Game Center CX Season 4 – Back to Contents
A Section Chief’s Hope… "Tonosama no Yabou "
Needless to say, season 4 has been a string of failures so far. Before the show even properly starts we’re once again treated to a recap of Arino’s losses this season; a collage of collapses both disheartening and hilarious. And then, he introduces himself as the beaten and bruised "Shunin" Arino.
And honestly, today’s game doesn’t instill any more hope, if there’s any left. It’s Quiz Tonosama no Yabou ("The [Feudal] Lord’s Ambition") for PC Engine, and quiz games in Japan are typically relentless — the type of arcade game aimed like a laser at your wallet. In this one, Arino has to clear out all 38 feudal Japanese provinces by correctly answering quiz questions, thereby saving the land or somesuch. He picks a daimyo to start with and begins the first "norma," or set of questions. He presses a button and… instant fail!
Wait, what? He checks the manual and sees that the four answer selections correspond to the D-pad and face buttons. Fast forward to the next set, and Arino does better now that he has the controls down. There’s four questions in the set, and he almost loses all his lives before getting to the end of them. Unfortunately he bungles it when he gets the color of an anime character’s panties wrong. Unacceptable!Nonetheless, he spends a continue and presses on. This time he chooses Nobunaga and starts over. The first question is about Capcom’s own Ghosts ‘N Goblins, which Arino naturally nails (cue GnG flashback). But soon after, he fails again. Another restart.
As he moves up, Arino gets a question about the ’80s erotic anime Cream Lemon. He and the staff giggle a bit, but he manages to guess correctly! Sort of an "expert," eh? But a few sets later, he once again gets a Game Over. Arino tries to find a way to get around the credit limit so he can last longer. Luckily, the game has an option menu where he can bump up the credits — all the way to 9. He also sets the starting lives to 5. At least he did it early on, rather than at the end like with Final Fight. With a well-stocked surplus, Arino gets back to it. He runs into more anime and game questions, which he breezes past. An invasion by the enemy leads to an extra set of questions, but he manages to get through those, too. By now the sets have expanded to eight questions per, and he ends up losing two lives in the process. More manga and anime questions pull him through.
But then, things start coming apart at the seams. More wrong answers after more wrong answers, and before long, Arino’s down to nothing but another Game Over. After he puts in a name on the leaderboard ("SEX," as always), AD Urakawa and AP Tojima step into frame. Tojima says he can help, and he and Urakawa pull out a series of cardboard paddles… with numbers on them. The idea: whenever Arino’s stuck, all he has to do is look over at the guys and see what they think the answer is, based on their own personal knowledge. Even cameraman Abe is going to join in. Arino asks what Abe could possibly help best with, and of course Abe yells "bikes!" Duh!
The game is on! Arino gets to the first question — an anime one, but not one he’s clear on. He looks over to Urakawa and Tojima — one says #4, the other says 3. Uh? The one Arino ends up picking is wrong anyway. For the next few questions, the backup technique falls flat — Urakawa and Tojima always have differing answers, and whatever Arino chooses causes him to lose.
On the next question, the two staffers agree on an answer, but it’s still wrong! Arino shouldn’t even be looking at them anymore, but he continues to. Another agreement, but a win this time! There’s even a bike question for Abe to contribute to! Arino gives him a cookie for that one. Things start to go more smoothly again. And then up comes a question for Final Fight, and with it, chuckles from the peanut gallery. It’s regarding the final boss, even. Naturally, the helpers have this one (Urakawa’s the one that finished it after the give-up, anyway). Arino pulls ahead, but pretty soon ends up with just one try left.
He gets to the next question, but takes too long thinking about it and times out. Game Over! Where to go from here? Arino decides to tighten the backup strategy a little bit. He goes up to the whiteboard and starts writing down the categories each of the four men have the best knowledge in. Arino, of course, is best with anime, games, manga and (heh) Cream Lemon. Tojima: America — sure, why not, he was there. Urakawa’s best with sports and others, and Abe has motorcycles and other machinery down pat.
