The portal opened in the sky and we landed with a thud! Ex-Aid landed on his head. “Itai!” (Ow!) he winced as picked himself up and massaged his head. We examined our surroundings.
“A race track?” muttered Wyldstyle. Three race cars zoomed by.
“Goodness!” called Gandalf. “They’re even faster than Wargs!”
“Move!” shouted Batman as the cars came around for another lap. He shoved us out of the way while he got ready to jump on the car being driven by the thief. The thief got out of the way as the flag indicated the end of the race.
“Players must beat record lap to win Gold Token,” said an announcer. One of the cars separated it’s rear and folded it down. The sides split away and let hands pop loose. The front flipped up and rotated to become a backpack and allowed a blue head with a purple helmet to pop out. This was Drag-Strip of the Stunticons, and he was mad!
“HOW CAN A FLESHLING BEAT ME?!” he shouted. The last car opened. It was done up in a European driver’s style with the driver on the right side of the car. The driver was a guy in a red suit done up like a race car and he had a tire going from the left shoulder to the right side. His helmet was like a Kamen Rider. The passenger was a pink-haired woman in a yellow outfit and skirt with pixels, buttons, and yellow petticoats. She wore a headpiece on the right side of her head that looked like a green speaker with a yellow pixel note with a green outline on it. She was arguing with the mystery Kamen Rider, er, Driver.
“Drive-san!” called Sengoku.
“Poppy!” cried Ex-Aid. The two people stopped arguing. The woman, Poppy, ran up to Ex-Aid and hugged him. The Kamen Driver, Drive, looked at Sengoku.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I’m Hishikawa Hiroki,” introduced Sengoku as he used the Japanese name order, “Kamen Rider Sengoku! I can’t believe I’m talking to Tomari Shinnosuke, Kamen Rider Drive!”
“Kamen Rider?” I asked.
“What?” quizzed Drive.
“You have a car,” I observed.
“Well, you ride cars,” argued Drive.
“Yeah, but I just saw you come out of the driver’s seat,” I reminded.
“And being a stupid driver at that!” snapped Poppy. Drive turned on her.
“You were being a backseat driver!” argued Drive.
“I was in the passenger’s seat!” snarled Poppy.
“You still gave advice that I didn’t ask for!” shouted Drive.
“This is why I don’t drive, usually,” said Sonic to Mario.
“I can-a understand,” assured Mario.
“There’s only one problem here,” snarled Drag-Strip, “and it’s you fleshlings! I can’t win with you idiots harassing me!”
“We’re trying to win here!” roared Drive.
“I’M the only winner here!” argued Drag-Strip. “That walking fashion disaster said that this was a racing game called Super Sprint and racing is my thing! Now, step aside and let me win!”
“Might I interject?” asked Clash as she cancelled her transformation. Everyone turned to her.
“WHAT NOW?!” roared Drag-Strip. “What does a fish-lady know about this?!”
“Mermaid,” corrected Livia. Before Drag-Strip shrugged her off, Livia continued. “Look, our team needs that token the thief has. You guys want to beat his best time, if not win. I’m an expert at this game and I did some real racing.” That statement surprised me. “I’ve got an idea, but it needs teamwork and, Signore…er…”
“Drag-Strip,” introduced the Stunticon.
“Signore Drag-Strip, I’m gonna need to take the wheel as you seem to have forgotten some of the most important aspects of racing,” continued Livia.
“What are you talking about?!” snarled Drag-Strip. “I’m the fastest racer around!”
“What about split second decisions?” asked Livia. “What about maneuverability? What about knowing when to slam the brakes on? These are important too.” Drag-Strip’s visor flickered.
“What do you mean know when to slam the brakes on?!” he yelped. “It’s a race! You can’t put them on!”
“Let me take the wheel and I’ll show you what I mean,” offered Livia. “Besides, I can help you win. When you do, you don’t even need to give me credit.” Drag-Strip considered her words, then sighed and transformed.
“You better not screw me up!” he threatened. Livia took her hair flower and veil off, entered Drag-Strip, and set them on Drag-Strip’s floor as she buckled up.
“I’m surprised Decepticons have seat belts,” I mused.
“They’re useful for keeping prisoners,” chuckled Drag-Strip darkly.
“Charming,” snarked Livia. Drag-Strip was at the start line.
“Poppy, do you mind staying in the stands with us?” I asked.
