Monday, January 19, 2009

Naked Snake

Friday night at Current was the birthday party for a few of the Current regulars. I wanted to go but there was a PTA enkai for my school so I had to go to that instead. The enkai was pretty much your standard enkai with nothing really out of the ordinary happening. In one of the other rooms in the same building, one of the teachers from another nearby school (the one where my friend Cynthia works) was there for a separate party. After the first party, he saw me in the hallway and told me that Cynthia called him and asked if we wanted to go drinking with her in Numata with Liz. I was gonna actually go to the 2nd party, but drinking in Numata sounded like more fun and the other teacher was driving there and said he would give me a ride so I agreed to go.

On the way there, we picked up this one other guy who I don’t really know. When we got to Numata we met up with Cynthia and Liz in front of a Lawsons and then we went to an izakaya. Pretty much just drank, ate, and talked. After that we went and did karaoke for a few hours and did some more drinking. Nothing too out of the ordinary but it was a fun night. Afterwords, Cynthia took a cab home and split it with the other 2 guys cuz they all live sorta close. I live much farther away, so going home by cab would be way too expensive. Instead, Liz said I could just crash on her couch, so I did.

I woke up the next day at around noon. Liz was on her computer just messing around online. I was planning on going to Tokyo today so we checked the next train time to Tokyo and it was in about one hour. However, because of the fact that I unexpectedly went from the enkai to Numata and stayed the night, I didn’t bring any stuff with me to go to Tokyo (basically no change of clothes or toiletries and nothing to do on the train and stuff like that). All I had with me were the clothes on my back and the standard essentials like my coat, phone, wallet, and keys. I didn’t really feel like going all the way back home to get my stuff since the trains around my area only run like once every hour so the process of going back for my stuff could take over 2 hours or longer depending on how the timing worked out. I figured id just deal with it since it was only for one night anyway. I took a shower (but unfortunately had to use the same clothes; luckily in the winter you don’t really sweat so they were ok).

After that, Liz and I got some pasta at a nearby restaurant since I had time to kill till the train came. Unfortunately, the whole process of eating took longer than anticipated and I missed the train. The next one would come one hour later. At this point I was having second thoughts about going to Tokyo. Liz said that her and a bunch of other ALTs would be drinking at some guys house tonight in a sorta nearby but sorta far town and I don’t really know the guy. If I was to go I would probably be stuck driving there so I really couldn’t drink, unless I got my girlfriend to drive me and come with but she didn’t really seem to thrilled about going. In addition, I had no idea about anything special going on this weekend in Tokyo, and since Current was packed with a party the night before, I figured it might be sorta dead tonight.

After eating, I parted ways with Liz and decided to kill some time at a shopping center across from the restaurant. I tried looking for a contact lens case and solution so that I would at least have that for the weekend. They didn’t sell it in the entire place so I figured I could pick one up later. During this time, I was still debating if I should just stay in Gunma or if I should go to Tokyo. I called Matt and Rod to see what they were up to this weekend. Matt didn’t answer his phone. Rod answered and said that tonight Tomoko (his girlfriend) would be having a few friends over for drinking since her birthday is in a few days or something. He sorta convinced me to come out so I was swayed towards going to Tokyo.

I walked to Numata station, got on the next train, and headed to Tokyo. When I transferred trains at Akabane station, I stopped in at the bookstore there in the station and bought this months Arcadia magazine to check out the tournament schedule. While checking the schedule on the next train, I saw that there was a GG tournament at some random arcade out somewhere in Saitama in an area called Hannou (not to be confused with Rod’s handle, Honnou). It was scheduled for 6:30 pm on Sunday night. I had no idea where this place was or how far it was from where I need to be when I go home, but I figured id look into going to it.

