Business School Prepared Me To Be The Final Boss of a Video Game

By: Daniel Friedman


It’s my sad duty to inform you of the recent accidental death of our friend and co-worker, the Hammer Knight. He was working in the Volcano Dungeon, and that kid with the Singing Sword showed up. Long story short, Hammer fell into some lava.

Let’s have a moment of silence for him.


Now, I’m not looking to place any blame in this matter. Obviously, even though the Hammer Dash was Hammer Knight’s signature attack, maybe he shouldn’t have been doing that while he was on a small platform suspended precariously over lava.

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t have sent a guy whose primary attack was the Hammer Dash to defend the Volcano Dungeon. Maybe suspending platforms precariously over lava wasn’t really a good idea in the first place. That’s on me, and I’ll have to live with it.

Anyway, we’re sending some flowers to Hammer’s wife. Sign the card before you leave.

Now, I know that there has been some discussion about upgrades to our disintegrating bridges and catwalks. We’ve got the kind that dissolve just after the kid steps on them, and you guys want to install a new kind of bridge that will dissolve while he’s still standing on it.

I ran that one by the guys in accounting. Unfortunately, to pave the way for a disintegrating bridge upgrade, we’d have to run a full study on compatibility with our current dungeon systems, and we’d have to re-train all the staff to use the new bridges. With the retention bonuses we’re paying to management, we just don’t have the resources in the budget to do that this quarter.

Next on the agenda, I’m aware of some complaints about the recent memo instructing you to prepare maps of your dungeons for use by visiting upper-level managers and our outside consultants. I know you’re concerned those maps are too easy to find, and that our heroic little friend has been using them to bypass your obstacles.

Well, that’s a small-picture problem, and the senior folks are big-picture guys. So it’s your job to solve this. Management is very busy, and we don’t have time to muck around in a maze full of spike traps all afternoon. The maps stay in the dungeons.

On to new business. Everybody, this magical crystal mirror is of extreme importance. It is the only object that can expose my one weak-point. So as long as that little bastard with the Singing Sword doesn’t get his hands on it, I am unstoppable.

So you know what we have to do with it, right?

No. We can’t destroy it. It has too much sentimental value. It belonged to my grandmother. I know this is a brainstorming session, and I try to encourage thinking outside the box here, but I think I’m going to go ahead and have you flogged for suggesting that.

Guards? Could you seize him, please? Thanks a lot. Great job, guys.

Anyway, here’s the plan: I am going to lock the mirror in a secure vault, in the deepest room of a dungeon, and I am going to give the only key to that vault to Steel Scorpion. Do you know what to do with it, Steel?

No. No, you shouldn’t ready your fastest ship to carry that key across the ocean. If the key is across the ocean, how will anyone unlock the vault? Oh, you didn’t think of that, did you? Well, you’re lucky you’re good at swinging your steel stinger, because nobody is going to pay you for using that insect brain of yours. Or arachnid. Whatever.

Point is, you obviously want to take the key and hang onto it, while you stand in front of the vault. Yes. Right in front of the vault. That way, I won’t have to go find you if I want to look at myself in the magical crystal mirror that exposes my one weakness.

Now, I know your impenetrable metal plates can be plucked off your carapace with the grapple-cannon, so let’s put you and the key and the secure vault and my grandma’s mirror in the dungeon that has the bottomless pit that can only be traversed by grappling along the walls. That way, we get kind of a grapple theme going on. A little motif. Consistency is the hallmark of dungeon design.

Oh, and, Scorpion? Since you’re going to be down there anyway, why don’t you keep an eye on the grapple-cannon as well. Yeah, just find somewhere in the dungeon to stash it.

No, you can’t put the grapple-cannon in the vault with the mirror. Then how will anyone get past the bottomless pit?

What do you mean “exactly?”

No. If he shows up, just kill him. I mean, really. How hard can that possibly be?


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