Game Center CX Season 8 – Back to Contents
Dazzling Pleasure!? "Quinty"
Way back at the end of season 1, Arino interviewed Satoshi Tajiri, head of Game Freak and creator of the Pokemon series. As a kid gamer, Tajiri idolized Namco, and in the mid-’80s he and Ken Sugimori created their own Famicom game, Quinty, and managed to sell it to Namco (later released in the US by Hudson as Mendel Palace). And at the end of season 8, Quinty becomes Arino’s next challenge.
It’s snowing out! Yaayy! Arino greets us by poking his head outside the window, but it is kinda cold, so he quickly ducks back inside. We get a brief introduciton to Quinty, and then it’s time to start.
There are nine worlds to choose from, each with 10 rounds. They all look scary to Arino, but he goes ahead with the first world in the top left, the Restaurant. Here he learns the game’s panel-sliding mechanic, where you "pull the rug out" from under the enemies to push them into the walls and destroy them. Get rid of all them and you can move on. Arino dies once, but on the second try gets them all.
Round 2 also ends well, and then in round 3, Arino hits a "sun panel" that wipes out all the enemies in one go! He speeds through the next few rounds until he reaches a bonus stage with multiple star items to boost his score. He clears the bonus stage, and then speeds through the last couple of levels, onto round 10.
Arino finds the damsel in distress, Jenny on round 10, but she’s quickly stolen away again. How mean! And strangely enough, that’s the end of that; no boss battle. Arino moves on to the Cottage world. This world’s enemies are a bunch of bald fat guys, Plumps, who stomp the ground and send a shockwave in Arino’s direction. Arino lucks out once or twice though, and gets thrown into a rebound panel, which hits the Plumps with a bit of their own medicine. Moving ahead to round 7, another sun panel is found which clears out the tight space of the level, and then causes a couple of enemies to kill each other!
But on the next round, Arino finally gets a Game Over. Luckily he can continue, albeit on round 7. Round 8 is kind of tricky, as Arino has to free enemies from blocks before getting to kill them, and then he hits an "enemy panel" that spawns another enemy! The deaths start racking up again. Finally, Arino gets through and makes it to the first real boss, who bounds around the screen rapidly — except he’s defeated with a well timed panel slide, and Arino clears the level in seconds.
The Pyramid world is next. The mohawked enemies here slowly jump from one panel to the next, but Arino wipes out the first wave with another sun panel. Once again, the progress is swift, but on round 9, Arino gets some really bad luck and uncovers multiple enemy panels! He can’t quite thin out the herd after that, so it takes a few more tries. Game Over again.
Arino gets to the boss, and it’s the same jumping fool from last time, who is defeated just as easily, too. He can’t believe it, but he pushes on to the third world anyway — he chooses the Tower.
The enemies here are Acrobats, who don’t do much except jump really high in one spot, then continue walking. On round 4, Arino uses a sun panel to get rid of all the enemies, only to reveal more enemy panels as a result. That’s how it’s supposed to be, apparently: the columns of enemy panels keep revealing themselves as they move to the left side of the level, but even after dying once and getting down to the last batch, Arino still dies.
He does get through it, though, and breezes through the rest of the world. In round 9, though, virtually every panel is an enemy panel! Arino pokes around, sliding whatever panel he can to find help, and eventually finds a sun panel in the corner that saves him. He then gets a moon panel that changes most of the panels into bonus stars, but then has to dash back to another sun panel which unfortunately changes everything back to enemy panels again. D’oh!
The level continues to be a conundrum for him. The sun panel is helpful, but it’s also hurtful. After several tries, Arino decides to play around with the rebound panels in the middle. As he’s thrown back and forth between them, he eventually wipes out the enemies as they stupidly walk in his path.
And then it’s onto the boss. Or is that bosses? The game’s villain lady sends a group of Acrobats after Arino, and there aren’t any items on the panels, so he’ll have to do this the hard way. But in yet another stroke of luck, he manages to get them all onto one panel and just pushes them into the wall, one after another. Next up is the Theater world, featuring the bald Ballerina enemy ("a skinhead ballet," says the king). They spin around the floor pretty slowly, so they’re pretty easy to destroy.
Easy for the first round, that is — they start speeding up as soon as the next round. Arino traps one pretty devilishly on one round, too, waiting until it just gets close enough to shove into the wall. The "boss" is another multi-enemy battle. The Ballerinas are much faster and harder to track, but it doesn’t take too long for Arino to beat.
The next world features the Artist enemy, which occasionally takes a moment to draw stuff on the floor. That gives Arino enough time to attack. As the snow continues to fall outside, AD Tsuruoka comes in and gives Arino a comfy pink blanket, with black hearts on it, too! How stylish!
Arino moves on to round 9, so close to the boss, but the high-speed Aritsts are too much for him. He decides to pull away and try another world when he continues. Onto the Mushroom world, where the enemies here mimics called Mimis. They only move when Arino does, which believe it or not, makes it easier for him to defeat them.
Another breezy journey wraps that world, and then it’s onto another, where the Swimmer enemies live. These guys do the breast stroke on the floor, pushing panels as they kick. They also hang on the edges of the level, "diving" in when they want. Round 5 of this world is a little challenging since half of the stage are block panels, leaving the other half to play in. Arino tries not to die, and as such ends up taking too long and the Swimmers turn purple. Zombie Swimmers, huh? They kill him, but on the next life, Arino wipes the entire level with one sun panel.
