The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars

by cosmicPostman

Part 9: Extra: Orange Star's Christmas Party

Hey guys. I just wanted to say a big thank you to you all. Thanks to anyone who has glanced at, read, commented or engaged with my SSLP over the last ten weeks! It’s been a really great start, and I’ve had such a blast doing it.

I was really nervous when I began - I only discovered SSLPs recently, but I’ve enjoyed going through the archives of posters like Vilkacis and LordHippoman and many more! It’s been quite fun to follow in their footsteps and begin my own SSLP, and I hope it’s lived up to some of your favourites so far, and that you continue to enjoy it!

This piece is just something I wrote in my spare time coming up to Christmas, and don’t worry, there’ll still be a regular update going ahead on Friday. Consider this a little extra present!

Hope you all have an excellent Christmas, guys. See you Friday!

The Barracks: Orange Star’s Christmas Party

“Two pints, please.” a voice says. The barman begins to prepare it, and Dave turns to see all of his fellow compatriots enjoying the Christmas gathering. The bar’s quite nice, a good venue for a party.

“Hey, Dave.” a voice says, and Dave turns to see Gareth.

“Gareth. How’re you?” he says to the mech.

“Not bad, did you get my pint?”

“Of course.” Dave replies. The two pints are served, and Dave hands one of the glasses to Gareth, who accepts it gratefully and begins drinking, smacking his lips appreciatively with each sip.

“Nice to get a night off.” Dave says.

“Yeah.” Gareth replies. “Sucks that Craigsworth couldn’t be here for it. We’ll pour one out for him later, yeah?”

“Sounds good.” Dave agrees. His mind is on Craigsworth, but for one night, he decides to let his vengeful feelings dissipate. Olaf and his army can wait; there’s one night off, and he’s going to make full use of it.

“Hey, gents.” Red slurs as he walks up. He’s already quite drunk, and Dave rolls his eyes.

“Red, hi, you’re just in time. Where’s your kid?” asks Gareth.

“Ah, she’s on her way! You know what women are like, taking forever to get ready. I left ‘er behind so I could get some drinks in!”

“I can tell.” Dave replies sarcastically.

“Hey, how much are pints here?” Red asks. “Two pints, please!”

“Both for you, I’m guessing?” Dave asks. Red laughs and nods.


Michael sidles up to a table where a confident woman is handing out cards.

“Uh… uh, hi. Would you guys mind if I joined you?”

Steve, Barold, Barry, Larry and Tina glance up at him. Steve nods. “Of course, man. We’re just about to play; Tina, can you deal for Michael?”

“Sure!” Tina says. She grins at Michael as he sits down. “Don’t look so nervous! We’re playing Bullshit, not poker. No worries about losing any money, not at Christmas!”

“Ah, cool.” Michael says, nodding. “I do wonder how you guys play poker so much without going bankrupt.”

“You play well.” Barry winks. He looks at his cards and pulls a face.

“Is that why you never come by? Worried about losing money?” asks Barold. Michael nods, shifting awkwardly in his seat.

“Well, yeah, but also… everyone’s been treating me a little weird recently.”

“Probably since you ‘died’.” Steve replies. “You never did explain that. I wouldn’t worry, man, but don’t feel afraid about hanging out with us! We don’t bite - besides that lot over there.”

He points at four figures hunched over a table, talking amongst themselves.

Michael chuckles. “I see! Um, Tina… how do you play Bullshit?”

“I’ll tell ya!” Tina says. “Right, it’s pretty simple - you just put cards down, and…”


“Steve just pointed at us.” Carl murmurs.

“Even at Christmas, nobody’s coming to sit with us.” Fred says.

Raynald of Châtillon harrumphs loudly. “Pah! They’re worried about keeping in the boss’ good graces! But we, the true warriors who shall reclaim the Holy Land, those that do not shy from putting Seljuks to the sword, we are the ones who will fall out of our leaders’ good graces and into God’s good graces!”

“Sure thing.” Barnaby says. “I mean, maybe it’s because you guys are bringing the Christmas mood riiiiight the heckity down! Lighten up, chumps!”

“Do not ‘chump’ me.” Carl says. “Your blood is just as tasty to me as a Blue Moon soldier’s would be. At Christmas, I feast, and I do not mind who I feast upon.”

“Jeez.” Barnaby says. “You’re all obsessed with blood, huh?”

“Not obsessed.” Fred says, sipping his mulled wine. “I just… enjoy combat. Killing evil people, surely that’s what we’re all here for? And hell, if I feel like a hero whilst I’m doing it, why not enjoy it?”

“Indeed! Heroism, thy name is slaying the wicked!” Raynald replies. Barnaby notices that he’s downed an entire pitcher of ale practically on his own.

“You, uh, might wanna hold off on the ale, Raynald. Can’t be crusading when you’re drunk.” he says. “That would be pretty funny though!”

“Ingrates, the lot of you…” Carl whispers to himself, nursing his glass of mulled wine and staring around the room disapprovingly.


Outside the bar, Mulligan spots a familiar face. “Hey, Howard. Didn’t know you smoked.”

