Monday, March 23, 2009

R.I.P. Hannou Sega World

Friday was a national holiday, so I spent Thursday night drinking near my town with some of the other ALTs since one of them will be moving to another prefecture soon, so we had sorta a going away drinking gathering. I slept in for a very long time the following morning and it felt great. It really has been a long time since I have had a day where I can just sleep in as late as I want. After waking up at around 2:30, I got ready quickly and got on a train a little after 3:00 and headed for Shinjuku.

About 3 hours later I arrived at Vegas. At first it was a little slow but after a while some people showed up. I wasnt doing so amazing at first. I lost a bunch in a row to this one Venom and this one Johnny player took turns with me losing to him but then the Johnny finally beat him so I went to go fight some random May who wasnt playing anyone. I beat the May, and then he left so for a while, no one was challenging me. I had some personal issues on my mind and it was kinda getting me down and affecting my playing but eventually I sorted things out in my head and was able to play better again. After playing for a while, eventually Rod showed up. After a little more time, a Baiken challenged me and Rod was like "your next opponent isnt Japanese" and im thinking "wtf, Matt showed up and picked Baiken?" and then Rod was like "No, its RTL". RTL is a Baiken player from Canada. Ive ran into him briefly once or twice before in Japan but never had time to really hang out with him or play him. We played our match and I won and then he came over and we talked for a bit. I thought he was already out of Japan but he said he came back. He complimated my playing and he asked me a few questions about Japan and my Japanese level and stuff. His Baiken couldnt beat me but he did pretty well, espessially since Rod told me hes a pad player! He was doing very well against various Japanese players too. For a while, Rod, RTL, and I were taking turns trying to beat this one good Johnny and eventually I beat him. Around this time, Matt showed up. Then there was like this one Jam player who I beat but he rematched me and won. He wasnt that good but was doing ok. He was extremely wreckless and random and kept throwing out unsafe flying kicks and it was working for whatever reason. He beat all of us foreigner players like maybe twice each and then I finally beat him again. Then he said his friend was gonna play me who was another Jam player. His friend was way way better and had sick pressure and combos. He wrecked all of us a bit and I finally beat him too. After that I ended up playing against Rod a bit I think. Right around midnight, RTL had to leave cuz he was gonna take the last train home. I invited him to come drinking with us but he said maybe another time. At the very end, we decided to just bust out random side characters for fun. I picked my Ky and I was beating Rods Slayer a few times with him. I dropped a combo that was supposed to end in DP but came out as fireball and lost. Then I won a few as Testament. After winning, Rod was like "play Testament again and you an pick any character in the game for me to use and I will win and you will owe me a beer". I was like... "um, just play anyone except I-no or Johnny." He went with Potemkin and I took the first 2 rounds but then started to slip up and he just got in on me and it was over. So I ended up owing him a beer. I didnt really care, plus Rod was a little low on money so I didnt mind. At this point the arcade was pretty much completely dead, we decided to head out.

We ended up hitting up McDonalds and getting some of the 100 yen 5 piece nuggets action. We then headed over to Current. For a Friday, it was a pretty good turnout. Mostly just a bunch of the regulars there. This one dude, Shuji, was having this conversation with Rod and I about special techniques to make girls squirt really far when you make them cum. This can often be seen in Japanese porn. He refered to it as "pussy shower" which when he said it sounded like "poosy shawa". It was pretty hilarious and he kept doing the finger motions that go with it and going up to us and just randomly saying "poosy shawa". Very amusing shit. The rest of the night was pretty much just us talking a lot to a bunch of the regulars. Nothing too crazy happened. After they closed at 5, a few of us headed over to PSY for some more beers. After getting McDonalds breakfast I headed to the manga kissa.

The next day, I woke up and once again just headed to Vegas. There was a tournament somewhere in Ibaraki today but it was an hour and a half away and started late, plus I had no idea if it would even be worth going to and I normally wouldnt travel that far for something that wasnt gaurenteed to be at least decent or matter for anything. Vegas filled up with lots of great players pretty fast so I didnt feel the need to go. When I first got there it was dead and I was just playing against this one Robo-Ky a bunch of times. For whatever reason I couldnt beat him. I was playing ok but didnt feel like I was doing my best. After several tries, finally a Sol player came along and beat Robo-Ky. Then I played against the Sol player and ended up pretty much raping him like 5 times in a row. Funny how that works out. I kept a record of my matches for a while and it was as follows
beat Bridget 3 times
beat Po
lose to Po
beat the same Robo-ky from before finally
beat Po
beat So
beat Ky
beat Di
lost to Robo-ky
then beat Robo-ky 2 times
beat Di
lose to a different So
After that I got a 9 win streak but started to get lazy and didnt keep track of each match anymore. I eventually lost to a Jam player.

