Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Friday, September 2, 2011

PAX 2011: Best ever? part 2

--This is part two of a long post regarding my amazing time at PAX 2011! Be sure to read part one for full coverage!--

So I believe that yesterday I promised full coverage of my Wil Wheaton encounter plus Link cosplay photos. Prepare yourself!

Sunday is the day of the PAX that I remember most clearly. Perhaps it's because I was only at the center for about five hours and therefore there wasn't a lot of time for too much to happen. I decided after open to close visiting for Friday and Saturday that I simply had to sleep in on Sunday. PAX is amazing but also incredibly exhausting.

The inexhaustible Robert Khoo inspecting Dark Link's black contact lenses. 

So, Sunday. I decided that this would be photo taking day, so Jacki and I wandered into the hall around 1:30/2 feeling well fed, well rested, and ready to take some fun pictures. That morning I had seen an update from Felicia Day via Google+ indicating that she was at PAX. I think Felicia Day is awesome and incredibly inspiring. I love The Guild and her blog and it would be really amazing to meet her. So I told Jacki that I wanted to see if she was still hanging around. I had been told earlier in the weekend that Wil Wheaton's booth was near the skybridge, and usually she's near him at conventions. As we made our way toward his booth, we were almost immediately distracted by intensely awesome cosplay.

Their costumes were so good, and they were very nice.

One girl dressed as Link, another dressed as Dark Link. Both excellent costumes, neither knew each other. They came separately and ended up finding one another and then hung out for the rest of the day. We waited patiently to ask for some photos of them, and were rewarded with pleasant conversation and a lot of fun images.

That's when something amazing happened.

I stood between the two Links, feeling excited at their costumes and pleased to be participating in such a great experience. Jacki snapped the picture, then started laughing and pointing at a person behind us who had photobombed the shot. I went to look at the camera, which is when someone said, 'Photobombed by Wil Wheaton, that's the best kind!' I was absolutely floored. My first time photographing cosplayers, my first time BEING photographed with cosplayers, my first time being photobombed, and it is Wil Wheaton.

Having the time of my life sandwiched between two Links. The cherry
on top of the best day ever could only be Wil Wheaton.

We all have a good laugh about it, then get the names of the Links so I could send them pictures, then Jacki and I go on our own way. It is then that I go, 'I want to meet Wil Wheaton and get a REAL picture!' So we head back to where we started. The line to meet him was pretty long, but we had friendly people to chat with, and the two Links ended up getting in line behind us as well. I wasn't feeling nervous at all, just excited. I read Wil Wheaton's blog and I follow him on twitter and Google+. He's entertaining and interesting, and seems like a truly nice guy.

I've been feeling particularly happy toward him ever since he posted a video (shown below) of TheBloggess (if you don't read her blog, you really really should) giving a talk about preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Please watch it. You won't be disappointed.

Did you watch it? OK good. I am that third person. Sometimes I flat out don't feel like doing things, but other times I'm too lasjdflijaldjfljadf to do the things that I want to do. It's a thing that I've been working on lately, and I have had a lot of help and encouragement from Andrew (he's wonderful). This video was one of those moments that resonated with me. I wanted to thank Wil Wheaton for his interesting blog and also for posting this video and helping me to do the things I wanted to do.

When it was my turn to meet him and say hello, I was suddenly incredibly nervous. I approached his table and stared wide eyed, a smile on my face. He looked up at me politely, waiting for me to say something.

"Hello. ... It's really nice to meet you. ......................My name is Miranda."

I am so sorry for my derpy face.

From there Jacki took a photo of us together, and then a few more of us talking. I have to apologize for my face in the picture, apparently it forgot the memo that I was supposed to look happy. I can't control my face, it just does whatever the hell it wants. But anyway, I told him how much I enjoyed his blog and that him posing that video of TheBloggess really helped me, and that I probably wouldn't have even gotten in line to meet him otherwise. He was very gracious and kind. Among the books, posters and shirts he was selling, he also had prints that you could get signed. I decided that I needed to have the image of him collating paper that he sent to TheBloggess (hilarious).

This is getting framed and put above my bed.

He signed it for me, remembered my name (and spelled it correctly!) and then sent me on my way. The man next to him told me "$20" and I go, "Oh I thought signatures were free!" and he says, "They are, but the prints are twenty", and I go, "Oh. Oh oh oh! I'm sorry!" I was completely bewildered and star struck and overwhelmed and not paying attention, and then Wil Wheaton goes, "It's OK, you can have it" and smiles and I go, "Really? Are you sure? Thank you thank youthankyou!!" and then stumble away with Jacki asking if I was going to cry. I almost started to cry, so we left.

A photographer from the Seattle P.I. was taking their photos,
so I snuck a few of my own in while they posed.

Friday and Saturday are such a mis-mash in my head still, I can hardly pick out individual instances. I remember playing Skyward Sword at some point, and that was pretty cool. I don't currently own any wii motion plus games, so Zelda was my first experience. It's so much different from what I expected. The motions are incredibly specific, which I am not used to. At the end of my ten minute demo my arms were beginning to feel slightly fatigued from all of the slashing and punching motions. I fully anticipate developing Zelda arms once the game is released in November.

