Naruto: The Videogame
Naruto coughed lightly, spraying blood into the air that hovered at their peak for a moment, then fell to splatter down next to his face. Frankly, he was surprised that he'd managed to hold on for as long as he had, even with the Kyuubi chakra holding him together.
Sasuke hadn't stopped with just the chidori to his lungs. He'd wanted to make absolutely sure that Naruto had died and so, once he got up, he'd taken out his kunai and started stabbing and carving. Every single internal organ was punctured at least twice, typically more like five or six times, and the bastard had carefully broken every single one of his ribs before reaching in and tugging out his heart and crushing it in his hand. Then, before he'd left, he'd slit Naruto's throat, cut off his hands and feet, and buried the kunai he'd used in Naruto's left eye. He could feel it sitting there, tickling where it had pierced the tissues of his brain, as he seemed to have endured so much pain in so little time that apparently his nerves had gone out on strike, leaving him cresting the wave on a zen-like plateau of numbness.
With so much damage, even the Kyuubi wasn't much help. He was only holding on through pure strength of will, and that was fading fast...
Kakashi arrived as it started raining, and barely spared him a glance as he passed, Pakkun following Sasuke's trail as best he could before the rain washed it away. That hurt... it hurt more than all the damage inflicted by Sasuke combined. He was still lingering on... he wasn't dead yet! Was it too much to ask that his sensei spare a kind word for a student in his final moments? He wasn't dead yet... he wasn't... he...
His last breath left him, and he was dead.
It was dark, and cold. Was it supposed to be so cold? Where were the servants of kami, come to collect him like in the tales? Where were the demons, to drag him into purgatory, if he didn't rate a heavenly afterlife? Where was... anyone? Anything?
A tinny, mournful strand of music started up in the distance, like a dull harp, and he started to walk to find it. He didn't know how long he walked, only that it was shorter than forever and longer than no time at all, before he found himself in a dimly lit area, with a dark spotlight shining down on a shallow grave.
It read 'Game Over'.
Everything faded away, and there was light, and a scroll hovering in front of him. After a moment, he opened it, and stared at what he found inside.
Survived to see Fourteenth birthday... 140 points.
Learned Henge technique... 10 points.
Bonus 10 points for creating improved variation.
Learned Kawarimi technique... 10 points.
Learned Kage-Bunshin technique... 50 points.
Mastered Tree-Walking technique... 10 points.
Defeated Haku50 points.
Learned Rasengan technique... 100 points.
Acquired Toad summons... 100 points.
Defeated Sabaku no Gaara 50 points.
Convinced Tsunade to take post of Gondaime... 100 points.
Evaded capture by Akatsuki 1 time(s)... 10 points.
Subtotal: 640 points.
Used Kyuubi Chakra on 4 occasion(s)... -40 points.
Needlessly antagonized Konoha citizens on 193 occasions... -193 points.
Failed to prevent Orochimaru from placing cursed seal upon Sasuke in Forest of Death... -100 points.
Lost important person Sandaime during Oto/Suna Invasion-150 points.
Failed to prevent Sasuke from leaving the village... -100 points.
Failed to return Sasuke to village... -50 points.
Died in battle... -200 points.
Subtotal: -833 points.
Final Total: -193 points. Rating: Loser! You Suck!
Negative Score! Unlocked Worthless Naruto
Naruto stared, then slowly blinked. Then his hands began vibrating and his teeth clenched in rage.
"What... the... FUCK?"
The scroll dissolved into motes of light and floated away as the light dimmed revealing he was floating in the air above Konoha. The background music had been changed to something more upbeat, with occasional rattling of bamboo. He stared, seeing, but not comprehending.
Floating in front of him was a large, semi-transparent billboard with the words 'Naruto- the RPG' on it. Beneath, in smaller letters were the words 'New Game', and beneath that was 'Load'. He glanced down through the village in a dull state of shock. There were countless people meandering through the streets, going about their daily business, but either nobody had looked up yet or he was invisible from below.
He shook his head. So far, death had been nothing like he'd expected. He should probably just go with the flow.
He hit the button next to 'Load' and a message appeared beneath it.
Error... no files found.
Blinking, he tried again. And again. Same message both times. He sighed deeply and hit the 'New game' button instead.
The billboard dissappeared, and he found himself in an incredibly huge, but dimly lit room, filled with statues of... himself. An echoey voice rang out through the room.
"Choose your character."
"Oh this is just fan-fucking-tastic." Naruto muttered, taking a closer look at the statues. On reflection, the only way he could tell that they were of him was because of the hair... everything else was vague and formless, a simple caricature of a man. They were faceless, and the image of a closed lock was carved into their chests. There were plaques at their feet. Leaning down, he inspected one.
