Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Two cousins, one videogame, lots of laughs, little bursts of shameless fun...

It is no earth shattering secret that I was born in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. Thessaloniki (Salonica for short) is where most of my mother's family is and I do grasp any occassion I get to visit the place. I am lucky to have close bonds with my relatives over there but as is the case with relatives, I have people I like more than others. One of the unfortunate suckers I am really close to is my cousin Thomas(for the rest of the world my name is Christos in case you have been stranded in a deserted island for the last 50 posts). With Thomas we share a common superpower of sorts... I can understand what he thinks before he says it and vice versa and it is more often than not that we end up laughing like madmen in family reunions with the rest of the family looking bewildered and puzzled. Yeah, I know, two "laughing mutants" stranded in a world that fears and hates them for laughing for no apparent reason. Life is fun like that , you see:)

One of the highlights of me staying in Thomas' place is when we dig out of an enormous pile of dust and spider webbing his trusty heroic SEGA Saturn console and we play two player sessions of a "SEGA made" game called "Athlete Kings" or "Decathlete" depending on region of release. This bloody game does exactly what it's title suggests(make us Kings of the athlete's world maybe? Okay, that was beyond lame...LOL). Essentially, "this exercise in pointlessly wasting time" pits two moronic gamers against eachother for a series of 10 track and field events with the ultimate goal being to outclass your opponent, gather more total points and make him cower in humiliation when he is beaten (
yeah, I know I am a good sport like that, LOL). The funny thing about this game that makes me write this post is the method of controlling your sportsman in each event. This is a combination of good finger tapping coordination, stupidity infused concentration and some luck. More importantly though, it fuels a lot of laughs between me and my cousin because of the absurdity of it all:) Let me elaborate...

Absurdity filled post coming up... please select your character:)

100 metres dash:
This event requires that we press two buttons in fast sequence and in coordination to make our athlete run faster than the opponent. Problem is you really need to do it fast so more often than not we (as in the cousins) end up more tired than the athletes on the screen(I am sure in one of the upcoming sessions someone is going to lose a finger or something...oh the passion...oh the commitment...oh the pain...LOL) . What is really funny though is, because each one of us sees the other one being "tortured " by this arduous control method (to the point of having his face turning red and fuming), we both start laughing uncontrollably which kind of fucks up our record times to be honest. I always have a need to empty my bladder while doing this event I don't know it must be a defense mechanism of sorts against excess laughter:) Come to think of it maybe I do this intentionally to some subconcious level. I mean, the more I want to go to the toilet, the faster I am going to make my athlete run, thus the faster the race will be over before I visit the toilet... :) You know my deductive logic is too good for this plane of existence sometimes LOL!!!

Long Jump: This event requires good tapping fingers coordination to power up the sprint of your athlete, then at the opportune moment you press the jump button at the right angle and you see your athlete fly or eat dirt, depending on your timing. I have to say, whenever I choose the Japanish dude (there is a selection of characters before one begin's to play) he always ends up being disqualified even if the jump is perfect. This is a bug of the game but being the uber conspiracy theorist that I am I do share the notion that it could be an intentional glitch. I don't know, maybe to punish the Japanese for unleashing the Pokemon and/or Yu-Gi-Oh foolishness upon us, who knows...(and I do know that SEGA is a Japanese company so it could be some self induced punishment, a gaming sepuku of sorts...)

