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Cake or Death
It Gives Up the Ghost

"How do we do this?" the Muse asked. We were riding on our horse, circling the towering giant, big as a ten story building, looking for a way to bring it down. At least we were in the game we were playing, Shadow of the Colossus, which had kept us occupied for a few hours now.

"Get off the horse," I said. "Look at the soles of his feet when he walks. I think you can shoot him with an arrow there, get him to fall to his knees maybe."

"Yeah," she said. "That might work." She had our onscreen character, another nameless video game hero, slip off the horse and draw a bow. She took aim at the monster's foot and waiting until it lifted it, revealing the bottom of its foot. She fired an arrow at it, penetrating the skin there. The colossus bellowed in pain and stumbled, fell to its knee.

"There!" I said, pointing at the screen. "I see some fur just above the knee! Try climbing up there."

The Muse put away the bow and steered our hero to the monster's leg, jumped up, grabbed handfuls of matted brown fur and pulled herself up, climbing up the beast's thigh as it struggled to push itself back onto its feet.

"Get up onto its back," I urged, and she did, climbing up and up as the colossus raised up onto its feet again. It tried rolling its shoulders beneath us, attempting to shake us off, but we held fast, crawling over the undulating flesh and fur until we reached the creature's head.

"There it is," she said, meaning a glowing glyph, carved into the skin of the monster, just above its brow.

"Get it," I said. "Poke it in the head!"

She drew her sword and raised it high above her, steadying herself, ready to drive the blade into the monster's brain with all the force she could muster...

... and then the game froze. We were stuck in time, sword just beginning its downward thrust, the colossus in mid-bellow below us.

"Shit!" the Muse shouted. "What the hell?"

"Wow," I said. "Talk about bad timing. That's never happened before."

"Well, crap," she said. "Reset the damn thing. We just figured out how to kill it, I'm not going to go to bed until we do."

I pressed the reset button on the Playstation, and the machine went through its normal startup routine: logo popping up on the television screen, chimes over the speakers, but when the game disc spun up to speed, there was a new sound audible, a terrible clacking sound coming from the console's disc tray.

"That doesn't sound good," I said.

"Ignore it," the Muse advised. "I find that ignoring anything that might be a problem with a piece of electronic equipment is the best course of action."

The game started, and she loaded our saved progress, which brought us back to the beginning of the battle with the colossus. Within a couple of minutes, we were back in the same position we'd been in when the game had crashed, riding the head of the monster, on the verge of delivering the killing blow...

...and again the game locked up, this time with the clacking from inside the Playstation increasing in volume and speed.

"Well, dammit!" the Muse yelled.

I quickly pressed the eject button and pulled the disc from the machine. It appeared to be undamaged. I set it aside and removed a different game disc from another case, and put it into the Playstation. Clack-clack-clack-clack... I turned off the machine.

"Muse," I said, "I think we've killed my Playstation."

"No! That can't be. You've only had it for what? A few months?"

"Actually, about five years."

"Well," she said. "Well... well, shit." She frowned. "I guess I can't really bitch about that, then."

"Especially since you weren't the one who bought it in the first place. I guess it's just lived as long as it's going to."

"But what about my game," she insisted.

"I guess you're just going to have to wait until I can get a replacement."

"Tomorrow. You're getting another one tomorrow."

"I don't have the money to get one tomorrow," I said.

"That's what credit cards are for," she said. "If you don't get another one tomorrow, then I'm just going to die. Do you want that on your hands?"

I sighed. "You're a pain in the ass sometimes, you know."

She nodded. "I do. It's a skill. I'm the queen of it. So if you don't get another one tomorrow, I'll die, but first I'll poke you until you go insane." She proceeded to poke me in the side. "Just like this, for hours and hours." Poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke. "Insane." Poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke. "Completely nuts." Poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke-poke

I swatted at her. "Okay, okay! Jesus! I'll go get one! Just knock that off already."

She grinned. "My powers of persuasion are legendary."

"And fucking irritating, too."

She shrugged. "If it works, it works. I have no shame."

"You're lucky you have any teeth right about now."

"You're such a gentleman."

"And you're a pain in my ass."

"True," she said. "But tomorrow I'm going to be killing those colossusses..."

"... Colossi," I said. "The plural is 'colossi.'

"Whatever. I'm going to be killing them, and that's all that matters."

"Your ability to boil life down to what's truly important just amazes me."

"I'm bad," she said, nodding. "I'm nationwide."