There were some really great new aspects of gameplay, a welcome change from how familiar Twilight Princess felt even as a new title. I was thankful for the long forgotten feeling of total confusion in a Zelda environment. I chose to play the dungeon demo and there was so much to get accustomed to. One of the first things I noted was the ability to shoot down the giant spiders. In previous titles you simply had to wait for them to turn their bellies toward you, then you could slash them. In Skyward Sword you can use the bow and arrow, or the new flying beetle item, to cut their strings. Once the spiders are on the ground they are completely invulnerable except for a gem spot on their undersides. Getting to their soft spot requires specific upward sword slashes, which I found difficult to perform. If you get them on their backs you can then pull off a rather awesome finishing move that involves jumping and stabbing. I was impressed.

Jacki holding our cotton candy from the Kirby room!
I think it really adds to the ambiance here.

My extremely long wait time to experience Skyward Sword and subsequent stumbling around in a level rewarded me with a Skyward Sword/25th Zelda Anniversary lanyard. I do so love good swag. I also had an opportunity to play Mario Kart 7 as well as Super Mario 3D Land. Mario Kart felt the same as the previous DS offering, except the addition of optional 3D. It was fun enough, but I'm not sure it'll be a title I feel the need to buy. Super Mario 3D Land was amazing though. A beautiful cross between Mario 64 and Super Mario 3, the environments were puzzle laden and challenging, comfortingly familiar at its core, but still very fresh. I played the demo level with the raccoon tail present, a power up that I have always loved and sorely miss from recent iterations of the series.

I found it peculiar that the power-up item is the brown leaf again, but it turns Mario into the whole suit, much like the Tanooki suit. But, you don't turn into a statue, or at least I couldn't figure out a way to do it. Sort of perplexing. If it were just the raccoon suit then it would only be ears and a tail, right? Oh Mario, you'll never stop making me think about you. Either way it is a definite buy once it is released.

Two of my three purchases from Sanshee. Jacki and I bought these both (we 
really enjoy matching one another <3 ). The right image is earrings, by the way.

As a closing thought, I'm going to mention Sanshee, a really excellent company that has been in business for about two years. They started on the east coast and now do conventions all over the US. Their products are incredibly awesome and clever, and their designer and (one of the) owner(s) are super nice and thankful! Jacki and I went back to this booth four times I believe. The first time we just wanted to look at the wares, but upon closer inspection we realized that we needed the itemsThis shirt in particular I fell in love with. Hard. And then my heart was ripped out when I was told that it was a preview and the shirt would be for sale on the website in about a month. My credit card is quivering with anticipation. 

Rockin' it. Although wearing it makes me
drink more soda. Hm.

Instead, I opted for this excellent Nuka Cola shirt. I love it I love it. Considering my long-standing affection for the series, and the fact that I finally started playing Fallout 3, I am beyond thrilled to have a garment to reflect my feelings. Jacki and I purchased multiple items from them and had a few very pleasant conversations with Arty, the designer and one of the owners. What a pleasant fellow! When asked if they would be returning to PAX next year, he said yes. We were very happy about that. I encourage people to check out their website, the shirts are really grade A. Also, any Pokemon fans will be thrilled to see these. I can't wait to see what new products they release!

Oh, one more thing. We all know that I love Minecraft, and Mojang (the company that does Minecraft) was present at PAX this year. What's more is that Notch (creator of Minecraft!!) was at PAX as well! I had a pipedream of getting to meet him and thank him for his game. I also wanted to tell him how Andrew and I used it as a way to 'hang out' while I was in Ireland for three months. It really helped the distance to feel less... huge. I checked at the Mojang booth multiple times each day, but no luck in finding him. On Sunday I ended up at the booth one last time before closing and happened to meet a guy that works for Mojang as a business something-or-other. I chatted with him for a few minutes expressing my appreciation for Minecraft and my woes at not finding Notch. He then ever so kindly directed me toward Jeb, a developer for the game! I happily bounded over to him and asked him to sign my badge, all the while telling him the same story that I would have told Notch if I had had the chance. 

Jeb, a developer for Minecraft.

I don't know what other people's experiences were for this year, but this was definitely my best PAX ever. Hopefully after reading my posts you'll share the same sentiments :)



I love rereading your posts about PAX to relive the moments. 8)

Excited for next year yet? I am!

Were you at PAX too? :D She did a great job on her costume!

This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.

I'm bad at commenting, apparently. WHOOPS.

Anyhow, quick story:

So I'm an Enforcer. I was escorting Wil from Expo to his booth in bandland, and we walked past Link and Shadow Link posing for pictures, as is to be expected. I told him, "It's taking all the self control I have to NOT photobomb them right now," and without hesitating he said, "Let's do it."

If you were curious, that's how this scenario came to be. I was hoping to find a picture, and only just now saw this. It would seem I didn't quite make it into the frame, but at least Wil did. Mission (mostly) accomplished.

Glad you had a fun weekend. It makes all the work we Enforcer-folk put into the show worthwhile.

Haha no worries xD

I am so glad that you found my post and shared that story!! It further shows how amazing and far-reaching the PAX community is! I really had an absolute blast, as I always do :) Thanks for what you do for the show! Also, thanks for encouraging the photobomb, it's one of the coolest things to ever happen to me!

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