Law Of The West: A Lesson In Conversational Etiquette

      Everything you ever need to know about life can be learned from the frontiers of the American Old West and all the justice you'll ever need comes from the business end of a six-shooter. I'm pretty sure Alan Miller was aware of this fact when he designed Law of the West. If you don't know who Alan Miller is, here's all you need to know: he co-founde Activision in 1979 and served as Vice President of Product Development. In 1984, he and fellow Activision co-founder Bob Whitehead started their own company, Accolade, where Miller was also Vice President of Product Development and eventually became Chairman and CEO. So as far as game designers go, Miller is one of the originals. He only designed one game while with Accolade, and this be that game.

      Law of the West takes you back to the glory days of America, and places you in the role of a local sheriff. I like to think I'm Dallas Stoudenmire, because he's the fucking epitome of awesome. How can you beat a guy that killed a man by shooting his fucking balls off? You can't, that's how. If you want to survive in this game, you're going to have to be just as awesome. As you wander the streets you will run into many unsavory characters, all of whom you will have the opportunity to savagely gun down. Sometimes it will be justified, sometimes it won't, but you're the damn sheriff, and the only person you have to answer to is yourself. I wanted to recreate the Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight and fatally wound three people in seconds like Dallas, but due to the processor limitations of the Commodore 64, this level of awesomeness is unachievable. If you manage to resist the urge to kill everyone you see, you get to talk to them, and while this isn't as much fun as shooting first and asking questions later, it is the main premise of the game, and the focus of this lesson.

General Rules

      All right, let's start with some general guidelines for conversation. First off, everyone is an asshole. This is a fundamental fact of life that you just need to accept. The best thing to do is to meet them on their own level; They probably won't understand anything different. If someone insults something you love, be it your hometown, your country, or your sidearm, the proper thing to do is to cut the bullshit and just tell them what kind of a dick they really are. If the other party then tries to escalate the situation, by calling you a sodbuster for example, the time for insults has passed. Arrogance is now the key. Let them know that they are a piece of garbage and that you are superior in every single way. If the other party tries to call you out on your claims, shoot them. So to review, when meeting someone new, be an asshole, be arrogant, and above all else, be the one who pulls the trigger.


      Occasionally in life you will have to deal with women. The general rules only apply to the default sex: male. Women are fundamentally different creatures and therefore require their own set of conversational etiquette rules. The first thing you need to know is that every woman wants just one thing: cock. Some are just more upfront about it, as shown in the example above. In order to start your conversation off properly, you need to let the woman know what a dirty, dirty slut she really is. Women pride themselves on their veil of mystery and intrigue, so when you cut through the crap and get right to their core, they may become indignant. Never worry, you just need to put that bitch back in her place by letting her know that you're the man in the situation. Once they have been returned to their comfort zone, they will once again be focused on your manliness, and their longing for it. At this point, you can let your mental superiority shine. By using reverse psychology, you can make the woman believe you were too easy on her, thereby making her want you to treat her even rougher later. For those unfamiliar with the female psyche, "bye now" means "sex later".


      People from other countries may look, talk, and smell different from you and I, but that doesn't mean that they are all devoid of purpose. It can actually be to your benefit to know something about a foreigner, even if it is only the country they recently escaped from. Not only will it make things easier if you end up killing them and have to send the body back where it came from, it will also make them feel better than the second rate citizens that they are, just because you took the time to learn something about them. Let them think you're welcoming them with open arms and they will be so happy, they will often provide cheap, if not free, labor. Free labor at the minor expense of having an unwanted squatting on your territory is good cost management. So take advantage of this whenever the opportunity arises.


      Whenever you meet someone new, you should always be thinking how you could use this person to advance your own position. Now, while foreigners may be willing to provide inexpensive labor, your average professional is going to want something more in return. This introduces us to the concept of a mutually beneficial partnership. For example, you go around town, and shoot would-be criminals. The town feels safer, and the citizens might possibly increase your salary. Some criminals even have bounties on them, which only sweetens the deal. These mortally wounded criminals are then taken to the doctor, who charges them a fee to keep their sorry asses alive. They are eventually released back into society where you can hunt them down again ad nauseam until they die.

National Rifle Associates

      It is your constitutional right to own a firearm, and it is your patriotic duty to take advantage of that right to the fullest extent of your capabilities. Therefore, you can expect to come across several gun-toting jingoists in life. These people are like savants, except instead of excelling at something stupid like math or the piano, they know all about things that have the capacity to maim and kill. You should know something about them as well, if you hope to have any sort of conversation with them. Unfortunately most of them will only let you admire their property at a distance. These weapons are their lives, giving a whole new meaning to the term "cold-cocked". If you ask to hold their guns, they may act unpredictably; and given that every other thought that runs through their heads involves guns, there's a good chance they'll try to shoot. Don't worry though, like savants, they aren't really people, so you don't have to feel bad about shooting them in the nuts.


