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You Are Robot Boy! Can You Save Japan From Monsters?

This is Japan, the California of Asia.

Japan is a glistening island nation. A land steeped in ancient history, but also on the cutting edge of science and technology. It is where pagodas and skyscrapers coexist.

You live in a town on the outskirts of Tokyo. It is a quiet and peaceful village, except whenever monsters attack Japan and wreak horrific devastation. Fortunately, no monsters have attacked Japan for 15 years.

You are Robot Boy, a normal Japanese teenager. You live with your parents in a normal house that is a robotics factory. You enjoy normal Japanese teenager hobbies like watching TV, playing sports, transforming into different machines with your power of shape-shifting, and hanging out at the mall.

“Robot Boy, get dressed for school!” shouts one of your moms.

You transform into your humanoid school form and run your usual morning self-diagnostic algorithms. All systems are nominal.

“Breakfast is ready!” shouts one of your dads. “Hurry up, you don’t want to be late for school!”

Your three dads and two moms welcome you to the breakfast table.

“Good morning, Robot Boy!” says the second dad on the left. “We cooked up your favorite meal: enriched plutonium!”

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you help yourself to a nutritious meal of enriched plutonium. You eat until your energy reserves are at maximum.

You head over toward the scrap metal bin, but your parents stop you.

“Metal? For breakfast?” asks one of your moms. “If you eat junk food like that you’re going to add excessive mass to your nano-molecular matrix!”

“Robot Boy, before you go to school, there’s something we want to tell you,” says your dad on the far left.

“You’re a high school freshman now, so you’re finally old enough to learn the truth,” says your mom second to the right.

“Robot Boy, you are not a normal human boy. You are a robot.”

“We’re being serious,” says your third from left dad. “You are a robot we built to protect Japan from monsters. Fifteen years ago monsters attacked Japan and wreaked horrific devastation, so we designed a robot boy to fight them should they ever return. You are that robot boy, Robot Boy.”

“This is a lot to take in,” says your mom on the far right. “Just know that we love you, son, and believe that you will do a great job at fighting monsters. Also, we’ve detected sonar signals indicating that monsters are walking across the ocean toward Tokyo and will attack Japan today.”

“Wonderful,” says a mom. “Now grab your book bag and go to school. Just because monsters are attacking Japan, that’s no excuse to let your grades slip!”

Like all students in Japan, you go to school in a sacred 1,000-year-old temple. You’d better get to class. It’s only five minutes until the monks ring the first-period bell.

Whew, you made it. Your teacher, Mr. Nakamura, hasn’t yet stirred from his night-long meditation ritual.

You have time to chat with some of your classmates before first period starts.

Itsumi is the smartest girl in school and a dedicated student. She always carries a sour lime with her in case the teacher gets hungry during class and needs a delicious snack.

“Hello, my platonic friend Robot Boy,” says Itsumi. “I am very excited for school! How are you today?”

Itsumi smiles. “Okay! Bye!”

Keiko is dressed in her team uniform to play Balloon Debacle, Japan’s national sport. It is an ancient game of agility and strength, originally played by samurai to determine who would get to commit suicide first by swallowing a lime and choking to death on it. The modern version of the sport was made nonlethal by replacing the lime with a balloon that is too large to choke on.

“Good morning, Robot Boy, my non-romantic friend,” says Keiko. “I can’t wait until school is over so I can play sports! How are you today?”

Keiko smiles. “Okay! Bye!”

Keiko is dressed in her team uniform to play Balloon Debacle, Japan’s national sport. It is an ancient game of agility and strength, originally played by samurai to determine who would get to commit suicide first by swallowing a lime and choking to death on it. The modern version of the sport was made nonlethal by replacing the lime with a balloon that is too large to choke on.

“Good morning, Robot Boy, my non-romantic friend,” says Keiko. “I can’t wait until school is over so I can play sports! How are you today?”

Keiko smiles. “Okay! Bye!”

Itsumi is the smartest girl in school and a dedicated student. She always carries a sour lime with her in case the teacher gets hungry during class and needs a delicious snack.

“Hello, my platonic friend Robot Boy,” says Itsumi. “I am very excited for school! How are you today?”