“Why?!” wailed Poppy.
“You’re not an expert at racing games,” replied Para-DX. “Drive doesn’t need another annoyance.” Poppy gasped. She then looked down.
“…Pupepopasulk!” she mumbled.
“Parado!” protested Ex-Aid. He then went to Poppy. “Poppy, we can cheer them on together. It will help them win. Want to help?” Poppy looked up, then smiled.
“Right!” she declared. She then went to the stands with us as we cancelled our transformations aside from Drive as he moved his car to the start. The thief did so as well. The racers were ready.
“Not all players are ready,” called the announcer. Just then, I noticed Batman talking to Hiroki and Hiroki put the Batmobile at the start. Batman got in.
“Let’s drive,” he rasped.
This is it! I can’t wait! My ride grumbled. “I hate this. I hate this! I hate THIS! I HATE THIS!”
“Silenzio!” (Be quiet) I hissed. “We’ll take first place.” I released the brake a bit, causing Drag-Strip to move forward a centimeter. The thief flinched. Drive gave the hand motion that he was watching me. Batman did nothing.
“3! 2! 1! GO!” called the announcer. I hit the gas, then braked to turn right via drifting. The straightaway had a puddle near the end, so I drifted right again near the edge, making a complete 180 on the turn and went up the next straightaway, then drifted left 45 degrees. I then drifted right after the straightaway and gunned Drag-Strip’s engine, then drifted right again and crossed the finish first. This went on for the next two laps. Soon, we finished in 1st! The thief, 3rd place, slammed his hand on the wheel, Drive was in second and handled his place more gracefully, and Batman was dead last. The Dark Knight brooded about it.
“What kind of crazy turning was that?!” asked Drag-Strip.
“Drifting,” I explained. “I intentionally oversteered, making you lose traction in your rear wheels, but still maintained control over you. That’s what I meant when I said to know when to slam on the brakes.” Drag-Strip hmmed to himself.
“We went through four tracks with the thief,” he revealed. “A couple more times, then I’ll see how well I drift on the track after that.
“Another track?!” protested Batman as the track changed. “Give me a break here!” I took the wheel again and we waited for the countdown. This one had a lot more turns.
“3! 2! 1! GO!” called the announcer. We took off. I limited my drifting as there were too many turns, but we got 1st again as we dodged puddles and oil patches. We waited for the track to change again. It was short with shortcuts and a wiggly path. I got my hands off the wheel as I leaned back.
“Aren’t you gonna drive?” asked Drag-Strip.
“Call this a mid-term test,” I replied. “I want to see how you drive with a passenger.”
“…All right,” he muttered. The race began again, and we took off. On the first lap, Drag-Strip didn’t use the shortcuts. “That was more trouble than it was worth,” he explained. He took them on the second lap and finished in first without shortcuts. The track changed and I got out. I put my hair flower and veil back on.
“Now, it’s all you,” I called. “Good luck.” Drag-Strip was ready.
“We’ve got to win that token soon,” muttered Hiroki.
“Hush,” I hissed. “Drag-Strip’s got it.”
“3! 2! 1! GO!” called the announcer. The track had an over pass after a turn. Drag-Strip went with normal steering while Batman and the thief tried to drift. That’s a mistake. Drive was right on Drag-Strip’s bumper. Drag-Strip kept his head and drifted right to avoid a puddle. He dodged a tornado as Drive spun out. He went under the overpass and turned onto the parallel track. He then turned left and went down another parallel to the finish line. This went on until the end of the race.
We cheered Drag-Strip’s victory. “WOO!” cheered Wyldstyle. “Nice driving!”
“Those other cars didn’t stand a chance!” called Batman.
“Shall we claim our prize, teach?” asked Drag-Strip to Livia.
“Now THAT’S how you win,” replied Livia. We headed to the winner’s circle when Wyldstyle noticed something.
“Why isn’t the thief’s car here?” she asked.
“Sore loser,” I guessed.
“Are you sure?” asked Hiroki as he pointed somewhere. “Look over there.”
“It’s the thief!” called Sonic as the thief rounded a bend.
“What is he doing?!” yelped Gandalf. He was driving right for us! He drove up the Batmobile and jumped out of the car, grabbing the token!
“NO!” called Mario as a portal opened behind the thief. Batman fired his grapple gun, but it came up short as the thief went through the portal!
