Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Games Where You Launch Something Just To See How Far It Goes

I've mentioned all three of these before, but not really in-depth.  I'm not going to go too in-depth here either, this post is merely to sum up each game and compare them to each other.

Nanaca Crash

As far as I'm aware, this is the one that started it all.  It has specials that activate depending on differing conditions.  Two of these need two of the characters to appear adjacent to each other in a certain order.  The person who makes you miss a target has a special of her own that can change depending on certain conditions, but is fairly difficult to get.  I've only ever seen two variations of it.  You also have two aerial specials, one that launches the character upwards that you can use up to three times, and one that launches them downwards you can use infinitely, but has to charge between uses.

  • Will always have that nostalgia value, for me at least.
  • Fairly difficult.  I tend to prefer "tough but fair" to "unforgiving".  It's far from "unforgiving", but it's not exactly close to "tough but fair".
  • Very few people to hit, so you'll be seeing a lot of the same things happen in each run.
  • You have to click to activate people's specials.
Katawa Crash

As mentioned before, this game takes Nanaca Crash's formula of people to hit that do different things, some of whom have specials, and one person who can prevent you from hitting people that has a tricky to activate special of their own, and runs with it.  Using characters from the visual novel Katawa Shoujo, plus a whole host of guest characters, this game is pretty crazy.  It keeps the same aerial special formula as Nanaca Crash, but adds the ability to get more "launch the character upwards" uses.  It also adds achievements, because we all need achievements.

  • Crazy.
  • Srsly.
  • So many things you'll never expect the first time you see them that just make you go "wat" then "lolol".
  • You don't have to click to activate people's specials.
  • The music is quirky and some on-hit effects depend on your timing relative to it.
  • um.  uh...  hmm.  Can't really think of any, to be honest. (the rest of these were added as I wrote the section for Toss The Turtle)
  • Oh, wait.  It's so fun you'll wonder where all your free time went.
  • Also, after a run ends, it goes back to the main menu, rather than either going straight to another launch or asking you if you want to go again.
  • "RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA" will get stuck in your head.  Guaranteed. (the song I linked to isn't the exact version of the song used in the game, but I can't find that one)
Toss The Turtle

This game technically came before Katawa Crash, but whatever.  It's similar enough to the other two to be compared to them, but it doesn't follow the same formula.  Most notably, it has a shop where you can buy upgrades that enable you to get more distance.  Most of the stuff you can hit is actually in the air.  There are also quite many ways for your run to end prematurely: vertical ground spikes, horizontal ground spikes, aerial spikes, and UFOs.  The first three can be guarded against once by purchasing the Chest Bomb from the shop, but if the UFO gets you, it's all over.  After each run you're awarded money based on your distance, with bonuses for things you hit during the run, and you can use that money to upgrade the cannon and your aerial specials so you can get more distance and therefore more money.  This game also has achievements, some of which give you in-game bonuses.

The specials work a bit differently.  You have three of them: a weapon that launches the turtle upwards when you hit him, and is aimed with the mouse; a jetpack you can buy and upgrade in the shop that gives you a bunch of horizontal distance at your current altitude once per run; and nuclear bombs that launch you high into the air, that you can buy a lot of and use multiple times per run.  The latter two are activated by clicking their respective icons in the HUD.

In addition, you can control the turtle somewhat using WASD, and the camera follows the turtle rather than being fixed on the ground.

  • A bit of a different formula.  Different is good, after all.
  • The music, the first time you hear it every time you fire up the game.  Silence, you fire the cannon, then epic music.  It works quite well.
  • Too much shit that ends your run.  You should be able to buy an upgrade that removes UFOs, and another upgrade that removes aerial spikes.  The ground spikes, in both varieties, are fine.
  • The reason these upgrades are necessary: both UFOs and aerial spikes can appear above the highest point that the camera will go up to, ending your run without you being able to see them coming, literally.
  • Too much distance between objects on the ground.  There are achievements that add "more stuff", but they take a while to unlock.
  • The music, after it loops for the 9001st time.  Basically, once you start it on your first shot after firing up the game, it never stops.  There's no run-end fanfare and then period of relative silence like with Katawa Crash.
  • The best weapon to use is actually in the mid-tier: the AK-47.  Sure, the bullets of "The Ultimate Gun" have insane power, but you get so few of them and ammo pickups are rare and difficult to hit.  You can get much longer runs by taking the AK-47 and then feather-touching your mouse button to fire one bullet at a time.  Basically, bigger magazine > individual bullet's power, and the AK-47 has the biggest magazine of all the available weapons.
There you have it, a synopsis of each with pros and cons.  I will leave it up to the reader to make their own decisions, because when comparing things I don't like to go "this is how it is, always, if your opinion is different it's wrong, deal with it, *sunglasses*, YEEAAAAHHHHHH".  If you want my opinion, I'll still give it, and it would be that you should play Nanaca Crash a few times to get the gist of the formula, and then progress to Katawa Crash.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Katawa Crash