Round 9 is similar, and the Swimmers turn into zombies much more quickly, but like clockwork, Arino lucks into finding a sun panel that ends things quickly. The round 10 boss fight is with two of those jumping fools, but they don’t take any longer to die than before. By now it goes without saying, but Arino is on a roll. Back to the Museum to face those Artists.
Arino returns to the round where he left off, but those quick little bastards are still tripping him up. And when they start drawing on the floor, they create new enemies! He’s down to one Artist, but he can’t quite kill it; he’s hesitating! And the art monsters are chasing him and another Artist spawns and — he dies. After getting the timing better on the next attempt, Arino wins it.
More Artists are in the boss fight, and it’s just as bad as the last round — this time their drawings spawn more actual Artists! Arino ends up spending over half an hour trying and retrying to kill all of them. He gets so close, but always ends up pinched. Finally, he manages to get a bunch of them around one panel and just shoves all of them into the wall! And then at last, the final world, the Castle.
Each round in the Castle features a different type of enemy from the previous worlds. Arino does well, though, until round 7, when the Artists reappear, and it again takes quite a few tries. But he does it! On round 9, the jumping jerk’s new move is a huuuge vertical leap following by him crashing down. Arino knows to time it right so that he slides the panel just as the enemy lands. After a few seconds, he nails it.
And then on the last round, he comes face to face with the final boss… but she snatches him and takes him to another castle high in the sky. Uh oh, it’s not over. The new Castle world begins, and this one features the Cossacks, whose Russian dances can push panels back in Arino’s direction if he slides them.
On round 8, the entire floor is made up of rebound panels, yet Arino still has trouble defeating all the enemies. He wonders if he’s not caught in another "floor 98" curse like with Quest of Ki. The panels keep catching him against the wall, letting the enemies walk right into him. But he gets through it, and the mess of sun panels in round 9 turn this into a smooth ride to the top.
And then it’s time for the last boss: Quinty herself. She instantly turns Arino into a Swimmer! He flops around, but Quinty just runs into him. For the other tries, he’s turned into the other enemies, but their slow speeds just hinder him. But at one point, Arino manages to catch Quinty on a panel, and he shoves her, again and again, until she hits the wall. And that’s it! Jenny is saved! Arino’s done!
And with the end of the season comes Arino’s 36th birthday! Tsuruoka hands him a cake and even sings the song. We’ll see him again in three months.
We follow Arino to Kita-ku in Tokyo to check out a tiny shop called Omocha no Fukushima. The toys and goods are inside, while the gumball machines and other arcade stuff is outside.
Arino starts with a stregnth testing machine, but his coin goes straight to the return tray. Then from behind him, the manager comes out to help. He puts in the coin, whacks the box a little and eventually the coin is accepted. Arino does well enough to get a prize: some trading cards. A nearby boy is interested, so Arino offers to trade. The boy has all those cards anyway.
Next to that is a squat game machine with the old Capcom beat-em-up Warriors of Fate. And it’s only 10 yen to play! The manager shifts a pile of stuff above it to block the light a little better, and Arino continues playing until he gets a Game Over.
Arino then walks inside the shop and buys some goodies, including "Butamen," a little ramen cup with cartoon pigs on it. The manager even offers to heat it for him in their microwave. As that goes on, Arino looks around at the toy section, and even finds a few Super Famicom games in a bin. Most of them are horse-racing games… a favorite of the manager, perhaps?
The ramen’s ready, so Arino goes back outside to eat it and enjoy the overcast day.
For the final installment, Arino challenges stage 6 of Championship Lode Runner. Multiple "U"-shaped block structures are around here, with treasures hanging off the tips. At first, Arino tries luring some robots his way, but ends up in trouble and traps himself in one of the Us.
After a few more failed tries, he goes for the postcards. Only four of them! Not many people got that far, apparently. He picks one and calls them up; a kid named Tatsuya.
Arino goes with the kid’s advice: first, he gets all the treasures he can see, then carefully frees each robot from the Us until he get the one that held the final treasure. After a miunte or two, he gets it and walks to freedom! And so ends the Moshi-Moshi Daisakusen for the second time.
Arino no Chousenjou Love Check
Arino gathers the entire GCCX staff to see just how far each one has gotten in Arino no Chousenjou since it’s come out.
We start with AD Tsuruoka, who… doesn’t even own a DS! AP Iida’s only gotten up to Rally King… Cameraman Abe got up to Rally King SP… nobody’s really gotten too far in four months. Director Fujimoto played as the girl avatar, for some reason…
Kibe-kun is one of the two who got the farthest (up to Guadia Quest), but he blames that on Super Mario Galaxy and Dragon Quest IV coming out around the same time. He’s shown up by Arino’s manager, Noda, who cleared Haguruman 3! And what about Arino, hmm? Why, he’s beaten the entire thing, of course! And even got up to level 49 in Guadia Quest! Now that is some true love.
The Xevious Observation Diary
After this season, Arino decides to shut off the Famicom, but AD Tsuruoka stops him just in time. They decide to keep it going, under lock and key.