Itsumi smiles. “Okay! Bye!”

Your best friend, Tatsuma, shakes his head sympathetically. “That was rough to watch, Robot Boy. You totally blew it with both of your crushes! The timing couldn’t be any worse. Today is the big school dance, and you haven’t found a date yet.”

“Of course I have a date!” says Tatsuma. “I’m taking Anja, the foreign exchange student.”

“You better figure out how to impress either Itsumi or Keiko before someone else asks them to the dance! Also, good luck saving Japan from the monsters.”

“Good morning, class,” says your teacher, Mr. Nakamura, as he emerges from his meditative trance. “First period is English class, where we learn how to speak English the foreign language.”

He calls on you. “Robot Boy, how do you say the phrase A lime is a delicious treat’ in English?”

“No, that is incorrect. That is not the correct way to praise a lime! Have you been studying your textbook, Robot Boy? This was all covered in last night’s homework.”

“Well done, Robot Boy! That is the correct way to praise a lime in English. I see you’ve been studying hard.”

“Try translating this useful phrase to English: ‘Please slice a delicious lime in half for me, so I do not choke to death on it.’”

Before you can answer, you receive an incoming transmission on an emergency frequency!

“Bad news for Tokyo! A monster walked right out of the goddamn ocean and is attacking the city. It’s stepping on cars and devouring buildings, doing all the standard monster behaviors. Robot Boy, Japan needs you!”

You soar through the air toward Tokyo, following the sound of police sirens and screaming citizens. All of Japan is counting on you to stop this monster. Hopefully you can defeat it before you miss too much school and your grades suffer.

Robot Boy Japan Defender (Fighter Of Monsters)

Hopeful spirits rejoice
Very tall lovers share a bicycle
In your arms I am safe and warm
Embracing my destiny like a kite

Robot Boy!
He fights monsters to defend Japan
Robot Boy!
He fights for every Japanese human

A child rings a bell
The frog and the fly cooperate
True friendship will never sour like milk
Let’s visit the garage of harmony

Robot Boy!
He fights monsters to defend Japan
Robot Boy!
He fights for every Japanese human

Wilted rose blooms anew
Look up at the stars and at the clouds
An honest promise has arisen
Wisdom is louder than all adversaries

Robot Boy!
He fights monsters to defend Japan
Robot Boy!
He fights for every Japanese human

A hideous monster is stomping through the heart of Tokyo, leaving a trail of destruction. “SNACKS,” the creature bellows as it bends down to take an immense bite out of an office building. The beast seems unsatisfied by its meal. “SNACKS,” it bellows again. You’d better stop the monster before it devours all of Tokyo!

You morph into a nuclear warhead and launch yourself at the monster. The explosion is tremendous and completely disintegrates the monster. It also completely annihilates Tokyo, which really is the last thing Japan needs right now. Since you are the bomb, you explode, and are also destroyed.

You morph into a tank and fire several artillery shells at the monster.

Your attack has no effect! The explosions cannot scratch the monster’s impervious skin!

“Attacking it directly isn’t going to work, Robot Boy,” someone says to you.

It’s American actor Richard Kind, the most famous celebrity in all of Japan! He’s the star of widely popular Japanese films, such as Richard’s Notable Tokyo Adventure, Mr. Kind Outwits The Yakuza, and Richard Kind Respectfully Lights A Candle In Kyoto.

The universally beloved actor is sitting outside of a Tokyo hotel where he’s staying while filming another box office blockbuster.

“There’ll be time for autographs later, kid,” says Richard Kind. “Right now you’ve got to figure out how to defeat this monster. Monsters have armored skin, so you can’t just shoot the bastards. You’ve got to be clever in how you fight ’em.”

“Do I have tips for asking girls out? Of course I do! I’m Richard Kind, star of romantic dramas like Richard Kind Secretly Is Betrothed To The Emperor’s Daughter. But that monster is tearing up Tokyo, so I only have time to give you one quick dating tip before you go fight it. What do you need to know?”

“If you want to impress a girl who is class president, you have to show her that you’re supportive of women in politics. Try saying something romantic like, ‘The prime minister of Japan could be a woman and that would be fine.’”