Hey, a post that's not about Rogue Galaxy.  A post that explains why I haven't really been playing any Rogue Galaxy at all, and have had trouble doing my post-MAGFest YouTube catch-up.

It's because of the game Katawa Crash.

Katawa Crash is a Flash game based on an old classic called Nanaca Crash, but using characters from the 4chan-made visual novel Katawa Shoujo.  It basically extends on the format of Nanaca Crash, adding a bunch more characters and a wide variety of things that can happen.  For instance, you can score a touchdown, or trigger multiball.  Those are just two of the crazy things that can happen.

Gameplay is fairly simple.  When you start, you have to launch the Katawa Shoujo main character, Hisao.  Click and hold to set the angle, then release to set the velocity, then your round of time-wasting craziness begins.  While it's going, there are two things you can do to alter Hisao's trajectory, to either avoid people whose effects you don't want or to attempt to hit someone with a good effect.  These two abilities were also present in Nanaca Crash, with pretty much identical functionality.

The game has a variety of achievements, tiered into three tiers and labelled with different colored hearts.  The three teirs' colors are grey, yellow, and blue, with blue being secret achievements.  For the most part, you can figure out what to do to get the secret achievements based on their name, but some are intended as surprises and are of the type that will just happen to you eventually, given enough playtime.

There's not really much more I can say about the game without turning this review into a tutorial.  It's fun, and you'll lose a lot of hours to it seeing how far you can make Hisao go before he comes to a stop.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rogue Galaxy Post-Game Session 10

After getting to the 60th floor last night, I decided to start in on the final 40 floors.  It went fairly smoothly up to and including the 70th floor boss, who had to be hit with a charge attack before he could take damage, but then one use of Drunken Burst and a couple uses of Illusion Sword later, among some other things, he bit the dust.

Then I decided to go out and grab a frozen pizza for lunch, as well as spending leftover money after that on alcohol.  This was a solid decision.  Note that I didn't actually consume the alcohol while eating the pizza.  I'm not about to waste an entire $13 bottle of Kahlua on one meal.

The last 40 floors were pretty much as uneventful as the first 60.  The only real noteworthy thing is that Jaster reached level 99 on the 98th floor.  However, I did have to run in circles to force the random encounters to give me what I needed on the 99th floor so I could complete Hunter Record.

The last boss is named "Doppelganger" and he wasn't really all that difficult.  He has a stance where he spins his sword around and doesn't take any damage, but the AI is actually smart enough to know not to attack during this, so it just becomes "okay, heal up and wait for him to be vulnerable again".  My strategy consisted of having Jaster use Illusion Sword, Kisala use Dagger Slash, and Zegram use Twin Sword, and just keep refreshing them until he died.  I chose Illusion Sword over Flash Sword so I could keep my distance with Jaster in case anything stupid happened and everyone up close and personal died.

The reward for completing Ghost Ship Extreme is Kisala's Swimsuit (her best costume stat-wise, since they do have minor defense value differences), the Beach Sandals (basically, matching max power footwear), and the Royal Fruit, which is used to catch the best insector in the game.

Then, I had Kisala put on her swimsuit (and sandals), and jetted to Zerard where I turned in the complete Hunter Record and got another costume for Kisala, Arina's Sleeve.  It comes with matching boots that are crap stat-wise (Aura Shoes).

