Sunday, July 30, 2006
The Big Payoff
About two weeks ago, I had put an order from a prominent import side for Play-Yan Micro, the Nintendo produced but Japan-only media-player attachment for the Game Boy Advance, which also coincidentally works with the DS. I had discussed this in length in this 2005 posting.
At around the same time, two other friends and myself in Final Fantasy XI began working on missions for one of the new (rare/exclusive) items, the Yigit Turban. For those who have not played the game, something that is rare and exclusive means you can only have one of the items and its exclusivity means once that particular item has dropped into the inventory of a player, it is theirs to keep. It cannot be sold or traded.
Thirdly, Civilization IV: Warlords the expansion pack to last year's Civilization IV had gone gold earlier in the month and was on its way to stores, on Wednesday, according to Futureshop.
The confluence of these three seemingly unrelated events was to set up for a pay-off of epic proportions. Well, ok, if you’re not me, it’s probably a bit trivial and not so epic, but it was a great day to be me this past Tuesday.
The week however did not start off so promisingly. Before the big payoff was the big bust. As I got home from work on Monday, I received a little slip from the postal service in my mailbox indicating I had a package. Unfortunately, the mailperson had not checked off if it the package was for Monday or if I had to go the next day to pick it up. Feeling certain I had received the package, I went to the post office to pick up the package with about half an hour to spare before the post office closed. About a dozen other people it seems also decided to show up at around the same time to do their postal business and what was supposed to be a quick entry and exit resulted in over twenty minutes of waiting, only to be told the package was not in and that it would arrive the next day.
My night would only get worse. Monday July the 24th was also the day Square-Enix patched Final Fantasy XI, adding new spells and abilities and adjusting several things, including the missions we were doing. Deeming it easier than originally anticipated, Square-Enix had decided to adjust downwards the points rewarded for completing the missions we were working on. As my friends and I proceeded to the mission, a sense of forboding came over us. We know they would be tweaking with the mission rewards and we wondered if ours were affected.
The mission went badly. We wiped, as in wiped-out (a FFXI slang for everyone in a party or alliance dying). But some quick last minute heroics saved the day. The Paladin used a re-raise item before dying, which allowed him to revive himself and raise me and the 3rd player. With the clock running, we had to complete it as fast as we could and in the end, we completed our assigned mission with only seconds to spare.
And then came the big disappointment. The adjusted points meant we did not have enough points (of the required 20,000) to trade-in and obtain our items. I came 7 points short of 20,000. Our plans were in ruins, but there was tomorrow, Tuesday.
And Tuesday came. After work, I went to the post office to pick up the package from the import store. Surprise, there was no line this time and with enough time to spare, I rushed off to Electronics Boutique to pick up an advanced copy of Civilization IV: Warlords which was supposed to be released in Canada on Wednesday but Ebgames managed to have early copies in stock.
As I worked to test out the Play-Yan Micro and have the first MP4 encoded files to play on it, it was time to complete our final mission before the item and unlike Monday, everything went smoothly and minutes after entering the arena for our mission, we stared the exit on the other end. As I rushed my avatar to the appointed place to collect my reward I could only think of how great the day was. I had gotten three things I’ve been waiting for and wanting in one day.
Tuesday was a great day indeed. And needless to say, I did not get much sleep that night.
P.S. This wasn’t released on Tuesday but I wish it was. A new and even more awesome Final Fantasy III trailer with a remix of the original FF III theme re-arranged by Nobuo Uematsu himself.