Halloween Game the Third
On October 31, 2002, a group of college students were
out trick-or-treating. They were a motley gang of kind of campus outcasts,
including a couple of horror-movie buffs, a guy in his fifties, an often-inebriated
frat guy, and so forth. Players were Chad, Paul H, Paul E, Will, Khiem,
Taylor, and Katy (wow, girls). Their characters were all in costume,
for example, Chad was dressed as Jason from Friday the 13th, Katy was Dumbledore,
and Khiem was a Jigglypuff. The gang was just about finished with
their trick-or-treating when they came upon a dark, dreary house with a
couple of lights on at the end of the lane and decided to get a smidge more
candy. They rang the doorbell and were greeted by a very creepy old
man. He chortled for a while and gave them some bits of black candy.
Upon returning to their van, they inspected their candy.
When they looked up, they noticed that the area around the van seemed different.
Instead of being in a residential neighborhood, they were suddenly on a
deserted highway. Just up the road was a sign that reads Halloweentowne,
so they decided to drive into town and get directions.
As they went, the driver noticed that the steering wheel
seemed to be sticking a little. All of a sudden, there was a chorus
of high-pitched laughter from unknown creatures and then screams from the
people inside the van. The steering wheel jerked right and stuck,
almost as if it were being held by some kind of strong arm. While
the driver wrestled with the wheel, the accelerator stuck, and the van plunged
off the road. The van careened through a ditch and they slammed into
a tree, stopping the van in a hard crash.
The humans picked themselves up, inspected their wounds,
and left the ruined vehicle. Just as they left the van, it burst into
flames, followed by high-pitched screams and laughter. A couple of
gremlins, burning to death, ran screaming from the scene. Needless
to say, the gang was pretty much disturbed.
They soon saw headlights on the road coming out of town
and flagged down the driver. He was a rather scruffy looking guy in
his mid-forties wearing dirty clothes, and he introduced himself as Greg
Weiss. After a brief discussion, the gang got into his vehicle and
traveled with him back to his house. Greg told them that his old vehicle
was destroyed last year. It looked to be a common armored truck used
by banks from the outside, but inside it was a mobile headquarters of sorts,
fitted with many weapons and even had an onboard computer.
Greg drove them into Halloweentowne, where the populace
was being terrorized by the annual onslaught of monsters. As they
turned down Greg’s street, they saw a crowd of trick-or-treaters surrounded
by a swarm of flesh-eating flies. (note: The players didn’t care as
much as they should have. If I saw a bunch of people being eaten alive,
I’d at least say something other than, ‘when do we get the guns?’ Pfft,
jerks. Hehe, just kidding!)
Once inside the sanctum of Greg’s house, Greg gave them
the annual lecture of what Halloweentowne is all about. Afterward,
he mentioned that last year was his twenty-fifth Halloween, a very troubling
thought that caused him to drink away his worries and he didn’t wake up
till Christmas. He also pointed out Will and said that he looked fairly
familiar. After a quick discussion, it was discovered that Will’s parents
had been to Halloweentowne back in 1979 when they had been college students,
and they had never mentioned it to anyone.
This brought up a new dimension of the game: the Sequel
Monster. Sequel Monsters are monsters that return to Halloweentowne
after their demise and are invariably more powerful and certainly scarier.
Greg racked his brain about the mess and then recalled the monster Will’s
parents had helped destroy years before.
The monster was a mutant killer named Todd Ripman.
He was an exceptionally cruel man and was locked up in an insane asylum at
the age of 7 years after… well, some unpleasantness. The doctors at
the asylum were interested in experimentation with the ability to shift
muscles and other body tissues and they used young Ripman as a guinea pig
in their horrible experiments. The experiments left Ripman a grotesque
individual, and he wore a plain white mask. Eventually, though, he
found that he could change his appearance, height, and stature at will and
even form to look like other people. Using his power, he escaped from
his cell on Oct. 31, 1979, sought vengeance on the doctors, and then began
to terrorize Halloweentowne. Will’s parents and a few others fought
him valiantly and eventually destroyed him by throwing him into a vat of
acid in an abandoned chemical factory.
After regaling them with the story, Greg set out for
his annual night of fund-raising. Meanwhile, the gang hung around his
house, going through his impressive collection of stuff. Chad and a
couple of others noticed that two of the bedrooms in Greg’s house were filled
with dozens and dozens of lead boxes. Evidently, Greg used his free
time to pick up potentially evil things and secure them in lead boxes.
(The logic makes sense to me: If it’s locked up in a box, it can’t come out
and try to kill you. The only thing that surprised me is that Greg didn’t
bother to bury them. I guess he was more concerned about keeping an
eye on them.) The guys upstairs went through the boxes, looking at
all of the strange and mystical objects. In one box, Chad found a particularly
creepy black hockey mask. He thought it would complement his costume
greatly, so he switched his mask for the new one.
