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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

From: Joseph Sutedja

Title: Capow, Tokyo, Japan, Earth
Summary: A Nice Place to Live, But You Wouldn't Want to Visit There
Article Number: 8H668


For those of you not in the know, Capow, Tokyo, Japan, Earth is a nice little village located in the lower part of the city of Tokyo, Japan, Earth, which probably accounts for its name. This description may be suspect, given that Capow is located in Tokyo, and Tokyo is not known for the adjectives "nice" and "little" associated with it. However, Capow deserves the recognition, if only because the inhabitants are marginally less hostile than the people living in the other places around Tokyo, which is not saying much.

Getting To and Around Capow

Capow is located in the CAPOW Dimension (#668), which can be found manually by traveling to the GRIT Dimension and moving two wormholes to the right. However, observers state that it's a lot easier to just walk in one general direction with the intent of going there, as it conserves a lot of effort. It should be stated the location of Capow is universally agreed upon to be "down there". Even the people who live in the sparse areas of Tokyo _below_ Capow refer to it as "down there", which ought to be enough to give you a general feel of how the place works.

Firstly, land anywhere. Saint John's Park, the middle of the highway, the roof of the Retreat, anywhere. This sort of phenomenon is both common and expected in Capow, and the worst anyone will do to space-traveling hitchhikers is give you a warning for improper parking of a celestial vehicle, and point the way to the Spaceport.

If you enter Capow without a map, don't bother asking anyone on the street for directions. Chances being what they are in Capow, they are probably as lost as you are.

Places to Go

The first place you should go is the Lurker's Retreat, a bar located in the center, or the hub, of Capow. General consensus has agreed that the Retreat's condition is "Mostly harmful". This is an understatement. The Lurker's Retreat, however, is probably the safest place in Capow, although this means it is about as safe as putting your mouth over an exhaust pipe and inhaling deeply. The proprietor of the Retreat, Madoka Donguri, is a temperamental, charismatic, and confident woman, meaning in other words that if tabs don't get paid, heads will not only roll, but bounce.

On one of the walls of the Lurker's Retreat lies the Great Wall of Sake, a rather curious item of note in that the bottles of sake placed conveniently on it have a tendency to multiply. Questions of how sake bottles are able to identify each other as male or female notwithstanding, Madoka has found the Wall useful in perpetually increasing the bar tabs of numerous visitors. Regardless, it does have the best sake around, so feel free to order a drink along with any of a variety of items for consumption -- but for God's sake, don't make a pass on the waitress.

Also on one of the Retreat's walls is a Pan-Dimensional Door into the slightly odd dimension called GRIT. It is vitally important that this door is not opened unless under dire circumstances, but if you do enter the dimensional window, make sure to duck periodically and intone "so mote it be" upon meeting someone.

The regulars of the Lurker's Retreat are varied and colorful, or as someone once put it, "It would be safer stepping into the bath with a hairdryer than hanging around them too long." Be sure to tell them hello when you meet them.

Across the street from the Retreat is the Lurker's Retreat Annexe, a two-story complex of eight rooms, most of which are filled, although it is possible to make an arrangement with Shinobu, who keeps tabs on most everyone. Other places to glean sleeping arrangements are the Nittany Inn, charging by the hour, or the Apartment Complex With No Name, where an abnormally large number of law-breaking officers of justice reside. Don't even try getting a room at any of the other hotels; you can't afford them.

Three right turns from there will take you to Ambrosia's Restaurant, the Retreat's only real competition, run by the angelic Ambrosia and her granddaughter, Pixel. These are the two safest places to eat. Do _not_ buy food from carts, especially ones with people advertising things on sticks, unless you would like to discover what the true meaning of "hot dog" really is.

Be sure to visit the Capow Natural History Museum. This is a large museum. Do not be alarmed if you find yourself wandering inside for several days; just keep going in one direction and you will eventually find an exit.

Another good place to go is the Obligatory Secret Dungeon. This place is virtually filled to the brim with treasure and general magic items, so it's a great place to go if you're looking for some quick cash, as long as you overlook the dead and decaying bodies of previous adventurers.

If you're looking for peace and quiet, you can always go to Saint John's Park, where the weary foot soldiers of the Cold War tend to collect. Don't forget to feed the ducks in the pond, and give your regards to any secret agents, or representatives of Heaven and Hell, meeting clandestinely.

If it turns out that you need your spaceship, car, bike, or cyborg arm fixed, take it down to Katt's Garage, unless your physical characteristics fall under the catagories "cute" and "guy", in which case don't bother coming. You are essentially guaranteed to get back in good working order whatever you sent in. Smile, be nice, ask for credit, and unless you actually plan on _paying_, never come back.

If you're looking for firearms roughly the size of Vancouver, which you'll probably need in Capow, visit the local gun and comic book shop, run by Rebecca "Beko" "Murphy" Hanley. In the morning, at least. You don't want to see her at night. Remember to take some silver bullets with you, just in case.