“Oh, COME ON!” snarled Batman. We all went into the portal and ended up on some sort of black background as if there was no up. We were still 2-D and surrounded by enemies.
“Oh brother, we’re in Robotron: 2084,” gulped Livia. “A 2-D shoot ‘em up where the player must fight robots that rebelled against humanity.
“So, what do we do?” asked Gandalf.
“This!” hissed Batman as he got ready. We got ready to fight. “I’m tired of chasing! No more Mister Nice Bat!” declared the Dark Knight. We fought off the hordes and got ready for the next wave. The enemies then included one we saw before.
“Cybermen active!” called the enemies.
“Cybermen?!” yelped Hiroki.
“Bad guys?” guessed Emu.
“Yes, now fight!” I replied. We took care of that wave.
“If this is a game,” mused Parado, “it seems like something is going wrong.” The third wave had more enemies, Lex-bots, Orcs, …Winkies?!
“Wait a minute!!” I yelped. “I don’t understand! We freed you guys!”
“You robbed us of our power!” roared a Winkie as his halberd swung at me. I decked him and he faded into pixels. The last wave had the thief! We all made our assault and he fell in half while dropping the token. Suddenly, I felt myself balloon outward. I looked myself…SWEET 3-D BODY, HOW I MISSED YOU! We were all 3-D again and I could see that Emu, Parado, and Poppy were of Japanese descent. I picked myself up and headed for the token, when a large purple hand swiped it up. I looked up to see Drag-Strip smirking.
“Er, what are you doing?” I asked. “We won the games and can share the trophy!”
“I suppose I must thank you, fleshlings,” chuckled Drag-Strip as I heard large footsteps. That’s when more Transformers stomped into view. One of them looked like a grey Optimus with a square-like helmet. The second was a red bot with a purple visor and face guard in a dour expression. He looked like he transformed into a sports car and was busy polishing himself. The third was white and blue with a panicked expression on his orange face. The fourth was black and had a crazed expression. “There you are!” said Drag-Strip. He went from last to first. “Wildrider! Breakdown! Dead End! And, last, but not least, Motormaster! I finally figured it out!”
“What?” snarled Motormaster.
“What Menasor’s problem is,” explained Drag-Strip. “We aren’t utilizing our strengths when we form him. Motormaster obviously has superior strength, so needs to be Menasor’s torso. Wildrider can hit fast and Menasor is right-handed. Dead End can defend well and Menasor uses his left hand to defend himself. Breakdown can catch up to me in terms of speed and is an excellent left kicker, perfect for Menasor. I can provide the speed needed to run as Menasor’s right leg.”
“You think this combo will work?” snarled Motormaster.
“Beyond the shadow of a doubt,” assured Drag-Strip.
“Then, let’s try it,” growled Motormaster. “Stunticons, form Menasor as Drag-Strip suggested.” They transformed into vehicle mode, then feet sprouted from Drag-Strip and Breakdown’s rears as they stood on those feet. Motormaster lowered his rear wheels and split them to form legs. His cab split and formed sockets. Wildrider and Dead End split down the separation between front and back seats and extended to become joints as hands came out of their rears. They flew up and joined in the order Drag-Strip suggested and a large head with a helmet sporting two black horns came up. The gestalt slammed its fists together and roared to the heavens. It then stood still, then started laughing.
“Well,” boomed the gestalt, “what do you know? There IS a benefit in teamwork.”
“Oh no,” I sighed. “You got complete mental control, don’t you, Menasor!?” I said. The gestalt robot grinned.
“The first Decepticon Combiner to achieve total mental synchronization!” he boasted. He turned to Livia. “I must thank you,” he laughed. “If it weren’t for you, my individual components would never have made it as far as they did! And, with the Foundation Element here in our grasp…”
“I should have known you were working for Vortech!” I shouted. “It’s so old, cliché even!”
“This is not a play,” interjected Menasor, “but, you could say it’s the final curtain for you!”
“CURTAIN!!” I howled in laughter. Menasor didn’t take too kindly to that.
“Stop laughing!” he roared. “Don’t you realize your lives are in my servos?!”
“SERVOS!!” I howled again.
“Megumi, I think he wants to kill us!” gulped Poppy.
“But, of all the villains I had to face,” I got out, “it had to be someone with clichés out the wazoo!”