Next up, the important thing: getting the Beach Sandals to MASTERED so I can actually make full use of them.  Unfortunately, the game prevents us from doing it the easy way, by feeding them to Toady along with Excelion Shards to raise all their elemental stats by 5 per shard.  The only other way is to fight battles with them equipped and get one point in a random stat per battle.  Which would take several hundred battles.  Which, technically, I could do by clearing my inventory of certain items, rubber banding the analog sticks together, and letting it go on Rosa while I do something else for a few hours.  I guess I could do that.  We'll see.

Regardless, just for the lulz, I got the Aura Shoes that came with the Arina's Sleeve costume up to MASTERED.  Not that I'll ever use them.

One final bit of business: catching the insector that I got the bait for.  Luckily that's not too difficult, I think it's even a guaranteed catch since you have to go through such effort to get the bait.  Still, I used Insector Trap 2 because it said it had a better chance of catching ground-crawling Insectors.  Toss the Royal Fruit in there, go to Mariglenn, teleport to the Gulza Sanctuary Plaza, and plunk that sucker down.  Then you wait.  Wait until you hear a noise and the trap starts flashing.  Open it up and it should be a Dark Emperor, guaranteed.

After that, I went to Juraika and caught a couple random insectors just for the express purpose of playing around with breeding them.  Since information on Insectron is so spotty on the internet, I'm just going to have to figure out most of it myself.  I want to put together a balanced team to properly support my Dark Emperor, and for that I need healers...

Anyway, ending this post here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rogue Galaxy Post-Game Session 9

I'm trying to see if I can finish Ghost Ship Extreme in three sessions of roughly 30 levels each.  Since last session was a bit short because I was finding it hard to keep my eyes open, this session will hopefully make up for that and get me to the floor 60 range.

I've read from guides that there are shops every 30 floors, so at last I know I'll come upon one in six floors.

So far it doesn't seem particularly difficult, just long and drawn out.  The boss battles I've faced on every tenth floor so far have been harder than the random encounters.  According to guides I find though, I'm a bit overlevelled, which is Just The Way I Like It™.  Depending on how much levelling I have left as I get towards the end, I might stop progressing upwards and just farm XP for a while so I can max everyone out.

--- session happened here ---

Okay, well, what did I learn from this session?  First, it's completely possible to fill in the Hunter Record for Ghost Ship Extreme on your first playthrough without even specifically trying for it.  Second, heavily armored, hard-hitting, fast-attacking enemies who must be hit with a charge attack before they can be hit with anything else are annoying as fuck.  Third, the bosses in GSE can be spam-killed just like the bosses anywhere else.  The boss on floor 60 is a fuckton of bugs.  No joke.  Rather than hunt down and kill each one individually, I used Jaster, Kisala, and Zegram's Supernova three times.

And that's where I'm leaving it for this session, having saved in the first room of the 61st floor.

Rogue Galaxy Post-Game Session 8

In this session, I started Ghost Ship Extreme.  While working my way through it, I'm also filling in the remaining entries in the Hunter Record.  Ghost Ship Extreme, in case you haven't read any of my other posts about Rogue Galaxy, is a randomly generated 100 level dungeon, filled with enemies designed for the post-game.  Part of my previous post-game sessions, getting everyone's max weapons, got me as prepared as I could possibly be for it.

Session 7 led more or less directly into this one, as the final bit of it, checking Ghost Ship, didn't take very long and resulted in zero missed chests, so I just kept on playing.

Before I started on Ghost Ship Extreme proper, I swung by Zerard and grabbed my Insectron license and the second trap and rearing cage.  Just so I wouldn't have to think about it later.

Once inside Ghost Ship Extreme, the first thing I did was make a list of the cutoff points for certain enemies, based on the information in the Enemy Location FAQ on GameFAQs.  Since it's my intention to finish off Hunter Record while progressing through Ghost Ship Extreme, it helps to know "oh I shouldn't go to the next floor yet".

I noticed pretty much right away that there were fake level exits with purple lights, in addition to the correct level exit that had red lights.  So just because you see that level exit icon on the map doesn't necessarily mean that's the actual exit.

So far I've noticed that the floors of GSE are relatively small.  So the challenge isn't really in the length of each floor, but rather the number of them and the enemies you encounter on each.