For the rest of the day I pretty much kept getting small win streaks of around 5 or so wins and then losing to someone. Udei (the Axl) was there and I surprisingly beat him like 2 or 3 times. Inoue was there and he was just absoloutly beasting with his I-no. No one could touch him. I played him a few times and got him down to the last round a few times but he just seemed to know exactly what to throw out at every single given moment. Around this time, Matt came with Akiko and we got some Ramen. After that, Akiko went to kill time somewhere while we went back to play some more. When we came back, Inoue was still beasting undefeated. We both tried a few more times but just couldnt touch him. He ended up getting 53 wins, went into IK mode against the computer, got up, and left. That guy just seems to rape with no matter what character he touches. Im sure if there was a random select GG tourny, he would win. Later on, Kuni (the Anji player I might team up with sometimes) came. Also, Nakamura and Tsubasa came too. I played both of them a few times and got some really really close games in but didnt get any wins vs them. After a little while longer, it was already like passed midnight and the arcade was closing soon. I played against Matt and beat him and then a yellow Johnny challenged me and I beat him twice. Then a blue Johnny played me and I lost. I suspected the yellow one was Rod and when I went on the other side he did infact show up and it was him. The blue one was someone else. I rematched him and won. Then Rod played me like a whole bunch of times. I wanted to leave soon cuz it was late but he kept insisting on playing one more again and again. Kuni was sitting at the cab next to me and I kept getting up to leave and then I would go around to see Rod put another coin in so I would go back and sit down. Kuni thought it was amusing hah. I think I ended up having something like 7 wins vs Rod's Slayer. He came close a couple times but didnt beat me. Finally he gave in and we said bye to Kuni and left.

Akiko, Matt, Rod, and I got some more 100 yen nuggets for the road. On our way to Current, some guy was was peddling some sorta shady sex related business on the street. He said "big tits" as we were walking by, but it sound like he said "big cheats!" We then had this image of him selling game informers or something in an erotic way. Rod suggested you had to pull the magazine out of a chicks ass or something.

That night at Current wasnt so packed. Less people than Friday night but still some good regulars. That one girl from Switzerland was back for a week and I talked to her for a bit. Shuji was still all about his "poosy shawa". Tomoko was there with Mai when we arrived as well and they were dancing a lot as usual. Not a whole lot else really went on, most just hanging out and drinking. We went to PSY with a big group of people after Current closed. Pretty packed. I dont remember who it was, but someone tied an inflated condom into Matt's hair which was pretty funny. Also, Matt insisted on doing this weird shit that he learned from Akiko where you put your mouth around someones nose and blow into it. First he did it to Rod and then insisted on doing it to me. It felt really weird. Also, the new girl who has been bartending at PSY was there and she was really drunk and flirty. At some point she was flashing her panties and I guess it made Akiko get pissed at Matt or something. After getting some more McDonalds breakfast we split up and went to sleep.

I woke up from the manga kissa and headed to Vegas. It was completely dead. Today, the plan was to attend the GG tournament at Hannou Sega world. This would be our 3rd time going there. The tournament wasnt schedule to start till 6:30 so we had some time to kill. We agreed to all meet up at Vegas at 3 and then play for a bit and head out. Since no one was around and Vegas was dead, I just spent a good part of the early afternoon walking around various parts of Shinjuku. The weather was nice and it felt good to just be outside. I walked passed 8-bit cafe and checked out some music stores. Eventually I headed back to Vegas and there was like a couple of guys playing GG. Mitsurugi was there using his Slayer. He had 12 wins and was about to beat Boss I-no in arcade mode. I challenged him before he beat the game and lost but then I rematched him and won. Unfortunately after I beat him, he got up and left the arcade. Then for a little bit I just fought the computer but then some guy was like sorta watching me play and eventually decided to challenge me. He was a Chipp player. This guy turned out to be really fucking good. He had great mixups and pressure. I have a really hard time vs Chipp, hes like in my top 3 hardest matchups. I started off by winning 1 for every 3 he would win and over time it started to drift more and more and eventually he had like 10 wins on me. I kept coming close but sometimes I just feel so helpless in that matchup. I had to go to the bathroom so I got up and went around and told the guy good games and said he had a good Chipp. I asked him about his SBO plans and he said he already had a team. I went to the bathroom and came back and he was still fighting the computer so I played him like once or twice more. Then Matt finally showed up like an hour later than he was supposed to. I guess he lost his phone or something so he couldnt contact me. Also, Rod was on his way but he didnt pay his phone bill so he could only recieve messages and not send them. Once both of those guys finally got there, it was already getting late, so we had to get going. Matt said that Akiko was waiting for us at MOS burger but she wasnt there. I tried calling her twice but no answer. Eventually Matt thought to check another cafe and she ended up being there. Upon finding her, we quickly set out.

