30. Pac-Man

Pac-Man
Atari 2600
1981

This is a shitty port. This port is so bad it is blamed as one of the key reasons for the video game industry’s 1983 total crash and burn. And as someone who has played it ever, I see their point. The real Pac-Man’s brilliance is based in an elegant simplicity, so you’d think the jerkholes porting the game wouldn’t be able to screw up the game as badly as they did. To have a game this bad named after something so good and pure should be a criminal act. 

How bad does this port suck? True Story: When I was seven I liked to play Trivial Pursuit with the grown-ups in my family. Since Trivial Pursuit questions are written for Baby Boomers and I was a seven-year in 1990, these games were pretty frustrating ordeals. God, being seven sucked. 

At any rate, though, one night my team got the big question: “How many points is a dot worth in Pac-Man?” This was my big seven year old moment. This was my chance to meaningfully contribute to the team. “one point!” I confidently declared. 

“Wrong,” I was told. “The correct answer is ten points.” The card wanted the point value from the real Pac-Man, not the still-birth of a port I played on my Atari. 

That’s how worthless this game is. Pac-Man 2600 sucks so bad it makes you lose other games.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

30. Pac-Man

Pac-Man
Atari 2600
1981

This is a shitty port. This port is so bad it is blamed as one of the key reasons for the video game industry’s 1983 total crash and burn. And as someone who has played it ever, I see their point. The real Pac-Man’s brilliance is based in an elegant simplicity, so you’d think the jerkholes porting the game wouldn’t be able to screw up the game as badly as they did. To have a game this bad named after something so good and pure should be a criminal act. 

How bad does this port suck? True Story: When I was seven I liked to play Trivial Pursuit with the grown-ups in my family. Since Trivial Pursuit questions are written for Baby Boomers and I was a seven-year in 1990, these games were pretty frustrating ordeals. God, being seven sucked. 

At any rate, though, one night my team got the big question: “How many points is a dot worth in Pac-Man?” This was my big seven year old moment. This was my chance to meaningfully contribute to the team. “one point!” I confidently declared. 

“Wrong,” I was told. “The correct answer is ten points.” The card wanted the point value from the real Pac-Man, not the still-birth of a port I played on my Atari. 

That’s how worthless this game is. Pac-Man 2600 sucks so bad it makes you lose other games.

29. Ms. Pac Man

Ms. Pac Man
Atari 2600
1982

For a while, shortly after high school, I’d spend most of my evenings with my best friend, Zac, at Peg’s Corner, our local greasy spoon. We would eat our fried food and drink our coffee and bullshit for hours, night after night. Film, politics, comic books, dipshit philosophy. Zac and I could entertain ourselves talking about nothing and everything indefinitely. 

Peg’s was a glorious hole in the wall,   where you’d see the same skuzzy, disreputable folks on a nightly basis. Most of those folks showed up after the bars closed, because Peg’s was open 24 hours, except for a few hours on Sundays, a detail we never failed to forget.  It was the sort of place where the waitresses wouldn’t even have to take your order, because your order never changed. (The “A Club” for Zac, the “Old Standby” for me.) There was a familial atmosphere to Peg’s.  It was perfectly fine for Elbow, the toothless guy who didn’t come back from Vietnam quite right, and a permanent Peg’s fixture, to join your table, uninvited, to talk to about the value of talking cars. It was that sort of place.

Peg’s also had a Ms. Pac Man machine in the back. It was a “cocktail cabinet” which basically meant it was a table with a video game inside it. It had the dip switches set so that Ms. Pac Man moved as fast as possible, while the ghost moved as slowly, making the game much easier.  You could get a lot of mileage out of a single quarter on that machine.

Our sit-down, easy-mode Ms. Pac Man machine was the best arcade machine ever, and we played the hell out of it. Zac was only just slightly better than me, but consistently so. .It felt like OUR machine.  We had the high scores,  and we knew its quirks.  We knew which side had a better joystick, and how to compensate for the crappy one. 

Ms. Pac Man is the video game dearest to my heart because to me will it will always symbolize late-night coffee and teenage bullshit sessions.  A few years later, Peg’s is gone,  I no longer see Zac nearly as often as I should, and I have no idea what happened to that Ms. Pac Man machine. I miss the hell out of all three. 

