Ways to Lose at Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
BY OWEN PARSONS
[Originally published July 22, 2008.]
Coming down off the quarter pipe, you nose-manual straight across the platform and ollie up to the rail, 50-50 for about 10 feet, then kickflip over to the pool ledge, darkslide around the pool five times, varial heelflip back onto the rail, and nose-grind it to the very end of the park, where you’re viciously torn to shreds by a feral dinosaur. Bogus!
While skating down an alleyway, you come across Trashcan Pete, the crackhead hobo. Pete tells you he’s got a big problem: Officer Baconface is closing in on his secret stash of crack rocks! You must lip-trick off the five big sites in order to distract Officer Baconface and help Trashcan Pete escape to safety. You agree to use your sick vert skills to save the day, but, as you turn to leave, Pete mistakes you for a griffin and stabs you to death.
After launching off the vert ramp, your board achieves sufficient velocity to enter a low earth orbit. Trapped in space, forever falling, you rack up a score modifier that ranks in the trillions, but you fail to stick the landing after your frozen corpse disintegrates upon re-entry.
You rush to the neighborhood skate shop to modify your board, only to find that Ollie, the proprietor, has closed shop for the weekend. You let yourself in through an unlocked window, certain that friendly Ollie won’t mind if you leave behind the money for your purchases. Without Ollie’s advice, however, you find that you cannot decide whether you want looser trucks for better turns or tighter trucks for stability. Unable to decide, you go quite mad. Ollie finds your body Monday morning after you hang yourself with a spool of grip tape.
You catch a bus ride over to the old military base, where no one seems to question your presence as you pop-shove it over Black Hawk helicopters and hurricane-grind through the soldiers’ mess. Hours pass and eventually you accept a mission to pop a backflip over a four-star general. Your sick moves are interpreted as hostile action by the MPs, who pistol-whip you behind the aircraft hangar and ship your board to Guantánamo for interrogation.
Your father, outraged at your flouting of his generation’s values, bursts into your room. Bellowing nonsense, the familiar scent of cheap whiskey on his breath, he snaps your board in half. You briefly consider purchasing a new one, but the sting of your father’s belt leads you to abandon the idea. You drop skating altogether and devote yourself to your studies, eventually graduating magna cum laude. Your father dies of alcohol poisoning a week later, and, on the plane back from the funeral, you meet Sarah. The two of you get married, settle down in a nearby suburb, and produce three children. You’re not sure how you’re going to make ends meet with your office job: the hours are long and the pay is low, but you feel confident that hard work will see you through. On your way out of the team-building seminar, however, you trip on an exposed stone and totally beef it all over the pavement. Combo breaker!
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