“If you want to impress a girl who is an athlete, you have to show her that you’re supportive of women in sports. Try saying something romantic like, ‘Even though male athletes generally have more muscle mass, it is equally exciting to watch female athletes play sports.’”

You can’t defeat the monster through a direct attack, but if you explore Tokyo, maybe you’ll be inspired to figure out a way to stop it.

“SNACKS,” screams the monster as it devours a city bus. You’d better hurry. The abomination shows no sign of slowing down its rampage.

You enter a traditional Japanese restaurant. As is customary in Japanese fine dining, the waiters are robots covered with coruscating neon lights.

An American tourist is glumly staring at a bowl of delicious limes. “This isn’t sushi,” he complains. “This is limes. This robot restaurant was rated the best sushi restaurant in the world by the Michelin Guide. I flew all the way from Boise just to eat here, but the robot waiters only put limes on my plate when I ask for sushi.”

“Well, I hate limes. My vacation to Japan is ruined. The sushi is just limes and a monster is attacking the city. I’m going to write a complaint on TripAdvisor.”

“Sure, help yourself,” he says. “Raw lime is disgusting. I only want to eat pieces of cold, uncooked fish.”

You take the man’s limes. Limes may prove useful against the monster, but not by themselves. You’ll have to continue exploring Tokyo to formulate your attack plan.

The lime looks incredibly delicious and sour. Your parents have repeatedly told you to never eat a lime, but what could be the harm of just one lime? For your entire life you’ve wondered what limes taste like, and there aren’t any moms or dads here to stop you from tasting it.

You take a deep bite out the lime, filling your mechanical mouth with sour pulp. The chemical sensors on your tongue analyze the lime and conclude it is delicious.

Then you start to feel queasy as lime juice spills through your delicate inner circuitry, shorting out electrical connections and causing catastrophic malfunctions. Your neural network overloads and you shut down.

The next thing you see is your loading screen as you boot back up.

Your eyes activate and you wake up back at home. Your moms and dads are staring at you with concern.

“You shouldn’t have eaten that lime. It took us hours to clean all the lime juice out of your systems,” says a mom. “While you were unconscious, that monster destroyed all of Tokyo.”

“Not only that, you missed the school dance,” says a mom.

The next morning when you turn into a helicopter and fly to school, you can’t help but feel a little guilty as you pass by the smoldering ruins of Tokyo. Defending Japan from monsters was your responsibility, and you totally dropped the ball.

On top of that, you blew your chance at getting closer to Itsumi or Keiko. This sucks.

You visit one of Tokyo’s thrilling video game arcades. It’s a dazzling spectacle of flashing lights and colors. The bleeping and binging from hundreds of game machines is almost loud enough to drown out the sound of the monster demolishing buildings nearby.

A man sits on the prize counter while patiently holding a katana. A katana is a type of legendary Japanese sword that samurais once used for slicing up limes.

“I am guarding this katana until its true wielder emerges,” says The Guardian Of The Katana. “To prove yourself worthy of this blade you must present me with 50 arcade prize tickets.”

The guardian bows to you as he accepts the 50 prize tickets and stuffs them into a paper shredder. “Take your blade, Robot Boy. Save Japan.”

You solemnly take the katana. You’re not exactly sure how useful it’ll be against the monster, since you can transform yourself into a chainsaw if you want, but it’ll probably come in handy eventually.

You enter the robotics company where your parents go to work. “Oh, hello, son,” says one of your dads. “It’s always nice when you visit us at the office.”

“No, son, we’re studying this robot,” explains a mom. “A balloon is a kind of primitive robot that can only be programmed to fly up. Even though balloons are an obsolete technology, they still have a lot to teach us. Our Japanese ancestors truly were wise to invent the balloon.”

“Of course you can have a balloon,” says another dad. “Maybe it’ll help you fight that monster if you have other items you can combine it with as part of a cunning plan.”

You take a balloon from your parents. Now that you have limes, a katana, and a balloon, you think you probably have enough items to defeat the monster.

The immense monster is still rampaging through Tokyo. You’ll somehow have to stop it using your limes, katana, and balloon.