Oh, the Atari port is pretty serviceable.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

29. Ms. Pac Man

Ms. Pac Man
Atari 2600
1982

For a while, shortly after high school, I’d spend most of my evenings with my best friend, Zac, at Peg’s Corner, our local greasy spoon. We would eat our fried food and drink our coffee and bullshit for hours, night after night. Film, politics, comic books, dipshit philosophy. Zac and I could entertain ourselves talking about nothing and everything indefinitely. 

Peg’s was a glorious hole in the wall,   where you’d see the same skuzzy, disreputable folks on a nightly basis. Most of those folks showed up after the bars closed, because Peg’s was open 24 hours, except for a few hours on Sundays, a detail we never failed to forget.  It was the sort of place where the waitresses wouldn’t even have to take your order, because your order never changed. (The “A Club” for Zac, the “Old Standby” for me.) There was a familial atmosphere to Peg’s.  It was perfectly fine for Elbow, the toothless guy who didn’t come back from Vietnam quite right, and a permanent Peg’s fixture, to join your table, uninvited, to talk to about the value of talking cars. It was that sort of place.

Peg’s also had a Ms. Pac Man machine in the back. It was a “cocktail cabinet” which basically meant it was a table with a video game inside it. It had the dip switches set so that Ms. Pac Man moved as fast as possible, while the ghost moved as slowly, making the game much easier.  You could get a lot of mileage out of a single quarter on that machine.

Our sit-down, easy-mode Ms. Pac Man machine was the best arcade machine ever, and we played the hell out of it. Zac was only just slightly better than me, but consistently so. .It felt like OUR machine.  We had the high scores,  and we knew its quirks.  We knew which side had a better joystick, and how to compensate for the crappy one. 

Ms. Pac Man is the video game dearest to my heart because to me will it will always symbolize late-night coffee and teenage bullshit sessions.  A few years later, Peg’s is gone,  I no longer see Zac nearly as often as I should, and I have no idea what happened to that Ms. Pac Man machine. I miss the hell out of all three. 

Oh, the Atari port is pretty serviceable.

28. Missile Command

Missile Command
Atari 2600
1981

If I were the sort to admit that it was possible for a a port of a trackball-based arcade game to be a good game, despite being a joystick-based Atari game, I would probably give Missile Command those props. However, the reason I own a ridiculous SlikStik arcade controller complete with five joysticks, dozens of buttons, a spinner, and a trackball is so that I need never make that sort of concession.

If I want to play Missile Command, I will play proper Missile Command, dammit.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

28. Missile Command

Missile Command
Atari 2600
1981

If I were the sort to admit that it was possible for a a port of a trackball-based arcade game to be a good game, despite being a joystick-based Atari game, I would probably give Missile Command those props. However, the reason I own a ridiculous SlikStik arcade controller complete with five joysticks, dozens of buttons, a spinner, and a trackball is so that I need never make that sort of concession.

If I want to play Missile Command, I will play proper Missile Command, dammit.

27. Mario Bros.

Mario Bros. 
Atari 2600
1983

Mario, no longer a carpenter, is now a plumber working with his brother Luigi. Together, they are trying to rid the sewers of turtles, crabs, and really large flies. When they kill a pest, someone flushes some money down the pipes, and the two brothers scrabble for the money like pigs.

Like Mario’s first game, Donkey Kong, this game takes a blue collar job and exaggerates it into a fun gameplay scenario. Unlike Donkey Kong, this game this game has no giant gorilla. Mario Bros. is one of those games that is well constructed, and perfectly playable, yet ultimately kinda boring. Ain’t nothing super about this game.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

27. Mario Bros.

Mario Bros. 
Atari 2600
1983

Mario, no longer a carpenter, is now a plumber working with his brother Luigi. Together, they are trying to rid the sewers of turtles, crabs, and really large flies. When they kill a pest, someone flushes some money down the pipes, and the two brothers scrabble for the money like pigs.

Like Mario’s first game, Donkey Kong, this game takes a blue collar job and exaggerates it into a fun gameplay scenario. Unlike Donkey Kong, this game this game has no giant gorilla. Mario Bros. is one of those games that is well constructed, and perfectly playable, yet ultimately kinda boring. Ain’t nothing super about this game.