“That’s it!” roared Menasor as he tossed a human-sized hand held device to the thief. The thief grabbed it and held it. It looked like it had a screen in the center, two barrels near a red A button and a chainsaw near a purple B button. The thief pressed the A button and evil music played.
“Baiyō!” (Cultivate!) announced the thief as he put the device on a handle on his right arm.
“INFECTION!” growled the device as he and his legs merged back together with his torso and became a more monstrous version of himself. “Let’s Game! Bad Game! Dead Game! WHAT’S YOUR NAME?! The Bugster!”
“The thief’s a Bugster?!” yelped Hiroki.
“Snatcher,” introduced the thief. “Level 3.”
“I am Menasor, the king of the road!” boomed Menasor.
“Well, if it’s catchphrases, let us get ready,” I declared. Parado and Emu got out their Gashats. Poppy got out a teal version of the device Snatcher used and put it on a buckle on her waist.
“Gachān!” said the device. Poppy then got out a pink Gashat and pressed the button.
“Toki Meki Crisis!” (Heart Beat Crisis) it announced in Poppy’s voice. That sounded like a dating sim.
“MIGHTY ACTION X!” called Emu’s Gashat.
“PERFECT PUZZLE! What’s the next stage?” announced Parado’s Gashat. Shinnosuke turned the ignition key on his speedometer style belt.
“Start your engine!” cheered the belt. Shinnosuke then inserted a small car with its rear undercarriage pointing up.
“Rider…” began Hongo.
“HENSHIN!” we called. I.d tags went in, Gashats were inserted, and Shinnosuke’s small car was pushed like a lever.
“GASHATTO!” announced the Gamer Driver before it was opened. “GACHĀN! LEVEL UP! Mighty Jump! Mighty Kick! Mighty! MIGHTY ACTION X!”
“Dual up!” called Parado’s Gashat as it formed the suit. “Get the glory in the chain! PERFECT PUZZLE!”
“Gashatto!” cheered Poppy’s Gashat as she put it into the device at an angle. She then pressed a button above the B button.
“Buggle up!” declared the device. The Gashat spoke again.
“Dreaming Girl! (Wow!) Koi no Simulation! Otome wa itsumo Toki Meki Crisis! (Wow!)” (Dreaming girl! (Wow!) It’s a simulation of love! A girl’s heart is always a Heart Beat Crisis! (Wow!)) sang the Gashat as a suit formed. Poppy’s suit looked more like her normal appearance, but a heart replaced the speaker headpiece and she had blue eyes.
“DRIVE! TYPE: SPEED!” announced Drive’s Belt. A suit appeared out of thin air for Shinnosuke and formed while the tire slammed itself onto him.
“Kamen Rider Clash!” began Clash. “A duel with me shall end in your defeat!”
“Kamen Rider Sengoku! You shall get a taste of Feudal Japan!”
“Kamen Rider Royal! Evil will ultimately bow to me!”
“It’s-a me! Mario! How-a high can you-a jump? I can-a go higher!”
“I’m Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog! Gotta go fast to beat me!”
“I’m Peach! I shall clear this battlefield!”
“Kamen Rider Para-DX! Fate is like a puzzle!”
“Kamen Rider Ex-Aid! No Continue de clear shite yaru ze!” (I’ll clear this with No Continues!)
“Kamen Rider Poppy! I shall guide you to defeat!”
“Kamen Rider Drive! Let me take you for a ride!”
“I am Gandalf the Grey! Prepare to see some fireworks!”
“I’m Wyldstyle! Time to think outside the box!”
“I’m Batman! The Dark Knight rises!”
“I am the start of a group of warriors! I am Kamen Rider!”
“No, you’re dead!” roared Menasor. He swung a fist down, but we got out of the way.
“What a lunatic!” I sighed. “Gamer Riders, take care of the Bugster! We’ll handle Menasor!”
“Got it!” called Ex-Aid. He then drew out another Gashat and blew into it like you would with an NES cartridge. He then pressed the activation button.
“GEKITOTSU ROBOTS!” (Clash Robots) it announced. The title screen showed up and a little robot came out. Ex-Aid closed his Gamer Driver.
“Gachon!” called the belt. Ex-Aid then put the new Gashat into a slot on his original Gashat’s left. “GASHATTO!” Ex-Aid then swung his fist in a circle.
