For all intents and purposes, Game Center CX is a show that lives and dies by editing. Watching a guy try and beat an old video game all day sounds terrible, but when it’s cut down to an hour-long show, keeping it lively and artificially dramatic with added music and narration, well, that’s what makes it accessible, enjoyable, and generally brilliant.
Regardless, doing it live every once in a while has almost become commonplace for the show. The very first live show, an onstage presentation in December 2006 for the show’s first “Fan Appreciation Day.” Previously, Arino had attempted to get through Mighty Bomb Jack from Tecmo, but the game’s increasing numbers of unpredictable enemies just plain overwhelmed him. He officially gave up then, but re-attempted the game for the stage show, aided physically and emotionally by then-AD Inoue. Watching a comedy movie with a theater full of other people is usually pretty enjoyable, as is a regular episode of GCCX, but even watching a recorded show of a room full of people watching Arino trying to beat a game as it happened opened up another layer of awesome regarding the show. For those reasons, it became my favorite episode.
The following year, the ante was upped: Arino would attempt to finish Namco’s The Quest of Ki in a three-hour special, live on TV, over Christmas Eve. A contingency plan had already been in place should he not make much progress in three hours, and indeed, the show ended after nine hours, or just a bit after 5:00 AM. With Quest of Ki literally having one annoying main tune to it, and Arino literally spending hours repeating the same parts of levels over and over, the show was the first (ridiculous) taste of what it’s like to actually be Arino, or be in the room with him most of the time. But at the same time, when he finally made a breakthrough, it was like watching the decoding of the human genome: pure joy and pride by proxy. It helped if you liked old video games.
In April 2009, a two-hour live show was scheduled. A much more modest time frame, but this one wasn’t tied to any big challenge before it: Arino would simply try to get as far as he could in Takeshi no Chousenjou, the infamous Famicom game that was also the challenge game on the very first episode of GCCX, but back then, it was a segment cut into mere minutes. Still, two hours with another game that had repetitive music was both torturous yet weirdly enjoyable, as you watched Arino struggle to rise above the game’s inherent crappiness and deliberate dead ends. Unfortunately, the climactic final shooting area proved to be too difficult, and Arino had to mark this one as a failure… but it was, by comparison, all for fun anyway. (As it turned out, Arino continued playing the game beyond the broadcast time, and did end up completing it.)
So, then what? Short of a national bus tour or actual film, Game Center CX has done about all the special events it could for a show with such a following, but also with such a low-rent production to begin with. Apparently, the next step was “more of the same, but better.”
It was Arino who first joked about doing a 24-hour live show, but a joke soon became a real idea, and before long, it was all set to go on August 29, 2009, right at the official end of summer vacation for Japanese youngsters. But this wouldn’t be just a live game marathon, but something more like an actual telethon, with extra segments, special guests, custom T-shirts, and other general fun to be had. A humongous undertaking not just for GCCX, but any TV show. Not to mention a big physical test for Arino, the show’s staff, and the hundred or show lucky fans who would be watching the show several floors below Arino in the fancy Fuji TV Multi Theater, on the big screen, the entire time — the best slumber party ever.
First night | Morning | Afternoon | Second night
With an extra dramatic opening that mimicked the action drama “24,” the eponymous “GCCX 24″ finally began at 11:00 PM. Like the Christmas special, A whiteboard sat behind Arino with a full schedule of events, broken up into six-hour blocks, and included the expected levels he would beat. But levels in what game? During the show’s 11th season, Arino failed a few games that he elected to try and finish during the upcoming 24-hour broadcast. Some other games were planned to be played for the show, but when it came to showtime, those plans were scrapped, and it turned out that Arino would be playing only one game for the whole show: the Super Famicom (Super NES) version of Lemmings.
Arino already played Lemmings in season 10, but only completed one of the game’s tiers of levels; “Tricky.” He tried the next difficulty, “Taxing,” but it lived up to its name, and Arino was more content ignoring it. But for the 24-hour show, Taxing would rear its ugly head once more, and Arino would have to finish all 30 levels within it. With double his usual allotted time, the odds seemed good… not great, but good.
