Game Center CX Season 8 – Back to Contents
Live Broadcast Special
A First in Game Center CX History! A Live Broadcast Challenge! The Holy Night Revenge Special!
The restlessness is starting to set in, it seems: Arino starts teasing the camera operator, waving his finger to each of the three cameras, and making fun of Tsuruoka on top of that. Meanwhile, back in the game, still nothing has changed. After a few more minutes, the clock strikes 12. It’s officially Christmas Day. To make things worse, Tsuruoka has to leave temporarily. He carefully steps out, leaving Arino alone. That’s a dangerous situation — Tsuruoka’s not even out of frame before Arino adds a headband (as seen last episode) to his head and plays with the look.
You’d think the headband would lessen the flow of air to his brain, but what happens next suggests otherwise. Arino goes back to grab the key, dodges the fireball, turns around for the trip back and misses the second fireball. Of course, he dies right after, but still, this is quite a jump of the needle. Odd that it would happen right as the AD leaves…
Several more deaths stack up, and Arino alternates between getting the key and trying to clear the tentacle. For a couple of times, he raises his fist again and declares this try will be the one, followed by a musical hit from the sound engineer, which cracks everybody up. Especially when the second one is a clip from an Alfee song — oh, don’t remind him!
A few minutes later, Tojima returns from his post, and picks up a camera, just pointing it without saying a word. Arino wonders what the heck he’s doing; Tojima replies that he’s doing a "making of." Arino shoos him away to go film some of the other crew. And then, a few minutes after that, producer Kan interrupts and says it’s time for a new segment. For the next few minutes, a "Best Of" TamaGe is shown: the visit to the K-GAME warehouse from season 2.
When we rejoin Arino after the segment, he’s wearing reindeer antlers while he enjoys a snack. He takes a breather, then removes the antlers and gets ready to resume the game. But just then, Kibe returns with another fax attack, including one from Indies Zero president Suzui. After that, Arino turns to the whiteboard again. Maybe this’ll all be done by… 4:50?
It’s the same ‘ol-same ‘ol when Arino gets back to the game. A few tries to get the key, a few tries to jump the tentacle, every one ending in death. At a few minutes before 1:00, he manages to jump over the tentacle and back again, but it doesn’t seem to do anything, and he dies normally on the spikes.
The hour ends right as producer Kan chimes in again. Time for Arino to decide what segment to do next. Let’s get the News Corner out of the way!
GCCX 10-Point News
Arino joins Kibe in the "fax hall" (which is quickly becoming the entire floor) for some updates on just how awesome Game Center CX is. Arino and Kibe each have a board — Arino’s has GCCX-specific news, while Kibe’s has some more trivial items.
From the bottom, Item 10! GCCX makes the rounds in newspapers and magazines around the country after the TGS Retro Game Awards and the release of the DS game. Even a spread in Playboy! Not that kind of spread.
Alternate Item 10! Tojima appears in the magazine Brutus for his work on another project. And here he is now! "Merry Christmas!" YES WE KNOW
Item 9! Arino is the #2 ranked celebrity game nerd, trailing closely behind otaku cutie Shoko Nakagawa. Damn you Shoko-taaaaannn!
Alternate Item 9! Cameraman Abe did some work for the Yamachan food company and someone on their staff recognized him and lauded some praise.
Item 8! GCCX merchandise is flying off the shelves! Or maybe not, seeing as they brought out a basket to show us some of it.
Alternate Item 8! The GCCX USB thumb drive is being reissued! Carry your NES ROMs in style!
Item 7! Something about the Ghosts ‘N Goblins games and the Out of This World & Flashback challenges.
Alternate Item 7! Arino’s challenge win-loss record for 2007: 13 wins, 2 losses, one postponement (that would be Quest of Ki).
You know what, it’s been a good 20 minutes or so. Let’s continue this later. Arino’s called back to the challenge corner. But not for Ki, oh no! Right now, it’s Spelunker time!
Another Famicom lies on the desk with Spelunker inside. Arino is frightened, but this is but a diversion; a refreshing change of pace, at any rate, and it’s a game virtually every GCCX fan has hoped Arino would play.
Before the commencement, another flashback to the couch conversation, and then the usual introduction to the game. The music rises. Kacho… on! Oop, the screen’s gray. Take 2: Kacho… on!
Arino reads out the title screen — "by… T-I-M Martin" — and then begins. The game starts with the hero in an elevator. Arino takes it way down, but the game starts beeping, so he goes back up. He steps out of the elevator… and dies. On the next try, he at least grabs all the treasures on the first level (tier), but misses a jump to a rope and dies again. After another missed jump, it’s Game Over.
It’s a perfect clear of the first level after that, and then it’s down to the next. Unfortunately it’s about 4 seconds before Arino slips off the upper ledge and dies, then slips off it two more times accidentally, getting another Game Over.
He then clears the second level swiftly, though he does lose a couple of lives when climbing up and down the big rope. But he gets enough treasures for the level, and destroys some ghosts along the way. Arino then takes the elevator all the way down, and with the bomb, blows open the big blue door that will take him to the first idol. Sadly, a blue door and a new red door block it, so it’s back up the elevator.
Arino stops at the fourth level, as it’s so far the most open. But with a taller lift, it’s easier to die. He slips up multiple times for another rapid Game Over, and continues to fail on the lift. By some stroke of luck, he grabs the blue key above the lift and continues down, but then a ghost closes in, and Arino doesn’t have a weapon! He slowly gets down to the weapon pickup, but the ghost touches him the same moment he kills it, and dies once more.
Arino notices some glitching on the screen, so he shuts off the game and blows on the cart and inside the slot a couple more times. Kacho on! Again! Nope, the title screen is coming up weird. After one more time, it looks to be a little better. He gets the blue key again, but is soon killed by bat guano. Instead of facing it again, he takes a detour back up to the elevator, but another slip brings another Game Over.
He soon backtracks a little and gets the first blue key from below the big rope, then goes down to the next level where the short mine cart section is. He impressively manages to get past the steam vents in the mine cart and at the end grabs the red key. He makes it out safely, then goes back down the elevator. Arino successfully clears the blue and red doors, and reaches the first idol. Now to take the lift to the second area of the caves. Arino jumps off and– falls right off the first little ledge.
It’s not Game Over yet, though! He loses one more life, but manages to push on afterward, grabbing the first blue key in the area. However, he ends up losing the rest of his lives in a precarious rope-climbing section further below. And yet somehow, Arino’s shocked to see the game puts him back at the very beginning after that.
Kan gets back on the mic and suggests Arino go back to Quest of Ki at this point. The two chat about it for a while. Arino is at a crossroads the entire time — which is more important? After a few minutes of deliberation, Arino decides to pull the plug on Spelunker. The monitors switch back to the other Famicom, and then, Arino is handed another fax. It says, simply, in big, bold script: "Ki! Do it!"
Unpause! The Quest of Ki resumes! Arino dies in two seconds! Yeah, suddenly, things don’t feel quite as exciting. Though for what it’s worth, he does manage to repeat the small feat from the start of the last hour, but ends up dying the same way. After about five more minutes with no new happenings, the sixth hour dissolves into the seventh.