You throw a lime at the monster, in hopes that it will swallow the lime whole and choke to death, the same way hundreds of Japanese citizens tragically perish each year when they are too eager to eat limes and forget to bite or cut the lime up first.

“SNACKS,” the monster bellows as it gulps down the lime without any problem. Unfortunately the monster is too large to choke on limes.

You swing your razor-sharp katana at the monster and it harmlessly bounces off the creature’s skin without leaving a scratch.

“Kid, I told you that you can’t attack monsters directly,” says Richard Kind. “Their skin is too tough.”

You throw your oversized balloon at the monster, in hopes that it will swallow the balloon as though it were a lime and choke to death on it.

Unfortunately, the monster ignores the balloon and instead takes a bite out of a nearby skyscraper. Apparently the balloon doesn’t seem too appetizing.

By combining a lime with the katana you create sliced lime.

You throw a lime slice at the monster, and it gulps it down whole. “SNACKS! SNACKS! SNACKS!” bellows the monster excitedly. Apparently it really likes the sour taste of limes.

This doesn’t seem to accomplish anything.

The lime is already sliced.

You combine sliced lime with the balloon and create a balloon that’s covered in lime juice.

The monster greedily gobbles up the balloon and starts to choke. “SNA—”

Watching the monster choke to death isn’t a pleasant sight. It flails around madly, knocking over lampposts and traffic lights as it struggles to dislodge the delicious balloon caught in its windpipe. The beast’s big, dumb eyes are full of pathetic terror.

The balloon pops out of the monster’s mouth. “SNACKS,” it says gratefully as it flops down into a submissive pose of friendship.

After about 10 minutes of struggling, the creature flops to the ground dead, its titanic bulk shattering the asphalt of the intersection where it lands. This is going to be a real mess for Tokyo’s sanitation department to clean up. Fortunately, that isn’t your problem. You have to get back to school before second period starts.

“SNACKS,” agrees the monster and it wanders back into the ocean.

As it disappears underwater it bellows one last cry to you in its mysterious monster language: “SNACKS SNAAACKS SNACKS SNAAACKS SNACKS!” It almost sounds like it’s trying to tell you something important. You decide to save the monster’s message in your memory files in case it comes up later.

Right now, though, you have to get back to school. Second period is about to start and you don’t want to be late.

As you run into the classroom, Mr. Nakamura gestures for you to take your seat. “Welcome back, Robot Boy. I hope that saving Tokyo went well. You’re just in time for second period, which is geography.”

Mr. Nakamura gestures at a map of Japan. “This is Japan, the island where we live. The important thing to know about the geography of Japan is that it is very long to the north and south, but very skinny east to west. To help you recall this crucial fact, here is a useful memory poem:

If North or South is where you go, there’s plenty of room to move to and fro
But if you venture East or West, in the ocean is where you’ll rest

Unfortunately those verses do not rhyme in Japanese, the language I’m speaking right now, which makes this poem hard to memorize. Please try your best though.”

You pass a note down the aisle to Tatsuma saying, “sup?”

After a few seconds he passes a note back to you saying, “nm. u?”

Tatsuma sends another note back: “nice.”

Maybe you can write down on paper what you’re too shy of girls to say in person.

Itsumi reads your note, then gives you a quizzical glance. Apparently, you wrote the wrong thing. You’re so embarrassed you want to turn into a drill and burrow underground.

Itsumi reads your note and smiles. Then she writes a note back.

“Robot Boy, you are so smart and cute! I also think a woman could be prime minister and it would be fine. I would like to share a fact about myself with you: My favorite movie is Richard Kind Is Elected Mayor Of Osaka.”

How can you impress a girl who is so beautiful and athletic?

Keiko reads your note, then raises an eyebrow at you. Apparently, you wrote the wrong thing! You’re so humiliated, you want to turn into a lawn mower and hide in a shed under a tarp.

Well, you’ve sent notes to both your crushes. Now you have to decide who to ask to the dance.

Keiko reads your note and smiles. Then she writes a note back.

