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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

My life is a Japanese Cartoon

This weekend, I was visiting some friends who have a boy whose deeply into Yu-Gi-Oh. I have my own background with Yo-Go-Oh, namely, it's on when I get up on Saturday mornings and it was the only other decent anime program on besides Pokemon that I get on regular local TV without cable. (It's substantially better now with Heat Guy J on MTV2 and Astro Boy on tthe WB.) I had stopped collecting cards myself and this kid had some of the latest ones. I wanted him to feel connected with an adult on an activity he felt close to, so I agreed to play with him on a couple of conditions; we would play with his cards only and that we would construct our decks by random distribution. As you know, this cuts out an important element of strategy but if he designed a deck knowing all of his cards, it would lead to unequal decks. So we just divided his cards into two piles.

You have to understand, I already had it in mind that I was going lose to someone who knew the game and cards better than I did. In fact, we played this way before and I had lost to him a couple of times already. We negotiated about some of the rules -- what monsters needed a sacrifice to summon, and how many life points to start with. I was able to get some monsters out early and shave some life points off of him while at the same time protecting mine. I also played some cards to increase my life points later.

But then he put a stop to my attacks and I could not do anything for awhile as he was amassing powerful monsters on the field. He played "Swords of Revealing Light" which kept me hamstrung. I kept placing lamo monsters in defense mode to defend my life points and I didn't have any decent magic or trap cards to use. I used and placed what I could to clear space in my hand for new cards.

Finally, he was able to activate his coup de grais. He had enough monsters to sacrifice to summon his most powerful card -- "The Winged Dragon of Ra", one of the absurdly powerful Egyptian god cards -- whatever it's actual in-game powers are, I had take his word for them, since the card was in Japanese. I played my two life point cards and raised my life points by 2000, with hopes that I might survive one attack. He attacked and took out my defense card and I was wide open for davastation on his next turn. He was smiling, anticipating his glorious victory.

At the begining of my turn, I had cleared enough space to draw a substantial number of cards. What happened next was like a scene right out of the series.

KID: "There's nothing you can do to stop my Eygptian god card."

GNU:"Just wait and see! First, I play Blue Eyes White Dragon in attack mode."

KID: "Ha! It's attack will hardly scratch my Eygptian god card!"

GNU: "Not so fast! I also play this magic card which increases Blue Eyes attack to 4000."

KID: "That is still not going to save you."

GNU: "But the card also allows me to attack your life points directly!"

KID: "OH, NO! Still, I will be able to attack next turn."

GNU: "But I am still not finished. I also play this magic card."

KID: "But that card lowers your monster's attack to 3500."

GNU: "Yes. But it also lets me attack twice in one turn!"


GNU: "YES!! My Blue Eyes attacks your life points directly twice for 3500 points each attack. That's a total of 7000 points, more than enough to lower your life points to zero! YOU LOSE!! BWAHAHAHAHA! For Seto and Mokuba!!"

Afterwards, I felt embarrassed for such an immature display. But it was so much as ad hoc an ending as any on the show that I could barely believe it. And in my favor, for once.

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