26. Laser Blast

Laser Blast
Atari 2600
1981

When you think of a typical video game from the Atari era (otherwise know as “the arcade era”, depending on your perspective), the scenario that comes to mind likely involve invaders from space trying to kill you, if not your entire planet. Or you think of Pac-Man. Or Donkey Kong. Or maybe Frogger. However, my point is that back in the day, there were an ass-load of games based around planetary defense.

Laser Blast inverts that traditional setup, by putting the player in charge of the invaders. You control a flying saucer tasked with blasting planetary defense cannons with what I presume be lasers. The game gets mad style points for this clever switcheroo, but fails to score any gameplay points or fun points. Those are the more important points to score. 



Blasting things with lasers should always be exciting, but not in this game. The action is far too easy, and dull to boot. Each screen consists of the exact same scenario: you try to destroy three cannons before they destroy you. This is very simple and surprisingly unfun.

In a nice touch, if you are shot down, you can control your descent, perhaps taking out a cannon as you die. So the game gets further style points, but in a game painfully lacking complexity, variance, or challenge, who really gives a crap?

Today, I played a single game of Laser Blast for about half an hour before my Atari crashed. This may have been the only time in my life that I have been grateful to have a game interrupted by spontaneous hardware failure.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

26. Laser Blast

Laser Blast
Atari 2600
1981

When you think of a typical video game from the Atari era (otherwise know as “the arcade era”, depending on your perspective), the scenario that comes to mind likely involve invaders from space trying to kill you, if not your entire planet. Or you think of Pac-Man. Or Donkey Kong. Or maybe Frogger. However, my point is that back in the day, there were an ass-load of games based around planetary defense.

Laser Blast inverts that traditional setup, by putting the player in charge of the invaders. You control a flying saucer tasked with blasting planetary defense cannons with what I presume be lasers. The game gets mad style points for this clever switcheroo, but fails to score any gameplay points or fun points. Those are the more important points to score. 



Blasting things with lasers should always be exciting, but not in this game. The action is far too easy, and dull to boot. Each screen consists of the exact same scenario: you try to destroy three cannons before they destroy you. This is very simple and surprisingly unfun.

In a nice touch, if you are shot down, you can control your descent, perhaps taking out a cannon as you die. So the game gets further style points, but in a game painfully lacking complexity, variance, or challenge, who really gives a crap?

Today, I played a single game of Laser Blast for about half an hour before my Atari crashed. This may have been the only time in my life that I have been grateful to have a game interrupted by spontaneous hardware failure.

25. Krull

Krull
Atari 2600
1983

Krull is a video game based on a movie that I have never seen, also named Krull. Everything I know about the movie is based on playing this game. This is the plot of the story, as I have interpreted it: 

Krull is a dude about to get married.  Unfortunately, before they are wed, his bride is kidnapped by spear-wielding knights.  The motivation of the knights is left unclear.  Maybe they are just lonely.

At any rate, Krull jumps on his horse, chasing after the knights and his bride, but he gets lost.  Lacking direction, he starts drifting aimlessly, collecting swastikas along the way.  if questioned, he’d tell you that he’s no racist, he just finds the trappings of Nazism to compelling. 

After collecting several pieces of fascist memorabilia, Krull almost gets eaten by a giant spider, but runs away only to be killed by some big dude because Krull doesn’t know how to fight. The end.  It is sort of like Romper Stomper, where it is left ambiguous whether it has a pro-Nazi or anti-Nazi message.  

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

25. Krull

Krull
Atari 2600
1983

Krull is a video game based on a movie that I have never seen, also named Krull. Everything I know about the movie is based on playing this game. This is the plot of the story, as I have interpreted it: 

Krull is a dude about to get married.  Unfortunately, before they are wed, his bride is kidnapped by spear-wielding knights.  The motivation of the knights is left unclear.  Maybe they are just lonely.

At any rate, Krull jumps on his horse, chasing after the knights and his bride, but he gets lost.  Lacking direction, he starts drifting aimlessly, collecting swastikas along the way.  if questioned, he’d tell you that he’s no racist, he just finds the trappings of Nazism to compelling. 