Before turning on the game, Arino checks in to the Multi Theater for the first time, where former AP Tojima is representing the audience. He awkwardly interviews the people next to him, then leads the crowd in yelling out “kacho on!” before saying bye for now. Arino also says hello to writer Kibe, who is co-operating the “fax room,” the long hallway in the building that has a bank of four fax machines receiving messages, drawings, and other items of goodwill from the viewing audience. Seconds after revealing the fax number, the messages start pouring in, and will soon be posted to the walls. Finally, it’s time to insert the game and start for real — until Arino’s designated helpers, AD Emoto and AP Nakayama, appear and state Arino’s goal, and present him with a large board covered in numbered sheets. When Arino beats a level, he simply tears off the associated sheet to mark his progress.
The first level of Taxing couldn’t be more aptly named: “If at first you don’t succeed…” Arino does his usual routine of scouting the layout of the level before sending the Lemmings out, and then gives it his first try. The level requires the lemmings to bash through three large pillars, but the player is only given two Bashers, so an alternate means will have to be decided. Arino quickly screwed up on the third pillar when he uses a Miner that destroys the staircase leading up to the pillar, and quickly tries to band-aid the situation, to no avail. A second try sees him using the Miner again, but then getting the lemmings caught in between the stairs and pillar.
As expected, most of this, like the other live shows, are mostly silent apart from the sounds of the game — at least Lemmings has a few different music tracks, but you’re still hearing them repeat for what seems like forever. Things liven up when the view cuts back to the theater and Arino notices a single woman who’s already begun to sleep, and soon after that, Arino finds a way to clear a path through the first level by using carefully-timed Bombers. The next big step is to build a staircase across a large gap, but that, too, takes a few tries to get right.
As if on cue, Arino finally gets a bridge reaching across the gap just as the clock strikes midnight. However, it still takes some time to get it all settled for good, but about 16 minutes later, we go back to the fax room to check in on Kibe. A couple of faxes have already started giving Arino advice for the level, but it’s nothing too revelatory. Arino continues repeating the level until finally, his lone Builder gets everything set in place. He unleashes the big group of lemmings towards the exit, but he has about 40 seconds left! 10, 9, 8… not one lemming gets to the exit before the level times out. Arino yells in pain, but the rest of the room laughs.
But then, at 12:30, Arino finally clears it. Yes, it took 90 minutes just to get past level 1, but so it goes. The kacho slowly tears the first piece of paper from the numbered board to reveal the upper corner of the Lemmings box art. Now’s as good a time as any for a break, in the form of the encouraging messages and arcade girl segments (see “Extras” section).
After that’s done, Arino begins level 2, which is comparatively a cinch. Before he properly starts level 3, though, cameraman Abe has a late dinner for him in the form of a tonkotsu ramen dish.
And then the visitors start rolling in. Representatives from game companies come in through the door and present Arino with all manner of gifts, as well as advertisements for whatever they have to plug. First is Taito, who brings a box of games, toys, and a fruit-topped cake with a custom “go for it” message in chocolate. Next is Mr. Hayashi from Ohta Publishing, who published the GCCX books. After that, Arino can finally finish his ramen and get back to Lemmings.
Level 3 proves to be another ordeal, reaching well into the third hour. Around then, though, Arino and the rest of us are shown the video for the special’s theme song, “Last Continue,” a rollicking number sung by Nakayama. Arino is duly amused by the song, but maybe it’s not a great boost in spirits, as he continues to have trouble with level 3.
And just before the hour ends, in burst the three members of comedy group Yasuda Dai Circus: straight man Yasuda, obese slowpoke Hiro, and ridiculously falsetto Kuro-chan. Arino mostly ignores them as he tries to keep playing, but the group tries to help out by placing an electric massager on Arino.
By then, the fourth hour begins, and unfortunately, Arino must leave for a couple of hours and make a late-night radio appearance with the Yasuda guys and some other comedy friends. As Arino rushes to catch a cab, we watch Kibe’s favorite challenge moments (see “Extras”), and then Tojima checks in with the theater audience.
Back at the challenge room, it’s Emoto and Nakayama who take over for Arino for the next couple of hours. After another Kibe segment (nearly a half-hour), Nakayama clears level 3, and lets Emoto tackle the next one. Dozens more minutes pass, and he beats it, only to go straight into the next. But despite the hoariness of “The Prison,” Emoto beats it in just a couple of minutes.
After another check-in at the fax room, the show takes another commercial break and comes back at 5:00 AM — the sun rises, and we go to Tojima in the theater, who brings on Abe, Inoue, and Tani. Abe has a few noodle dishes for a few lucky (and hungry) people. We then cut to Kibe in the challenge room, who has Arino on the phone, and talks about what’s going on and how he’s feeling.
