Andy: And now for the grand finale. Ile Sainte-Marie is one of the smallest islands in Tanoa. The perfect arena for a fight to the death. There’s a large rocky outcrop in the middle surrounded by thick jungle, which should give the team plenty of hiding spots. I give them a minute before the round starts to choose a starting position, then the chaos begins. The last man standing wins, and there are no rules. I’ll also be randomly spawning civilians and animals, just so I have something to do.
Tom: The island is heavily forested, and foliage has betrayed me once already in this challenge. If I wander into the trees, spotting other players will be a matter of luck, so I come up with a different plan. I run until I’m out of sight of the others, then I wade into the sea and start to circle the island. I keep my head just above the water so I can see.
Chris: Tom and I had the same plan, it seems. I know this because I can see him poking out of the sea, just down the shoreline from me. We look at each other awkwardly as Andy gives the ‘go’ command, but I’ve got time to bring up my sights and drop him with a single shot. It turns out there was a crucial difference in our positions: his gun was under the water, but mine wasn’t.
Tom: Idea good; execution bad. I’m rubbish at soldiering.
Phil: I, like Iron Maiden before me, run to the hills. This may be a mistake. For some reason, I’m running out of stamina really quickly, even when walking at a normal pace. I think I may be over-encumbered. That’ll teach me for stealing some of
“Andy ma kes a floc k of birds erupt from the bushes near me ”
Chris’s rockets out of his backpack.
Chris: I stalk away from the shore towards the undergrowth and soon spot Phil coming down the slope towards me, facing away. I manage to land a hit, at which point he scurries behind a tree. We trade shots for a while and then… an old man in a blue T-shirt runs past my gunsights. He runs around me in a circle, then stops in front of me. “Andy?” I say, stupidly. Of course it’s Andy. I hear the sound of an RPG and Andy explodes.
Phil: Wait, that was Andy? In my panic, I fired on the first thing I saw moving, not stopping to wonder why it was dressed in a plain shirt and denim. I switch back to my rifle, but I’m exposed – I left the safety of the tree to get a clean rocket shot. I fire
off a few bullets, but I’m an easy target, and quickly taken down.
Samuel: With just me and Chris left, I suppose I’d better leave the outcrop of rocks I’ve been perched on while the others sorted each other out. I head towards Chris, who hasn’t spotted me yet – past the civilian’s dead body, which is unnerving.
Chris: I loop around the hilltop. Sheep and chickens are spawning all around me and Andy makes a flock of birds erupt from the bushes at my position. It’s not subtle. I spot Sam in the distance, and fire. I miss and hide behind a tree. Time to take some notes out of Phil’s playbook.
Samuel: I fire at Chris and miss. He turns toward me, there’s an explosion and Chris is dead! What happened?
Chris: I ready my RPG and lean around the tree just a few inches. There is a sheep looking at me. I place Sam in my sights and pull the trigger before he can respond.
...but here’s the thing. RPGs, right? They’ve got a big scope, and it sticks out substantially from the actual rocket-propelled-grenade part of the apparatus. The big tube that blows things up. What I am saying is that while I am pointing the scope out from behind the tree, I am in fact pointing my RPG at solid bark. I fire. I blow up.
Samuel: In retrospect, I could have won this round without firing a bullet. Amazing scenes. I feel like luck has played a part in at least two of my victories, especially as someone who hasn’t even finished the tutorial. But the important thing is, I won.
Zeus manifested as a badly dressed mortal.
The jungle made for a tense final showdown.
Chris sinks into his watery hiding spot. Release the doves of war.