After collecting several pieces of fascist memorabilia, Krull almost gets eaten by a giant spider, but runs away only to be killed by some big dude because Krull doesn’t know how to fight. The end.  It is sort of like Romper Stomper, where it is left ambiguous whether it has a pro-Nazi or anti-Nazi message.  

24. Keystone Kapers

Keystone Kapers
Atari 2600
1983

Huh. This is the third platformer I’ve played in a row, which wouldn’t be weird if I were playing NES games, but these are Atari games, and Atari is not really suited toward platforming. It is suited for Space Invaders and I guess Frogger. Platforming is for more mature systems, systems able to handle both hopping AND bopping. The Atari should stick to shooting things in space, with the occasional foray into frog sex.

But for all that, some times you gotta say “screw all that noise, I’m going to make a goddamn platformer.” It is the rebels with that sort of dangerous attitude that change the world. One of those rebels gave us Keystone Kapers.

In Keystone Kapers, you play a cop chasing a robber through a multi-story department store. The cop is much faster than the robber, but between he and his prey is an increasing number of unlikely obstacles, including, but not limited to, shopping carts and remote control airplanes. You have to catch up with the robber before he gets to the roof and escapes somehow. Maybe he’s got a buddy with a helicopter waiting for him? 

This chasing scenario is freaking great and leaves me wondering why it hasn’t been used in tons and tons of platformers. The game has a nice progression of difficulty starting out stupidly easy, steadily progressing into the realm of stupidly hard. 

My only complaint with the game is that it toys with providing alternate routes, with the inclusion of escalators and elevators, but no matter how many times you begin the hunt anew, the store layout never changes, and there is only one “correct” path. That’s a small quibble in an otherwise fantastic game.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

24. Keystone Kapers

Keystone Kapers
Atari 2600
1983

Huh. This is the third platformer I’ve played in a row, which wouldn’t be weird if I were playing NES games, but these are Atari games, and Atari is not really suited toward platforming. It is suited for Space Invaders and I guess Frogger. Platforming is for more mature systems, systems able to handle both hopping AND bopping. The Atari should stick to shooting things in space, with the occasional foray into frog sex.

But for all that, some times you gotta say “screw all that noise, I’m going to make a goddamn platformer.” It is the rebels with that sort of dangerous attitude that change the world. One of those rebels gave us Keystone Kapers.

In Keystone Kapers, you play a cop chasing a robber through a multi-story department store. The cop is much faster than the robber, but between he and his prey is an increasing number of unlikely obstacles, including, but not limited to, shopping carts and remote control airplanes. You have to catch up with the robber before he gets to the roof and escapes somehow. Maybe he’s got a buddy with a helicopter waiting for him? 

This chasing scenario is freaking great and leaves me wondering why it hasn’t been used in tons and tons of platformers. The game has a nice progression of difficulty starting out stupidly easy, steadily progressing into the realm of stupidly hard. 

My only complaint with the game is that it toys with providing alternate routes, with the inclusion of escalators and elevators, but no matter how many times you begin the hunt anew, the store layout never changes, and there is only one “correct” path. That’s a small quibble in an otherwise fantastic game.

Crossing the picket line

Stephanie told me once that I should talk about myself on LJ more
often. In response, I started writing about Atari games. I’m just
not that diaristic, but this is going to be one of those posts about
feelings and crap.

On Wednesday, my beautiful, wonderful girlfriend gave birth to a
little girl who is in every way perfect. The baby, Riley, is just
amazing.

The whole thing is a little weird, because I’m not the father, so
there aren’t really established social rules for where I fit in.

About five months ago I started seeing a girl who was quite pregnant.
It just sort of happened. She was great, and despite the fact that my
desire to never have children is loud public record, the fact that she
was going to have a child never seemed like a reason to not get
tangled up in with her.

My girlfriend is funny and smart and tough and reads more than I do.
She’s beautiful and sexy. She calls me on my bullshit. And folks,
she’s going to make a great mom.

A conversation I’ve had with nurses more than once this week:
NURSE: What relation are you?
ME: I’m the boyfriend.
NURSE: Oh! So you’re the father.
ME: Ah, no.