Before Arino gets back to the game, Urakawa gets up and interjects. He suggests starting a fake two-player game to double Arino’s chances, since both players are basically playing cooperatively. If the player 1 side loses, then player 2 can jump in. Arino’s impressed, so Urakawa breaks out the multitap and plugs in another pad. Arino restarts, and blows through the first few rungs of questions. Another Cream Lemon question comes up, but he misses that one.
A question about a famous person comes up, but no one has a guess when Arino looks over. Abe lifts up a 3, but then the others break in and tell Arino it’s really 4. It is indeed, and the producer points out that "3 was the bad guy" "Shut up!" snaps Abe. That one could have lost it all, too. In the middle of things, Arino gets a chance to select the question genre for the next set. One of them includes bikes, so he decides to give Abe a chance and goes for it. Oddly enough, Urakawa and Tojima start with better guesses than Abe! The quest continues. A couple of wrong guesses here and there, but overall another long, smooth ride.
Arino eventually uses up his last continue, and it’s then that Urakawa hits Start on controller two to keep Arino in the game. Arino gets through the next set, and finally nears the end. He erases "history" from Tojima’s entry on the whiteboard due to his less-than-stellar help. Eventually Arino conquers all but three provinces. He enters the first of the three and engages in another 8-question set, with one chance left. With the next question, he loses. With 2 credits left, he starts again. After another credit is spent, he finally captures one of the provinces. But then he’s invaded! And this set doesn’t show you the exact number of questions. He’s tense, but pulls through after getting help on a tricky anime question.
The next set is shown unedited. Arino gets through virtually all 7 questions on his own, answering questions on lolicon, commercial jingles, American presidents and obscure manga. One province remains, and he has three final chances! The tension mounts. He gets the first question (out of seven) right, though he was scared he was going to hit the wrong button. He fails the sixth, and now has just two chances. And then, the final question. Yamagata Hanagasa festival is held every year in…
August! Yes! Arino nails it, and the game is finished. No one’s more relieved than he is. The best part? He’s reinstated as Kacho. Hopefully he doesn’t screw up the next time.
Time to visit a funky little arcade in Fujisawa called Super Gets. And the big gimmick? Every game starts from just 10 yen! Note the "starts from" — Arino steps in and sees games like The Lost World and Star Wars Trilogy going for 30 or 40 yen. Regardless, he starts off with one of those big light gun games, The Maze of the Kings, with its oddly-shaped Egyptian-y pistols. From there he tries the Golgo 13 game, which he fails from the get-go.
Next is Konami’s Drummania. Did you know Arino used to be in a band when he was a teenager? A couple of embarrassing photos of him in a punk getup are shown. But he seemed to be more of a vocalist, as his rhythm skills aren’t the best here. One or two songs are enough. He continues through the facility and the next thing he spots is an old friend: F-Zero AX! And not just one, but at least six of them! He takes a seat and plays, but much like last time at K-GAME, ends up in last place.
After that, Arino finally ends up in the retro game corner and finds Gun.Smoke. The entire time he plays, a small group of teenage boys stand a few feet behind him, watching. Part 1 ends with Arino pushing out a chair to offer them, but none of them really budge. Oh well! In the next part, Arino continues through the retro game corner. He sits down with another boy playing Rockman the Power Battle. Arino helps beat one of the bosses, gives the kid a double high-five, and gets up. The next machine he spots is an unsurprising one: Virtua Fighter 4 Final Tuned.
Arino sits down at the cabinet and faces off against a 14 year-old kid across the room. Arino chooses Shun, but the kid’s Sarah whups him bad. The kid even bursts out in laughter once he lands a KO! Though somehow, Arino wins the next round, and shows up the kid by screaming "YATTAAAA!" Again the kid falls over in laughter, and by now Arino has the attention of the other kids. But the Sarah kid ends up winning, and Arino walks away happy that he at least got one round.
Arino walks by the Final Furlong machine and chuckles at the gaggle of little girls playing it. He manages to get one of them to challenge him, and 11 year-old Haruka steps up to the reins. After what seems like forever, Arino pushes his way to victory, and as usual, rubs it in.
Urawaza Jet Stream
A viewer requests the smart bomb trick in Bungeling Bay — just yell "Hudson" into the mic on controller 2.
Game Collections: 1987: April-May