Game on! Not quite retro status

It was pure desperation, but I’m glad I tried it. The games I had in my folder were old shooters, ones that ran well on win XP, but hadn’t dare try on Win7. Incompatibility was the reason, and also why I’d put it off playing the oldies until, now. Looking back, and in the present, it still has the sound bug that it had with Win XP: if you don’t let the intro play to it’s conclusion you have the few bars repeating in the game from when you pressed the ‘ESC’ button.

The game in question was the original Alien versus predator FPS, first published in 1999 by Fox interactive and Rebellion. What I really play it for is the skirmish mode. You have the choice of playing either the Alien(s),Predators or Colonial marines.  So much more fun though, pointless as you almost always die.  Yup, one character against nearly overwhelming odds that never stop. Multiple settings, but the one I like to play the most is called stranded. One marine versus H.R Giger’s alien and variations thereof.  What scared the shit out of me initially, was being absolutely lost on the map, knowing that death itself is coming.

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You only start with the Marines’ trusted friend, the pulse rifle and move up from there. To the throaty staccato of the smart gun to the almost uncontrollable outpouring of lead from the mini-gun.  So much torque that your point of aim is thrown off if you so much as fire a prolonged burst. “Remember, short controlled bursts.” Purely pointless or purely entertaining? Scares the heck out of me but I keep on coming back. Game over? Maybe.

A shortish march, ouch. I appreciate, I appreciate!

Class marching to site.jpgSlightly surprised would be the description of the teachers at my school when I turned up in shorts, t-shirt and a hiking pack. The hike was up Namsan mountain, which according to my supervisor, ‘every town has a south(ern) facing mountain.’ The hike started off in good order, with the third grades leading off. I went with them, as, they would be the first, and, they’re not so inclined to bow and say hello to me every time they see me. I don’t mind being invisible sometimes. The first half of the hike was up to Asan’s war memorial, where, the wars that Korea had fought in, were immortalized in grey marble no less. Not so different to what I’d see back home. Every town would have some concrete or stone spire, a plaque and inscriptions to their fallen soldiers. Come to think of it, the third graders weren’t so much older than their grandfathers and grand uncles that fought in the Korean war. Even walking to the war memorial itself had some parallels as some of the classes touted flags, and messages on those flags. Well, the idea of the hike was supposed to commemorate the soldiers and, a wish for peace and unity. Frankly speaking, the people want peace, but that decision might be up to the heads of state.Respect.jpg

Soon after reaching the memorial site, a single wreath of white flowers was laid, and respects given. The march continued. I actually thought that since Namsan was only 150m tall the hike would be relatively easy. Unfortunately, what was missing was gradients and an extra 800m in elevation. Damn you Naver maps!

By the time I’d reached the summit,Youarelost-namsanAsancity_zpsdde8fe60.jpg which was enclosed with trees and other greenery, there was no vista to see. Severely unfit, lacking in a substantial breakfast I was sweaty, aching and out of breath. Some of my students thought the same and sat down on some benches near to the top. The water, and bite sized snickers bars that my supervisor had given me weren’t going to make the distance. I’d have to do. No-one was going to carry me down, dead or alive. Having reached the relative ease of flat terrain, I pressed on, protesting muscles and all. Most of my students and teachers looked none the worse for wear. While I, had looked like I had done twice the distance. I was soaked in sweat, greasy from the sunscreen I’d applied, covered in dirty from god knows only where. But, I have to say that lunch, in my current state was a breath of life and was fantastic. The watermelon never tasted so good. I should know, I had three slices.