“Robot Boy, you are so into sports and cute! I agree that it is equally exciting to watch female athletes play sports, even though male athletes usually have more muscle mass. I would like to share a fact about myself with you. My favorite movie is Richard Kind Wins A Gold Medal Skiing At Nagano.”

Well, you’ve sent notes to both your crushes. Now you have to decide who to ask to the dance.

As you start to write your note, you’re interrupted by an emergency radio broadcast.

“Bad news for our island nation! A second monster has emerged from the freaking ocean and is marching inland to wreak havoc! Robot Boy, Japan needs you!”

Another radio signal cuts in. It’s from your moms and dads.

“Robot Boy, we’ve analyzed the second monster’s trajectory,” says a dad. “We have bad news. It’s not heading for Tokyo! It’s moving toward Japan’s crystal!”

“Hurry, Robot Boy! Save the crystal! Save Japan! We love you, son.”


You reach the crystal with no time to spare. There’s the loud sound of snapping trees as a titanic monster stomps through the forest. It’ll be upon you in moments.

When the monster emerges into view, your jaw drops with terror, for it is no ordinary monster. It is the King Of The Monsters!

“SNACKS,” bellows the king in an ear-piecing scream that startles doves for miles.

The King Of The Monsters pops the balloon with one of its royal tools. This creature is too smart to fall for that trick. “SNACKS,” it scoffs as it bends down to eat the crystal. You must thwart it somehow!

To communicate with the monster, first you’re going to have to understand its mysterious language. The strange word that monsters say, “snacks,” sounds vaguely familiar, but you’re not sure where you heard it.

The monsters seem to be speaking some variant form of English that over time evolved to only have the word “snacks.” However, the monsters must still be able to talk despite their limited vocabulary. Inflection, tone, context—these must be how monsters impart meaning to their single word. If only you had an example sentence of Monster English, you could run a translation algorithm on it and decode their entire language.

You input the text string into your translation software, but only get error messages. That sentence must not be grammatically correct Monster English.

Oh, well, it was worth a try. Now you have no choice but to kill the monster.

Your translation software analyzes the text string and uploads Monster English to your language files. Now that you can understand the monster tongue, you realize it is an elegant and beautiful dialect, capable of expressing almost any thought in a brief and poetic utterance of the word “snacks.”

“SNACKS,” bellows the monster. You translate that phrase and learn that the monster is actually saying, “I WANT SNACKS.”

You eloquently plead your case to the King Of The Monsters, begging it to spare Japan’s crystal and stop monsters from eating your country.

“BUT MONSTERS MUST HAVE SNACKS,” replies the monster.

“BIGGER COUNTRY? MORE SNACKS?” The King Of The Monsters seems interested.

“SNACKS,” proclaims the King Of The Monsters, which in the monster language means, “I hereby decree that monsters shall never again trouble Japan, in gratitude for you pointing us toward China, where there are lots of snacks. Farewell, Robot Boy!” The King Of The Monsters then wanders back into the ocean and starts heading west.

You did it! You saved Japan from monsters, and with just enough time to make it back to school before the dance starts!

There’s only one thing that’s powerful enough to destroy the King Of The Monsters: a direct impact from a Japanese magnetic train, the fastest object in the universe. You could transform into a train and crash into the monster, but you might not survive the collision.

Okay.

You hop onto one of the nearby maglev tracks that crisscross all of Japan and morph into a train. Before you can crash into the monster you have to build up speed.

Hm.

This doesn’t seem right.

No doubt about it, you have definitely left Japan.

Unfortunately, you are going too fast to ever slow down.

So you’ll have to just keep going around the world forever.

And ever.

And ever.

As you zoom across the country at hundreds of miles per hour, the Japanese populace gathers to cheer you on.

“Go, Robot Boy, go! Continue this process of saving Japan!” cries the crowd.

“Look, children, it is Robot Boy, the defender of Japan!” a dad tells his kids.

“He turned into a train to crash into a monster to save the crystal,” explains their mom.

“That’s cool! We are fans of Robot Boy!” cheer the kids.

“SNACKS?”

The next thing you see is your loading screen.

Your eyes activate, and you open them to find yourself back at home. Your parents are staring at you proudly.