Every tenth floor is a boss fight, with what seems to be a guaranteed save point before and after.  I haven't yet found any shops, but so far I've been getting enough restorative items from enemies that they haven't been necessary.

My original intention was to get to floor 34 and call it quits there, but I'm still recovering from MAGFest and really needed the sleep, so I saved and exited after having fully explored the 24th floor and having completed the hunter record for floors 1-30.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rogue Galaxy Post-Game Session 7

This post-game session is titled "Requesting permission for a fly-by! (spilled coffee)".  Bonus points if you get the reference.

I always preface these things with an expectation of how much time it'll take and how long the post will be, but I've been wrong every single time.  So I'm not going to say that I don't think this will take very long.  Not at all.  I'm also not going to lose motivation two planets in.  No sir.

Basically, this session will be relatively low-interest to read about, much less play.  In it, I'm going around from one planet to the next making absofuckinglutely sure I've gotten all the chests.

When I started, I had a rather genius idea: one of the items you can make in the factory is the Stealth Shield.  According to its description, it "hides your presence from weak enemies".  I don't know what exactly it means by "weak", but I can infer that each enemy has a level associated with it and the shield prevents encounters with enemies that are far enough below your level to be outside a certain threshhold.  The best part: you only need one of this shield equipped for it to affect your entire party.  Using the shield sped up the entire thing by eliminating encounters almost everywhere and severely limiting them everywhere else.

My party of Jaster, Kisala, and Zegram is level 77, 75, and 73, respectively.  From using the Stealth Shield in an environment where there are encounters it can't prevent, I have deduced its function to be as such: When the game decides to generate an encounter, it chooses a specific group of enemies right away.  Then it checks to see if the shield can prevent an encounter with those enemies, and if it does, no encounter happens.  This explains perfectly the sporadic groups of encounters I got with long periods of no encounters in between them.  The alternative function would be for the game to check for the shield right away when generating an encounter, and simply exclude enemies that the shield prevents from showing up, which would result in much more frequent encounters.

While sweeping these areas, I got into a bit of a rhythm, but it still took quite a bit of time, so I ended up splitting up this session into a few mini-sessions.  I was unsure as to the limits of the "see all the chests on the map" ability you gain when you find all the save points on a planet, so there was probably a lot of unnecessary exploration time done.  I'm a fairly thorough explorer in games like these, so I know with high certainty that I got the vast majority of the chests in my actual playthrough.

Session 7a (December 8th): Swept Rosa and Juraika.  Missed chests found: Zero.  Realized how much of a bitch Zerard will be with Rosencaster Prison, the Starship Factory, and both Gladius Towers; kind of lost motivation.
Session 7b (December 30th): Swept Zerard, Vedan, and Alistia.  Missed chests found: Three on Vedan, zero elsewhere.
Session 7c (January 1st): Swept Mariglenn.  Missed chests found: One.
Session 7d (January 9th): Swept Ghost Ship.  Missed chests found: Zero.

I did the sweeping by planet so that if I missed zero chests on a planet, I could reset and not add any game time to my save.  In addition, I kept track of where I found each chest and then after finishing the sweep, I reloaded and grabbed the chests.  This session therefore added very little time to my save file.  Having only missed four chests in a game that's as expansive as Rogue Galaxy is just goes to show how thorough of an explorer I am.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

MAGFest 11

I awkwardly shift back and forth between "I" and "we" during this post without establishing having met up with a friend (or multiple friends on occasion).  Deal with it.  Also, the quality of writing slopes steadily downwards towards the end, because I was getting more and more tired while typing it.  I might go through and fix shit later, I might not.  We'll see.


Woke up around 8 AM.  I actually wanted to get up at noon, but I couldn't sleep any longer.  Did laundry while catching up on YouTube videos I'd been neglecting.  With relaxation time built in, I ended up packed and ready to go just before dinner.  The plan was to leave after dinner, so it worked.

A bit after 7 PM I loaded my bag into my car and went on my way.  The route this year would take me past my usual gas station to top off and grab some 20oz. caffeine vessels, perhaps better known as bottles of Mountain Dew.  I used Google Maps to figure out how to get on my regular trek north without having to double back and waste gas, and it worked beautifully.