I arrived in Shinjuku at about 5 pm. I headed right for Vegas to get down on some casuals. Tons of people were there again this time playing GG and BB. Lots of well known players were there such as Nakamura, En-Slayer, Karun, Kazuki, Hot Zappa, and a few others. I played various games of GG casuals for a few hours, winning some, losing some. After a while I noticed that Tsu was there (the Eddie player that beat me in the G3 ranbat last weekend). This time I was good and sober so I was eager to get another shot at his Eddie. It turns out he really is a solid player. We had really close matches but he beat me 3 times. After that I played him again and I beat him. I guess I don’t feel so bad for losing to him in the tournament because hes a solid player but losing first round still sucked. After beating Tsu, a Slayer player challenged me. It was a close match but I lost. I went over to look who it was and it was En-Slayer. I rematched him and this time I beat him…3 rounds in a row! He then rematched me again but I lost. I then saw Nakamura and he waved hello. I sat down at the other side cuz he wasn’t playing anyone and we battled. I beat his Millia on my first try 3 rounds in a row as well! After that, I got 2 victories against some Venom(s?) and Nakamura rematched me and I lost. I think it was around this time that Rod showed up at Vegas. I also received a mail from Matt saying sorry that he didn’t answer his phone earlier cuz he was still sleeping as a result of staying out drinking till 9 am with some people from Current after the birthday party and going to PSY. Rod and I played casuals against various people for a while and eventually Matt showed up too. After a few more hours of playing casuals, we decided to get some food.

Before eating I picked up a contact lense case and saline solution at a nearby drugstore. We were gonna go to this izakaya restaurant where everything is like 300 yen but they were packed so we just ended up going to Pepper Lunch which was good anyway. When we left Pepper Lunch, one of the guys who works there ran outside after us. I had forgotten my contact lense stuff that I just bought and he returned it to me. Nice guy!

After that, Matt suggested we stop in at Current just for a little bit cuz he told some people that he would be there again tonight. We got to Current sorta early… maybe around 10:00 or so. There wernt that many people there. The first guy we saw when we walked in was The Snus Man! He was there with another Finnish guy who sometimes comes. The Snus Man had 5 fresh packs of snus for us to buy so Matt and I split em. The Snus Man said he wasn’t really up for drinking tonight and was just drinking coke. I guess he showed up just to deliver the snus since Matt saw him at Current the night before. I felt kinda bad that he had to go out of his way like that. The Snus Man is totally a nice guy. Im definitely going to buy him a drink the next time hes there to stay and drink for a while. The Snus Man didn’t stay very long and headed out soon after we arrived. We said goodbye and thanked him. Taka was there, as well as Mogi, Sushi, and Masami as usual. Also, a couple of guys from Cirque de Soleil were there! The tour was back again for the year, and just like last year, they were staying at a place just down the street from Current. None of the ones that were there tonight were the ones I knew from last year, but I was talking with one of the guys and he said that some of the same guys from last year were there again so Im sure ill see them down the road. They will be staying in Tokyo for the next 3 months. We only stayed for like one beer and then we decided we better get going to Tomoko’s place because she lives sorta far. Tomoko lives in a part of Saitama called Tokorozawa.

We had to take some of the private train lines to get out there that im not very familiar with, but Rod knew the way so it wasn’t such a big deal to get there. On the train, Rod was showing me this cool DS game called Hotel Dusk Room 215 which is sorta like a text adventure mystery puzzle game with cool artwork. The main characters name was Kyle Hyde and Rod said he looked like me cuz we have the same hair cut and facial hair and we both have a trenchcoat haha.

We eventually arrived in Tokorozawa and met up with Tomoko at a 7-11 near her apartment where we purchased lots of beer. From there, we walked to her place. In addition to Rod, Matt, Tomoko, and myself, there were 2 other girls there. One of them was Nao, the girl who was at Mai’s apartment the night that Rod and I were there drinking with her and Tomoko a little over a month ago. Nao was already pretty wasted drunk when we got there. She seemed like she was having a good time. We listened to some music and watched some various stuff on youtube for a while like some old match vids and that awesome Marvel video where they got all that hype with guys yellin shit like “scoops! Hagendaaz! Fuck the Knicks! wear your curly mustache!” and other various awesome shit, cuz Matt had never seen it before. It was hilarious cuz Rod showed it to Tomoko previously and she was randomly saying all that stuff in her cute Japanese voice and it sounded hilarious.

