Is there anything finer than killing a man using only a starting pistol?
By Toby McCasker on September 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm
Since the dawn of time immemorial, FPS games have been starting you with a crappy handgun. Yes even in the FPS games single-celled amoebas played. Irrespective of the fact handguns irl are terrifying and can calmly end lives and impact families for generations with but one bad “It’s not even loaded, see, bang, bang” incident, they remain the intern to those high calibre death machines we all look forward to.
The humble handgun — pistol, if you would, p’raps even musket — is regarded by gamedom as no more than a flaccid last resort. And he is my friend.
It wasn’t always like this. I didn’t really know Crappy Handgun beyond the fact he just always seemed to rock up and then I ignored him. I’m not a snob, hey, I will talk to anyone. But this guy was just always there contributing nothing, and when he did make a contribution, it was to my death, because I refused to put much effort into his silly pew-pew.
So you can understand how I might not have been feeling his sick vibe straight away. In fact I would I actively moan and exclaim “crappy handgun to the rescue” whenever ammo for my badder bitches ran low, which was and is always, because I don’t know the meaning of restraint. I have killed so many walls in video games.
It was on one such occasion where Bertha the M60 had given all she had to give and it was just me and Crappy Handgun. On the loose. Surrounded by foes. My team had grown weary of my insistence that “there are Murder Walls all over this map and vigilance is the price of freedom,” so it really just was me and Crappy Handgun. I imagined I saw an uncertain nod in the dull of his gun metal grey and then his O-face as I warmed his grip. Things were now not just awkward but also weird.
We laid low and I looked around for some other weapon to hang out with but there was none. What the bastard, I thought, I’m gonna die anyway but let’s at least try to go out in a comical blaze of derp somehow. So we stalked the land. Some overzealous buttwizard come around my corner too quick and it was like Crappy Handgun acted of his own accord, punching holes in this guy in a series of perfectly spaced ‘n placed rounds before he could even eat another Dorito.
The speed. The stopping power. What stopping power? Well, none, but I realised then that what I held in my hand was a beard made of bees. How relentless he stings, at first triggering annoyance, then frustration, then panic, because: This guy is acing me with a pistol. Crappy Handgun’s deep reservoir of intensity had been discovered, and we bonded, going on to achieve an upsettingly cartoonish killing streak.
I don’t know what it is about him exactly, but I know I like it. Maybe it’s what he inspires in others: They underestimate me when they us coming, they laugh even. Let their guard down. Maybe it’s what he inspires in me: A berserk last-stand indifference to survival that is, ironically, the driving force behind many a long string of kills. By me, and Crappy Handgun. Good guy. Glad I got to know him.