Part 1: WELCOME TO CAMP
I've always heard a lot of good things about Animal Crossing, but I never owned a Gamecube. When it was released on the DS it received such positive reviews that I decided to give it a shot, despite the fact that it appears to have been created for small children suffering from down's syndrome and ADD.
I was not prepared for the shit that goes on in this children's game. The result is this.
I've documented the journey of Billy, a young, happy lad who believes he's going off to have fantastic adventures at summer camp. The following images have not been altered in any way (other than to rescale them or to identify which dialog option is being chosen).
This is a literal and practically contextual account of what happens to poor bastards sent to Animal Crossing.
This is the true story of Billy.
Listen along with the audio track here:
Audiotrack by Stinkmeister, Triangle Head, NeoGeo0823, Zutaten, BroadSquadGo, and Rupert Buttermilk
PART 1: WELCOME TO CAMP
I'd never heard of this particular summer camp, but it was cheap and we were broke.
The camp sends us their personal cabbie. I toss my suitcase in the trunk and we take off before my mother even gets a chance to wave goodbye. Like the beginning of all shitty horror stories, it's pouring outside. There's something wrong with the cab driver, some kind of glandular problem.
His speech is garbled, and I don't like the way he says "camp", like he's being sarcastic. Despite the long drive, I never get more of his face than a passing glance. We seem to drive forever. Eventually I lose track of time and start to doze off to the mezmerizing sound of the rain beating against he window. I'm jolted awake when he tries to make small talk.
He asks me how I'm going to pay off the fare in a light-hearted manner, as though we hadn't already paid the camp admissions. This should have been my first sign that something was horribly wrong.
We come to a rolling stop and I stumble out the door while he shouts at me with that sarcastic voice again before peeling off with my suitcase still in the trunk. Son of a bitch. All I've got on me are the clothes on my back and a shitty haircut.
My only option is to check in. The lady behind the counter is a fucking pelican who calls herself Pelly. Is this some kind of theme-camp crap where the adults dress up like animals?
She tells me the director, Tom Nook, has taken a special interest in setting up my cabin for me. I didn't know it at the time, but that name would be burned into my memory forever. There's a hint of recital in her voice, as though she's made this speech before.
What the FUCK is going on? No toilet, no sink, not even a goddamn chair. I get a cardboard box, a candle with no matches and a boom box that only plays one song. And it fucking skips. I make for the admissions office.
Before I even get out the door, Tom Nook's all over me like a cross between a used car salesman, a lawyer and a german shephard, despite being dressed like a raccoon in a goddamn maid's apron.
Before I can get a word in edgewise, he tells me I bought this piece of crap shed, I owe him a ton of cash and I better pay him back, and seeing as how I don't have any money, he'd be happy to let me work in his little sweatshop wonderland, so he expects I'll be stopping by right away. And then he's gone.
I stumble around for a while in a stupor, trying to get my bearings. The camp isn't huge, but there aren't any paths or trails, it's just a featureless pile of dirt with a few trees. I wander past a run-down clothing store before I notice a shanty-town reject with a hand-scrawled sign that reads "Nook's Cranny".
It occurs to me to just be honest with Nook; I didn't buy a cabin, I'm just an 8-year-old on vacation. Big mistake.
That son of a bitch plays for keeps and within seconds I'm putting on a work uniform and lugging huge sacks of fertilizer out the door.
It's after I've started to plant my third sapling that the panic sets in. There's something seriously wrong here. Why aren't there any other campers? Why did Nook say "everyone who works here wears a uniform" even though there are clearly no other employees? Was he talking past-tense? If I work for Tom now, why havn't I signed any paperwork? And why is there only one old, used cabin in this entire, walled-in campground that isn't the home of a counselor dressed like some kind of fucked-up furry?!
My stomach's in knots as I bolt across the empty lot to where the large, fortified gatehouse sits looming, carved out of a face of solid rock. Two man-sized dog soldiers stare me down and I curse under my breath for not being able to find a single normal person, but at this point I'm nearing hysteria.
I beg one to open the gates, but he stares blankly through my face and his reply sends a shiver down my spine that's punctuated by my own name.
How the hell does this asshole even know my name, unless… holy FUCK. It suddenly penetrates my 8-year-old brain like a brick through a convenience store window. They're all in on it. The mysterious cabbie that took off with all my shit, being forced to wear work clothes, the impossible sudden debt, the guarded gates… its all one big conspiracy.
I'm trapped here. And I'm alone.