Game Log
+ Prologue
+ Pirate actors
+ Alexandria 1
+ Alexandria 2
+ The Woods
+ Cleyra
+ A pause
+ The Castle
+ The Iifa Tree
+ Fossil Roo
+ Conde Petie
+ Madain Sari
+ The Desert
+ The Desert Palace
+ Ipsen's Castle

+ Everything I never needed to know I learned from FF9
+ FF9 is a family game...

+ Zidane Tribal
+ Tantalus
+ Vivi Ornithopter
+ Garnet
+ Kuja
+ Garland


Adventures in Playstationland

My boyfriend gave me a Playstation and Final Fantasy 9 for my 30th birthday. It's the perfect celebration of my passage into maturity. I feel like standing up before fandom with the Playstation and saying, "Now I am an adult..."

Because owning a Playstation is a symbol of coming into one's own in fandom, isn't it? It's expected. It's natural. A gaming fan has a bed, a desk, a bookshelf, a TV, and a Playstation. My dedicated-gaming-products dearth has been a source of embarrassment for me, covered up by snobbery toward people so shallow that they would play a game on a "computer" that didn't even have a keyboard.

But now I have a Playstation. I can hold my head up high. I am a real gamer.

And I have Final Fantasy 9.

Kuja's thong is in my grasp.

I wish.

But before I can lay my digital hands upon Kuja's pearlescent, pixelated flesh, I must plug the Playstation in.

Boyfriend and I spent some time on my birthday trying to plug the machine in. Unfortunately, both of my TV's--the little one that works and the big one that barely works but is exactly the right height to be a stand for the little one--are too old to have the right kind of jack, so an adaptor must be found. The day after my birthday was a day of Korean food and shopping, so no adaptor was to be had. Forgoing FF9 for an entire day wasn't hard at this point, as the Playstation had not yet had a chance to lure me into its grasp.

Monday--I stand in the electronics department of the local Target, watching a beautiful woman beat drums while demanding that we bring her men with empires in their minds. I identify with her. I am also grateful to her because while she is on the wall-length bank of TVs, I do not have to look as though I know what I am doing.

Then an interview with Kevin Smith comes on. He's rather pallid after the beautiful woman's video, so I have to return to my normal scheduled pretense of electronic competence. I wander the aisles at random, looking for game machine adaptors. Boyfriend told me the name of the specific adaptor, but the acronym means nothing to me, so I don't remember it.

A wall of adaptors! Ah! A short wall! Praise the heavens! And look, something which sounds vaguely like what Boyfriend told me to get! It has a pleasing round shape. More importantly, it has what looks like the right kind of ends. I buy it and take it home, where it connects cheerily to the various bits of machinery now daisy-chained to my ancient television. My cable plugs into my VCR plugs into my Playstation plugs into the TV.

Perhaps I can fit a DVD player in there as well. With more adaptors.

How far can a signal stretch, anyway? Is there any point at which it gives up and says, "Hell with this, there's no TV attached to this mess, I'm gonna hang out in your stereo"?

I plug in the cordless controller and the memory card, and turn the Playstation on.

The Playstation turns on. The game does not.

I turn the Playstation off, a little frisson of terror running up my spine. One does not turn off computers without warning the computer first. I am not yet used to how cavalierly one can--must!--flip the Playstation on and off.

I turn it back on.

The game starts!

The controller does not work.

I switch to the corded controller, another little frisson of terror running up my spine. One does not change peripherals on a computer without warnnig the computer first, then turning the computer off, then turning the computer back on. The Playstation, however, is happy to take anything I throw at it. Is this because it is such a hardy piece of equipment that it will cheerfully endure anything--a dandelion to the computer's fainting violet? Or has the Playstation merely taken so much abuse that it will bow its head and endure in silence?

I worry for my poor Playstation.

Then I name it Dandelion and forge on.

The corded controller works! My Playstation is fully functional!

Next: I actually get to play the game!