, dude.


Stage Six, f*****g graveyard or some s**t. We get attacked by squirrels.

"Why did that squirrel just bite me?"

"Who cares, just kill it."

"But I like squirrels."

"It's got rabies and AIDS."

"Fair enough."

We have to fight an evil monkey, apparently our long lost twin...triplet...whatever. I don't see how any of this relates to anything. I need more speed. This s**t's starting to lose my attention.


Stage Seven. F*****g space station. Robots attack. Lasers and s**t. We kill some guy, stage clear.


Stage Eight. F*****g Mars. Aliens and s**t. More lasers. GORGOBLOT, DRUGLORD OF MARS: "THIS DOESN'T CONCERN YOU, EARTH MONKEY!" F**k you, you're dead. Stage clear.


Stage Nine. Siberia. Wait, are we back in the Cold War? I missed something. A big Russian guy in a red military uniform rides up on a polar bear. GENERAL REDSKI VODKA CHERNOBYL: "HAHAHA! IT WAS US ALL ALONG! NOW WE BLOW UP PLANET!" Then he turns into a fire-breathing robot super Satan and kicks the s**t out of us.

After much perseverance and a whole lot of "press start, you're dead," we manage to beat the game and save the day.




THE END. WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS. A message from Jesus Christ, Director of the FBI.

Complete waste of time. "That was f*****g retarded."

Cruz nods and says, "Let's go get some drugs."

© 2012 Mike Lamb

My Review

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It moves like the drugs, the wild back and forth that plays intwo worlds. The screen shots can be that of Edgar Writing, fast moving, more eclectic and flashes like japanese cartoons.
The dialogue runs in maddening verse and the plays with slurs is, how I, and most other groups of friends command their statements to their friends.
The wild, fast paced descriptions of the toys come in cocaine hazes, and almost jump into the live action scanning of the reader.

Right o mate, right o

Posted 9 Years Ago

I am in total agreement with roarke. S**t, I'll play that game and I wouldn't even have the excuse of drugs to say it was (expletive) awesome!
Fangasming aside, there really was no substance in this chapter, it was interesting, but it really leads to nowhere...maybe a dead-end and you can start over with another area of hell.

Posted 10 Years Ago

ok.............. like forget the writer stuff, if you aren't pitching this video game to every video game design studio in Japan, you're an idiot. One game like this and you could be a multi-millionaire.

Suggestion 2, stage 11, (like on the amplifiers) You have nine sci/fi story plots here, make some edgy treatments of them and pitch them to AMC, HBO and Scifi channels. At the very least, submit them to Heliotrope, Andromeda or Glimmer Train for some drug money.

I'm glad I don't work retail anything anymore. I had a five dollar a day, -1970 money- arcade game monkey on my back long ago. I did the methadone home video system treatment. Taught my son how to read with RPG games, and now he's dropped out of school....... there's a message in there somewhere. Anyway, gotta go drink some coffee. Volume 2 is gonna be a heavy tome dude. lol

Posted 10 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on October 9, 2010
Last Updated on March 15, 2012


Mike Lamb
Mike Lamb

greenville, NC

Artist, writer, and a drunken lunatic prophet. I am the author of Jack's Inferno, a dark comedy bizarro/horror novel about Hell, previously published through Wordplague (now defunct). I am also a pro.. more..

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