Michael Bay Pitches a New Contra Game
This is the first entry in our new series: Director Pitches
Ralph and Tommy sat in the large conference room of Konami America, fidgeting nervously with the assorted items from their guests writer: a bottle of Surge, two Butterfingers and some snap glow sticks. Tommy glanced at his watched, an old chipped and scuffed Rolex. He pulled a handkerchief from his coat and wiped it across his forehead.
“He’s late,” Tommy said.
“He’ll be here,” Ralph answered, leaning back in his chair and staring at the ceiling.
“Think he’ll be into it?”
“He called us back, didn’t he?” Ralph rubbed his eyelids with his thumb and forefinger. Tommy put the handkerchief on the table and a pool of sweat quickly emanated from it.
“He’s la-” Tommy started to repeat, but was interrupted as the doors to the conference room slammed open, bouncing off the large, oak walls to herald a brilliant beam of light. A tall, gangly shadow strolled confidently into the room, stopping with its hands on its hips on top of the golden Konami logo on the carpet.
“We seriously need to get a shade for that lamp in the hallway,” Ralph said as he squinted.
A petite assistant who had been completely enveloped by the light pulled the doors shut, popping into view as she clicked the first half of the door into the frame.
“Will you need anything else, Mr. Bay?” the assistant asked.
“No thanks, sweet cheeks,” Michael Bay said, tossing his masterfully tousled hair. The assistant sighed, thought about her resume and slipped out the second half of the door, pulling it closed behind her. Bay crossed the room and slumped into the chair in front of Ralph and Tommy.
“Hey guys,” the director said.
“Mr. Bay, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Tommy said, extending a hand towards Bay. The director took Tommy’s hand and squeezed down as hard as he could, keeping his chilling blue eyes on Tommy. Bay counted to exactly six seconds, released, and then moved his hand towards Ralph.
“Hey,” Ralph said before taking his phone out and pretending to send a text.
“So, uh, have you had a chance to play some of the previous Contra games?” Tommy asked.
“I watched Shia play for a bit.”
“Well, did you… like them?”
Bay leveled his gaze squarely no Tommy.
“No,” Bay said. The word made Tommy cringe.
Suddenly Bay leaped from his seat, sending the red office chair skittering across the floor behind, and slammed his palms on the table.
“I loved it, bro,” he screamed. Ralph looked up from his phone and raised an eyebrow.
“Oh, uh, well, that’s… great,” Tommy said, looking towards Ralph. His fellow executive just shrugged.
“My favorite part was when the two guys were on that ridge, just like blowing dudes away” – Bay lifted his hands to simulate holding a rifle – “pew pew pew, and then they came across that robot gate, with all the guns? Just genius. There’s nothing more boring in a movie than waiting for someone to open a gate. Why haven’t I thought of a robot gate before?”
“So you’ll take the job as lead director for our next Contra game?” Tommy asked.
“Hell yeah!” Bay responded. The director reached down to the table, smashed a fist repeatedly onto one of the Butterfinger bars and then opened the corner of the package. He carefully dumped the crumbled candy bar into the Surge, shook the drink and then gulped it down in one solid effort. He tossed the bottle behind him while the two Konami executives stared.
“I’ve been thinking about this for the past, like, two hours and I’ve just about got my vision for the game down.”
Bay crouched and formed a box with his fingers, holding it in front of him like he was viewing the conference room on a television screen.
“We open on this small, idyllic town, someone drives an old Chevy truck in front of the camera and we hear some fireworks in the background. Born in the USA is playing over everything.”
“But the series is set in the future where war with aliens and environmental disasters have ruined the planet…” Ralph noted.
“Suddenly this single, alien foot steps in front of the camera and the music fades to something sinister. The camera pans back and we see that the alien is wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a big trucker hat. It’s, like, totally scary but in the shadows you can see that it could pull of disguising itself as a human. Hiding in plain sight.”
“This sounds familiar…” Tommy frowned.
Bay stood straight and ran a hand through his hair.
“Wait, I’m forgetting something… something isn’t right… oh, yeah!”
Bay reached down and grasped the collar of his shirt. He tugged hard enough to make a small tear in the fabric, then slowly, carefully, tore his shirt into a deep v-neck.