After watching stuff on youtube for a while, we threw on the 5th Element cuz Rod brought it over and wanted to show it to Tomoko. About half way through the movie, I hear a noise behind me and quickly lunge forward, narrowly escaping the vomit that just had spewed out of Nao’s mouth! It was almost like a ninja vomit cuz she wasn’t all loud about it at all. It just kinda slid out with a slight gurgling sound and JUST missed getting all over my back. As soon as she finished vomiting she started laughing haha. Unfortunately it made a big mess all over the floor and under the table so we had to stop the movie while Tomoko cleaned it up and Rod helped her. It took a while to clean and I felt bad for Tomoko because she worried about Nao the rest of the night, who spent a great deal of it going back and forth between the room and the bathroom, spending long amounts of time in the toilet. While we were waiting for the movie to start back up again during the “intermission” we watched this one bonus DVD that came with the Arcadia I bought. It had some Blazblue strats, and some SFIV match videos. After watching that, we went back to the movie and finished watching the rest of it. Matt and Tomoko started to get sleepy and pass out during the movie. Rod and I made it through the whole thing. I cant remember when, but the other girl went home either after the movie or during the vomit intermission. After it ended we just sorta sat around all lazily cuz it was like passed 5 am and everyone was wasted, though in all honesty I could have kept drinking lol!

After that, we eventually got up and left. Tomoko had to get up early, so Matt, Rod, and I got some drunken McDonalds breakfast and then headed to Rod’s host family’s house to stay the night. Nao took a taxi home.

Rod’s place was pretty nice and he had a big room. It was pretty comfortable sleeping on the floor. The next morning, we woke up and briefly met the host family dad. He seemed like a really nice guy and he asked a little about us and we thanked him for letting us stay. We also played with the dog they had for a bit which was really tiny and super cute with giant eyes and she was chilling on my lap for a while. Didn’t try to bite me even once!

We eventually headed out and got some food at a place that sold various Japanese foods. I got some pork and rice and udon and we split some gyoza. It was pretty tasty. After that, it was time to head to Hannou station to go to the tournament I found in the back of Arcadia. It didn’t take long to get there actually. Before we exited the station, we decided to ask the guys who works at the station really quick how far we had to go to get to the arcade from there. The guy told us that the station we just passed through to get here was actually much closer. Good thing we asked first or we would have been walking for quite a while. Matt already went through the gate but the dude was nice enough to get his ticket back out of the machine so he could get back on the train for no cost. We then headed to the next station; Motokaji station.

From Motokaji station, we tried calling the arcade to get directions. They gave us some vague directions and we sorta tried to follow them. We picked a direction and started walking. At this point it was already getting dark out since we woke up kinda late and took a while to eat and stuff. We didn’t see much of anything down the road we were on. Rod decided go scout ahead real quick. He ran out of sight around a corner and came back about 2 or 3 minutes later saying that he didn’t see much of anything ahead. We decided to choose another direction. We eventually ran into a conbini and went inside to ask directions. The guy inside sorta drew us a little map but told us that it would take about 30 minutes to walk there. The last person we asked said it would only take 10 minutes to walk there. Since we had no idea who to believe, I just called a cab and he picked us up at the conbini. I told him to take us to Sega World and he knew exactly how to get there so it was easy from there. Turns out the road we were on originally was the right way and we were already like halfway there earlier.

We arrived at Sega World and there was this one Eddie player just playing the computer at first. No one was really there yet. We got there about maybe 45 minutes before the tournament was to start. We played some casuals for a while against the Eddie player and people gradually started to come in. The Eddie player was pretty solid. He went through beating Matt, then me, then Rod, then Matt again. I played him again and then I beat him, but he rematched me right away and beat me the next time. He stayed on the cab the rest of the time. I was the only one able to beat him.

Eventually it was time for the tournament to start and there turned out to be a total of 10 people who entered. This wasn’t a very great arcade. It was kinda out in the boonies and they only had like one cab of every game they had. They didn’t even have Blazblue there. After we all picked random numbers they made the brackets.

