Thank God for the family day here in Canada, letting me get an extra day off.
I got off the elevator and started to walk down the corridor. I took a quick glance at my watch. Good, I was going to be on time for the meeting. When I went into the conference room, the first thing I noticed was the sweet aroma of popcorn in the air hitting my nostrils. Everyone was already in their seats around an oval table waiting for me to start. In the back, I saw Aewyn munching on a huge bag of popcorn.
“I know what you are going to say, but trust me on this one. We will need the popcorn. Anyone want some?”
She pulled out a few plastic plates out of her bag and started to share her popcorn with everyone else. Everyone looked at me with puppy dogs eyes, begging for approval for snacking during the meeting. I covered my eyes and resisted the urge to strangle her. Even though Aewyn is weird, I have known her long enough to trust her judgements. I gave a quick nod to signal my approval of the snacks in defeat. Everyone quickly passed the popcorn around in excitement. Ignoring Aewyn’s antics, I started the meeting.
“Alright, everyone. This meeting is about the recently completed secret dungeon ‘The Lonely Mountain’. Due to the speed that it was cleared, we suspected that there was a hacker involved. I had Aewyn look into it.”
“I went to the legal department and got the approval to pull all the video in regards to this player named Cani. I put quite a bit of work into this. I hope all of you enjoy this. Fin, hit the lights please?”
I turned off the lights, and the screen starts to glow. A title popped up, and the background music began to play. “The Legacy of Cani”. Aewyn has edited everything that the player Cani did into a movie. Now I can see why she said we needed popcorn. I grabbed a seat next to Aewyn and started to munch on her popcorn. The music sounded familiar. It was a background music generated in the old Project: Earth. I think it was called “FullMetal Alchemist”. Rather than elven cultures, Aewyn delved into everything that was produced in Project: Earth. She often referenced things from it. She even tried to implement the alchemy system from that series into Project: Earth Plus. We had to drop the idea eventually due to balance issues, though.
The camera turned and focused onto a small goblin. That little goblin grew up quickly in front of the camera. When it was almost an adult, it went on a small adventure where he stole food from the storage and sneaked outside to cook it, only to be caught by the leader of the clan. A red exclamation mark was edited on top the leader’s head.
“Snake? Snake? SNAKE!!!”
I don’t get the reference to that one, but several others in the room did. They were having trouble stifling their laughter. The movie fast forwarded a couple of days. It showed Cani going up against a bear. Another fast-paced theme song that I don’t recognize started to play in the background.
The tiny goblin managed to blind the gigantic bear. He climbed on top of the cliff. The screen froze. “FINISH HIM!!” with a bloody font flashed across the screen. The goblin jumped and stuck a branch down the bear's throat, causing the bear to fall and pierced the spear through the bear’s neck. “FATALITY”. Several members finally couldn’t hold it in and burst out with laughter. Clearly, it was another reference that I did not get.
After the fight with the bear, it showed Cani’s military prowess as he lead his tribe to victory against a superior attacking force. He lured his enemy into his cave and set the whole place on fire, killing all of his enemies without losing a single member.
After about two hours of the film, the part we were eagerly waiting for finally happened. It was the fight with the dragon. I recognized the theme song that was playing this time. It was “Megalovania” from “Undertale”. It was one of the few games that I enjoyed playing during Project: Earth. I have to give Aewyn credit, though. The music perfectly matched the action sequence on screen. The goblin skillfully dodges everything that the dragon threw at him. Due to the small stature of the goblin, there were a couple of attacks that were dodged which would be impossible for other races.
“I AM THE GODDAMN BATGOBLIN!”
Laughter erupted throughout the room as the tiny goblin flew around the arena. He then flew straight towards the dragon and killed it with one swing of his hammer. Cani was heavily injured in the process and died soon afterwards. The credit started rolling, and Aewyn turned the lights back on. I finished the popcorn quickly and stood in front of the meeting room once again.
“So what do you guys think after seeing that?”
Tolkien was the first to speak up.
“He must be hacking the game somehow. Even if it explained how he got to the “The Lonely Mountain”, there is no way he can kill it in one hit!”
“I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible. Even in your book, Smaug was brought down in one shot by the black arrow.”
“But he’s a goblin, there is no way that he have enough strength to deal enough damage.”
“It is exactly because he is a goblin that he could take down Smaug in one hit. I took a look at the numbers, and there is no doubt that it is possible.There are multiple factors. First he hit a natural weak spot shared amongst all creatures, which is the eye. Second he has the “Giant Slayer.” title, which he earned by defeating the bear. This lets him deal bonus damage equal to the size difference. The third is because of the weapon that he gained from the goblin extermination event. He is using the “Hammer of Wrath”. There are two abilities. First it ignores all armor mitigation. The second effect is that it deals a bonus damage based on the amount of “hate” the target has on him. Normally, the bonus damage isn’t that much for a raid boss because the “hate” is usually split between party members. But since Cani was soloing him, his damage was amplified by an insane amount.”
Silence befell the room after hearing Aewyn’s explanation of what we saw. Tolkien finally broke the silence.
“What should we do about this? It is evident that it is goblins weren’t supposed to be able to do something like this? How did he become a goblin anyway? I don’t remember that was one of the playable race.”
Aewyn stuck a tongue out at Tolkien before answering him.
“You are just salty because Cani beat your dragon with the weakest race. He probably got goblin when he chose randomly as his race. There were reports of several people that got a race that normally weren't playable when they randomised. As of now, though, I have confirmed that goblins are a pickable race with “The Lonely Mountain” as their designated starting area.”
I took another deep breath before throwing in my two cents.
“I want to hire him. I want him as one of the development staff.”
Everyone expressed their astonishment. I explained my decision.
“He displayed his talent as a role player through everything that he did. Particularly during the last scene of his death, even I was touched by that scene. Aewyn, can you try to contact him?”
Aewyn fiddled with her laptop a bit before she gave a disappointing news.
“His character has been deleted.”
“Wow, is he a hardcore player? Or is he just that dedicated to role playing? Is there any way we can track him down?”
“We can try to find his contact info from his payment account, but I doubt the courts will approve of it. We need their additional approval in order release information about his account because of privacy issues.”
“Aewyn, see if we can hire someone to create an original soundtrack for everything. I know you spent a lot of effort editing everything together, but not everyone would get the references from old Project: Earth. I want to use that as a promotional video for the new playable race. When he sees the movie, he would probably contact us for compensation of some sort. I don’t mind paying a bit for that kind of talent.”
Tolkien shook his head a bit before sighing, admitting his defeat.
“The string of unlikely events that leads to Smaug’s defeat… The Game Occurrence Director A.I. must be in love with him or something.”