On the train on the way there, Rod started playing Final Fantasy VI for GBA on his DS since I brought it for him to barrow. His first time playing the game. He got up to right after the part where the moogles and Locke save Terra from the Narshe guards.

We eventually arrived in Hannou and we had about 10 minutes to spare. We made it to the arcade just in time. Both of the other times I had gone to this place for tournaments, the turnout was kinda low, at around 10 people. This time 17 people entered which was pretty good for a small inaka arcade tournament. There was this one guy there who came up to us and asked us where we were from in perfect English. Turns out he used to live in the US for 7 years. We talked a bit, and he told me that the reason there were so many people this time was that this was to be the very last tournament that this arcade would ever see. In a few days, Hannou Sega World would be closing its doors forever. I read a while back in an online article that Sega was scheduled to shut down a big chunk of their arcades in Japan. I figured most of them would be these less popular inaka arcades, its just a shame this had to be one of them. Theres no worry for places like Club Sega Akihabara, Shinjuku, Sportsland or Ikebukuro GIGO to be shutting down but it still sucks any time an arcade closes down. A small piece of the gaming scene dies. I guess this place used to be a common home to a lot of these guys, most of them live really close by. Espessially Takure who was there once again, rocking his Eddie. Most of the other ussual guys were there, but Udei did not show up this time, despite getting first place at the last one. After the brackets were made via random numbers, Rod and Matt had the unluckiness of having to fight eachother first round, first match of the whole tournament. It was pretty close but in the end, Rod took it with his I-no. I didnt really know who to root for honestly. It was just kinda a shitty situation. My first match was against a Zappa player named H. I won the first round, lost the 2nd round cuz he got Raoh out, but then took the 3rd and 4th round for the win (Hannou tournaments are always one match, 3/5 rounds for whatever reason). Some other highlights were, this one wacky Faust player whos always there beating the Red Potemkin player that I almost triple perfected at the first Hannou tourny we went to, and he used pogo stance the entire time! It was hilarious yet painful to watch. Poor Potemkin guy. Then there was the good Potemkin who beat me the first tournament vs the guy who was good at speaking English, who also played Po. English Po lost to the other guy. Lots of Potemkin and also lots of HOS at this tournament. For Rod's 2nd match, he had to fight Takure. He started off strong but in the end, Eddie got the best of him and he was eliminated. This meant that my next match would end up being vs Takure as well (Rod and Matt were placed in the braket in a way that they had to fight one extra match than everyone else, like the opposite of getting a bye). I started off really strong against him. I had him in the corner with almost no life left. I was about to take the round. I tried to run forward and command throw him. It would have worked for sure cuz he was just sitting there crouch blocking, but my forward forward input didnt register and I ended up doing the command throw outside of throw range and it whiffed. He took advantage of this and I was punished accordingly and lost the 1st round. He won the next round. I then took round 3. Round 4 was close but I lost. I pretty much was just fucking up execution type stuff mostly. He told me after he beat me that he didnt feel like he should have won that one. My strategies were very good but I just kept inputing stuff wrong. Oh well, thats how it goes. He really is a very solid Eddie player though. After a little more time, the tournament was over and Takure ended up winning the whole thing. 2nd place was the good Potemkin player and 3rd place was the crazy Faust.

After the tournament ended, a few people made some speeches about the arcade and the memories they had there, including the staff guy who was running it. Then, they organized another one of those 2 team tournaments where they just split everyone up in half and made teams. Since I had to go in like 15 minutes, they let me play first for our team. I had to fight their Slayer first and I beat him pretty well, finishing the match by dizzying him and then just super jumping over his head and letting the bomb that was sitting there kill him while he was dizzied. The next match was against this really good Testament. It went down to the very last round with both of us having like less than 10% life left. I went for an airl teleport and it just whiffed outside of hit range and I got punished and died. Its alright though cuz I really had to leave. I said bye to everyone there and then walked to the station by myself.

I made it with about 5 minutes to spare. Just enough to get a sandwich and a drink before getting on the train. I didnt mention it until now, but I had a bad cold and a sore throat all weekend long since like Friday morning. After eating that sandwich, all of a sudden my sore throat got like 10 times worse. It went from being a minor irritation to a throbbing pain all through the left side of my head into my ear. Swallowing made me cringe in pain. I tried to sleep on the train but would be woken up periodically by the pain. I managed to make it home this time (unlike last time when I came home from Hannou and failed to get on the right train and Ryoko had to pick me up like an hour away from home) but when I got home my throat was killing me. I gargled with some salt water and went to sleep. This morning when I woke up, its slightly less painful but still pretty bad. I really hope it gets better by this coming weekend cuz this next weekend is the start my spring break as well as the very first SBO qual, so I want to be in good form for both playing hard and drinking a lot of beer. Heres hoping my throat feels better.

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