The first match of the tournament was Matt vs some Chipp player. However, I didn’t watch his match cuz I had to go take a dump. However, when I came back from the bathroom, I saw that Matt had won his match. Rod told me it was pretty much a beat down by Matt. Good shit. Next a few more people played and then it was my turn. My first match was against some Potemkin player. The game was set to 3/5 rounds for whatever reason instead of 2/3 which is usually the standard for tournaments. The first and 2nd rounds I perfected him. The 3rd round I almost perfected him again but he hit me like one time towards the end of the round. In any case it was a slaughter and he came up and apologized to me after the match for getting owned so hard heh. I think the guy recognized me from somewhere before cuz Rod said he had this look of fear in his eyes when he first saw me there LOL! His face did look familiar but I don’t remember from where. Up next, Rod played against some other Faust that was there. He used I-no. I don’t remember but I don’t think Rod won any rounds unfortunately. I guess he just kinda brain farted or something cuz I know he can do better than that. For Matts next match he got a bye. For my next match, I had to fight another Potemkin. This time, he was much better than the other one. I was doing very well the first round. I hit him with a scalpel pull and he bursted it and I blocked the burst but I mess up my punish and then I sorta just got thrown off and lost the round. From the rest of the match I was just not playing well. I was trying to play TOO safe and too one demensional and I really should have just rushed him down and mixed him up more. I kept freezing like a deer in headlights when he knocked me down and would go for buster setups and whatnot and he hit me with heavenly Pot buster twice…. Ouch. In any case, I lost to him but I don’t really feel like I should have. I just didn’t play that great, unlike against the first guy. Matt then played again and lost to someone but I cant remember who it was. He was already out of the tournament but he had to play one more match to determine who gets 3rd place (even though we both got just as far, he got a bye so he was farther in the bracket than me). He had to play the Pot player that beat me but unfortunately he lost to him as well. The Pot player previously had lost to the other Faust. I felt even worse after that cuz the other Faust beat him and I didn’t. After that, the finals were the Faust vs the Eddie player that no one could beat earlier. Faust put up a decent fight but in the end, Eddie won.

It turns out, the Eddie was none other that Takare, the Eddie player who I met at G3 ranbats last weekend… the same guy who was asking me about Latiff. He told me hes actually a highschool student and hes only 18. He said he actually lives only like 30 seconds from the arcade we were at right now. He asked me some more stuff like confirming that I won the singles and teams tournaments at Evo. Then he was asking me some more stuff about Latiff like if he will come to Japan soon and stuff saying he really wanted to meet him and that he admired his combo video. I told him I had no idea if Latiff would be coming to Japan soon but I said I didn’t think so. He also told me that since he is a broke high school student, he probably wont be going to try out for SBO. He told me that the next G3 ranbat will be at Sportsland next Saturday, so I told him I would go.

After the tournament, they put the game on freeplay for about an hour. Everyone just took turns getting on, playing one match, and then getting off and letting 2 more people play. I played several matches. My first match was against the Potemkin I lost to. I knew I could beat him and wanted to run that shit back so I challenged him to a rematch. This time I beat him pretty convincingly without losing a round. I just rushed him down and didn’t play so fucking brain dead this time and it wasn’t really a big deal. I also played against a Slayer player who was in the tournament and lost in a close one where I accidently jumped over his head when I meant to throw him. I press diagonal up instead of just forward and if costed me the match. Later I played him again and just raped him. Also I had a close win with an Axl who I beat. I also rematched Eddie one more time and it was sorta close but in the end I got Eddied out and he won again. Throughout the day I was the only one who was able to beat him so I guess that’s something… but I still wish I had played better in the tournament. During various parts of the time we were there, both tournament and casual play, Rod was busting out all the Marvel “curly mustache quotes, LOL!” It was pretty funny getting all hype at a 10 man inaka tournament, made it more exciting.

Once 8:00 rolled around, they took freeplay off and Matt played like one more match. After that, it was about time to get going since we had to be at the train station soon or I would miss my last train home. We said goodbye to everyone and I told Takare that I would see him next Saturday at Shinjuku Sportsland. We weren’t sure how long it would actually take to walk to the station cuz we took the cab there but we didn’t wanna risk missing it so we left a bit early. Turns out it really did only take like 10 minutes to walk back. We made it to the station with plenty of time so we stopped at the Yamazaki and got some food for the road. We took the train to the next station and then from there we parted ways cuz Matt and Rod had to go the other way. I eventually made it home.

Overall it was certainly not my usual weekend. Kinda inconvenient not having any stuff with me but I managed just fine in the end. Lots of last minute plans that all worked out pretty well.

Next weekend I will go to the G3 ranbat at Shinjuku Sportsland on Saturday and there is also a Blazblue tournament on Sunday at Alpha Station, so I will probably go to that as well.


Famous Power said...

Do you call this episode Naked Snake cos you were "bare" in Tokyo with no change of clothes and such haha? I guess it's an urban jungle after all. See you sometime soon - Rod

ElvenShadow said...

haha yep exactly.