On Route 20 my biggest concern was deer.  I honestly don't believe that Route 20's 55MPH speed limit is safe at night.  During the day it's perfectly safe, though.  Instead of deer, however, I had to slow down to avoid hitting someone's dog.  Whatever.

I love driving at night, but the darkness does make navigating a bit difficult when you can't clearly see where a connecting road is.  I ended up having to turn around once because I went past where I should have turned.

In Orange I drove down my favorite road system anomaly ever.  In Orange, Route 15 and Route 20 meet and become the same road briefly.  Except that when you're heading north on Route 20, you actually end up heading south on Route 15 (and vice versa).  There's something fun about being able to say you can go both north and south at the same time.

Blah blah blah battlefields blah blah Fredericksburg no traffic because I left after its rush hour 95 North yay.

Stopped at the same rest station on 95 North that I stopped at last year, except that this time the Mountain Dew I drank was a lot cheaper because I bought it at the gas station when topping off along with a buddy for $2.50.

There's nothing really difficult at all about the route from Fredericksburg to the Gaylord, you just have to pay attention to the signs to know which side of 495 to get on, since it splits into local and not local.  Spoiler: you want the local side.  You end up going across the drawbridge, at which point you can already see the Gaylord.  If you've never approached this hotel from over this bridge at night, I recommend doing so at least once in your life.

Anyway, just before 10 PM I arrived and nabbed a parking space right near the elevators.  Went in and started refamiliarizing myself with things, especially since MAGFest's layout changed significantly compared to last year.  There were still a couple of things I never found.  "Use the map!", you say?  To that, I say "what map?  I don't have a smartphone, and therefore can't use the digital-only guidebook!"  Those digital-only guidebooks: WORST.  DECISION.  EVER.

Anyway, the first game I played was Sega Super GT.  Because, you know, it totally makes sense to play a racing game immediately after driving for two and a half hours.


After a while of derping around a couple other staff members and I decided to get some food from the hotel cafeteria, which MAGFest staff have access to during the weekend.  It's the odd thing out in both the National Harbor area and specifically in the Gaylord because it's crazy inexpensive.  I got scrambled eggs, fried potatoes with green and red peppers, and a few strips of bacon for $3.45.  With infinite drinks.  Anyway.

Checked into my hotel room, where I discovered I was the first person to check in.  Managed to dodge getting my card put on the room, since the account it's linked to doesn't really have any money to speak of in it.  I did pre-pay for parking, though, which was awesome only in the sense that I didn't have to worry about it for the rest of MAGFest and could actually spend money unlike last year.  It wasn't awesome in that last year it was $11, period.  This year it was $14/day.  The price did come out to $42, but... still.

Later on, MAGFest began proper, and so I went to a few panels I'd been looking forward to.  Jon St. John mostly.  He spent most of the panel prank calling people's friends as Duke Nukem.  Skipped the first Egoraptor panel because he had a second one scheduled at midnight and that's always the better option.

While skipping the panel, I went to dinner with friends at the Cadillac Ranch, which is basically just like your average family restaurant (i.e. Applebee's, TGI Friday's, Chili's, etc.) except it's more expensive.  Seriously, the cheapest burger is $11.  Their food is good, but I don't really think it's worth the prices on the menu.

Spent the rest of the night playing games.  In the Arcade section, which had an entire expo hall to itself this year.  In my opinion, Arcade beat Consoles by far this year.


My first staff shift started at 2 AM: my staple schedule-filler LAN Overwatch.  You basically just have to walk around and make sure nobody's stealing anything.  It's really easy, and you get to see what everyone is playing.  Spoiler: it's either TF2 or DOTA 2/LoL.

At 6 AM my shift ended and I decided to get some sleep before Jon St. John's second panel, which was at midnight on Saturday (meaning I'd have to get in line on Friday, you idiots who interpret time wrong).  I figured, having been up for 46 hours at this point, I should get a decent chunk of sleep, right?

Wrong, I couldn't get back to sleep after 6 hours.  However, just after I got in bed the fire alarms went off.  So I had to hurriedly get dressed in the dark because my roommate didn't feel like actually turning the light on even though he was right next to the switch.  We walked down the hall to the stairs, which were fully saturated with people and we couldn't go any farther, and then the alarm system (which is voiced, by the way), announced the "all clear" and we went the fuck back to our rooms and went the fuck back to sleep.

