As seen in: Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Master System)
Also in: Alex Kidd in Shinobi World (Master System)
Distinguishing feature: Nightmarishly large ears.
Strengths: Kinda looks like Mario if you squint.
Weaknesses: His status as a living joke.

Profile by Bob Mackey | December 4, 2009

The shrill buzzing of a cheap motorbike stabbed through the nicotine-stained walls of a tawdry dive on the wrongest side of the tracks. Behind the bar, an oversized man in an undersized apron bent down to the lowest shelf and snatched up a bottle of rotgut. He slammed it down on in front of him, almost out of resignation. “Kidd’s back,” he grumbled. His younger cohort looked up in confusion from the glass he’d been polishing for the last hour.

The fat man twisted his head. The sound of a celery stalk snapping in half cut through the room. “You’ll see.”

The weathered door snapped open, letting in the faint stench of burning oil and body odor. A filthy creature in a soiled jumpsuit stumbled towards the bar, supporting himself with chairs, tables, patrons. He fell into the nearest stool and slapped the fat barkeep’s belly with the back of his hand. “You know what I like, Fred. An’ keep ‘em coming.” The words fell out of his mouth like chewed oatmeal. Fred grabbed the bottle and slid it away from Kidd’s reach.

“We talked about this, Alex. I ain’t running no charity. You gotta pay up first.” After thirty sloppy seconds of effort, the drunk produced a tarnished ring yanked from a bloated finger. Fred slapped his palm down in front of Alex’s sagging head. “I told you! Cash only!”

A look of indignation washed over Kidd’s sideburned face. “But’s that’s all I got left from Miracle World!”

Fred crossed his arms and glanced wryly at his glass-polishing buddy. “Miracle World, eh? If ya ask me, you’re living in Miracle World! Don’t know no other place you can buy two fingers of whiskey with some beat-up costume jewelry. Ain’t that right, Steve?” The younger barkeep chuckled quietly to himself as Kidd’s large ears grew red with embarrassment. He awkwardly got to his feet and waved an oversized, gnarled fist in Fred’s bemused face.

“Let’s play janken for it! I always win! Rock paper scissors!” The last syllable sprayed a stream of toxic saliva through what was left of Kidd’s teeth. Steve looked over at the two in mild concern.

“You want I should call the cops?”

Fred’s stern gaze burned a hole through Alex. “No, I think our friend Alex Kidd here has seen enough cops for one lifetime. He’ll leave now if he knows what’s good for him.” With fear stabbing at his brain, Alex soon found himself fleeing through the bar, half running, half tripping out the door. He collapsed on his back in front of the rickety motorbike, and his eyes suddenly met the stars.

He reached up to the sky, but the specks of light evaded his grasp. Tears cut clean trenches through his filthy face. “I wanna go back. I wanna ride a helicopter again. I'mma king of the enchanted castle!” The memories were too much. His head drooped to the side, and Kidd once again entered the world of sleep, a world where he mattered.

As Alex’s face twisted into a faint smile, a man in overalls emerged from a shadowy alley, holding a blanket and a small paper bag. The door to the bar creaked open, and Fred’s eyes met the stranger’s. “He’s a mess. I dunno why you even bother.”

The stranger held a finger to his lips as Fred crept away in shame. The blanket was placed gently over Alex’s sleeping body, and the paper bag sat by his side. A white gloved hand lovingly patted Alex Kidd on his matted head. “You sleep now.”

“You sleep now.”

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