The Tragedy in Numbers: Part 2

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March 7th, 2007

The Tragedy in Numbers: Part 2

RayThe idea for this comic went through several changes. Originally we were going to have Tim use my Credit Card to buy up actual medals to celebrate TiMii’s virtual medals in Wii Sports. I was excited to draw Tim wearing an unnecessary amount of medals around his neck in celebration of TiMii’s achievements. “I thought platinum medals were only in video games…”

Tim and I both felt that going for a comic void of text balloons would set the right tone.

TimAh…sweet revenge. Honestly, I think that losing a saved game (or character) is one of the worst forms of punishment there is. When you’ve poured your time and energy into a game, investing in the story, only to see it all disappear, it really is heart-breaking. I remember once I was playing one of the million RPGs on the PS1 and my brother came in and started joking that he was going to turn the power off. Finally, he actually did hit power, but didn’t let go, holding my fate in the balance. So there I was, fighting two battles at once. On the one hand, I was slashing monsters in the enchanted forest while giving them ample time to return the favor (it was a turn-based RPG, mind you), and on the other hand I was screaming at my brother to not let go of the power button if he valued his life. Of course it was another 45 minutes before I could find a save point so it was one of the most emotionally draining gaming sessions of my life…and I don’t think I ever finished that game. Anyway, here’s a list of ways games have been reset, destroyed, or otherwise cut short that I’ve experienced:

1. Overheating – This happened with an Atari 7800 during a marathon session of Robotron 2084, Wave 256 (that’s level 256 if you’re not familiar with the game) if you can believe it. The system was so hot, we barely touched it and it froze. Where was the Nyko Intercooler when you needed it?

2. Cord Trippers – The culprit is usually an oblivious parent, but can also be a sister. This was common during the NES days. It was hard enough to get a cartridge to work (with all the blowing and cleaning and voodoo magic), so coupled with the jarring effect of someone tripping over a controller cord, the NES didn’t stand a chance. Plus, most games didn’t have a battery save feature, so if this happened while playing a game like Master Blaster or Batman…let’s just say it brings back bad memories.

3. The Angry Parent – Unlike the oblivious parent, the angry parent shut off your system intentionally. After telling them a hundred times that you just needed to get to the inn to save the game, they felt like you were trying to pull a fast one on them. I guess parents aren’t familiar with random battles. This was again common in the 8-bit and 16-bit days before the save-anywhere feature was common in RPGs.

4. User Error – This could be any number of things from saving over a game with a new one to erasing a save with the wrong push of a button. This is especially frustrating because you have no one to blame but yourself.

5. Blue Screen of Death – In the early days of Windows, there were many PC games I enjoyed. I played anything with the word ‘Quest’ in it from Sierra, Civilization, Hugo titles, Commander Keen, and countless others. Unfortunately, computer crashes were more common back then too and you’d always use ‘Bill Gates’ as a curse word when an untimely crash erased hours of progress.

6. A Brother – Like the comic above, a brother or other enemy, might exact revenge on you by deleting a character or save file you really treasure. While I can’t recall a specific instance of revenge taken this way, I’m sure I’ve just blocked it from my memory in order to preserve peace within my family.

7. Save-Anywhere Bugs – That handy little save-anywhere feature may save you from the angry parent shutting off your game, but it sometimes caused other problems. For example, when you save just before a huge boulder crushes your skull. Sure, you can restore your game only to relive that painful death over and over again. You may try to duck, jump, or otherwise avoid impending doom, but after a couple hundred attempts, you give up. Game over.

I’m sure there are more examples, but that’s all I can think of for now. Anyone else have any?

Ray I would like to mention that I don’t normally look this evil in real life.

Tim does, though.

Everyday.

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17 Comments

  1. PiratePete says:

    Wow, all those points sure brought back memories. Especially point #7. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to get out of being instantly killed after saving at a “just about killed” point.
    Ahh, thanks for the memories:)

  2. Ken says:

    Haha! I know I’m really late to the game here, as I’m reading through all your guys’ comics… and I have to say…

    Tim:

    When you were talking about your brother holding the power button before a save point… I’m right there with you. My sister held the button in, I threatened her with SO much wrath that she was in tears (for fear she was going to let go of the power button).

    About 20-30 minutes later she was able to let go.

    Amazing comics, btw, you guys are great!