So around noon I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.  Oh well, whatever, went down to Arcade and played for a while.

Eventually I met up with a friend and we went out to get some dinner.  There was a place we'd heard about from a friend of ours after MAGFest X, so we decided to check it out.  It was a Portugese place called Nando's, and their specialty is Peri-Peri chicken.  Basically, the entire menu is chicken.  You choose a sauce from their mostly tame spice scale, pick the format (platter, sandwich, etc.), and some sides or whatever else you want, and then go order it.  They have this neat fountain drink machine which only has one dispenser instead of the usual 8-10.  Instead, it has a touchscreen and you can add all kinds of extra flavors to your soda.  For instance, you can get grape Mello Yello.

Anyway, long story short, Nando's is amazing.  We split the full chicken platter, which was an entire chicken and two sides.  Definitely A++ would eat again.


Later that evening we went to Jon St. John's second panel.  The first one was titled "Jon St. John Speaks" and the second one was "Jon St. John: Voiceover Whore".  True to the panel name, he mostly discussed what it's like being in the voice acting business and how you have to basically be constantly looking for work to keep pulling in the money.  He threw in a couple prank calls towards the end, and then concluded with a blues-style song he wrote about MAGFest called "Balls of Steel".

Immediately at 1 AM I went on-shift, once again doing LAN Overwatch.  It was at this time I discovered that LAN Overwatch had been modified to also be backup for the check-in desk, which I have wanted to avoid since doing an entire MAGFest of it a few years in a row starting with M6.  Whatever.

I played some more games for a while, but kept an eye on my watch, because at 10AM the Kinuyo Yamashita panel was happening and no way in hell was I going to miss that.  For the uninitiated, she composed the music for Castlevania.  None of its sequels (of which there are only three (inb4 SotN fanboy hate)), but just the very first Castlevania game.  She's done other stuff since then, too.

After that I played games for a bit and then went to get some sleep.  Seeing as how I was fairly sleep-deprived at this point, I thought I could easily sleep until an hour before the panel, but I woke up after four hours.  I figured getting to the panel line for AVGN 45 minutes early would net me a decent spot in the line, but holy fuck was I wrong.  Luckily, there was plenty of space in Panels 1 and I easily made it in.  James decided to spice things up by bringing in some of the games he's reviewed as AVGN and gave some panel attendees a chance to actually play them and experience how astronomically ass they are.

After that, we left the hotel to get dinner at the nearby McDonald's because McDonald's is affordable.  I grabbed a McGangbang, specifically what we call an "unprotected" McGangbang (basically, get the spicy McChicken instead of the regular one), a McRib, and a large drink.  I debated trying to fit the McRib in the McGangbang so I could dub it "ribbed for her pleasure", but I ended up eating the McRib separately.

When we got back, we tried what we'd wanted to do for a while: make a mixed drink we wanted to call "Blue and Blue on de Ting".  You see, there's this Jamaican grapefruit juice drink called Ting, and we had some curaçao to make it blue.  Well, it kind of worked, but the grapefruit juice overpowered the orange flavor of the curaçao and gave it a weird flavor.  We didn't have anything else to mix with it to try and balance it, so we just consumed it as-is.


The next panel I wanted to go to was the midnight Egoraptor panel.  The line for it, in and of itself, was awesome.  We were all bored waiting, and someone started singing.  People joined in, and then it turned into "hey what should we sing next?"  This lasted pretty much until they started letting people into the panel room.  The panel itself was awesome, he had people hold up random items so he could easily identify people to ask questions.  He established early on that since that panel room had a bunch of free time after when his panel was scheduled to end, he'd just keep going on.  I unfortunately had to leave "early", at about the panel's normal end time, so I could go to my Floor Staff shift in Consoles.

Now, all weekend, I'd seen various staff members wearing these orange vests with the MAGFest square wave logo on the back, and on this shift, I got to wear one.  Floor Staff in Consoles is pretty much just like Overwatch in LAN, except that occasionally you have to reset a frozen console or make sure unattended wireless controllers are brought back to the staff table so they don't mysteriously disappear.  Also, you know, helping people find specific games or handling any requests or problems they may have.  I actually ended up taking a photo of a group of people with an iPad.