Following a video segment, we go to the theater, where Arino makes his triumphant return (and is in the middle of playing Dragon Quest IX, too). After watching “Inoue no Chousen,” Arino vows to clear 10 levels in the next 10 hours. And so, with the sun finally up, the second block begins and Arino begins level 6, which only takes about 30 minutes to finish.
Emoto assists Arino on level 7, which helps a bit, though it takes a few dozen more minutes to get through it. In the middle of playing level 8, there’s another intermission for some game-related comedy bits (see below), and then Arino gets back to it.
For what it’s worth, the rest of the morning is where things slow way down. Arino has been up all night, after all, and as we reach 8:00, he becomes more visibly vacant. The mindless repetition of the game translates to dead stare on Arino’s face. A new food delivery from Abe makes a nice breakfast, as do a second round of encouragement messages. Past 9:00, Arino struggles with level 9 and its immediately-required vertical dig. Nakayama comes by to provide hints, and Arino draws out the level to plan a path.
Still not much progress is made, and closer to 9:30, Arino is visited by the girls from Idoling, another show on the same channel with GCCX. Like a king with a harem, Arino sits and listens to the girls promote their show. Then, they all introduce themselves to the camera, with AD Watanabe jumping in at the endas if she’s part of the group. Arino banishes her back to work, though.
About 15 minutes to 10:00, Arino is shown a fax telling him to use the Floater lemming to get down over the big block in the middle of the level to then properly route the rest of them. He quickly understands, though it takes a few extra tries. Still, level 9 is finally cleared shortly after 10:00. Level 10 isn’t much better, though, and neither is Arino’s energy level. The multiple suspended platforms in the level present one heck of a brain-bender. Emoto comes by in a few minutes to provide hints, but Arino’s practically taking a nap.
After some careful building, Arino creates enough bridges for all the lemmings, and makes a nice clean path to the exit to clear level 10. Level 11 may be the trickiest of all so far, though, requiring the lemmings to dig just a little bit into a large column. The problem isn’t the digging, it’s getting out and up onto the rest of the ascenging columns leading to the exit.
Unfortunately, it’s ten minutes to 11:00, and it’s time for a little break. Arino is once again spritzed in the face by AD Watanabe as a brief wake-up, but it’s not enough. He affixes three more cold pads to his face — at least he’s not giving up without a fight.
An extra-tired Arino pushes forward to try and complete level 11. Thankfully, most of the theater audience is still around, and Arino takes some time to look around and occasionally poke fun at some of the folks. But it’s back to the grind after that, and Arino still struggles with the columns. After almost an hour, Emoto finally comes in and draws a little diagram showing Arino exactly where to dig. But even after all that, it still takes try after try after painful try. Emoto eventually just gives it a try himself, or at least gets to a place where Arino can take over.
Finally, around 12:40 PM, Arino finally clears level 11. Before starting level 12, we check in with Abe in the kitchen for a preview of the next meal, and then watch another video segment where he looks for ingredients for his curry udon.
Level 12 is another easy one, taking less than 10 minutes to clear. Level 13 is much more of a headache, though, but luckily, the staff prepared a special video for Arino to watch. In it, Nakayama and AD Ito present Arino with a walkthrough video for level 13; a multi-step process involving digging under the “conveyor rocks” to reach the exit.
After being greeted by some more corporate visitors (Tecmo, Jaleco reps in racing uniforms, Sega), finally partaking of Abe’s curry udon, seeing more encouragement messages (including AD Tsuruoka’s amusing guitar rendition of his Tokaido song), and even moving the show to another channel at the bottom of the hour, Arino returns to the game. Around 2:20, he finally nails the path and gets all the lemmings to safety.
The afternoon rolls on, and it’s well into 3:00 when Arino finishes level 14, and on 15, the game takes a turn for the creepy, as it’s set on a series of evil alien monster things. Emoto and Nakayama come by to signify a second break for Arino — he’s off to take another two hours resting and getting a massage. And so the two young men once again fill in.
After almost a couple of hours, it’s Emoto that takes over and solves level 15. After another classic TamaGe clip, we see he’s already beaten level 16, too.
That pattern continues well into 5:00. Emoto’s been kicking ass, though, and clears level 18 just in time for Arino to return.