      Children are by and large a societal nuisance. They serve no purpose, as they leech of their parents and others while contributing nothing to the community. To make matters worse, they will sometimes try to make themselves feel important by getting an adult to ask them for information. Should you find yourself in such a situation, be sure to put the child in his or her place. Above all, never, EVER let a child get away with giving you sass. If a child doesn't learn respect, they'll never know it; and the best way to teach respect is through fear. Really, what's one dead brat compared to a town full of respectful, obedient children?

Unavailable Prospects

      They say that forbidden fruit is always the most tempting, so if you plan to get your hands on those melons, you're going to need to know how to go about attaining it. Just because a woman has made herself unavailable, it doesn't mean she's not still a whore. She still wants your pistol just like any other, but she may be more reluctant to let on to this fact. The trick is to use simple mental manipulation. For instance, you could try this line: "You're only dating, it's not like you're married." In some situations, you may want to try this instead: "When you said 'to have and to hold', you didn't say 'just you', did you?" These are tried, tested and true. You may also need to improvise a little bit depending on your own specific situation. After all, I can't give away all the answers.


      Poker is very popular right now, so chances are good that you'll eventually meet someone who likes to gamble. Gamblers have an altered sense of reality in that they believe that everything is a game, a matter of chance and probability. Therefore, they often make poor decisions in situations that can have a major impact on their life. If you happen to run into a gambler, ask them how much they won at their last game. Aside from being poor decision makers, gamblers are also notoriously arrogant, and will jump at the chance to regal you with their conquests. Once you have found out how much money they are carrying, you can decide if it's worth your time to acquire it. If it is a substantial amount of money, you must provoke the gambler into a fight, so that you can claim self-defense when the authorities arrive. Besides, gamblers cheat. A lot. So don't worry, you're doing the world a favor.


      Life is a constant struggle of trying to claw your way to the top, disregarding those you step on along the way. So don't be surprised if someone grabs you by the balls in an attempt to pull themselves higher. This is especially true of those people who are directly below you. If they go higher, you go lower, so this is not something you should take lightly. If an underling directly attempts to usurp your position, try using humor to diffuse the situation. Not every confrontation needs to end in violence, even though most will. At least then you can say you tried to be calm. If the underling continues to press the issue, you have two options: you could stand there and get walked over, or you could kill the bastard. And if you're going to be somebody's doormat, you don't have to worry about them using your balls for leverage; you don't have a set anyway.


      Let me get one thing straight before we begin this section. When I say lesbians, I'm not talking about those pretty little things that get paid to have sex with each other on video. I'm also not talking about sexy, sexy coeds who are away from home for the first time, get drunk, and decide to experiment. When I say lesbians, I'm talking rugby-playing, dicks-are-for-chicks, butch lesbians. There is no conquest here and there's really no point in even trying. Besides, that's a scary place that you really don't want to go. Your best bet when you encounter one is to try and play it nice. Being part man and part woman, they have the emotional instability of a female, with the violent tendencies of a male. This is a dangerous combination, further exacerbated by the fact that lesbians despise men not just as a potential sex partner, but in general due to penis envy. So even if you are genuinely trying to be amiable, suspicion and jealousy may still cause the lesbian to be disagreeable. If they leave without incident, that's great, if not, you'll have no choice but to kill them. Normally I wouldn't condone the killing of women, but lesbians aren't real women, so you don't have to feel bad about it.


      As you go through life, it is inevitable that some people are going want to kill you. When they see the trail of dead bodies you've left in your wake however, they probably won't want to take the task of killing you upon themselves. That's why God created assassins. Assassins, or hired guns, are people who make their living by getting paid to kill. In order to do this, they have to be really fucking good at it, and as good as you are, they are probably going to be at least a little bit better. Therefore, in the interest of self-preservation, you'd best not try to gun these men down as you have the rest. These people are paid to kill, not to think, so if you can't beat them on the draw, beat them on an intellectual level. In other words, lie 'til you die. If you weave a web of deception, they should become so confused that you could tell them that the person they have to kill is at the bank, and even though you are standing in front of the bank, they won't realize this. Remember, he who lies and slinks away, lives to lie another day.

      So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to conversational etiquette. Now, I realize that not everyone you meet will fit neatly into one of these categories, but everybody is some combination or derivative of these simple archetypes; use your best judgment. However, if you ever find yourself in a bind, just remember the general rules: be an asshole, be arrogant, and stay alive. The three A's will never lead you astray.


Posted by: Valdronius