“When one of “But when “It takes two
those robot you’re that Marines to
things pops out close to battle little ol’
and starts someone. . . E.T.? That’s
shouting, “You when you put just sad. It
Die! You Die!”, your life in makes us all
well, let’s just his hands. . . look bad.”
say it’s a good well, those
thing we brought things are hard
an extra change to forget.”
Twelve years ago, the subject of this issue’s Heavy Barrel Interview was in the jungle, fighting for his very life alongside his friend and partner, Steve. Mike, last name unknown, disappeared from the public eye soon after, but his adventure was just beginning.
I met Mike early one September morning in his fashionable downtown condo. He’d just completed his first book, Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Heavy Barrel. The person that answered the door that morning was a far cry from the blood-soaked warrior from over a decade ago. Dressed in Dockers and a blue cotton short sleeved, button-up shirt, Mike greeted me with a smile and a firm handshake.
HB: So, Mike. What have you been up to since you returned from the jungle?
M: So much, really. Promoting the video game, trying to get the movie out of development hell. Writing the book. And I’m getting my demo out there trying to break into pop music.
HB: So no desire to return to the Special Forces?
M: None. I did my time, saved the world. Time to move on.
HB: Speaking of moving on, when’s the last time you spoke to your old partner, Steve?
M: Yesterday, as a matter of fact. He wished me well on this interview. It’s true that Steve and I had a falling out about six months after we got back from the jungle over likeness rights with Nintendo. We didn’t speak for ten years. But when you’re that close to someone. . .when you put your life in his hands. . .well, those things are hard to forget.We’ve patched everything up now.
HB: Let’s go back to 1989. You’re in the jungle. What’s the single most terrifying moment for you?
M: Hmmm. The most terrifying moment. Well, There are a few, really. I mean, when one of those robot things pops out and starts shouting, “You Die! You Die!”, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing we brought an extra change of skivvies. And the flyin’ guys. Jesus Christ.Those things are fuckin’ creepy, let me tell you. Not to mention the two claws. Really. You get past the single claw and you’re feeling lucky to be alive. Then all of a sudden two claws are on you. If you don’t have the red grenades, forget it. And then there’s those two helicopters. If Steve or I fuck up and miss a piece of the Barrel weapon, we’re pretty much dead.
HB: What’s with that, anyway? Why would the government scatter random pieces of the Heavy Barrel weapon all over the jungle? In these little cages? And why do all the bad guys have the keys?
M: Shit! I never really thought about it, but that is a little fucked up! Why wouldn’t they just GIVE us the weapon? It sure would have made our job a lot easier!
HB: Why was the Heavy Barrel weapon never used again?
M: Well, that’s top secret government stuff, but I suppose I can tell you and your readers.It’s a big conspiracy. No one else could compete. So they had to bury Heavy Barrel. Good luck finding it today.
HB: What do you think about other icons like you that you’ve met?
M: Well, that Mario fella is alright. He always seems like he’s on something though.
Pikachu’s a cute little guy, but sort of annoying, to be perfectly candid. I don’t want to even get started on Pac Man or that slut Ms. Pac Man.
HB: Someone conspicuously missing are your two competitors from Contra.
M: (suddenly angry) Those two pussies! They’re not fit to shine my boots! What do they got? Laser? Machine gun? Just look at it. Compare their flame-thrower to ours. It’s pathetic. And their big enemy, the red alien or whatever. Bah! It takes two Marines to battle little ol’ E.T.? That’s just sad. It makes us all look bad.
HB: Let’s look into the future. Where do you see yourself in five years?
M: To tell the truth, if you’d asked me this question five years ago, I’d have said “forgotten” or “washed up”. Signing vintage copies of the Heavy Barrel home game at supermarkets. If I’m lucky. I think that answer applies just as readily now.
HB: Any final words for your fans?
M: Just two, my friend. Just two.