But this time we go to the theater… and we stay there. For the final six hours, Arino will now do the show in front of the theater audience, just as it was at the Mighty Bomb Jack event. And with 12 levels to go, the pressure is on more than ever. Arino is all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as he strolls over to the desk on the stage, accompanied by much applause.
And it’s easy to continue Lemmings from there, as it’s password-based, of course. Arino’s patched in to Emoto back in the (former) challenge room to get the password, though it takes a couple of minutes to input correctly.
Once that’s settled, Arino begins level 19. It’s a perfect pairing of level and audience — the thin mazelike platforms of the level require Bombers, and improper timing can spell certain death. The audience groans and yells every time the lemmings get close to dying, but once he nails the path, the applause rises. Either way, level 19 is mercifully brief.
Level 20 is similarly sketchy, but this time the platforms are done up in a spiderweb form. Emoto soon joins Arino, sitting at his side for the rest of the game. He wheels out another whiteboard and coaches Arino through the level. Shortly after 6:30, a breakthrough occurs when Arino manages to get the “scout” lemming to come back around and bash in the final walls keeping the rest of the lemmings from proceeding. One intense minute later (it’s a long walk to the exit, you see), it’s finally done. Only nine more to go! Ah ha, ha!
Level 21 is extra scary, as two flame jets surround the exit, and Arino has to get the lemmings positioned perfectly so that they fall right on the exit without touching the flames. It takes a little while, but with help from the audience, Arino sets it up just right.
After that, there’s another game company visit. Bandai Namco drops in with a sushi platter (as usual), and, courtesy of Indies Zero, Arino receives a blue DSi signed by the Indies staff (which Emoto apparently drops as he walks back to the desk).
Level 22 is rated at max difficulty, but Emoto and Ito are back with a tip video that shows a Builder being used at the bottom to create a safe drop distance, then use the rest of the BUilders to occupy the lemmings, then just send the rest down. Again, it only takes Arino a few tries — not so hard after all!
Level 23 goes okay, but it goes south once 24 rears its ugly head. A single message, “DEATH ->” points to the exit, more or less, but Arino can’t reach it easily. (More letters at the far end of the stage, “MAD DAM DMA,” confuse Arino for a few minutes, as no one knows what it means.) A steep edge just before the exit sends lemmings to their death, so Arino has to curve around the other side and work towards the exit that way. But the rest of the stage is so precariously designed that the lemmings just keep walking up the tight spaces in the level until they fall off another edge.
After a few failures, it’s time for another visitor: Hudson’s own Takahashi Meijin! He has a gift in the form of his own book. Of course, his catchphrase was about playing games an hour a day, so it’s a surprise he’s even here in the first place.
At a little after 8:30, Arino clears level 25, and that leaves five more levels and two and a half more hours. Unfortunately, level 26, “Triple Trouble,” is about to provide the biggest challenge yet: three exits in a triangle formation, and the exit in the middle of a bunch of rock. The basic strategy involves the topmost lemmings digging down to the exit while the ones in the corners build their way up, but it’s some thick rock, so Arino also has to time Bashers properly.
Minutes pile on and Arino makes barely any progress — even Emoto re-explaining things on the whiteboard isn’t working! Attempt after attempt ends in failure, and it’s already past 9:00. Now the whole audience is wearing a cold pad along with Arino. Finally, after some time, Arino gets closer to winning, but is still kind of flying by the seat of his pants. An audience member speaks up and starts yelling out tips. He suggests that a lemming coming from one corner be turned into a Miner to assist the other corner in coming up.
At almost ten minutes to 10:00, Arino’s little Miner makes the final stroke to clear the path for the other lemmings, and away they go.
With just a little over an hour left, can Arino get through the final four levels? Well, things start looking up on level 27, when he uses a tricky method of using Bombers vertically to create a path to the exit, which ends in just a few minutes. Level 28 is tricky at first, as the exit is placed too high up from the ground, and Arino has limited Floaters. But by keeping the drop rate low and just working carefully, Arino manages to beat that level in a short (quote-unquote) amount of time, as well. When he kicks up that drop rate and the people applause at the oncoming flood of lemmings, it’s just too good.
Level 29 isn ‘t too bad, either: Arino has to dig down to a bridge, get over that, then find a way up to the exit. He gets it after a couple of tries, that is until he sets a Builder the wrong way, which effectively blocks the oncoming lemmings. After some confusion and dealing with a concerned crowd, Arino just restarts. This time, he gets it.