“You did it, son,” beams a dad. “You saved Japan from monsters!”

“After the train collision, your body shut down and entered emergency repair mode,” says a mom. “We brought you back here and fixed you up.”

“You slept right through third period, which was math class,” says another dad. “Your teacher sent you a lesson plan to make up the work you missed.”

“It means that the school dance is about to begin,” says a mom. “We’ve programmed a new party mode for you to morph into. You better get dressed!”

“Don’t you look handsome in your party mode,” proudly says a mom while pinching your cheek. “Now hurry to school!”

You can already hear the loud celebratory party music of monks ringing bells and chanting.

“Hey, man, nice job saving Japan,” says Tatsuma. “Now go ask either Itsumi or Keiko to the dance! Pick carefully, cause you know you can’t ask both.”

“Oh, Anja, the foreign exchange student? She’s right here.”

“Hello, Boy Of Robot,” says Anja in halting Japanese. “Soon to have a dance occurs!”

“Hello, Robot Boy, my close friend who I’ve never considered dating,” says Itsumi. “Nice job saving Japan from monsters!”

“Sure, I’d be happy to attend the dance platonically with you! We are very good platonic friends after all! It’ll be very fun for both of us to dance as though we were dating and in love, even though we’re not!

Besides, nobody has asked me to the dance romantically, because nobody knows what my favorite movie is. In Japan, it is customary to tell somewhere their favorite movie when you ask them to a dance romantically.”

Itsumi shakes her head. “No, that’s not my favorite movie! I don’t blame you for getting it wrong, though. Only a potential boyfriend would know that, and you are just a very dear friend. Ready to attend the dance platonically?”

You platonically take Itsumi to the school dance, and even though this isn’t what you wanted, you still manage to have a pretty good time. The monks ring a festive gong, and there is plenty of carefully arranged rocks and sand to enjoy looking at. Plus, you saved Japan from monsters. Today was fine.

“That is my favorite movie!” Itsumi blushes. “Robot Boy, I am wondering, would you like to attend the dance romantically with me?”

You take Itsumi to the dance romantically, where you dance slow and with repressed teenage emotions. At the end of the night she gives you a kiss!

From that point on, you and Itsumi are an item, and you spend lots of time together holding hands, smiling with intent, and nuzzling. Itsumi gets reelected president of the student council, and she convinces you to run for treasurer even though you’re not really interested in student government and think it’s a waste of time. However, as long as you’re near Itsumi you’re happy. In addition to dating Itsumi, you also saved Japan from monsters, and your homeland enjoys peace and prosperity forevermore. Congratulations!

“Hello, Robot Boy, my dear friend who I’ve never considered dating,” says Keiko. “Nice job saving Japan from monsters!”

“Sure, I’d be happy to attend the dance platonically with you! We are very good platonic friends after all! It’ll be very fun for both of us to dance as though we were dating and in love, even though we’re not!

Besides, nobody has asked me to the dance romantically, because nobody knows what my favorite movie is. In Japan, it is customary to tell somewhere their favorite movie when you ask them to a dance romantically.”

Keiko shakes her head. “No, that’s not my favorite movie! I don’t blame you for getting it wrong, though. Only a potential boyfriend would know that, and you are just a very dear friend. Ready to attend the dance platonically?”

You platonically take Keiko to the school dance, and even though this isn’t what you wanted, you still manage to have a pretty good time. The monks ring a festive gong, and there is plenty of carefully arranged rocks and sand to enjoy looking at. Plus, you saved Japan from monsters. Today was fine.

“That is my favorite movie!” Keiko blushes. “Robot Boy, I am wondering, would you like to attend the dance romantically with me?”

You take Keiko to the dance romantically, where you dance slow and with repressed teenage emotions. At the end of the night she gives you a kiss!

From that point on, you and Keiko are an item, and you spend lots of time together holding hands, smiling with intent, and nuzzling. Keiko leads the school’s Balloon Debacle team to the national championship, and she convinces you to join the marching band as a trumpet player so you can tag along and perform at all her games. In addition to dating Keiko, you also saved Japan from monsters, and your homeland enjoys peace and prosperity forevermore. Congratulations!


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