(Ninjago City is shown in greyscale.)
Zane: (Narrating in a dramatic voice) Ninjago City. My city. I know it like the insides of my own circuits. Which is why I know… it has a dark side. My best friends are trapped in an immersive video game called Prime Empire.
(Zane is revealed to have been narrating out loud.)
Zane: Yeah, you heard that right. They're being held there by a villain named Unagami. But "Unagami" isn't his real name. It's as fake as a used car salesman's smile. His true identity is Milton Dyer, the computer programmer who designed Prime Empire. The only hope for them getting out of the digital world rests on finding Dyer in the real world. My world. I was fishing for leads, but for now I find myself adrift on a sea of dead ends....
(P.I.X.A.L. steps out of the fog.)
Zane: Then… She walked in.
(The colour returns to normal.)
P.I.X.A.L.: There you are, Zane.
Zane: She said, shining the only ray of light into my dreary world.
P.I.X.A.L.: Who are you talking to? And why are you dressed like that?
Zane: (Breaking character) Since we are engaged in detective work, tracking down a missing person, I have downloaded thousands of detective books and movies as research.
P.I.X.A.L: And that has to do with… hats?
Zane: According to my analysis, 100 percent of successful detectives wear trench coats and hats while narrating their thoughts. Thus I have adopted the same methodology.
P.I.X.A.L.: It seems improbable that hat choice and overly descriptive monologues are significant factors in an investigative outcome.
Zane: (Sighs.) I've tried everything else to no success. This method has to work.
P.I.X.A.L.: Well, okay I guess. I do have a new possible avenue of inquiry.
Zane: (Dramatic voice) A lead…
Zane: (Breaking character) Detectives call it a "lead."
P.I.X.A.L.: Okay, I have a "lead". A source willing to share information.
(Zane gets back into character and the colours go back to greyscale.)
Zane: (Dramatic voice) Ah… So a "canary" wants to "sing?" Who is it?
(P.I.X.A.L. projects an image of a young Dyer and another figure.)
P.I.X.A.L.: Remember this photo from Dyer's childhood home? I was able to track his friend to Laughy's Karaoke Club. Perhaps he knows Dyer's whereabouts.
Zane: So… A rumble on the street gave us a hot tip about a goon we needed to shake down. It was time for these two gumshoes to beat feet.
(P.I.X.A.L. sighs loudly.)
(Zane and P.I.X.A.L. arrive at Laughy's, and as they enter the room goes silent.)
Zane: I'd been here before. It was a low class joint that served cheap boba tea. As soon as we walked in, every palooka pointed their ugly mugs at us.
(P.I.X.A.L. pushes Zane away from the men at the bar as they turn to face him.)
Criminal: Hey, is he talking to us? Or about us?
Criminal 2: I don't likes it either way!
P.I.X.A.L.: Perhaps that is enough detective narration for now.
Zane: She said, nervously. Because from the looks of these rowdy nogoodniks, it was clear we were in for trouble.
(Dareth approaches them, and the colour returns to normal.)
Dareth: (Tosses tray aside.) Zane! P.I.X.A.L.! Wow! So good to see you guys! Heh! What brings you to my karaoke club?
P.I.X.A.L.: (Caught off-guard) Oh. Dareth. H-hello. My memory now accesses the fact that you own this establishment.
Dareth: Ha, don't tell me! I know! (Whispering) You need the Brown Ninja's help on a mission?
Zane: (Breaking character) "Brown Ninja?"
Dareth: Let me guess, the other ninja are lost in some crazy realm somewhere and you need to find something to bring them back?
P.I.X.A.L.: Your guess is… surprisingly accurate.
Dareth: Yea, it happens a lot to those guys. Gotta love 'em. Hold on, I'll get my stuff!
(Dareth dashes off. One of the men from the bar approaches Zane and P.I.X.A.L.)
P.I.X.AL.: That is quite possible. Who is your brother?
P.I.X.A.L.: (Groans due to his bad breath.) Who?
Fugi-Dove's brother: Fugi-Dove! (He coos.) You know, his cry fills the night!
P.I.X.A.L.: ...That name is unfamiliar to me.
(Zane gets back into character and the colours go back to greyscale.)
Zane: (Dramatic voice) The lug was as big as an ox, and smelled like one too.
Fugi-Dove's brother: Oh, what did you just say?
Zane: He wasn't the sharpest crayon in the box—
Fugi-Dove's brother: Hey!
Zane: —But if it was a fight he wanted, I was happy to give it to him.
Fugi-Dove's brother: ...Oh yeah? Let's see about that! Get 'em, boys!
(The other men from the bar approach, snapping their fingers. A fight breaks out.)
Zane: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. That's why I decided to throw an uppercut to his glass jaw!
Fugi-Dove's brother: Uppercut, huh?
(Zane swings, but is blocked.)
Fugi-Dove's brother: Blocked! Ha ha ha! (He punches Zane.)
(Dareth returns in the Brown Ninja gi, carrying his fake Spinjitzu cutout.)
Dareth: (Grunts.) Ah, the old suit must have shrunk in the dryer, cause… (Chuckles.) It's a little tight around the eh… heh heh… (He notices the fight.) Wait… You started without me? Well don't worry guys, I got your— ugh! (Dareth gets knocked aside.) Back!
