Disclaimer, I do not claim to own Zero Wing, and I'm not making any money off this.

An "All your base" fic.

Author's note: I thought the juxaposition of flowery text and disjointed narration would be amusing. So, here goes.


The star swept sheet of black, pieced with bright pinpoints of light, distant nuclear furnaces roaring silent into the emptiness around them.

"2101, war was beginning"

Set against this backdrop of the galaxy's majesty, a russet vessel soars, soundless, luminous, proud, a massive edifice proclaiming the triumph of humans reaching beyond the bounds of Earth. Then suddenly, one final attack strikes it from the sky. The starship crumbles, spilling fire into the empty reaches.

We are presented with a scene of the still active innards of the ship. In these dark reaches, strung with cables like great arteries of the ship, is the crew. Valiant, noble, and now frantic in their desperate bid to save their ship, men scramble to salvage whispers of functionality from their stricken vessel.

Amidst the confusion the captain sits momentarily alone, finding a brief eddy of calm, surrounded by chaos and anguish. He is facing the deciding test of his life, his ship struck down like an unfavoured plaything of a fickle god. And he is stunned into disbelief at his defeat.

"What happen?"

His answer is swift, coming from a subordinate, a brave man, not lesser in his sense of duty towards the crew and ship, despite his lesser station. It is the cry of a twin soul, filled with like anguish to the captain's distraught question.

"Someone set up us the bomb."

The chaos gains pause, silence before a lightning strike. Each of the crew hears, and knows it can mean only one thing. Death is breathing down each of their necks.

"Main screen turn-on."

A dark figure leaps into the air, dominating the screen with evil presence. The face of that figure is smooth, handsome, and deadly. A face that is only half human. A face which the captain knows well.

His heart freezes in fear even as his mind sings rage. This face means inevitability, and a deep sense of frustration and sorrow grip the Captain to his core. The resultant mix of emotion makes his stomach roil. He puts all of his fervor into but a few words, a cry filled with emotions running from the deep waters of the Captain's soul.

"It's you!!"

This elicits no more than a smirk. The Captain's life is but a toy to this avenging demon.

"How are you gentlemen?" CATS purrs in a calm cultured voice, arrogant in his victory. His eyes are cold, glittering with malevolent delight at the Captain's desperation. One can almost see how he looks down upon all he surveys, like a malicious child pulling wings off flies.

"You are on the way to destruction."

"You have no chance to survive, make your time."

Evil laughter rings through the ship, mocking its very existence.

The Captain's soul goes cold. His ship and crew will be destroyed, and he himself will die. The belief crystalises in him like ice, freezing him in place. But the faint voice of his courage whispers 'there is more to do yet'. Snarling in defiance, his sudden burst of strength fueling his next words. He is still Captain of this ship, and he will not take defeat meekly!

"Take off every zig." His warriors are the best this side of Sun shadow and they will not go down without pouring napalm into the belly of the enemies' forces.

"For great justice."

A final exclamation of defiance. A final declaration, imploring mercy upon his soul for the life that brought him to here.

With that all is over. The Captain watches the sleek star fighters fall away from the main ship, knowing that he is not long for this world. Sighing and closing his eyes, he relaxes his fierce will, offering his soul up into death. When it comes, it is swift. A final explosion that tears the ship apart in an instant, and the Captain's story falls silent, like the endless black space that embraces his mortal remains.

That embraces the mortal remains of his crew.

And now we focus upon a single ship. It's pilot is shaking with adrenaline and fear. But stronger than fear, stronger than steel, stronger than any force lying in the way, this fighter's courage blazes across the heavens. Power surges through your control pad, placing the life of this one remaining fighter into your hands. And his thoughts blaze stark and clear in your mind, as though you are the god hearing his prayer.

I will not be defeated.

This has just begun.


---- Very dramatised isn't it? But it really makes me want to play Zero Wing.

And that is how you should feel when you're starting a game of Zero Wing. That is the feeling that game programmers try to give you with their games. They are telling a story through a specialised media. It's not just about pixels and parameters and trying to beat the system. It's also about playing a character, being the hero, bringing yourself into the action and playing till the end to see the story and defeat that bad guy you really don't like.

Computer games to me are as legitimate a form of artistic expression as drawing or writing is. Indeed, I have seen some beautiful pieces of art and writing in the games I've played. Games are no more for kids than books are. They're for anyone who has the kind of imagination suited to them. Unfortunately they're not taken very seriously most of the time.