Defining Moments – Rollercoaster Tycoon 2

[Editor’s Note: Before we go on, it’s important to note that at the time of writing, the real Michael Schumacher is currently in a coma, fighting for his life following a tragic skiing accident. This article is not meant to show any disrespect to the famous F1 racer, and we sincerely hope – and hope that you’ll agree – that he makes a full recovery. If anything, this article should be seen as a tribute to the man and his uncanny ability to win races – even Kart races in videogame-based theme parks.]

Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 is a great game. You can build all manner of Rollercoasters, the only limit is your imagination. I spent dozens of hours playing it, carefully laying down rides until I created the perfect park. The game is fantastic.

It’s also a game with a large number of amusing cheat codes. Renaming your guests to certain celebrity names will see them performing different things. Tony Day will stuff his face full of burgers, while Katie Brayshaw will walk around waving at others. Michael Schumacher though? Michael Schumacher is a bastard.

Michael Schumacher wears the same dirty red shirt and black pants as every other mindless, barfing, walking wallet that visits my park in Rollercoaster Tycoon 2. He’s probably got a messy, tousled hairstyle and shit-eating grin as he hobbles from carousel to carousel in my neat, weed-notwithstanding slice of blood-pumping Eden.

Rollercoaster_Tycoon_2_02He always seems to have 70-80 dollars in his pocket. He divides it up neatly by spending around 10 or so dollars on food at the Cotton Candy stall and another 5 dollars on Drink Stall; I hope he’s fine with saying goodbye to his foot, because it’s headed for a one-way trip to amputation.

The park is 40 dollars, leaving him around 20 to 30 dollars left to spend. He doesn’t spend it, that cheap bastard.

No, Schumacher rides the same damn ride every time, with the same shit-eating grin on his face during every moment of it – with one raised, triumphant arm giving the finger to everyone behind him and the other clamped firmly on his dick. He’s having another victory lap.

He always gets the victory. He’s a dirty cheater.

But in a twisted and wonderful turn of fate, he’s stuck. The Kart he’s on – the same ugly red Kart to match that same ugly red shirt he wears, has broken down. It’s just hanging there, doing nothing as the rest of the cars are stuck behind him, honking furiously.

My mechanic – Max Torque – gets the call after fixing a broken roller coaster on the other side of the park. “The go-kart’s broken. Can you get to it?” I ask him.

“Yeah.” He says to me, hanging up. He’s always curt; but then again, he only gets 80 a month, so I couldn’t care less.

Max is taking his sweet time to get to the go-kart. For some reason (likely to spite me), he’s taking the long way around. In the meantime, I can hear Schumacher screeching in my ear. I can see him get angrier and angrier as he’s stuck on The Road Warriors.

Spoiled shit.

He’s had his fun, his consistent victories, and now that he’s faced with the potential of loss he wants out? Where’s the fun in that?

Max still hasn’t gotten there. What the hell is he doing?

I look him up and see that he’s somewhere in the ring of stalls I’ve set up at the front of the park. What the hell is he doing there? How did he get there? Why isn’t he fixing The Road Warriors?

“I want to get off The Road Warriors,” Schumacher implores. His dead black eyes become a bit livelier as anger animates his face. Furrowed brows and 32-bit wrinkles reveal his age. He also really wants to go to the bathroom.

Where the hell is Max? Schumacher losing is hilarious, but it’s getting tedious. People are waiting for the ride to end. People want to go.

People are leaving the line. What the hell?

Do I have to do everything myself? I ask myself. I pick up Max and drop him right outside the exit of The Road Warriors. Get to work, you prick.

I get another message: The Circus has broken down.

What the hell? How? Why? Did an elephant have an aneurysm? Did a clown have wiring issues? Did two midgets land on a transformer? What the hell happened? Max got the call; I don’t remember who made the call, but it Rollercoaster_Tycoon_2_03certainly wasn’t me. He decides to walk towards The Circus. Oh no you don’t: you’re fixing The Road Warriors, you picky son-of-a-bitch. I drop him by the exit again. He decides to go to The Road Warriors this time. About damn time.

By now, Schumacher’s gotten peeved. He’s angry and red and fuming at the waiting. He also needs to go to the bathroom. Max walks up to his go kart and kicks it, and it revs up to life.

He leaves the go kart track, this time having lost to Isha A. Leaving the exit, he runs towards the bathroom, and then as he’s leaving, karate chops a bench.

Are you serious?! That bench was 5 dollars! That’s it, I decided. I’ve had enough of this drama queen. But how do I make an example of him? What do I do?

My eyes are caught on the Love Tunnel ride. Just a scare, right? He’ll be fine. I grab him with the claws, and gleefully drop him in the waters, just as a couple are paddling their swan boats through the tunnel. I can hear their hushed and worried whispers as they watch this helpless man fight for his life. They ignore him.

Looks like Michael doesn’t know how to swim; serves him right. About a week later, I found out that Max didn’t, either.

Joe Yang

Joe Yang

Coordinating Editor
Unnecessarily wordy human being, MA graduate, and former Buddhist monk. Moonlight scholar with an interest in ludic components and narrative interplay. Co-ordinator and email jockey at Project Cognizance.
Joe Yang

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