And then, unbelievably, we come to level 30. It’s only rated at 3, so it’s not too hard, apparently. Arino only have 60 Diggers, and they each need to be used on the thin platform above the exit to keep them from falling too far. He starts out OK, but Nakayama yells from his seat that he needs to increase the drop rate to not only get done in time, but to conserve enough platform space.
20 minutes left in the show. Arino puts the drop rate in the 60s, which seems to be comfortable enough. He still needs to restart a few times to set everything up evenly. Sure, it’s easy on paper, but having to conserve space, and make sure every single lemming is turned into a Digger isn’t the most calming thing — live audience aside.
After several more tries, he gets every lemming to safety, and that’s enough for the applause to start. Slowly the lemmings march to the exit, their “boing” sounds counting down to success. With more than 10 minutes left in the broadcast, just before 11:00 PM, Arino completes Taxing level 30 of Lemmings after 24 hours.
The room erupts, and Arino goes over to tear off the final numbered sheet to fully reveal the blown-up Lemmings boxart. Oh, but the ending! Arino has Nakayama and Tojima read the message at the end: “Superb! You rescued every lemming on that level. Can you do it again….?” Arino laughs at the last line. No, he most certainly can not! The ending itself is a cute little animation, but it’s brief, and fades right into the first level of Mayhem, the next hardest tier in the game.
Well, how about another big round of applause? We check in on the fax room one last time, where the congratulations messages are pouring in. And of course, Last Continue plays us out. Man, I love this show.
You can’t expect people to constantly watch your 24-hour gaming marathon. You just can’t. Besides, Arino left twice! There needs to be more to break it up, and fortunately, the staff did just that by producing several different pre-recorded segments made just for the show, all in the name of lowering the boredom level of the marathon.
Game Center Girls: At the end of every normal GCCX episode, the king gives a secret password to input on the GCCX home page to enter to win a gift. This time, the letters for the password are revealed one at a time by a series of girls who work at actual arcades around Japan.
Cheer-on messages: Some people couldn’t be with Arino for the show, so they sent in their messages of goodwill on video instead. Notable folks include Space Invaders creator Nishikado, “Kaayan,” the little boy who helped Arino over the phone with Super Monkey Daibouken (he’s 16 now!); the elderly owner of the Nonbiri Onsen; Masahiro Sakurai; Arino’s comedy partner Hamaguchi; and former GCCX ADs Sasano, Takahashi, and Tsuruoka.
Abe Video: Cameraman Abe’s first-person cooking adventure. In the first part, he visits AP Nakayama late at night in his partment, and cooks him ramen.. or rather, makes him cook it. It’s a learning experience, really. For the second part, he hits the streets looking for the perfect ingredients for a curry udon dish.
KiBest Bout Top 10: Staff writer Kibe gives us his personal favorite GCCX challenges and moments, followed by recaps of them. In order: Mega Man 1‘s Yellow Devil fight; putting on sunglasses for Bonanza Bros.; Out of This World‘s opening chase; Mighty Bomb Jack‘s sphinx hunt during the stage show; Quiz Tonosama no Yabou; The Quest of Ki; the final boss(es) of Ninja Gaiden; Tokimeki Memorial; Super Mario Bros. 2; and finally the madness of Atlantis no Nazo.
ABest Bout: Abe shares one of his favorite moments from the show: a previously-unseen segment from the YuYu no Quiz De Go! Go! challenge where Arino is visited by “quiz king” Daisuke Hidaka, but manages to lose multiple times against the kacho.
Quiz Corner in South Korea: While on a bus ride in South Korea, Kibe found time to ask him a bunch of trivia questions about the show itself and things he did.
Singing About Whatever the Hell You Want: Deleted Scenes: As the title says, this was a series of cut bits from the “Singing” segments from season 10, where Arino fills in the lyrics for snippets of game music.
Inoue no Chousen: A “journal” of AD Inoue’s preparation for the 24-hour special. He decides to try a game challenge of his own: Tecmo’s Tag Team Pro Wrestling. But he needs an opponent, and AP Nakayama steps in to challenge Inoue’s stance as the show’s supreme wrestling fan.
What follows is a hilarious “match” in MMA style (referred by “Mister Emoto”) with both men shirtless and playing the game against each other. In an unfortunate turn of events, Nakayama wins both rounds, and then the two enter a slap fight-slash-grapple.