Shot Put: You push the button and if you time it right the athlete throws the sphere to the great unknown. A nice relaxing event in which even a comatose patient has a chance of excelling. Yep, it is THAT easy:) I always think of existential stuff when participating in this event, like what I am going to eat for lunch, if my girlfriend is "doing the nasty" with someone else, when will I be able to buy a PS3 without having to sell my body, you know, trivial things like that:)

Something tells me my readers have already assumed this position and will start running away from me to survive the absurdity of this post any moment now...:)

High Jump: High Jump used to be an event of immense frustration for the both of us. We were running pressing the buttons in quick succession, timing our jump right, arching our bodies to overcome the bar.... only to bring it down with us with a subtle touch of our athlete's ass or an overstretched foot. After dissecting the event to its basic components in our gaming labs and continuously watching the bloody tutorial of "how to do things in the event" until our eyes bled, this event was conquered by DP and his equally nutcase cousin. Now we are jumping over the bar like there is no tomorrow muhahaha!!! For a moment there I felt so exhilarated, I sensed my madness subsiding (yeah THAT is going to ever happen, LOL)...

400 metre race: As gaming fates dictate it, DP is better in some events and his cousin in others... With time and repeated playing rounds, Personal Best records are shattered and World Records are put to shame. Still this one event is beyond reach... Once, I selected the bloody Japanese dude, he ran representing the DP awesomeness to the fullest and made an amazing time... That was it, regardless how much I sweat, how much my cousin swears, how much I fart to give the guy an extra boost, how much my cousin prays to all beings of higher existence... there is no way to even come close to the record the Japanese guy made under my command that fateful evening... I guess life is full of disappointments... LOL

Athlete Kings in a heartbeat so to speak:) Don't you just love that Japanese commentary?It makes the experience of watching this vid that much more worthwhile, LOL!

110 Metre Hurdles: The trick to this event is to not demolish everything in your passing but to jump above it with grace and some killer "pants ripping" stretches. When it works, the racing is very competitive and does provide a certain degree of gaming satisfaction to complete that event without having swept clean every single obstacle on the course. When it fails though, and you hit the first obstacle, you are royally f...d! Until you recover your sprinting/jumping rhythm, all obstacles have been magically embedded to your belly since you are not jumping over them but passing through them( I guess the notion "when you cant beat them, join them" never rang more true, LOL)... A lot of crazed laughters ensue when that happens, I assure you...:)

Discus Throw: You rotate the control pad, your athlete rotates with it and then you release and the discus goes flying like "a poor man's" UFO. Problem was that this game was originally designed for the Arcades which means there was a stick to rotate in mind, while in the Saturn there is only a level cross shaped D-pad! Have no fear! Due to a combination of DP's ingenuity and a lot of gaming frustration, the solution was delivered by means of a pen that we stick in the middle of the D-pad cross so that it provides some leverage for rotation. Neat eh? Well, if you take out the fact that a lot of pens have fallen heroically by breaking during this "rotating symphony of discus throwing" it has been the greatest invention mankind has ever known apart from my blog of course:)

If there was ever a time in my life when I was acceptably sane, it all came crashing down when attempting to do decently in the Pole Vault event for the gazillionth time!!!

Pole Vault: Ok people, this event is our "Nemesis" of the game so to speak. No matter how many times we have watched the tutorial of "how to do things", no matter how many approaches we have tried to do decently in this event... we have reached an absolutely shameful and frustrating dead end with this. We just don't get it! This is either a design flaw of the developers during the conversion of the game from the Arcade to the Console format or we are so thick as individuals that when we see zebra crossings on the street, we start sniffing the lines instead of crossing them... This event is like a big black void in our gaming experience and more often than not one of us has stopped the other from commiting suicide from frustration because of failing in it... Gaming gods have mercy on us!!!

Javelin Throw: This event is where the DPs are separated from the boys:). Yeah, I so rock in this, if I rocked any harder Jimmy Hendrix would have been erased from the pantheon of rock history in an instant, LOL. The level of my awesomeness in Javelin throw can only be compared to how good looking I am or to how every single psychiatrist in Greece wants to do a PHD on me. Yep, I am that good!!! LOL. Ah, I can just imagine myself throwing the Javelin in the China Olympics in 2008 in full DP outfit and the crowd cheering "You are da man!!! Go DP go!!!"... It would be a moment of madness to transcend sports history for the ages, I am telling you:) Hey, a guy can dream right? LOL

1500 Metre Race: Ok, this event is boring... maintaining your rhythm throughout the cheesy music that plays and some mindless A.I. controlled drones that shove your athlete's ass left and right... This event is all about the shoving... and the awesomeness of blocking someone's path whilst he gives you a push to victory.... What was that? This comment doesn't make any sense you say? Welcome to my world people! LOL

"Fly baby fly for DP!!!" Oops...Did I say that out loud? Oh! My defiance for anything sane and semi - coherent knows no boundaries it seems, LOL!