“That’s better. OK, so we cut to the town’s high school dance… I don’t know what we name the town. Something wacky, like Raccoon City or whatever.”
“So we’re at Raccoon City High senior prom, and David Spade is there, but David is sad because the new girl in town – Sally Hots – is there with the high school quarterback, Kenneth Branagh.”
“Are these guys actually supposed to be voiced by David Spade and Kenneth Branagh?” Ralph asked.
“Who?” Bay asked. Tommy and Ralph looked at each other.
“OK, so, David is getting up the nerve to ask Sally to dance with him when suddenly the alien thing walks into the gymnasium where they’re having the dance and takes his hat off and everyone is like – oh my God, aliens in disguise! And then you see that like half the people at the dance are wearing trucker hats and they take them off and they’re all aliens. Then one of them shoots a laser gun and half the gym just explodes – boom – all over the place, and people are screaming and running.”
Ralph rubbed his eyes again and Tommy feebly raised a hand to grab Bay’s attention.
“So… when does the player take control?”
“Oh, right now I guess, or whatever. You guys throw in some levels and shit, whatever it is you do. So then we fast forward to the middle of the game, and David and Sally are stuck on top of the Eiffel Tower, because they went to France for protection but the French army got wiped out in, like, three seconds.”
“Again, the Alien Wars have already destroyed all major landmarks,” Tommy said.
“And we want to actually sell games in France,” Ralph added.
“Where? Anyway, so they’re surrounded and everything looks lost when suddenly you hear this helicopter – whomp whomp whomp – and we see an American chopper fly into the screen blaring Back in Black from its stereo. There are people shooting from the helicopter and the camera is whirling around it, just like smash cut after smash cut, and it’s totally shaky. There are explosions just everywhere, all over the screen. Then out jumps Maximus Force, American marine, onto the deck.”
“Maximus lands and is all like ‘don’t worry, the U.S. military is wiping out the alien force. I’m here to rescue you.”
“I don’t think players want to be rescued…” Ralph mumbled.
“But David’s says ‘how can you save us, we’re outnumbered two to one!’ And Max responds ‘oh yeah?’ Then he pulls out one of those little circle dealies with the S on it and jams it on the top of gun, and the gun starts like bending and weaving and shit.” Bay smashed his hands together and started to rub them while wiggling his fingers. “Breeer-whew-woop-woop, bshh bshh and then the gun transforms into a gun with three barrels, each one with a skull where the sight should be and Max says ‘now I outnumber them two to one.’ And Sally is so happy that she starts making out with David, hard.”
“And then… what?”
“I don’t know. Some other stuff happens, you guys put some more junk in there, then finally David learns that the aliens have taken over the Pentagon, and they have their home base there, and that he’s the Chosen One and that only he can destroy them. So you have to go trick them into getting into their space ship so you can shoot this giant rail gun at them and blow it up, and it turns out there was a secret, hidden nuclear bomb in their ship so it blows up like bweeeeewwghghghgghghgh” Bay flung his hands out wide, then slowly lowered them to his side, giving slight jazz hands as he moved.
“How does that make him a chosen one? What at all in that scenario could another random person not do?” Ralph asked.
“You don’t get it, bro… he’s the Chosen One.”
“Putting the emphasis on the article adjective doesn’t… oh, nevermind,” Ralph sighed.
“So, what do you think?” Bay asked, looking at the two executives with big, excited, puppy dog eyes.
A long, painful silence permeated the room. Ralph stared forward in disbelief, and Tommy was now sweating so profusely that his pants were in danger of sliding off. Finally, Tommy leaned forward and blinked a few times.
“Can we put your name on the cover?” Tommy asked.
“As long as there’s a hot babe, too, then do whatever you want,” Bay answered.
“Then we have a deal. Do whatever you want with our game.”
Tommy stood, smiled and walked around the desk. He put one moist arm over Bay’s shoulder and the two of them walked out of the room. Ralph stayed in his chair, holding one hand up to shield himself from the bright hall light. Suddenly the tones of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song filled the room. Ralph checked the screen on his phone and answered the call.
“Hey. Yeah, they just left… We signed the deal… Yeah, I’m not thrilled about it… It was as bad as you can imagine. I really hate that dick, I can’t imagine anything he touches turning out well… Yeah, I’ll meet you for a slice. Get my half with anchovies.”