April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.

 

Game Center CX Season 8 – Back to Contents
Live Broadcast Special
ゲームセンターCX史上初!生放送で挑戦! 聖夜のリベンジスペシャル!
A First in Game Center CX History! A Live Broadcast Challenge! The Holy Night Revenge Special!

Part 2

HOUR 3

Soon after returning to the game, Arino once again manages to get the key and successfully duck under the fireball! He pauses, and takes a breather to try and get ready for the next move. Unpause — he flies right into the next fireball. A few more failed tries follow, and as usual, Arino and the rest of the room are silent in their frustration. Tsuruoka’s light-stepping technique isn’t used very often, and even when it is, Arino still can’t nail the timing of the duck.

More minutes go by with nothing happening. Kibe then comes in from the side to break the silence. He gives Arino another fax that has a piece of advice: a button trick that lets Arino spring up quickly from a fall, as long as he pushes A at the right moment. He practices it several times when restarting the stage, double-checks it, and then begins the stage… and dies.

It takes several more tries before Arino can get back up to the second level to try out the trick. Another message is then passed to Arino: a joking announcement to apologize to the Alfee fans who are missing their concert special thanks to this. Arino suggests putting this show in a window in the corner of the screen, then blowing it back up if something exciting happens.

More minutes pass. Kibe returns again with another fax: an inspirational drawing from Tanaka, one of the designers at Arino no Chousenjou creator Indies Zero. Kibe has a second fax with him: a half-friendly message from Arino’s comedy partner Hamaguchi. After reading the faxes and groaning in pain, Arino returns to the game. He starts off well, but still runs into the fireball after getting the key.

More and more lives are lost as the hour runs down, and Arino falls into another rut of death-by-ceiling. At around the 35-minute mark, he decides to take another break. He’s going to call up a friend: former AD Takahashi, a.k.a. Takahashi-sensei! He brings out the telephone, and Tsuruoka gives him the slip of paper with her number on it — the two cover the keypad with their hands, and it’s trouble enough for them to figure out who’s going to hold the phone and who’s going to cover the keypad! Finally, Arino dials.

Ring-ring… ring-ring… she picks up. Arino introduces himself, but she already knows who it is. She was having dinner… nabe, coincidentally! Arino asks if she’ll be spending time with a boyfriend… "no comment," she says. Arino jokingly wonders if she likes Tojima; cut to Tojima ‘s surprised face.

After some brief chatting about her teaching job, Arino thanks Takahashi for her time and says goodbye. Back to the game, but surprise surprise, nothing’s changed. After enough deaths, Arino says it again: "this game is harrrd!" A few more, and Tsuruoka speaks up: y’know, Masanobu Endo, from Namco, he helped create this game… and Arino can call him right now! Shock! No way! Arino leans over to the phone and does another keypad shuffle. Ring-ring… ring-ring… ring-ring… no one’s picking up. Arino turns to the camera and invites Endo to call! They call his cell phone… a click! It’s Endo, for sure. He and Arino begin to talk about the game. During the talk, Endo reveals another controller trick, and gives Arino a little bit of a preview of the last couple of stages. The conversation ends and the two men bid each other a Merry Christmas.

Before long, it’s time to check in with Tojima again. He’s organized a crowd of patron at the courtyard and has them follow him down the steps, once again saying "Merry Christmas" once he gets to the bottom. Arino and the crew crack up. Arino has Tojima confirm that they are, in fact, fans of the show, and their cheers communicate as much. When Tojima can’t hear Arino completely, he just pauses and has the crowd scream "Merry Christmas!" What a goof.

HOUR 4

Arino gets back to Ki. It’s still. Not. Going anywhere. A few times, he tries going up to the top level first, hoping to jump over the hidden tentacle and hitting the warp Mr. Endo mentioned on the phone. He can’t quite make it, though, so he continues going the normal way most of the time.

It’s a bit past 11:00, now, and that Alfee special should have been on by now! Producer Kan informs Arino of the fact. He knows what that means: Arino turns to the camera, and speaks to the Alfee audience, introducing himself and all that. He bows apologetically a couple of times, and then returns to the game.

After about eight more deaths, Arino successfully grabs the key again. That one’s worth another instant replay. While paused, Arino and Tsuruoka discuss the next move again, making sure Arino has an understanding of the jump timing. Another deep breath, and then Arino unpauses. He immediately presses A, and watches as Ki hits the ceiling, then falls back down, successfully avoiding the fireball. "Ohh thank god!" says Arino.

He’s paused again, just as Ki ducked. He leaps back the other way, and then runs right into the next fireball. Auuuuugh! And of course, it’s another ordeal just to get back where he was. The torture continues for the next 15 minutes. Arino manages to get the key in several successive attempts, so there is, at least, some modicum of progress occuring.

It’s break time again. More food! A woman brings in three platters filled with sushi, and says it’s a gift from Namco president Ishikawa, who attached an encouraging note. After the messenger leaves, it’s time to dig in. Arino begins, and then Tsuruoka finds some chopsticks and joins in. The sushi is also a congratulatory gift on the occasion of the GCCX DS game selling over 100,000 copies.

The rest of the sushi is passed on to the crew. Arino turns around to check the whiteboard, and changes the schedule — whereas the program was expected to be mostly over by 10:50, Arino crosses that out and writes 12:50.

Some time later, with about 15 minutes left in the hour, Tsuruoka suggests trying Mr. Endo’s advice again. Arino jumps up to the third level and pauses before attempting to jump the tentacle again. He unpauses, and then hits it. Blank stare. Once more: he gets up there, and then takes a flying leap that’s perfectly positioned, and he finally clears the tentacle! "Oohs" and "aahs" abound. Another pause. It’s not over; he has to make it back over the tentacle. But needless to say, he doesn’t, and it’s back to the usual pattern after that: more attempts to clear the tentacle, or at least get the key.

At one point, Tsuruoka offers to play the stage again, but Arino is steadfast, holding up his fist. After reinforcing his pride, he plays again and dies a split second later. A laugh echoes from the rear. He tries again, and dies just as quickly. So much for the pride! More rapid deaths.

The streets outside are getting more crowded from folks driving home from work late. But for Arino, this is already an all-nighter for the ages.

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