At the end of all events a total sum of points separates the winners from the "whiners". Both cousins' fingers ache, we chat, we laugh, we tease eachother and we are ready to get off our lazy asses and do something more meaningful and creative with our time.... right after another round of Athlete Kings....LOL!

Look at me Ma!!! I won!!! I just look so awesome in all my leotard wearing, afro parading glory!!!

Till I break the mystery of gaming (and one of the great mysteries of the Universe as a whole) that is "doing decently on Pole Vault and living to brag about it" I will persist with this madness... Both me and my cousin, and probably our future offspring should we perish in our vain attempt to write another glorious page of stupidity in our Athlete Kings' scrapbook:)

Long post this one ladies and gentlemen but I laughed a lot while writing it and I hope you enjoyed the ride as well.

Till next time then...

Some people have way too much free time in their hands... (that is not me playing by the way, lol, cool little bug that one resulting in the rolling racer, heh)


Anonymous said...

Athlete's King sounds fun! I liked the high jump :D lol!

MOFO-3- said...

Damn you BRO! Your post was awesome! You've described the events so good that I thought I was right in the same place and played together one more time that such perfect game!Moreover, you've "opened my zest" on playing some of the Athlete Kings game and kick your ass totally :P! The record is yours and I got to believe that I'll be the one to beat it in the end!
We have so much fun with this game DP that all the other Saturn games have passed over! Really, he had so much fun with NBA live 98,why don't we play that?
The answer it that Athlete Kings is so so so much fun than any other game we've ever played together!
It is true that DP is a MASTER MASTER in javelin through! Damn he is that good!!
Thanks for these Athlete Kings moments bro!

Calista*Was*Here said...

You and your cousin had great time; I could sense that fun and laugh...

As for pole vault, you should practice jumping over the nearest ditch.
That could also help your muscles...:)

Toilet urge...make sure that your urine smells attractive:))))

Shan said...

lol, you're too old school :P

Get up with the times, we're in the age of actual computer games that needs $500 graphic chips to run...

i mean, video games, pffft :P

but hey, i played king of fighters and street fighters!

Deadpoolite said...


It is good fun and a lot of laughter accompanies each session, every single time:)

@mofo -3-

I think my post describes pretty vividly our addiction with this game. We laugh, we play, we laugh some more... isn't life beautiful or what:)


My urine is as attractive as the rest of me....LOL. Oh that was sick alright but you asked for it:)

My 'real life' pole vaulting skills are more probable to drive me to an early grave rather than a new world record trust me:)


Dude don't mess with the classics. I am getting a Wii this Christmass and probably an xBOX360 in a year or two (probably in 2009 to play resident evil 5). Next gen consoles are highly overrated at the moment(PS3 has no decent games yet).

As for the PC upgrading thing, I think it is a constant waste of money, time and resources in general. I am not a fan of PC gaming, it is too repetitive genre wise for my liking:)

Athlete Kings is a chunk of 'gameplay prevailing over graphics' goodness. It is just so much fun you know!

Jay Cam said...

lol that last pic with the leotard and stuck was a little freaky..

and yes it was a big secret that you were born in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. see what i had to do? i had to copy and past that whole thing cause I couldn't spell it!

sounds like u had fun though! Xbox 360 for life!

Professor Xavier said...

Somehow I didn't really see Deadpool using "lol". Wade has clearly grown as a person.