Comedy Talent Show: Not a filmed segment, but early in the morning, the theater played host to a series of comedy acts who did bits about videogames. This includes a man dancing to Mario tunes.
Nostalgic Gomu: GCCX staffer and supernerd Sakae-san shows producer Kan his wide variety of rubber figures based on games.
Tojima’s TamaGe: Tojima, dressed in a blue uniform and with his ShadowSlasher in tow, goes on his own TamaGe-style adventure, but is soon joined by show sound engineer Tani, who leads young Tojima on a Brokeback Mountain-like road trip.
Their first real stop is a “big amusement spot” called Fantasy Land, where they play the original Bomb Jack, have a go at some crane games, and even DDR.
And then, to the tune of an energetic rock song, they have a wonderfully boyish day at the beach.
Things are capped off at the Grand Hotel Isoya, where the two men hop into the hot spring, Tojima gives Tani a nice scrubdown, then they try out a few games at the hotel game corner, and then, finally, bedding down for the night, until things are rudely interrupted by engineer Suda popping up and trying to, uh, “subdue” Tojima.
OK, I’m really going to into GCCX Fan mode here, so you’ll have to forgive me in advance. There was clearly a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into this production, and I really think it all paid off. I watched most of the show the day it was happening, and got a few of my friends to watch it early on, but they quickly dropped off, and soon I was left alone, to stay up through the night until 7 AM (Pacific Time) to catch the remarkable squeal-filled ending. And with a ton of extra segements to keep things going without becoming a complete and uetter borefest, you really couldn’t ask for anything more awesome, especially when the show reached its heart-stopping finale. Game Center CX has topped itself before, but never like this. It’ll be hard to do again, unless they do 48 hours next time. …Nahhhh.
* * *
Wanting some outside thoughts, I e-mailed Mike Dailly, one of the main brains behind the creation of Lemmings at original developer DMA Design (and also writer of The Complete History of Lemmings), and asked him how he felt about the show — especially the fact that a decent number of Japanese were watching a 24-hour Lemmings marathon on TV. "Surprised" would be putting it lightly. "I can’t believe people would come and watch this. Amazing… More amazing is that it’s STILL such a popular game! I wish I could understand what they’re saying, it looks crazy. LOL — He should try it on Mayhem!"
"When we were making the game, we could beat brand new levels in minutes. So a whole [difficulty], I guess, would take a couple of hours. But back then we were ALL masters. It’s a pity they didn’t use an Amiga, would have been much nicer."
Inspired, Dailly went on to give me some facts related to the 16-bit Lemmings games. For starters, the SNES version of Lemmings 2: The Tribes was done by DMA, but based on Sunsoft’s work on the original game — Dailly basically hacked it to see what Sunsoft had done to get the game on the pokey 16-bit machine. Here it gets a bit technical, but nonetheless interesting:
"Because Lemmings has so many little guys running around, and the SNES was so slow (and [couldn't support] enough sprites in a line), I was curious to see how Sunsoft did it. Turned out they used a four-colour screen for the lemmings and explosions, and a 16-colour tiled screen for the background. This was pretty interesting, because I didn’t realise the SNES could blit the whole four-colour screen inside the vertical blank – that’s the bit from the end of a TV picture to the start of the next one. So I used the same method, a huge four-colour screen in RAM (SNES had 128k), drew all the lemmings to it,s and then copied it up each game cycle. That said, I seriously sped it all up, using a couple of tricks they never thought of — I was able to get 80 lemmings without slowdown, not to mention have smooth scrolling. All the lemmings (in L1 & L2) were drawn by the CPU, they never used hardware sprites like all the other SNES games do, so it was… interesting. :)"
Overall, Dailly was pleased that his game could still, close to 20 years later, be brought to some level of prominence. "I’m still gobsmacked that anyone would WANT to do this, but then, we should be used to odd Japanese TV by now, I guess. [...] Superb, though… really funny and cool at the same time, to think we spawned that… wow. Just think if we could do a NEW game based on them, how much of a fanbase would it have!" No argument here. Certainly, Lemmings got some life breathed into it in Japan after the GCCX special, or even during it — I saw posters on 2ch linking to and playing DHTML Lemmings as the show was happening. And no matter what, there’s still one more SNES Lemmings game for Arino to play. –Ray Barnholt