I’m no traditionalist. I don’t care what people think about me, and I
saw reason not to fall for this girl happened to be “with child” at
the time. But the act of having to explain to people that my
girlfriend was going to have a child, but the child isn’t mine, it is
something that has made me feel uncomfortable.

I think it is because I’m not sure how I’m going to fit into this
little girl’s life. She’s got a dad, and even if she didn’t she sure
as hell wouldn’t want me as one. And what happens if things “don’t
work out” with me and her mother?

What’s with the LJ tradition of using code names and workaround to
talk about your S/O? It’s dumb. My girlfriend’s name is Brandise.

So, my life is at this big deal weird turning point. And that’s good.

It is good in the abstract, because I believe life is best when you
are travelling uncharted territory, and it is good it the specific
because Brandise makes me very happy and her little girl is a miracle.

So, there’s some random thoughts about what’s what. I promise I’ll
post some pictures tonight, and also an Atari game review, for those
of you that prefer that sort of thing.

Tuesday Pollin

Last week’s poll determined that two thirds of you believed the protagonist of Atari’s Haunted House to be a talking wad of rancid ground beef, while none of you accepted the premise put forth by the game’s manual that the character was a dude holding a match. The game is much more entertaining if you accept this premise.

23. Kangaroo

Kangaroo
1983
2600

In Kangaroo you play a rabbit trying to climb ladders to reach another rabbit, while avoiding hacky sacks thrown by mutant fish-squids.

This is a blatant attempt to rip off Donkey Kong, and good on them. The Atari Kangaroo is a much better game than the Atari DK. It has more interesting enemies, it has more stages, and it has additional depth with the addition of some slick new mechanics like ducking and punching.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

23. Kangaroo

Kangaroo
1983
2600

In Kangaroo you play a rabbit trying to climb ladders to reach another rabbit, while avoiding hacky sacks thrown by mutant fish-squids.

This is a blatant attempt to rip off Donkey Kong, and good on them. The Atari Kangaroo is a much better game than the Atari DK. It has more interesting enemies, it has more stages, and it has additional depth with the addition of some slick new mechanics like ducking and punching.

22. Jungle Hunt

Jungle Hunt
1983
Atari 2600

In Jungle Hunt, you play a jungle explorer who is running through a jungle from right to left.  During the course of the game, you swing on vines, avoid crocodiles, and jump over rolling obstacles.  I approve of all of these actions, and I believe that these gameplay elements can be combined in a solid platforming game, even given the limitations of the Atari’s hardware.  Jungle Hunt is not that game.  Jungle Hunt is just unmemorable and slightly sucky.  

 

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

22. Jungle Hunt

Jungle Hunt
1983
Atari 2600

In Jungle Hunt, you play a jungle explorer who is running through a jungle from right to left.  During the course of the game, you swing on vines, avoid crocodiles, and jump over rolling obstacles.  I approve of all of these actions, and I believe that these gameplay elements can be combined in a solid platforming game, even given the limitations of the Atari’s hardware.  Jungle Hunt is not that game.  Jungle Hunt is just unmemorable and slightly sucky.  

 

An end to movie madness

This last go-round we get a last minute ID by amanofhats:

“Youse fancypants, all of ya’s.”
“No, it stayed a hat. And no, I didn’t chase it.” — Millers Crossing

This means that 2 of my movies stumped you bums.  It just so happen that they were by far the nerdiest movies on my list

“I don’t care if you walked through a mountain in Texas! This is New
Jersey! When you play my joint,you’re just another act.”
“I don’t know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A
girl named ‘John’? “
These are from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

and

Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I
didn’t see this coming. I didn’t count on being happy.”
“Jujitsu is no joke!”
These are from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, my favorite Batman feature.  

This makes the final scorecard as follows:

bluestraggler- 3 pts
mshades – 2 pts
ddean – 2 pts
ethangreer – 2 pts
blondietheblonde – 1pt
tritium – 1 pt
tessaisinsane – 1 pt
amanofhats – 1 pt

Straggler, I’ll try to have your ridiculous yet worthless prize sent to you this weekend. 

