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Evil Jim

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02:30 am: I love video games
Back in the 1990s two well-known magicians & the now long-defunct video game developer/producer Absolute Entertainment created a game for the now long-defunct Sega CD called Penn & Teller: Smoke & mirrors, or Penn & Teller: S and M. Sadly, the game was never released & has remained in obscurity since. However, it would appear that the game was completed before Absolute Entertainment went under & there is plenty of information available if one is clever & diligent enough to seek it. The storyline is that a competing magic duo, Stinkburger and Rot, have convinced the world that magic is REAL and they have SUPER POWERS and everyone should give them lots of money. So Penn & Teller set out to stop them, because they're fucking liars. However, strange as it may seem this main game is not what drew P&T's S and M to its obscure infamy or why I'm writing this entry on it tonight. There are a number of little games besides the main story which you can play: card tricks with Mofo the monkey, let P&T guess your astrological sign & a sci-fi game called "Space Scorcher" to name a few. None of these are why I'm writing either.

Still going...In response to Janet Reno's outcry against violent video games they included a real-to-life minigame called "Desert Bus" where you drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas. In real time. Completing the game takes eight hours. In real time. This is provided you keep the accelerator floored at the bus' maximum speed of 45 MPH and don't drift off the road. You can't just tape the button down & go do something else because, just like real life, the bus won't stay straight for long. No, it doesn't careen off into a ditch & explode in a boiling mass of flame. This is real life, remember. The bus slows down, gets stuck in the sand & overheats. If you wait long enough a tow-truck arrives, pulls you out & tows you all the way back to Tuscon. In real time. Just like real life. There are plenty of things to do & see in "Desert Bus" to keep the game entertaining: there's a digital clock in the dash to keep track of the passing time. It's not accurate unless you start playing at 7:30, but it ticks off the minutes & hours just like on a real clock. There's also an odometer to track the 360 miles between stops. There's one of them green pine tree shaped air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror that rotates as the bus moves. You can drive on the right side of the road -- you can even drive on the left side of the road since there isn't much traffic. The line is always dotted so you can pass at any time. To top it all off, you can even beep the horn. Playing through the entire game awards you one point & once you reach Vegas you're asked if you would like to work a double shift & drive back to Tuscon, thus offering another exciting round of "Desert Bus."

I mentioned above that the game -- Pen & Teller: Smoke and Mirrors, not just "Desert Bus" -- was unreleased, but that doesn't mean no one ever had their hands on a copy. Someone, somewhere, bless them, must have kept their pre-release or demo disc because now, as luck would have it, the game is now available for free, illegal download. Everything you need to know, including links to the Bittorrent & GENS emulator can be found.... wait for iiit... here. But you didn't get it from me. Or, if you don't want to play, screenshots & a review can be found at the SomethingAwful forums here. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

Also just in, Penn talks about the game in detail in his podcast on March 1st. Look for "Pen & Teller's Real Life Games" on the list. Game stuff starts at the 3:50 minute mark. He doesn't sound too concerned about the game being downloaded so I don't feel guilty about it just yet.

Now before you all rush to download the game & start playing "Desert Bus," I have plans for this weekend. I'd like to finally get hacking on that back room of mine & this will involve some serious disorganization before I can get things sorted out. I would like some help & I am willing to pay for it. I just need someone to come over and help move stuff around while I sort through the waist-deep pile of boxes cluttering what will eventually become my spare bedroom. Basically you'd just have to be patient while I rooted around deciding what to keep, & move stuff for me either to piles designated for trash or charitable donations. Anyone who helps will get first dibs on anything I'm getting rid of (my trash could be your treasure!) & after I've had enough sorting I'll make it worth your while by taking you out to dinner & maybe a movie or something that evening. Sound good? I'm free both Saturday & Sunday. Just email me or leave a comment here. We're open all night.

Speaking of night, I should probably get to doing those night-y type things like play Tron 2.0 or "Desert Bus" sleep & rest. Here I go for the first try...

E V I L O U T -

Current Mood: video games!

