Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Hey, did I ever tell you guys the story about the time George Lucas came to my house and punched all my kids in the face? No?
Man, you would have thought that after having a blog for two years that might have come up. But I guess I've been too busy finding pictures of smoking children posing with chickens or making teh phunny out of the slangy double-entendre of our president's last name to get around to something like that. Unlike most bloggers, my problem is I just have too many ideas.
About six months ago I guess, it happened the first time. My three young boys and I, all gathered around the computer getting ready for some good quality family bonding time where we ignore each other as we play a video game, except for the parts where we scream and throw things at the other person because they are "doing it wrong" and "ruining our game." This kind of social development is just as important as any SAT to prepare them for college life, in my opinion. Although I did leave out the bong hits.
We had just purchased the fun-looking LEGO Star Wars video game, in which the stories of the three Star Wars prequels are re-made out of Lego blocks. Lots of explosions and death and dismemberment, but in a pleasant molded-plastic aesthetic that is only scary when your dad, for example, leans close to your ear behind you when you're playing and offers commentary. "Oh my God, he just cut off that guy's legs. How do you think that would feel? And now he's going to leave him to be burned alive. Oh Jesus, his skin is probably melting right on his bones... OK, bed time!"
We got to that eventually, but right out of the box... nothing. The computer wouldn't even recognize the CD-ROM, let alone install. There was much wailing and consternation among the sprogs that afternoon. To get them all worked up into that twitching, drooling, shaking level of barely-contained-explosion expectation reserved for kids and dogs and then to have all that energy go un-released. Let me tell you, it turns into something unspeakably horrible but just as intense in a hurry. Yeah, maybe they can't reach the control knobs, but it's still disturbing to find your five-year-old with his head in the oven.
We got the game several months after it initially came out. I looked online for help. Hey, turns out this is a known technical issue. All they accidentally did was ship over half of the copies of the games on non-functioning CD-ROMs. And look, there they still were, on the shelves at Best Buy waiting for me to buy so that I could emotionally injure my kids. That wasn't the time George Lucas punched my kids personally in the face, though. This was more like having George Lucas ring the doorbell, wait until we were in sight, dropping his pants, pressing his scrotum against the window and then running away.
The "fix" ended up being just calling Lucasarts, saying the words "Lego Star Wars" and having them take my information so they could send me a free replacement copy. No receipt, no proof of purchase. I desperately wish I still had that number handy so I could share it with you all and you could all get free copies of Lego Star Wars, whether you play it or not.
We got the game and it was actually lots of fun to play, very silly and slapstick, fun for all ages which was bad news for the kids because they cannot match me yet for physical strength.
As big a hit as it was in my house, we were waiting with volcanic expectation for Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy to come out. Same game, but with the story and characters from the first three movies. Release date: yesterday.
Of course we went out and bought it right after school. If nothing else, I want my kids to know the importance in American society of immediate gratification, susceptibility to hype, paying attention to advertising... all the things that make good Consumer-Americans. Take that, terrorists.
We brought the game home. I had to pry the box out of six grasping, trembling hands just to get it open. I was able to distract them for a few seconds by throwing an handful of fruit-snacks in the opposite direction. This worked long enough for me to get the CD-ROM into the computer. The auto-run sequence began and then...
BOOM! It was the front door. BOOM! BOOM! The whole doorframe gave way. In squeezes George Lucas, all 750 pounds of him, with his sad old Elvis pompadour and his weird skinny beard covering only one of what has to be at least a dozen chins. He's wild-eyed and pasty, his big meatball hands knotted into fists. First he goes for the baby and WHAP! punches the three year old right in the face. Then it's the middle boy, POW! He stays up because he's the middle child and knows from beatings, so POW! George lets him have it again. He goes down. Finally the oldest, just gaping in awe and Lucas lets him have it full force with that two-handed fist Captain Kirk used to make, CRACK! right across the skull. While he's down, George shakes him to see if any loose change or gold fillings might have come loose, and then, just as soon as he arrived, backs out again in no particular hurry.
Also: the game wouldn't load. "1330 Error" or something. It's one thing to buy a game that has some bugs in it as you play it, but this is the second straight time the thing wouldn't even install. And the walls of our home knew the sound of lamentation.
People have been posting FUNCTIONING work-arounds (one of which I found late last night) on the Lucasarts tech support fora, which of course Lucasarts immediately takes down.
The one I used works. The details of it I can share with anyone who requests it, via e-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Don't let George Lucas happen to you.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9 (immediately reduced to 0.1 if I help one other person fix this stupid problem)
PS- In defiance of Lucasarts, for the benefit of googlers, I present this text string: Lego Star Wars 2 Error 1330 workaround help. Dig me, I'm in violation of my end user license agreement for the game. And you are all accomplices now, so don't think about turning me in.