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

An end to movie madness

This last go-round we get a last minute ID by amanofhats:

“Youse fancypants, all of ya’s.”
“No, it stayed a hat. And no, I didn’t chase it.” — Millers Crossing

This means that 2 of my movies stumped you bums.  It just so happen that they were by far the nerdiest movies on my list

“I don’t care if you walked through a mountain in Texas! This is New
Jersey! When you play my joint, you’re just another act.”
“I don’t know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A
girl named ‘John’? “
These are from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

and

Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I
didn’t see this coming. I didn’t count on being happy.”
“Jujitsu is no joke!”
These are from my Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, my favorite Batman feature.  

This makes the final scorecard as follows:

bluestraggler- 3 pts
mshades – 2 pts
ddean – 2 pts
ethangreer – 2 pts
blondietheblonde – 1pt
tritium – 1 pt
tessaisinsane – 1 pt
amanofhats – 1 pt

Straggler, I’ll try to have your ridiculous yet worthless prize sent to you this weekend. 

Powered by clams

Oh my goddess.

I found this at the grocery store today. 

Beer + Tomato juice + clam + lime + salt + “certified color”!!

I had to know this beer.  And having gotten to know her, I can say that this is the strangest thing I’ve ever drank.  It is like drinking spaghetti that gets you drunk.  It is a hell of a thing.

21. Haunted House

Haunted House
Atari 2600
1981

Once, long ago, when I was young and not yet scarred by games such as Fire Fighter, and that flying game, the worst video game I had ever played was Haunted House. I’ve come a long way since those innocent days, but this game is still terrible, and I still hate the survival horror genre.

20. Grand Prix

Grand Prix
Atari 2600
1982



Grand Prix uses the same game engine as Barnstorming, so clearly we’re looking at garbage, but it still serves a useful counterexample to showcase everything Barnstorming did wrong. Instead of flying a crop duster, you are driving a racecar. Instead of aimlessly flying over barns, you are trying to win a race. Instead of trying to avoid geese and windmills, you are trying to avoid colliding with other racecars. 

I don’t wish to be unclear; Grand Prix is one of dullest racing games you can play. However, compared to its airborne cousin, it seems like a nonstop thrill ride. Such is the evil power of Barnstorming.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

20. Grand Prix

Grand Prix
Atari 2600
1982



Grand Prix uses the same game engine as Barnstorming, so clearly we’re looking at garbage, but it still serves a useful counterexample to showcase everything Barnstorming did wrong. Instead of flying a crop duster, you are driving a racecar. Instead of aimlessly flying over barns, you are trying to win a race. Instead of trying to avoid geese and windmills, you are trying to avoid colliding with other racecars. 

I don’t wish to be unclear; Grand Prix is one of dullest racing games you can play. However, compared to its airborne cousin, it seems like a nonstop thrill ride. Such is the evil power of Barnstorming.

More quotes attributed

ddean is a lover and dreamer and so he was able to place these quotes:
“He’s a little like a turkey. Yeah, a little like a turkey. But not much.”
“That is a four foot prune!” –The Muppet Movie

tssa_is_insane knows that Denton, USA is the Home of Happiness:
“I detect a note of reticence. Are you, perhaps, one of those amongst
us who feel this emotive form of presentation is overly manipulative?”
“The sun never sets on those who ride into it.” –Shock Treatment

ethan_greer got two this go round, one for a movie I only saw at his urging:
“Look at that guy! He’s got that sissy, stringy, music thing.” — The
Emperor’s New Groove
“Sorry, Shorty.” — The Good The Bad and The Ugly

tritium gives a highbrow response for a middlebrow movie:
“Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, dude, at
least it’s an ethos”. — The Big Lebowski

And mshades inconceivably gets a point for knowing this one:
“Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?…Morons.” — The Princess Bride.

Three movies remain. Two paired quotes now represent each:

“Youse fancypants, all of ya’s.”
“No, it stayed a hat. And no, I didn’t chase it.”

“Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I
didn’t see this coming. I didn’t count on being happy.”
“Jujitsu is no joke!”

“I don’t care if you walked through a mountain in Texas! This is New
Jersey! When you play my joint, you’re just another act.”
“I don’t know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A
girl named ‘John’? ”

There is still time to wrest first prize from Straggler. And there is a prize.