  3. freakydeeky says:

    BSOD’s have tormented me πŸ™

  4. Pieninja14 says:

    Just reading through the archives, since I haven’t before. I must say I love your comics and I am looking for more great comics, even though you won’t go back here and read this. But I wanted to post this here (I’ll probably post it again to get some attention) another things is the risk of a falling system. This has happened and almost happened to me many times. This is where the system falls off of a small shelf or ledge because of corded controllers/careless friends + relatives. I lost all my data on my good ol’ Gamecube way back when. Has also happened on PS2, Wii, Gamecube, Gamecube, and GAMECUBE! πŸ™ πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

  5. Tristan says:

    im also reading through the archives. my friend cooper had problem number 4: he was playing Subspace Emissary in brawl, and he accidentaly saved over his good file with 96% completion or so, with a file where he had only made it as far as the forest. ouch.

  6. Ali says:

    The User error one happened to me with okami after i was 10 hrs in. I have to do it all again

  7. Noodlez says:

    I got alot of cord tripping…from myself >_> i went to go get a drink or something and oblivious to where i was, i tripped on a GC cord, PS2/PS3 cord…and even made my wii fall on the floor WHILE tripping a cord…yay me >_>.

  8. Stefei says:

    i was about 30 hours into final fantasy XII and my boyfriend accidently took the memory card with when he went to boot camp…. and then it got all smashed in the mail… double disappointment much?

  9. Kimon says:

    There’s one more you guys left out: Save-Card Malfunctions! My friend had a MadCatz save card with a save for Final Fantasy Tactics (PS1) with over 200 hours of play time, and one day it just stopped working! Utter disapointment, and he still won’t play the game to this day.

  10. roadjcat says:

    7. Save-Anywhere Bugs – That handy little save-anywhere feature may save you from the angry parent shutting off your game, but it sometimes caused other problems. For example, when you save just before a huge boulder crushes your skull. Sure, you can restore your game only to relive that painful death over and over again. You may try to duck, jump, or otherwise avoid impending doom, but after a couple hundred attempts, you give up. Game over.

    With this whole achievement thing on the first comic, I suddenly feel like talking about other old comics as well (does anybody actually read these though?).

    As for what I quoted, it was possible to do that in Rune Factory, if you saved while poisoned…if you were unable to make it out in time and you died, you’d go back to your last save point, but if you saved while you were poisoned…then…yeah. Thankfully that never happened to me, in fact I completed the game without dying once…which is not a testament to my skills, but to the game’s difficulty.

  11. FluffyPanda says:

    I suddenly feel like talking about other old comics as well (does anybody actually read these though?)

    No πŸ˜‰

  12. TheUser says:

    I was at my friends house and had brought my Pokemon Crystal game to play while I was there, and to get some of the pokemon you could only get in the originals. So his ADHD ridden cousin comes into the room while we are playing something else, grabs my gameboy and starts fiddling. I look over, tell him to stop playing with my game, and he hands it back. Lo and behold, he reset the game. 248 pokemon and 144 hours down the drain from one dumb cousin. I still hate him.

  13. XshilverX says:

    the save anywhere kind of happened to my but it wasnt saving anywhere , it was on resident evil 1 i saved on the cabin while poisoned and there were no mf blue plants anywhere to be found…fortunately (actually unfortunately) my game got stolen from my baggage in an airport along with 10 other ds games(it was the ds version…)incluiding ff3 and ff7 rw…about 3 quarters passed in each 30 hours lost in each…

  14. Mirby says:

    “6. A Brother – Like the comic above, a brother or other enemy, might exact revenge on you by deleting a character or save file you really treasure. While I can’t recall a specific instance of revenge taken this way, I’m sure I’ve just blocked it from my memory in order to preserve peace within my family.”

    I’ve done this to my brother… but it’s always an accident. Which is even worse, because then guilt sets in. But karma got me back. Erased my FF9 endgame save and scratched Disc 1 so I couldn’t visit the theater district in Lindblum. Pissed me off!

    Great comic, btw.

  15. allmybase says:

    I guessing the game robotron 2048 didnt overheat. Im guessing the memory storing the number of what lkevel you are on was stored in 8 bits (ons or offs) and when it got to 256… well 2^8=256, and if you include one of them as level zero, that means it can only go up to 255, which would mean it should be 100000000 next, but the one is not in the level slot, so either it went to 00000000 again (which can cause bugs, for example the pac-man bug) or it changes a bit somewhere else, which also can cause some bugs.

  16. jd56970 says:

    sooo… who chose the items on that list, the only explanation for the Sonic the hedgPS3 purchase is that either tim also has a sonic addiction or he might have some form of pity and decided to buy something for ray…but that seems unlikely, either way, im a little bit curious why either of you would need 3 beanies or 12 tickle me elmos, do I want to know?

  17. darkdigidestined says:

    i got one for you your idiot room mate losses your memory card i nearly killed the bastard but instead i just took his memry card erased everthing on it and kept it to this day i still dont know why he took it out

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