About halfway through that shift, my feet, which had been in pain since Wednesday night, finally started hurting so much that I could barely stand.  Fortunately, Floor Staff don't need to be constantly combing the room, so I was able to sit down for a while, but it didn't help much.  I got into the "limping with both legs" state that I was in last year.  I really, really need some decent insoles or just better shoes overall, because it's quite clear that what I was wearing just didn't cut it.

The odd thing is that playing racing games (specifically Sega Super GT, but I also played some OutRun 2) helped my feet calm down.

Scheduled at 8:30 AM in Panels 5 was James Rolfe's First Blood on AC/DC.  I'd seen it when he originally brought it to MAGFest, but hell, it was awesome and I wanted to see it again.  Except that when I got there to get in line for it, Panels 5 was closed and locked.  I still don't understand what happened there.

With that having fallen through, I had a nice chunk of time I was planning on using to sleep until my next shift, which of course was teardown at 4 PM.  However, it was then that I looked closer and discovered that the room I was in only went through Sunday, even though I was supposed to have a room until Monday because of working teardown.  I got my shit out of there and put it in my trunk just to play it safe, and chugged the coffee in a friend's room to keep myself awake.

Partway through teardown, it became time for the staff post-MAGFest party.  A fuckton of pizza was procured, and there was soda.  At first it was just that and a musical performance (because, after all, live music happens every day at MAGFest), but then finally the alcohol showed up.  Right away I saw that Jon St. John was there and mixing screwdrivers for people, so I got one of those.  Then it became random milling about drinking different things.  I'm not going to go uber-chronological on what I drank, but I had some Jameson, two gins mixed together (Bombay Sapphire and Gordon's) (because of a quote from an old friend who moved away a while back, "gin is good with gin I bet"), some legal moonshine (yeah, I know...), and then, I noticed.

What did I notice?

There was both grapefruit juice and curaçao.  Also, there were other juices, so I could experiment.

My first experiment ended up being a success.  Added some orange juice to the mixture.  It balanced it out quite well and gave it a nice electric blue color that looked like a couple ice cubes wouldn't go amiss.

Eventually I realized that even with the party happening, teardown was still going on and I should probably get back to work.  I went back to ops where the mantra of the night was "find stuff and put it in boxes!", found stuff, and put it in boxes.  Eventually there was no more stuff to put in boxes, so we called it quits.  Also, during this, the head of staff operations was in the room helping, so I asked him about my hotel situation and it turned out I had a different room for Sunday night.  He was unsure what I needed to do about parking, but I figured I'd worry about that in the morning.

Armed with a new (to me) room key, I got my shit out of my trunk and headed to my new room.  My still mostly drunk mind deduced from the placement of personal belongings in the room that there was only one other person in the room, and he showed up after a few minutes.  To grab his stuff and leave.  Also, he left me three cans of Coca-Cola, which I put in the fridge right away.  I didn't really dick around too much, I needed way too much sleep at that point.


I made it to sleep a bit after midnight and woke up at 8:30.  Reasonable success.  Upon inspecting the check-out system on the TV, I noticed that all the parking charges for the room were zero.  After drinking the available coffee and packing the three cans of coke in my bag so I could get them to my car, I went to the check-in desk to inquire, and confirmed that there were no parking fees to be paid on my new room, meaning I could just scan the card and GTFO back to Charlottesville without having to pay any extra money.  I took that deal, and drank all three cans of Coke on the way back.

Stuff I ended up with
  • Small metal Pac-Man machine that functions as a candy tin that originally had Pac-Man-shaped candy in it - totally obtained by accepting candy from strangers (or, the awesome guys from ThinkGeek that buzzed the Jon St. John panel line on Thursday)
  • Suction-cup-attachable joystick for capacitive touch screens (i.e. iPad, iPhone, etc.) - I really don't know why I grabbed this, but I did.  They were also given out for free by ThinkGeek.  I think it was just the appeal of "hey, free shit".
  • AVGN DVD Volume 6