Game Center CX Season 9 – Back to Contents
Welcome Home! The "Kacho Returns" Special
July 7th: after nearly a month out of commission, Arino returns to "work" for Game Center CX. On his way inside, he’s given bouquets from multiple staff members, and then is quickly pointed to the challenge room.
But they can’t just crack the whip on him. Arino sits down at the desk, sets his flowers down, and then Kibe sits down with him to recall the events that led him into the hospital to discover and subsequently treat an abscess on his lung. AT least he had a lot of visitors and gifts, such as a Heroes DVD set and a fruit basket from Bandai Namco Games president Ishikawa. And of course, he was engrossed in a game, too: Nintendo’s Handwriting Training.
Kibe leaves, and then it’s time for the challenge. This episode is naturally going to be in "rehab mode," so Arino isn’t going to be worked too hard. AD Nakayama walks in and hands Arino the game. Arino remarks that this is kind of a hard one for rehabilitation, isn’t it? It’s a familiar friend (foe?): Super Mario Bros.!
He begins World 1-1 slowly, and completes it just as slowly. Then, for some reason, the staff asks him if he really wants to go onto the next level. He does, indeed, continue to 1-2, where he gets to the warp zone and takes a trip to World 3.
In 3-1, Arino is quickly trapped by the bouncing Paratroopas, and flubs his next few tries, too, ending with a Game Over. But this isn’t over yet. Nakayama comes back with a second challenge game: Dr. Mario. Because he was in the hospital, is that it!?
Arino starts at level 0, and does OK, until he starts piling up wrong-colored capsules on the final virus. Eventually he slips in a red capsule that drops the right capsules on the virus. But on level 2, he’s a little too zealous and ends up stacking the captures up to the top, getting another Game Over.
When that’s over, Nakayama steps in to play the 2-player mode with Arino. Nakayama gives himself a nice handicap, starting on level 5 while Arino stays at level 0. Arino’s almost about to win, when Nakayama lets him know that you can send junk capsules to the other player by clearing two or more colors at the same time. Nakayama shows Arino an "example," sending two capsules down on his side.
Eventually, Arino wins, but Nakayama tells him there are three rounds total! On the next round, Arino does himself in by stacking up too high again, giving a crown to Nakayama. He does better next time, deftly clearing the board. And then it’s Nakayama who starts messing up and filling his screen with junk! Arino doesn’t even have to clear his side to win that one. With victory claimed, Nakayama leaves, and that’s the end of the challenge.
At the end of the show, though, is a final segment where Arino and some of the staff gather around to decide the challenge game for the next episode, with Nakayama’s cmments. In the pile are such gems as Deadly Towers, Mystery Quest, and Fatal Fury Special. Kibe points out Abarenbou Tengu (Zombie Nation), which they showed at the GCCX Museum, but will that be the one Arino chooses!? Tune in next time! Or just click "Next" when it shows up.
Famicom Manga Café
This time, Arino looks at "Famicom Fuun-ji," the story of the Computer Boys club (Comboy), three kids who are way into computers and, of course, Famicom games. And that helps them defeat the forces of evil whenever the time comes. No, really.
One of the first stories involves the introduction of Momoko, a girl brought to the group, who is then kidnapped by the evil Shadow organization. Comboy goes after them, but it turns out Momoko is a secret agent for the bad guys, and they challenge Comboy to a face-off in Kung Fu! Comboy somehow has superpowers to turn themselves into game characters ("DOT CHANGE!!"), and then they use their Kung Fu skills to defeat the Shadows. After reading all that, Arino decides to be sneaky and pulls out the last volume and looks at the final page: a farewell from the author.
Arino’s sent to visit a small candy shop called Kineya Suzuki. It’s quaint as can be, with a few mechanical games outside.
Arino goes up to one of the old flipper games, Car Race. He’s done this one before, but didn’t exactly learn anything from last time. The local kids all gather around him as they watch him play and try to give him advice, especially one boy who has his nose stuck in a ramen cup. He does eventually get the coin into the goal, though, and gets a 200-yen voucher.
Arino then shuffles over to try Missile Fever, which is another annoying roulette-style game. After that is Sub Attack, which does not involve submarines, but rather volleyball. The kids really know about this one, telling Arino exactly where to go and how to do it.
With his winnings, Arino heads inside the shop to pick out some treats. One box of stuff can give you an extra pirze if you get the one on a colored toothpick. One of the boys goes for the gusto and starts stuffing his face, and actually winds up with two winning sticks! And he keeps going!
Game Collections: 1988: Mid-to-Late December