Comments

giggleloop wrote:
Aug. 25th, 2006 11:16 am (UTC)
That game is the most amazing thing I've ever seen on a Playstation - and when I saw it, it was being emulated onto Pete's Linux computer, so I didn't even see it at its full glory. It blew my mind.

Also, call Sony if you don't mind waiting, tell 'em your machine shot craps and they might replace it for you. Although the new smaller PS2s are so cheap at this point, you might as well just get a new one. *shrug*
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 25th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
Well, I figure I got five years out of it, and if I just buy a replacement, it'll last me another five... which will be just about the time that I think I can afford the Playstation 3 (I'll buy myself a new computer before I spend $600 on a game console--fuck 'em).

And the one colossus I managed to kill before the Playstation bit the big one was just the coolest thing I've ever seen in a game. That's why I've got to get another one--I want to see what else is coming my way!
giggleloop wrote:
Aug. 25th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I watched Pete play it a bit, it was frigging awesome. I need to ask him if I can borrow it so I can see what it looks like on my HDTV. :D Although I supposed technically a computer monitor is higher resolution, but the emulator he had to use to hook the PS2 up to the PC pretty much negated that - it was pretty cruddy.

Yeah, our original PS2 lasted about 3 years, and then decided to start plowing circular scratches in the back of our games. So we sent it off to Sony and they sent us back a refurbished one. Which lasted us about another year and a half, and then we started to get Disk Read Errors (the equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death, ugh). So then Dave took it apart and "fixed" it, but didn't put the screws back in, in case he had to take it apart again, lol. So we could use it, but we couldn't pick it up or move it at all.

Then it finally just died, and that was around the time we were going to get a PSP, but that whole debachle (sp?), yeah, so we didn't get a PSP, we used all the credit we'd gotten from trading in stuff and just got a new PS2 instead, the smaller kind. And it's been fine so far.

And since then we got a 360, which we use 99% of the time now, and as our DVD player as well. I suspect that using the original PS2 as our DVD player was what killed it the first time around - it's not meant to be used that much. We only use the PS2 now for games that don't come out for 360. :)

And yeah, fuck that, I am NOT paying $600 for a PS3, no matter how impressive it's supposed to be, and I could give a crap about an HD DVD player, I AM NOT REBUYING ALL THE MOVIES I ALREADY OWN, GODDAMNIT!!!! So yeah, I'm just gonna get a Wii. :)

Wheeeeeee!!!! :P
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 25th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't know how it is, but I've been lucky with all of my game systems over the years. The only one that's up and died on me was my old Nintendo 64, which I think just got too gunked up with dust and dirt and whatnot to read the cartridges anymore. So I just ended up buying a replacement one, a Pokemon edition, actually, because it was on sale for $40 (!) brand new... I had to have something to play Perfect Dark with, which remains my all time favorite game--I can play it in my head, which I'm doing right now as we speak, because I'm a total dork.

I do ache for an Xbox 360, but I'm at least more patient these days, and so that'll wait until next year sometime, because there are more pressing needs to be had than a new game system in the immediate future. I'm expecting this laptop to probably want to take a dive before too long (since my extended warrenty ran out in May), and that'll be expensive to replace, since it's a Mac and all. Same with the iPod. Same with the car.

I sound like such a consumer, don't I?
mehndi_chick wrote:
Aug. 25th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
One day, the World of Paul and Muse will be published in a chapbook.
I'm thinking Booker Prize, or maybe even PEN/Faulkner Award.
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 25th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Okay, now you're just dreaming!

Keep that up ;)
mehndi_chick wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
Haha! :)
I have faith.
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
I like the way you think :)

Let's keep that up!
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
Did I mention that we should keep it up?

I'm redundant tonight :P
tuff517 wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Hi. I like you. I watched some Bill Hicks [finally].
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 04:49 am (UTC)
Hi. I like you back. Notice how I keep coming back, after prolonged absences.

Bill Hicks likes you, too. He told me over the spirit phone. Creepy, hmm?
tuff517 wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)
I do notice and I'm happy. I'm glad Bill Hicks likes me too. I'm not opposed to doing the nasty with ghosts. I don't think that counts as infidelity.
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
No, I think you're in the clear on that one, at least in my book.

And with any luck I'll stick around a while this time. Hell, I've got a permanent account, so it's the least that I can do.
tuff517 wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
Do it for the children. Do it for the little three-legged, deaf, one-eyed animals. Or the primordial dwarf children.
king_cool_paul wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2006 11:36 am (UTC)
Whatever drugs you're on, I want some.

Share the wealth, darlin'.

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