A disgruntled package delivery driver uncovers a never-released, before-its-time video game and plots to use it as a means to bring back the classic arcades of the 1980s.

Joel Murczek, a disgruntled package delivery driver, longs for the classic arcade period of the early 1980's. Distracted by a rare console game cartridge he plays in his delivery van, Joel makes a late delivery and gets a customer complaint. His boss Otto Huffinger calls and threatens to fire Joel if he doesn't focus more on his job and less on his obsession with old video games. Joel feigns agreement.

Going about his route, Joel gets a call for a pickup at The Secret Layre, the region's only retro arcade repair/rental/sales facility. At The Layre, Joel visits his buddy Six-Forty. Joel lusts at the rows of classic games surrounding them. Six-Forty reminds him, "Face it, bud - no one's into these old junkers 'cept you, me - and a couple hundred other aging geeks around the country." Joel shakes his head.

Six-Forty asks if Joel has made any progress in pursuing the object of his affection - his sister's friend Cassie. When Joel hesitates, Six-Forty reminds him of his five rules for video game success and the pursuit of the opposite sex:
     1) Hang back and get the lay of the land
     2) Let the enemy show its attack strategy
     3) Initial assault - make your presence known
     4) Feign apprehension - let them think you're weak
     5) Final approach - move in and take no prisoners

Six-Forty asks for Joel's commitment to use the rules on Cassie at his nephew's upcoming birthday party. Joel agrees, then drops off the package he was called to deliver and heads back onto his route.

At his nephew's party, Joel holds back his annoyance at the modern video games played by the kids. When he sees Cassie, he forces himself to use Six-Forty's five rules - which completely backfire due to Joel's nervous approach. When one of the kids makes a comment about the lameness of one of Joel's favorite classic games, Joel launches into an angry diatribe (excerpted below) that brings the kids to tears, alienates Joel from Cassie, and causes his sister to ask him to leave the party.

As Joel heads out of the party feeling defeated, his cell phone rings. Joel answers and hears an enthusiastic Six-Forty screaming "Joel, that package - this is… this is huge! Meet me in my basement workshop in half an hour!"

Joel in Six-Forty's basement. Six-Forty has done his research and discovered that the package had been sitting at Joel's delivery company in storage for thirty years and was only delivered because of a numbering mistake on the shipping form. 

Six-Forty fires up his patched-together laptop and shows Joel an article in an old video game magazine announcing the upcoming release of Devastar - a game that would have allowed players around the world to play simultaneously:

'Devastar'. I remember hearing about that game, but I don't remember it ever coming out.

Six-Forty picks up the second magazine.

Here's why.
“Hittami’s flagship game Devastar, announced last year, was set to debut in the fall. But manufacturing issues forced the delay of its release twice, ultimately dooming the young company.”

Are you serious?! Linking players everywhere in the world - for cooperative online play - in the eighties?! That would have changed everything! We could have averted the arcade bust of eighty-three!

We’d be living... in an alternate timeline. Or... we already are!

After realizing they have the components to produce two working Devastar game cabinets, Joel and Six-Forty agree to immediately begin bringing the game back to life. Six-Forty begins the physical work, while Joel makes inquiries on a few classic gaming message boards, hunting for the game's graphics and marketing materials. He learns that the patent on Devastar expired several years ago.

The next day, while working his route, an excited Joel stops by Dreamspree Daycare, where Cassie works. He apologizes for his outburst at the party. Cassie laughs it off, blaming it on his enthusiasm for old video games. A now-enthusiastic Joel invites Cassie to see him perform at a gaming competition. He can barely contain himself when she accepts.

A call comes into Joel's cell phone from a strange number. He answers, but hears only digital noise on the other end. He hangs up, shaking his head.

Six-Forty calls, and tells Joel he's got the two working game prototypes. He asks Joel to come by The Layre at night to check test them. "Joel, it's amazing! If we can start producing these babies, they could become a springboard to opening our own franchise of retro arcades!" Joel confirms the meeting time, jumping with enthusiasm. 
Joel has another run-in with Mr. Huffinger, but his new optimistic attitude helps him breeze through it.

Joel arrives at the Secret Layre after sunset. It's deserted and spooky. He can't find Six-Forty in his workshop, and hunts around until he locates his friend cowering in a storage closet. 

In a frantic whisper, Six-Forty tells Joel that they're not alone in the building. "I saw a van pull up while I was working on the cabinets. Five guys in suits jumped out and broke into the building through the loading dock. Joel, I think they're looking for Devastar. I heard them down the hall and I'm pretty sure they have guns and Joel - I think they're JAPANESE!"

Before Joel can respond, the sound of harsh Japanese voices echo from the hall. Six-Forty reminds Joel of his five rules for video game/dating success. "We've got to use 'em, buddy! Head for the front entrance - now!" 

Joel and Six-Forty jump out and make a run for it, but before they can get out of the building, the building's other occupants spot them and begin their pursuit...

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