Places Not to Go

One good place not to go is Washu-chan's Used Bookstore (and Subspace Laboratory), a place where you can buy books on almost any given subject. Normally this would be a good place to go, except for the aforementioned Washu-chan, the super-intelligent perverted mad scientist who lives there. So, it's safe to say that this is a good place not to go if you happen to possess the chromosomes XY.

Occasionally, a field researcher for the _Guide_ can be found there. Don't hesitate to tell him hello, or, if it appears to be a red-haired girl holding the satchel, lend her a pot of hot water if necessary. However, if either appears to be arguing with a blonde-haired tomboy-ish girl, don't hesitate to run before the explosion hits.

You can also not go to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, where you can buy magic for almost any given effect. Like Washu-chan's Used Bookstore, this would be a good place to go except for Mr. X, the perverted old magician who lives there, so going there with XX chromosomes is unadvised. Some hitchhikers suspect that if Mr. X ever met Washu-chan, there would probably be some sort of explosion, although others believe that they would cancel each other out and be replaced by something more perverted.

Another great place not to go is the Large Hulking Military Base owned by Commander Thickett. Be sure to avoid the experiments which occasionally make their way out and attempt to copulate with the fire hydrants, as well as looking out for any suspicious-looking atomic bombs.

One of the best places not to go, especially if you are of the feminine persuasion, is the small slum area, where the yakuza tend to reside. If you do need to go into this area for any reason, you should preferably leave all of your valuables in a safe place, like a locker, or a safe. Also, don't wear any excess clothing, like hats or watches. Do, however, carry some sort of weapon with you; it doesn't matter what kind, as long as it works. It is vitally important that running be your main form of transportation in this area of the village. Always try to keep a safe place in mind, and don't run without a clear purpose, unless you accidentally run into a not-so-safe alleyway to discover that someone is smashing your head repeatedly into the wall.

Law Enforcement

Law and order in Capow are usually kept at a minimal level. Physically attacking members of the Yakuza, magical girls, wizards, spiritualists, accursed hitchhikers, cyborgs, celestial beings, etc. are generally regarded as suicide attempts by the local police force, for obvious reasons. Mainly the philosophy is, "If you don't hurt me, I won't crush you into your component atoms. So let's all just get along!"

If you _do_ find yourself needing help, you can go to the police department, where the police seldom are, or you can try Nuffy's Donuts, where most of the cops hang around at least 25 out of any given 24 hours of every day -- except for Ryan Matheuszik (MPD), who can be found at the Lurker's Retreat, and Diskan and Sparky, who keep the general peace, as well as locking up errant RLs.

Speed limits in Capow are not what they seem. The posted speed limit is 30, which is the limit most drivers observe on the sidewalk. The actual observed speed limits are:

  • Traveling Uptown or Downtown Capow: 150 miles per hour, unless the policeman doesn't like the way you look, in which case the speed limit is zero.
  • Traveling Across Capow: No-one has ever successfully traveled across Capow in a motor vehicle.

And speaking of cars, _never_ walk into the street and expect them to stop for you. If they see a pedestrian or hitchhiker, drivers assume they have special dispensation to go 175. Also, do not dent, hit, scratch, or otherwise damage a parked car, as most of the citizens are frequently armed.

General Tips

  • Should you ever hear the word "BAKA!" being screamed by a female, run -- don't walk -- to the nearest cover. Duck.
  • Avoid any and all magical girls, unless you consider your depression forfeit.
  • Never go into an alley without at least possessing a rocket launcher and two hand grenades; even then, you may be outgunned.
  • If you see a group of people attacking each other with swords, magical spells, or guns roughly the size of Brazil, it is vitally important that you avoid them. The exact purpose of these sorts of battles is unknown, and attempts to find out have always resulted in suspicious stains found on the ground.
  • Remember, appearences can be deceiving. What appears to be someone's sex, gender, age, etc., might not be who they really are -- girls may in reality be boys, and children may have once been adults. It's always important to note deviance in mannerism and personality. Or, if all else fails, keep some hot and cold water with you.
  • Carry as little money as possible with you on your trip. It is vitally important to be able to prove at any given moment that you have nothing worth stealing.
  • Always, _always_ know where your towel is.

Leaving Capow

This is probably the most simple part of your hitchhike. Whenever you want to leave Capow, simply pick a car that looks like it's going in the direction of home, and stick out a thumb.


The village of Capow is a hitchhiker's paradise, a place where misfits roam, and magical items are sold freely in shops. However, for those unenlightened amateur hitchhikers, a place such as this can be an abode of danger, death, and general weirdness.

Hey, someone's got to live there.

And as with all situations, if you find yourself in a tight spot:

Don't Panic.

Remember: The _Guide_ is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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Written by Joseph Sutedja
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