“Dai, Dai, DAI HENSHIN!” he cheered as he opened the Driver.
“GACHĀN! LEVEL UP!” announced the Driver. “Mighty Jump! Mighty Kick! Mighty! MIGHTY ACTION X!” The little robot then became new armor and gave Ex-Aid a large metal left fist. “A Gacha! Buttobase! Totsugeki! Gekitotsu Punch! Gekitotsu Robots!” (Punch it out! Duke it out! Impact Punch! Clash Robots!) Ex-Aid went on the offensive, but Snatcher dodged repeatedly.
“You can’t catch me!” he boasted. “I’m too fast for you!”
“Where are the Energy Items when you need them?!” moaned Ex-Aid.
“Found them!” called Poppy. The Energy Items were discs with different symbols on them. Ex-Aid took one with a running figure.
“SPEED UP!” announced a voice. Ex-Aid then started running at top speed and punched out Snatcher. He then took out the Gekitotsu Robots Gashat.
“GASHUN!” called the belt. Ex-Aid then put the Gashat into a slot on his left hip. “GASHATTO! KIMEWAZA!” (Finishing Move) There was a power-up noise loop as Ex-Aid pressed a button on the slot holder. “GEKITOTSU CRITICAL STRIKE!” Ex-Aid’s fist rocketed towards Snatcher and it hit him, then Ex-Aid slammed his regular fist into the robot fist. Snatcher sparked before exploding and fading into pixels. The Gamer Riders then joined us as we fought Menasor. Good thing too, we weren’t making a dent in him! Drive was knocked aside and landed near me.
“We gotta finish him quickly!” he called. “Or else, we’re gonna run out of gas!”
“I’m trying to come up with something!” I shouted. Sengoku then landed near us.
“Well, come up with something quicker!” he snapped. Peach was smacked out of the sky as she floated towards Menasor.
“That thing is resisting our Smash moves!” called Sonic. “We gotta try something!”
“Come on!” I snarled to myself. “What’s that creature running on?! Super Energon?!”
“What’s normal Energon?” asked Drive.
“The fuel for the Transformers,” I replied. “That’s what their civil war is all about.” I then realized something. “Some processes drain their internal Energon reserves at a quicker pace than usual, like combining.” Then, inspiration hit me, and a new attack beamed into my head.
“Are your brain cells in top gear?” asked Drive.
“Oh, they are!” I called. “Dai Super Charge!” I changed into my final form and gave everyone the excess energy I put out.
“What’s going on?” asked Batman.
“Everyone, get ready to jump high into the air!” I directed. I was met with confusion. “JUST DO IT!” I shouted. We all crouched low.
“Why are we doing this?” asked Clash.
“Menasor’s combined form is taxing on the internal fuel reserves on his individual components,” I explained. “A concentrated attack will make him fall apart.”
“THAT IS…NOT TRUE!” roared Menasor.
“True enough to make you splutter like that!” declared Peach.
“JUMP!” I shouted. We then jumped straight up. “Now, KICK!” I directed. We went in for a flying kick! “RIDER VORTEX BUDDY KICK!” I announced as we hit Menasor. He sparked at his joints and fell apart into his individual Stunticons. They were panting at the loss of Energon.
“We gotta get out of here!” shrieked Breakdown. “They’re gonna kill us!”
“It would be a good idea to get out of here,” sighed Dead End. “What was the point of coming here anyways?”
“For once, I agree with you two,” rumbled Motormaster. “Stunticons, retreat!” They transformed, summoned a portal, and went through. The token, on the other hand, fell out of Drag-Strip. We heard victory music again as the thief returned in his bisected state.
“GAME CLEAR!” announced a voice. I then heard varying “GASHUN’s” all around as the Gamer Riders powered down.
“Nice Drive!” praised Drive’s belt as Drive took his car out of his brace and cancelled his transformation.
“That was a rush!” called Sengoku as he, Clash, and Ichigō cancelled their transformations. I stayed in my transformed state as Batman inched towards the token, glancing around to check for any interruptions. He snatched it up, then got ready for battle again, swinging his batarang around. All that went by was a pixelated tumbleweed.
“All right, let’s get out of this digital nightmare!” hissed Batman.
“I must admit,” mused Gandalf, “I quite liked that one with all the magical monsters. It reminded me of home.” I opened a rift for us and we all headed into it to go back to Vorton.