「今そこにある聖戦」 (Ima Soko ni Aru Seisen)
“The Crusade Happening Over There”
There’s gamer pride over maintaining one’s reputation and then there’s obsessive compulsive disorder. In Keima’s case, the line between the two blurs badly when’s he’s faced with the buggiest romantic simulation game ever and still tries to get through it. While it wasn’t quite Endless Eight, there was a lot of looping going on as well. For those with traumatizing memories of that Suzumiya Haruhi debacle, don’t worry, it was actually funny here. I will admit that I wasn’t foreseeing one of potentially several episodes centering around a heroine in one of Keima’s games though. It came as a bit of a pleasant surprise too, seeing as the ending sequence had me believing we’d only have four girls featured in this adaptation. With the pace the producers have been going at of roughly a heroine per episode, I’ve been scratching my head about how that pacing adds up episode-wise, so it was nice to have that put to rest with the introduction of Azuka Sora (Sakurai Tomo of Macross 7 fame). Of course, I didn’t really consider that until the episode ended, because I was too amused over seeing Keima’s pride as the “Otoshigami” be his own downfall. The idea of maintaining some sort of reputation online isn’t completely foreign to me except in my case I’ll think “screw it” before I’m weeping in tears about not being able to cover EVERY single anime series out there. Yeah, I said it! Screw it all! I got some Divine Rage for you right here if you’re wondering why series X isn’t being covered! *Rawr*
Anyway, I was a pretty avid gamer back in the day and would torture myself trying to beat ones with horrible game mechanics or were clearly “broken” in terms of difficulty, but playing a spaghetti code written one that would crash two out of three times on boot up and has a save feature that would do the same has to be the metaphoric equivalent of putting the “dic” in “ridiculous” up your own ass. Some may say there isn’t a clear line between undying persistence and absolute stupidity, to which I’ll retort is because when you’re in Keima’s shoes, the line is so damn far away it’s a freaken dot. And no, I don’t mean he’s sitting all cozy in his throne on the persistent side for those cheeky smart alecs out there. However, I will say that as someone who had a bit of an obsession with being a “completionist”, the sight of that lunch menu he was faced with when he tried to explore every single possible choice and got Elsie to map it out in a decision diagram put a whole new profound meaning in the saying, “Better you than me.” Like seriously, “Oh my GOD!!!” doesn’t even properly convey how completely absurd that is without a save function. I don’t even think the obligatory, “You got to be f**king kidding me”, covers how badly one is asking for it from behind by trying to tackle that list. It’s only one decision point in the path too, meaning each addition option increases the possible combinations exponentially. Oh this is a “Play Field Personal” alright, where the field is your butt and the playing comes from giving it to you from every angle. “Do I want to see your drawing you ask?” I’m going to have to go with the third option Sora, which is popping this Sony UMD failure of a format out and breaking it in half. It’s a broken Sony now!
To Keima’s credit (of which he deserves a ton with the way his stupid brute force method paid off), I’m surprised he was only taken to the point of tears once. Granted, there were some pretty close calls where he was about to break, but he managed to keep it together and bottle up the rage while showing Elsie how retarded the looping was. Crashing on boot up? Unfortunately there’s no bottling that up, as all the built up blood in his head would have popped multiple veins. In the end, Keima did manage to “save Sora” from being featured in a game that two guys probably coded in their basement overnight, and went through some pretty damn trying times only to encounter a never before seen but equally buggy screen. (Hurray!) He probably should have documented how he managed to beat the Crayon game from hell on its Wikipedia page just to prove he had done it though. No one would probably care, but at least it’s a testament to the suffering he endured. Personally, if I were to actually try to make it through this game, I would’ve dumped the ROM and tried hacking it. That would’ve been much better
use waste of my time. The first thing to be taken out would have definitely been the stupid dodge ball mini game with repeating characters in the background for player “griefing” purposes. In any case, this episode was a prime example of beating one’s self up for the entertainment of others, and Keima delivered wonderfully in that regard. We all know the real “victim” in all this was Elsie. 🙂
(On a blogging note, I do wish I made time to cover the 30th anniversary Gunpla special.)