Zane: His power to predict my every move was unnerving, but I figured a sharp right-cross would stitch him up.
Fugi-Dove's brother: Right-cross? (He blocks Zane again.) Blocked! (He lifts Zane up by his shirt.) Now you're mine, ninja-guy.
(P.I.X.A.L. taps Fugi-Dove's brother on the shoulder, and knocks him out when he turns to look at her.)
Zane: Well, the good news was, she had saved my nindroid bacon. The bad news was, whoever we were looking for was probably long gone.
Bartender: Who were you looking for?
P.I.X.A.L.: A childhood friend of Milton Dyer's.
Bartender: Dyer, huh? Ah, I haven't heard that name in a long time.
P.I.X.A.L.: You were Dyer's friend?
Bartender: Yeah, that's right, when we were kids. Name's Tony.
P.I.X.A.L.: We would appreciate anything you might know about Milton Dyer's current location.
(Tony pours them a glass of boba tea each.)
Tony: Eh, you're not the first to ask about him over the years. Reporters come by every so often, but… I never told them anything because old Milty deserves his privacy.
P.I.X.A.L.: But you're ready to speak now?
Tony: (Sighs.) With this Prime Empire stuff happening? Those kids missing? I guess it's time to talk.
(Zane removes the straw from his drink and takes a swig.)
Zane: Spill it, where's Dyer?
Tony: I don't know exactly, but… I know this. You should check out Buddy's Pizza.
Tony: It's where Milton played his first videogame. That's where he found his life's calling as a game programmer. He'd called it "Videogame City". Always went back there as an adult. For inspiration.
(Zane and P.I.X.A.L. look at each other.)
(As Zane and P.I.X.A.L. approach Buddy's Pizza, Zane continues to narrate.)
Zane: Buddy's Pizza was no different than any other hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. Except it had the best games in town. It had been shut down by the fuzz due to the disappearances.
Kid 1: Someone's coming! Let's go!
(Two kids run out of Buddy's Pizza.)
Kid 2: Ugh! I almost had a high score!
Zane: Kids have been sneaking into the place to get their fill, due to the city's "Videogame Prohibition."
(P.I.X.A.L. looks at Zane, annoyed.)
P.I.X.A.L.: You are beginning to get on my nerve circuits. Are you going to talk in that voice the whole time?
Zane: Her eyes showed annoyance, but her heart revealed that she respected my unorthodox techniques.
P.I.X.A.L.: (Irritably) My heart did not reveal that. Every part of me is annoyed.
(Zane enters the pizzeria.)
Zane: I had my work cut out for me. I had to prove I knew what I was doing.
(P.I.X.A.L. sighs loudly and follows him inside. As they look around, the Mechanic emerges from behind a beam behind P.I.X.A.L.)
Zane: (Gasps.) P.I.X.A.L.! Hit the dirt!
(The two of them are ambushed by The Mechanic and several henchmen.)
The Mechanic: I got wind'a you sniffin' around Dyer's old haunts. It was only a matter of time before you two buttons showed up here.
P.I.X.A.L.: (To Zane) Is The Mechanic doing your Detective thing too? This is just weird.
Zane: Let's paste these palookas!
(Zane attempts to fight off the henchmen but gets kicked into an arcade cabinet, shocking him unconscious.)
P.I.X.A.L.: Zane! (She rushes towards him.) We must—Aah! (She gets shocked by The Mechanic and falls to the floor.)
The Mechanic: (Chuckles.) Unagami will be pleased as punch.
(P.I.X.A.L. falls unconscious. When she wakes up, Zane, The Mechanic, and his henchmen are gone, and the colours have returned to normal.)
P.I.X.A.L.: Zane? (She spots his hat lying on the floor and rushes to pick it up.) Zane!
(P.I.X.A.L. looks around,sighs, and puts the hat on. The greyscale returns.)
P.I.X.A.L.: (Dramatic voice) I was desperate and willing to try anything. Even Zane's detective theory. So I put the hat on and went for broke. There had to be a clue somewhere in this rundown crazy world. I might've lost my partner, but not my resolve. The answer had to be somewhere here in this place Dyer called "Videogame City."
(The arcade machine lights up.)
Arcade Machine: Voice activation password, "Videogame City", accepted.
(P.I.X.A.L. opens the cabinet door to find a hidden staircase leading to the roof.)
P.I.X.A.L.: I was as surprised as anyone to discover... Zane was right. Talking aloud in a funny voice seemed to help. I decided to stick with it.
(P.I.X.A.L. makes her way onto the roof to find an old man feeding birds.)
P.I.X.A.L.: Milton Dyer, I presume?
Milton: (Sighs.) I knew it was only a matter of time before someone found me. I assume this isn't a social visit?
P.I.X.A.L.: No, Mr. Dyer. Or should I call you… Unagami?
Milton: I'm not Unagami. "Unagami" was what we called the game. It was our working title. Before we called it Prime Empire, It was "Unfinished Adventure Game 1". But the Artificial Intelligence that ran the game was so dangerous, even I realized I should never complete it.
P.I.X.A.L.: (Using her normal voice again) Then who did?
Milton: No one. We locked that program under so much security, it won't ever see the light of day. The only way the program could have been finished… would be if…
P.I.X.A.L.: If Unagami completed programming itself.
Milton: Oh no...
(End of the episode. For more information, click here.)