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 4

HOUR 7

For nearly 10 minutes, nothing happens. And then, shockingly, Arino gets the key, and manages to clear every single step on the way back, easily dodging each fireball! The volume in the room shoots up, but when Arino gets to the end, he chokes and runs right into the fireball shooter!! The commotion! The pain!

An instant replay is shown, and it’s even more painful to watch in slow-mo. But Arino doesn’t give up — he goes right back to the game. To tease us, he tries jumping the tentacle once. A few more missed attempts go by. And then, a figure walks into frame, and greets Arino with a Merry Christmas. But who is this guy, with his thick glasses and funny hat? Wait, it’s… Inoko MAX!

What’s with the new look? Well, he’s working on a music show now (Arino pries it out of him; it’s Hey! Hey! Hey!), so… yeah. Anyway, Arino offers him a go at the game, just for old times’ sake. He reluctantly sits down, and begins. He goes up to the ceiling, hits Ki on the head and falls down to the ground, then goes back up to fly into a fireball. Arino makes fun of him for a short while, and Inoko just stands back up and says "Merry Christmas," then quickly leaves. Such a character, that guy!

The former AD left a present: a vial of energy fluid for Arino to sip on. He gulps it down in one go, then gets back to the game. Like earlier, he takes a moment to declare that the next attempt will be the winner, followed by a musical cue, followed by another death, and repeat. He stops that after two tries.

After the near miracle earlier, the staff gets loud after every close call Arino makes. But for the most part, the room is dead silent leading into the first half-hour. At around that point, Abe comes in and hands Arino a bowl of chanpo (a noodle mix) as a variation of the nabe. Plus, it seems Abe has an ulterior motive: he wants to play the game! He begins to sit down as Arino happily gives him the controller.

Abe hesitates, then flies up to the top of the stage. The staff laughs — he is indeed going to try to jump the tentacle. It seems like he could, but he bumps his head and falls on the little bugger. He dies a couple more times (within seconds of each other), then puts the controller down. Arino has another bowl of chanpo as he and Abe talk a little bit more.

After a third bowl and a replay of the crazy attempt earlier, it’s back to the game. Arino can’t seem to replicate his earlier near-success: he dodges the fireball on the way back twice, but is too slow on the third jump, causing him to run right over the spikes.

With more than 10 minutes to go in the hour, Arino manages to repeat the feat from before, with the room dead silent the entire time he makes a successful jump — but repeating it includes the exact same method of death. His and the staff’s groans are longer and louder this time. The highs once again become steady lows as we enter the eighth hour. Arino’s handed a shaving kit — as a joke, no doubt, but man, there’s some truth in it.

HOUR 8

Arino keeps getting so close, but ends up so far. If it’s not the spikes, it’s the fireballs, and vice-versa. The staff has no shortage of groans, and Arino even starts berating himself when he takes yet another tumble. It’s easy to sympathize, knowing that victory is very much attainable, but not being able to know when.

After 10 minutes, it’s time for another favorite TamaGe: the visit to "Game in Asobiba 20" from season 4. At any rate, it gives Arino another few minutes to get ready for the rest of the hour. When we rejoin the live show, however, Arino is still making the same mistakes as always. He still tries jumping the tentacle once or twice — come on, we’ll burn that bridge as we cross it!

At 20 minutes, he nearly makes it out without a scratch — just a little farther away than last time! — but still touches the shooter. A couple of minutes later, though, AD Tsuruoka finally reappears from the shadows to join Arino again. He has another bit of advice: use the game’s ol’ "brake" technique to curve up, away from the shooter, and ideally get the heck out of there. Arino practices it a few times on the top level. The clock reads 3:25 AM.

Tsuruoka thinks Arino has the gist of it after a few tries, so he leaves his side once more. Arino then puts in some eye drops for another slight boost of energy, and gets back to the game. It still takes a few more tries to get the key again and start heading back.

When he does get back to the other end, he dies not from running into the shooter, but by merely hitting his head on the upper level. Cue painful replay. He still tries jumping the tentacle a few times. This is going nowhere fast– faster.

Things seem hopeful again at around 3:46. Arino grabs the key and heads back. Jump… down. Jump… down. Jump… down. Jump… up? … Up!! UP!! He makes it! The crowd goes wild, and Arino screams in pained glee.

Let’s see that again! From the last jump, Arino curls up and around, Ki’s feet grazing the fireball shooter, but not being hurt. Hoooo boy. Finally. Now to just jump… over the tentacle. We’re not quite out of the woods yet.

Arino has Ki jump up and down slowly in one place, then pauses and squeezes his eyes shut, along with squeezing his heart. This is tooooo much! The crew plays back a clip of when Arino last cleared the tentacle. The staff laughs, and Arino asks to see it again. He jumped straight up, then curved over at the zenith in order to successfully pass over the tentacle. They should probably have that on infinite loop. Producer Kan’s narration doesn’t help when he announces this is the first real chance to clear this stage.

Arino unpauses, and jumps two more times. He then pauses again and yells for Tsuruoka, desperate for some more advice. The AD doesn’t have much, but he motions for a controller, and like he did on his first day, he shows the camera exactly how Arino should push the buttons to clear that creature. Hold right and rest that thumb across both B and A.

Unpause. A couple more practice jumps; Arino’s hesitation is freight-train obvious. Tsuruoka yells from the back: he’s running out of time!! He has 14 seconds left; it’s now or never! OK, fine! Up, bump, down. Dead.

Arino takes a moment, but is soon back at it. He goes to try the tentacle first, but still no luck. But then, with less than five minutes before the hour, he swiftly gets the key and flies up to the top. And when he takes the second glide over the tentacle, it’s miraculously absent!! Arino gets a free ride to the exit! There’s streamers and champagne poppers! Floor 98 is finished!

Another replay and a round of applause. Incidentally, it just struck 4:00 — now’s a good time for a break.

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