Just as Chad was securing his new mask, Katy and Taylor,
who were downstairs, heard a strange groan from the plumbing in the kitchen.
They went in to inspect with flamethrowers at ready. Suddenly, a big
black mass crept out of the faucet of the sink and threw Katy clear into
the dining room. The black goop seemed to be some kind of near liquid
that was capable of forming objects. They fought with the mass for
a bit, and then finally torched it. As the black mass screamed in pain
and fled, Greg’s sprinkler system kicked in and doused the flames.
With the murderous goop temporarily at bay, the gang
decided to head out in Greg’s armored truck. (Heh, the house must have
been a complete mess: every box upstairs opened and dumped out, extra guns
and ammo lying everywhere, kitchen and dining room wrecked and scorched, sprinklers
soaking everything. Poor Greg.)
They drove around aimlessly for a bit. Suddenly,
a man in a clown mask jumped in front of the truck, and they hit him.
Unfortunately, being struck by an armored truck did not seem to faze him
too much. He was wielding a huge butcher knife and began hacking at
the engine. To make matters worse, there came a horde of zombies marching
up the street. In only a matter of minutes, they would be upon the
truck and eat the brains of anyone left there. If the clown destroyed
the engine, they’d all be zombie food.
Paul E was up to the challenge! He leapt from
the armored truck with his shotgun ready to blaze. Before he could
pull the trigger, though, it jumped out of his hands and began hovering
in the air. (This ‘possessed weapon’ bit was one of the most hilarious
things to have ever happened in a Halloween game. Poor Paul E.)
Paul E eagerly began chasing after his flying shotgun. The really
funny part was when he caught it, and it shot him (though he didn’t get hurt
from the blast as it just winged him).
Khiem went out to help Paul, but was suddenly attacked
by the clown. He shot the clown squarely, causing him to fall dead.
Unfortunately, he almost immediately got back up and tackled Khiem.
They then began wrestling, and the clown was doing his best to stab Khiem
with his knife.
Meanwhile, the others began fighting the zombies.
Taylor and Katy wielded their flamethrowers well, Will did some nice head-chopping-off
action with a katana, and the others fired their guns into the mass of zombies.
The battle was long and hard, but they finally destroyed the vicious zombie
horde. Unfortunately, Will had taken some serious damage and they
grew concerned that he might be zombified too.
Khiem and his clown foe fought viciously, but Khiem
finally overpowered him and stabbed him in the face with his own knife.
The clown mask poured a lot of blood, but the clown kept coming. Fortunately,
it gave Khiem enough time to get away from him, and Taylor finished the
clown off with a long spray from her flamethrower. Oh, and Paul E
finally got his gun back and it stopped being possessed. (Heh heh,
The gang loaded back up into the truck with the severely
wounded Will. They ran through the database on the truck’s computer
and found someone who could help them keep Will cleansed of zombie-disease:
Father O’Malley. With that, they quickly drove toward Halloweentowne’s
Just as they neared the cathedral, the bank truck jerked
and the driver nearly lost control again. Fearing another assault
by gremlins, they stopped the truck and began to search with knives in hand.
Unfortunately, it was not gremlins, it was the black goop! It had
sneaked aboard the truck during the fight and was now ready to kill them.
It leapt from the steering column and began to simultaneously throttle,
suffocate, and crush the driver (whom I’m pretty sure was Chad, but I can’t
While some worked to subdue the evil goop, some others
of the gang carried Will out of the back of the truck in a race against
time to get him to the Father. Seeing the resemblance between Will
and Will’s father from 1979, the black goop began to pursue him. (The
black goop was really Todd Ripman. After 1979, his body sat in limbo
dissolved in the acid. As Halloween 2002 approached, some of the people
of Halloweentowne began to clean up the abandoned chemical plant.
Ripman’s body reformed due to some of the cleaning solutions, and he was
now a living mass of black goop that could alter its shape.)
As the black mass charged, leaving a nearly dead Chad
behind, it took the bipedal form of a human. It hissed menacingly
and made impressive knives out of its forearms. Katy, who was with
Will, swung around with her flamethrower and blasted Ripman, sending him
up in flames. He shrieked in pain and terror, and his body quickly
burned into a pile of dead ashes.
With that, the gang reappeared on the street of the
neighborhood they had left in the real world. Will was still in very
bad condition, but a trip to the hospital fixed him right up. He later
had a very long talk about Halloweentowne with his parents, who confessed
that they indeed had been there in 1979. The experience was so terrible
for them that they had never wanted to bring it up. They were both
sad and a little relieved to hear that Greg was still there.
It should be noted that Chad’s character still had the
black hockey mask with him when we reappeared. Since that day, he
has become greatly attached to the mask, wearing it at first in private,
then increasingly in public, and often does not take it off for days at
a time. Perhaps this mask may have something to do with the next Halloween