“Yeah.” Howard says. “Being a pilot is stressful, and Christmas is stressful. Perfect time for one of these little lifetakers.”

Mulligan stares up at the sky. “I guess. You not a fan of Christmas?”

“I don’t mind it. But it’s certainly more different here than at home. I think I’m just missing my family and friends.”

“I can understand that.” Mulligan says. “Do you, uh, smoke a lot?”

“Worried for my health?” Howard replies, taking a drag of the cigarette and holding it by his side. He raises an eyebrow as Mulligan faces him.

“Well, no, but… Christmas is close to New Year’s, the time when most people turn over a new leaf.”

“I’ve tried to quit before.” Howard says. “That stresses me out more than anything. I have a lot of problems, man, and quitting isn’t even in my top ten.”

“I understand.” Mulligan murmurs. “Hey. Everyone deserves a second try. Maybe if you quit again, you can shake the habit for good. That’s just a suggestion, of course; whatever helps you cope.”

“Thanks. I’ll bear it in mind.” Howard replies. Mulligan nods, and after a few moments of awkward silence, turns to re-enter the bar. He spots Eric walking along the corridor up to the main party room.

“Hey, Eric. How’s the party going?”

“I don’t know.” Eric replies. “I’m not usually impressed by parties, so I always turn up fashionably late and then sneak off if I’m not enjoying it. Let’s see how it’s doing. Might have livened up now it’s just gone eleven!”

Mulligan chuckles, and the pair of them enter the main room in high spirits.


The room falls quiet as Lucy enters. She’s pulled out all the stops for the Christmas party. Her hair is curled, speckled with glitter and sparkles, curtaining her shoulders neatly, revealing a slender neck and ruby-red lips. Her dress is a work of art, a bright red party dress with such elegance and style that it reminded one of a rose, blooming around her body. Her legs are long and she walks with confidence, even if it’s clear that she’s unused to wearing heels.

Looking as radiant as an angel with the confidence of a model, she walks into the room and begins to mingle.

“Heya, guys! How’s the party?” she says to Bernard and Bill. Bill shrugs. “It’s not too bad, though you do realise you’re two hours late, right?”

Lucy laughs. “I had to get ready! Looking this good takes time, y’know.”

“Looking for your old man?” asks Bernard.

“Nah!” Lucy says, pointing to the bar. “I know where he is already - where he always is!”

The two men laugh. Lucy begins to look around. “Hey, you wouldn’t mind getting me a drink, would you?”

“Maybe not.” Bill says. “You’re not drinking, are you? You’re still sixteen.”

“Come on,” Lucy groans. “It’s Christmas! The perfect time for a sneaky little drink. Daddy’s never gonna notice, and none of the higher-ups will be bothered!”

“Go on, Bill. Otherwise she’ll never shut up. Mulled wine is shit anyway, and we both know it.” Bernard says. Bill relents, and digs into his pocket for his wallet.

“Alright, but you’re not to drink too much. In moderation, yes?”

“Of course!” Lucy says, innocently fluttering her eyelashes.

“Why do I feel like I’m going to regret this…” murmurs Bill, accompanying Lucy to the bar.


“She’s beautiful…” Stanley murmurs.

“And sixteen, need I remind you.” chides Wilbert. “Focus your efforts on someone a little more legal, if you must murmur about beauty.”

“Oh, like Tina? She shot me down.” Stanley said. “And not just because I’m a pilot.”

“Really?” Wilbert asks, intrigued.

Bill walks up to them with a drink. “Hey, what’s happening over here?”

“Not much.” Wilbert says. “Apparently Stanley asked Tina out and she said no.”

“Yeah, she’s got a man, she said.” Stanley replies. “Didn’t even wanna look at pictures of my dogs.”

“Wait, she has a man?” Wilbert asks. He looks visibly confused by this, and Bill raises an eyebrow.

“You hadn’t heard? I swear someone else mentioned it recently, too. That’s why she hasn’t agreed to date anyone.”

“No…” Wilbert says, glancing over at the table where Tina and her friends are playing cards. “No, she didn’t mention it to me.”

He sees her get up and begin to leave, and walks after her.

“Hey, Tina. Where you off to?”

“The toilet.” Tina replies, turning to see Wilbert in the hallway. He looks flustered.

“I just, um… Stanley mentioned that he’d asked you out and you said you were with someone… was that, uh, true?”

Tina laughs aloud. “Dude, that’s just what I say to guys to get them off my back.”

“Ah, I see.” Wilbert says. His brow furrows. “You never said that to me.”

Tina winks at him, then begins to walk away, leaving him stood in the hallway, confused and yet intrigued. His mind races as he watches her disappear down the corridor.


I knock on the door, but I don’t hear anything. Trying the handle, I realise that the door won’t open. She must’ve gone home. I stare at the present in my hand, and I place it next to the door with a little tag on it.

For a few moments, I hang around like a criminal, not sure what to do with myself now, but I eventually steel my nerves and wrench myself away from the door. The present will be enough.

I just really hope Nell likes it.

‘Dear Nell,
I wasn’t sure what to get you, but I wanted to thank you for all of your help. I hope this gift suffices.
Christmas wishes,
My dude.’