Comments

From:renny1780
Date:March 3rd, 2006 06:46 am (UTC)
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I'd help you but I can't...Nettie's birthday party is at my house this weekend. Honestly, I think you and Colin are out to get me or something. He always has OffBeat performances scheduled when I'm at work and you always do a general "anyone wanna do anything" when I'm not around. You are both bastards :) Okay, I'm just kidding. But you aready knew that.
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From:evil_jim
Date:March 3rd, 2006 09:08 am (UTC)
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Both days? .... Actually, I wouldn't dare ask you for fear of risking further injury to your back since this will involve a lot of lifting, carrying & general climbing around stuff in a cluttered room. This will take more than one weekend tho' so maybe one day in the future when you're all healed?
From:renny1780
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
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Well...the party is a sleep-over deal so it runs from Saturday afternoon through sometime on Sunday (whenever people get up and go home)...and then I'll have to do laundry again and clean my own house and so on and so forth. So, really, it will take all weekend.

It's odd about my back...lifting and climbing around and all of that really don't bother me much. It's the worst first thing in the morning...the longer I'm awake and doing things, the better I feel.

Woo.
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From:phil_bond
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)
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If you beat Desert Bus before you beat four dungeons in Ocarina of Time, I'll be wicked pissed.
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From:phil_bond
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:05 am (UTC)
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"Pissed," by the way, when coupled with the "wicked" modifier... means drunk.
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From:sacredspud
Date:March 3rd, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
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Oh, man. I'm glad Jim's success at Desert Bus is tied to your inebriation and not mine. Here's hoping that he beats it while you're not at work.
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From:jeklnskinsgrl
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:17 am (UTC)
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I've never played Desert Bus, but I've had Ocarina of Time since it came out and I STILL haven't beaten it yet.
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From:evil_jim
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
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It's going to be difficult to start Ocarina of Time when I still have Perfect Dark in the cartridge slot. Help!
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From:seanorange
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:59 am (UTC)
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I just pulled out my Perfect Dark save. I tend to play it Halo style now, with my left hand on the directional pad and my right on the stick/trigger. In fact, that makes it quite a bit like the Halo setup.

Just to show you how backwards I was, I played on 1.2 with the axis inverted. After playing so much Halo and other first-person shooters on more recent generation consoles (and the PC), I can't believe how I could ever have done anything.

I love this game. I don't think many people realize that it set so many standards for console shooters that are still adhered to today.

And Perfect Dark Zero is NOTHING like it...

~Sean
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From:laviorli
Date:March 3rd, 2006 11:18 am (UTC)
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I'll help! I'd like to see Ocarina of Time, Maybe if you want company later I could come play that for awhile(or watch you play) and maybe watch more last exile after? Whatdayathink?
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From:evil_jim
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
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The completist in me won't let me start Ocarina before I secure a proper game manual. I'm looking tho'.
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From:laviorli
Date:March 3rd, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
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Cheater! :P :)
From:renny1780
Date:March 4th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
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Funny that you mention the game manual...I happen to have such a beast in my collection. Of course, it's geared toward the N64 but everything, from what I've noticed, is the same (except some of the controls - and once those are figured out, it's easy)...
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From:phil_bond
Date:March 4th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
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He has the N64 version.
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From:evil_jim
Date:March 3rd, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad to find another fan of "Desert Bus." I first heard about it 10 years ago & was greatly disappointed that Smoke and Mirrors was never released, not only for that but because I'm also a big Penn & Teller fan. One of these days I'll play "Desert Bus" all the way through. Right now my current limit is 28 minutes.

I'm deleting your comment. Please don't take offence, the image just wreaks havoc with my window settings when I try to read this page. Sorry.
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From:evil_jim
Date:March 4th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)

Better than drinking games...

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Would it be cheating to play it as a party event, taking pledges and switching off?

Heck no! If you check out Penn's podcast I linked to he even mentiones that they hoped some fraternity or other party-minded group would tackle the game & try to get the highest score & win the big "Desert Bus" prize.
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