Digital Estate Planning

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Comedy/, 2012, 22 min.

Synopsis Pierce has received a letter from the executor of his father's will with instructions to visit a warehouse in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, he takes all of his Greendale study partners with him. Gilbert, the old man's dignified assistant, enters and explains that he served Pierce's father for decades. "Before that, I was just a teenager who read the Bible to him in the bath," Gilbert explains. Then Gilbert reveals that Pierce's father has spent the last 30 years developing a video game. It was the man's dying wish that Pierce play this game with his friends. So, the gang sits down inside individual gaming chambers and begins to play "Journey to the Center of Hawthorne."So from here on out we're inside a old-school Nintendo, 64-bit video game. Each of our beloved characters is a pixelated sprite that runs, jumps and quips through the fantasy landscape. Pierce's father soon appears as a floating head in the sky, explaining that whoever first reaches his throne wins ... Pierce's inheritance. "Worst ... son ... ever!" Pierce's father laughs before disappearing. Yet it soon becomes clear that Gilbert, who is also inside the game, has ulterior motives: he wants to punish Pierce and steal his fortune. Cue a scene in which the pixelated Gilbert massacres the gang using animated throwing knives and the such. This makes Jeff mad. Game on.After respawning in the study room, the gang decides to fight together -- for "friendship," says Britta, who then accidentally kills Pierce. "I guess there's hug button," she says. So Pierce respawns again and the team heads out, vowing to protect Pierce so he can get to his father's throne before Gilbert. They soon come to a town and, knowing video games very well, Troy suggests they split up and search for supplies. Annie and Shirley head to the blacksmith to buy weapons, but Annie accidentally sets the man on fire. He runs screaming through the shop until Annie murders him with an axe -- to put him out of his misery. Shirley is horrified, video game or not. But when the blacksmith's wife enters, she gets into the swing of things and burns the maiden alive. "Don't look at me that way," Shirley tells Annie. "These are your loose ends." Outside, Pierce and Troy appear naked having lost all their clothes in a virtual poker game inside the village tavern. Suddenly, Gilbert appears with a newly developed ability: shooting lightening bolts! Annie is quickly vaporized. Britta then prepares to drink a "super strength" potion she concocted, but she messes it up and drops it, getting herself killed in the process. Gilbert grabs the potion and drinks it. Luckily, Britta messed up when she made the potion because Gilbert's virtual skin quickly melts off, leaving a pile of bones. So the team moves on to the Black Cave (after surviving the Valley of Laziness and Gay Island), where the throne is located. Inside the Black Cave, the team is soon attached by a pack of wild Jive Turkeys. They defeat the Jive Turkeys while Britta notes how racist Pierce's father must have been.They then approach the castle when Gilbert reappears -- now with increased powers. He has clearly cheated and made himself all but invincible. He destroys the pixel bridge and decapitates Pierce. Back in the real world, Jeff rips off his headset and confronts Gilbert for cheating and, worse, getting caught. He is joined by Pierce. Gilbert explains that he is actually Pierce's half brother (GASP!) and that he was more of son to dad than Pierce ever was. Gilbert and Pierce then return to the game and vow to defeat Gilbert. But how? When they pass through the village again, they discover that Abed  has stayed behind, married a village woman (the daughter of the dead blacksmith) and created a palace for himself with hundreds of baby Abeds. It's impressive.Gilbert approaches the throne, but is confronted by Pierce's father, who won't give up his inheritance so easily to a son he sired with a "temptress." Dad attacks Gilbert, who is saved by an army of hundreds of baby Abeds. The Abeds and the Greendale Seven then attack Pierce's father and destroy him. Back in real life, the Pierce approaches Gilbert's gaming chair. The team has decided to forfeit so Gilbert can have the money. "You were right, you were more a son to him than me," Pierce says. "We've only been playing this game for a few hours, but you've been playing for your whole life. It's time for you to take your reward." Back inside the game, Gilbert slays his father. Before leaving the warehouse in real life, Abed makes sure to download the game onto a flash drive. "Hello, my love," he says. "I said I'd come back for you."

Directed by Adam Davidson  

Starring Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, more...

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