"Demonblood Naruto... Unlock conditions, use Kyuubi Chakra twenty plus times, end game with positive score."
He shook his head and moved on to the next one.
"Naruko... Unlock conditions, spend a total of more than a year under female henge."
This was surreal. He started walking through the room, glancing at the plaques now and again as he passed. Hanyou Naruto. Windmaster Naruto. Weapon Naruto. Taijutsu Naruto. Braniac Naruto. Jester Naruto. Blacksmith Naruto. Archer Naruto. Swordsman Naruto. Uchiha Naruto.
Naruto paused for several long moments at that one before continuing. Finally, he came to two statues, side by side, that were exquisitely detailed and coated with a finish of paint that made them look impossibly realistic. One was of him with an arm stuck forward, thumb extended, grinning widely. Basic Naruto. The other was of him too, but was a contrast in opposites. His head hung down with his shoulders slumped, mouth halfway into a sullen pout. Worthless Naruto.
The plaque at the base of this one was much larger, to fit a detailed summary. He squatted down to read it.
Worthless Naruto... is just that. Completely worthless. He has no talent whatsoever in any of the three ninja disciplines of Nin- Gen- and Taijutsu, and his chakra control is even more flawed than the Basic Naruto. Compounding that, he has only slightly above average levels of chakra rather than the prodigious amounts even Basic Naruto can call upon. Also, he lacks any form of grace, and his clumsiness is detrimental in situations requiring stealth, and his aim with thrown weapons is atrocious enough that he is more of a danger to his allies than any enemies. On the plus side, due to the difficulty of surviving long at all with this character, point bonuses are accordingly increased. But you have to wonder if it's worth it to use such a pathetic waste of space.
Naruto leaned slowly back, eye twitching madly at the impressively blunt description. He finally understood. He was in hell. And it was worse than he could have possibly imagined. His gaze flicked to the other plaque.
Basic Naruto. Hovering just below average in everything but Chakra control, which is low indeed, and Chakra reserves, which are phenominal, Basic Naruto has a lot of his work in his future if he wants to become Hokage. Hint-try focusing on raising chakra control to start, as it pays off with big benefits if you improve it fast enough.
Naruto sighed and reached forward, choosing the lesser of two evils, deciding to be optimistic about this. He didn't understand what the hell was going on, but it looked like he was being offerred a second chance at life. A weird sort of second chance, but what could you do?
The world faded away, shrank, and twisted until he found himself held in the strong, wiry arms of an old man he knew well.
"This child... is the Saviour of Konoha!"
There was a long moment of silence before the crowd in front of him shifted into a raging mob, calling for the infants death as it bawled at the top of its small lungs.
It was all too soon that Naruto found himself floating above Konoha again, in front of that same billboard. And then again. And again, after that. He was becoming truly surprised at just how incredibly lucky he'd been in his first incarnation just to live to see his first birthday.
Being an infant sucked. Dying as an infant sucked a thousand times worse, especially when you were fully aware and conscious of yourself, but could still do nothing but cry out as someone smothered you with a pillow, or stabbed you, or broke your tiny neck. And since the Kyuubi's energy hadn't fully incorporated itself into his own chakra coils yet, he couldn't heal himself of so much as a papercut, much less a mortal wound.
All he could do was wail at the top of his tiny lungs whenever the would-be killers appeared, and hope that he'd timed it right to catch the attention of whatever ANBU or Jounin was on guard at the moment. And he had to mind when he wailed to be fed or... changed... as well, as the best guards would simply refuse to keep guarding him if he was wailing all the time, leaving him with less picky, but also less experienced, shinobi. That quickly lead to him dying more and more often, to the point where he was familiar enough with it that he could hum that little mournful tinny strand of music in his sleep. And did, much to his embarassment.
On the plus side, he'd finally figured out how to 'save' his progress, allowing him to resume his life from that point, rather than going right back to being shown off to an angry mob. It was weird, as was everything else about this. He just focused in the right way, and time itself seemed to freeze, and suddenly he was hovering next to himself and looking at an unfurled scroll. He just had to make a mark on it, and it would fill itself out with his classification, the date, and the time. The scroll seemed to be infinitely long as well, despite its small size, and so he had no qualms about exploiting it to its maximum efficiency.
Really, that was the only way he'd actually managed to survive to hit his first birthday.
He'd discovered that absolutely nothing ever changed unless he changed it. Unless he irritated them into quitting, he would have the same guardians all the time. Unless he started crying when someone was talking, they would say the same thing at the same time, always. It got hella boring real quick. On the other hand, the attemptive murderers would always strike at the same time and the same way too.
