As seen in: Zillion (Master System)
Also in: Zillion II: The Tri-Formation (Master System)
Distinguishing feature: Lanky as all get-out.
Strengths: Never-say-die attitude.
Weaknesses: Overly sensitive diagonals.
"Hey kid, thanks for coming in for the audition. How ya doin'? Good, good, great, now listen. I read your C.V. and it looks like this is your first real role, right? Yeah, it's OK. You got potential, kid. Talent. Pluck. I like yer look. But, ya know, everyone's gotta work their way through the ranks. Prove your worth in the salt mines, that kind a' thing. So, nothin' personal, but today I can't let ya read for any of the plum roles. I mean, yeah, we got a pilot of a transforming robot jet plane and a Jesus-style angel fightin' his way outta Greek hell—figure that one out!—and a role where you gotta play a blue robot who can use his enemies' weapons. And ya know, I think you'd be great for any of them, I really do, but the studios were pretty explicit about how much experience they need. 'Jimbo,' they says—they says, 'we know you're one of the best in the biz, and you gotta real eye for talent.' And that ain't just them blowin' smoke up my a— er, my backside, 'cause I really am king o' this here town. 'Jimbo, we know you're the best, but for these roles, we need kids with some proven chops. They gotta have experience, gotta be known quantities. We got too much riding on these parts,' they says. So you know I think you're just great, kid, really I do, but I gotta put these folders aside. Pretend you ain't never seen 'em. Sorry, that's just the biz, ya know? But hey, you knock this one out of the park, a year from now you'll be sittin' here browsing through the cushiest parts like you deserve. In the meantime, let's see about you payin' your dues.
"Here's one, Athena, needed: One young lady, looks good in a battle bikini. Well, heh, guess you're outta luck there. Alright, lessee… The Goonies, hmm… Naw, that's no good. Lead role's already taken, and you got more moxie than to play the support role. You wanna just stand around in a vault waiting for the hero to save you? Yeah, I didn't think so.
"Oh, hey, what's this? Zillion. 'Lead man will star in a game making prominent use of the Zillion laser gun toy'—huh? Yeah, I heard of it. No, you're right… it is a sort of off-brand Lazer Tag. That's OK, though, they're doing wonders with licensed products these days. I hear Capcom has some great stuff lined up for its Disney license, can you believe that? Games'll knock your eyeballs out of yer little skull, leave 'em spinning.
"Anyway. 'Lead man will star in a game making prominent use of the Zillion laser gun toy. Adventure will be set in a somewhat open-ended, non-linear maze emphasizing the collection and use of key items to advance.' What's that? Yeah, I guess you're right, it does sound a little like a Metroid knock-off. That's cool, though. I hear that Metroid guy's is rakin' in the cash. This could be a good move for you, get you on that gravy train. Maybe not, though. Between you and me, I hear some weird rumors about Mr. Metroid. Like, he's been seen wearing ladies' underclothes. I mean, nothin' wrong with that kind of lifestyle, if that's your thing, but keep it in the closet, know what I'm sayin'? No? Uh, forget I said anything.
"Ahem. Uh. Laser gun… open-ended… key items… ah, there we were. 'Lead character will be key talent in a new franchise with possible spin-off images right for television and toys'—wow, jackpot, kid! Wait, there's more. 'Franchise will be exclusive to Sega's Master System console.' Aw, tough break kid. Oh, you never even heard of Master System? Well, it's kinda like… you know Nintendo's system, the NES? Yeah, a' course you have. Well, Master System is like the less popular knock-off version of that. It ain't a bad machine or nothin', but… aw, don't look so glum.
"Yeah, I know what you're thinking: Do I really want to hitch my wagon to an off-brand game on an off-brand system designed to sell off-brand toys? But ya know, kid, it's like I said before: Everyone's gotta start somewhere. You knock this one outta the park, I got my ear to the ground, heard about all kinds of stuff in the works. There's a project just entered planning where you might get to drive a big ol' jumping tank, and another where the hero gets to transform into monsters. Somethin' about a 'totally gagsome fish-thing,' I heard. Sounds like a real hoot, ya know?
"So whaddya say? You game for this project? Capital, buddy. Just sign here—nah, don't worry too much about the fine print, it's all just words, ya know? Heh. Pleasure doin' business with ya, kid."