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ReBoot Episode 08 (1_08)

ENZO THE SMART

Synopsis

Enzo wants to be smarter than anyone in Mainframe, and gets his wish. When the Master Clock slows down, everyone else is stupid, and Enzo has to win the game by himself.

Story

Cannon fire is being exchanged between castles as the story opens. Dot is wearing a general's uniform with a silly handlebar mustache. Her attempt to take the User off-line fails as he ducks. The return fire blows up her rampart. Now it is up to Enzo to fight back.

His first shot is a bit low, so Enzo decides he needs more power. He enlarges his cannon's bore and brings out the mondo cannonball. But in this case, bigger is not better, and Enzo is out of the game.

Bob fires off a teeny tiny cannon, but it hits the User's stockpile of gunpowder. Kaboom! Game Over.

Enzo is bummed that he wasn't smart enough to defeat the User. He doesn't want to wait for knowledge, he wants to be smart now. He then tries to get some information from Phong, but the ancient one can only download wisdom to those who can beat him at his own game.

As a consolation, Phong allows Enzo to look at the Read Only room at the center of Mainframe, but he is not to touch anything. (They pass by a black marble statue of a desk lamp; the pedastal reads "JL SENIOR".) Enzo starts by scanning every README file on the system. He realizes that this will take too long, possibly millions and millions of nanoseconds, and asks the computer about a way to make this faster. The computer reports that Mainframe's clock speed and bit rate determine how fast sprites can be run. Enzo just wants to be smarter, twice as smart as everybody else. The computer sends him to the Clock Speed Room.

This room has a large glowing pendulum (bigger than the one in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum". At his request, Enzo is made twice as fast as everyone else. Actually, the clock slows down, and everyone except Enzo becomes slower and dumber. He walks outside and everything has gone "8-bit". (Instead of thousands or millions of colors in high resolution, the city is now low resolution in just a few colors.

Phong is beating his head against the wall. All the people in Dot's Diner are happy when Enzo walks in - they could not find the door. Bob does an Enzo action - running up to and knocking over his hero. Dot can't even remember the name of the place. Bob starts acting extremely macho and attacks the mailman.

Before Enzo can get back to Phong's place, a game cube descends. Enzo is made coach of the Video Athletes and Mike the TV is there to announce the games. (Mike was not affected by the change in clock speed; he can't get any dumber.) When Bob finally presses his ReBoot button, he ends up in a football uniform, which is a silly thing to wear while playing basketball and pole vaulting.

Mike interviews Enzo just before the Eliminator round, stating that the point lead will be almost impossible to overcome, the Mainframers may lose the game, in which case the entire sector will be wiped out and all the losing contestants reduced to mindless Nulls. "How do you feel right now?"

Enzo has to run the Eliminator race by himself. Dumb Bob tries to help out, but ends up circling the track in the wrong direction carrying a pole vault, and just getting in the way.

The race goes through rotating logs, a 3-D pinball game, powered roller skates, lava beds, train cars, etc. Enzo gets blocked by all the people on his team, who claim "we are helping, we are helping". (Everyone, that is, except Bob, who is still circling the track with his pole.)

Enzo decides that the smart Bob would use his brain, so he assigns all of his team to the User's team, who "needs a lot of help to make it to the finish line". They try to help the User's boots go faster, but end up putting them in reverse, and Bob knocks the User down at finish line.

Enzo wins, and then returns the clock speed to normal. Phong tells him that good things take time, and Enzo realizes that Phong knew what was going to happen all along.

References

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