So he would save about ten minutes before an attack, and then go through a little trial and painful error to figure out when, exactly, was the right time to start screaming. Too early, and the murderer would shut him up quick before the patrolling bodyguard heard. Too late, and he was dead anyway. Usually, the right time was a matter of only a few seconds span, sometimes less.
Naturally, he would save again immediately afterwards, not wanting to have to die five or six more times before hitting exactly the right moment to scream again.
When he hit his first birthday, his demonic regeneration began to set in and the attacks petered off to the monthly attempt that he recalled, with a particularly violent one in octobers.
He relearned how to walk and speak, and then... he grew a little lax. He knew pretty much what was going to happen from this point on, so he could breeze through no problem, right?
Wrong. Things went well enough until the graduation incident...
He decided to conserve his strength after stealing the scroll from the Hokage tower so that he could finish Mizuki before he hurt Iruka-sensei. Except that he couldn't produce the Rasengan. Or make Kage-Bunshin. Or do much of anything at all except stand there stupidly and stare at his hands like they'd betrayed him as Mizuki cut his head off with his giant shuriken.
Ah. There was that music again. And here he was once more, floating in whiteness and contemplating a low score, before floating over Konoha again. This time he stayed for a while, thinking.
He couldn't use the Kage Bunshin or the Rasengan. Dimly, he knew that he should have known that from the very beginning, as it made perfect sense when you stepped back and thought about it. He hadn't ever learned how to do them, after all. Sure he'd picked up Henge and Kawarimi almost instantly... but he'd done so the first time as well. And you couldn't honestly expect to be able to perform a technique without even bothering to open the scroll it was written on, could you? So... he could only use techniques that he'd actually learned in his current incarnation. He couldn't, say, spend fifty years poring over scrolls and then load an early save and use all those techniques as a six year old and get lauded as a genius.
Well crap. Another plan down the drain. He paused in the middle of that thought and reconsidered. He couldn't do that, but he could take full advantage of other things. Like, for instance, a little fact that he'd already acknowledged. Unless he changed something, then on a specific day the exact same person would do the exact same things at the exact same times. Even if it was an apparently spontaneous decision, like picking between three types of drink at 'random' at a restaurant, they would pick the exact same one every single time.
It was at this point that he started making plans. Things would be moved around at the same times too. People had a habit of leaving things places and only coming back for them later, once they realized it was missing. That applied to all sorts of things. Sacks of chips. Spare kunai. Love letters. Training scrolls. Useless things and useful things at the same time. Even if something was only left sitting alone for ten minutes... that was ten minutes he had to walk up to it, pick it up, and walk away.
The potential for abusing that fact was enormous. He could save, nick the libraries records of who checked out what and when, then reload from the save and steal anything useful that they borrowed. Much easier than trying to sneak something past the watchful eyes of the librarian and all the Jounin that frequented the place, for scrolls and manuals for either themselves or their squad. One at a time was hella easier.
Of course, there was the slight hitch that the only way he'd figured out to come back her... was to die. Which meant that to put his little plans into action, he'd either have to die in battle or commit suicide. Repeatedly.
The idea of dying on purpose galled him. At his own hand, it was infinitely worse. Still, what could you do? He'd already come to the conclusion that this was all an illusion of the afterlife, as he played this twisted 'game' for the amusement of some kami or demon. Maybe the Kyuubi itself. The kitsune had been unnaturally silent recently. Not one single call for blood or unreasoning demand that he destroy something simply because it was there and he could since the first time he'd died.
Hmph. Well if this was just a game, no reason to play it nice.
Well... uh. This kinda spiraled completely out of control. It started off from playing one of the Naruto videogames, then grew force from reading Chunnin Exam Day, with a little spin from a very similar story in the Harry Potter archive. It was fun to read, but all too short. I especially liked the way he would screw around in Snapes classes, then hit the equivalent of the pause and load buttons.
Also, the sort of game I'm describing would be really awesome if it were real. Think like a hundred or so unlockable Naruto's, each different. Like how the games out now might have Kyuubi Naruto and Taijutsu Naruto as unlockable characters, but better, because there would be stuff like Medic Naruto, who would focus on healing himself while whittling slowly away at the opponent's health, Elemental Naruto's, who would focus on a single element type of jutsu, or Swordsman Naruto... basically, the stuff you'd find in AU and crossovers. Of course, this is an RPG setting with Naruto as a customizable hero, leaving everyone else as background NPCs.
So, pretty much your average RPG, except that Naruto is 'playing' as himself. I also have no intention of explaining how he got into this situation. He just is. Deal with it.