Hello again my sweet island guests! It’s catch up week! So today I am posting something I wrote earlier! But I wasn’t fully satisfied with it! That way I can work ahead and can play around it. In this post I bring you back with me to revisit one of my geeky memories. A memory that takes me back six years. December 20th to be exact. It was the time I took part in a Playstation hunt.
What was the PlayStation Hunt
Let’s begin by explaining to you what the contest exactly was. This content was held in celebration of PlayStation’s 20the anniversary. To win a PlayStation 4 anniversary edition you’d have to travel to one of ten cities across the Netherlands in a cosplay or at least outfit based on some PlayStation games. You could download an app that would send you to a location. With it you’d get a quiz question that you’d have to answer. If you find the guy or gal working for Playstation at that location and gave them the answer for the questions and you were indeed dressed in Sony PlayStation themed outfits.. you’d be the happy owner of a brand new silver anniversary Playstation 4! While me and my friends already had a Playstation two participating.. a guy and a girl did not! So for their sake, or maybe to gather some event money for the group! We took on this challenge.
What we did not know however was this contest wasn’t really done with approval of the city! Maybe some higher ups knew but the people on the streets did not know.. and it would be that fact as well as one of my friends making a very silly mistake that would cost us that PlayStation 4. We would have won .. in fact we would have won the very first one. Instead we nearly ended up cancelling the entire competition. My amazing friend Fatima Minusima of whom I talked before invited me to join with about one week to spare. Which was amazing. I wasn’t a strong runner but I loved doing geeky things with them! Back then I was just starting to know them and I did not live in the same town as them yet. (Though 4 months later I would) There was only one problem… We had to cosplay! Outdoors…in December! Now this basically meant that any female character was out by default…unless I played that Anna woman from Tekken I guess.. but I did not have money for a fur coat! Nor could I make that outfit not look like I am .. something that is not a cosplayer. So to solve this.. I was going to have to get creative!
The Hunt for Cosplay
Luckily I do live in the best province in the Netherlands when it comes to getting cosplays. Limburg and Noord Brabant are the two provinces that celebrate “Carneval” which is a variant of Mardi Gras but mixed with american halloween.. but a wider variety of costumes. Think actual Mardi Gras outfits mixed with te Village people and you got a good idea what wanders through our streets. In Limburg (not sure about Noord Brabant) the season however already starts at the Eleventh of November, so costumes are fairly widely available for us. Even in my little home town. Of course I would not want to spend too much money on something like this because I already had a PlayStation! So I had a budget of .. what then was about 30 euro. Not an easy task. Yet our carneval store was also an army dump! In which you could get old military supplies for almost no money at all! What gave me my final idea was a big empty cardboard box sitting there next to army suits that has just been stocked.
I got myself a camo outfit I could wear a coat under or could at least wear normal clothes under, so I would be nice and toasty even if it was cold during winter. I got myself a pirates eyepatch for two euros and a jar or brown face paint for about the same amount including an application sponge! I found some gloves that looked just like the Big Boss outfit from Metal Gear Solid 3 and made a deal to get it all for 30 bucks. Those gloves weren’t priced yet and later they found out they cost so much more.. but well the owner of the store was a former classmate of mine so she did me a solid! I also could take the big cardboard box! I would be going there as Big Boss. I think that’s the character from Metal Gear Solid 3.. or was it actually Solid Snake.. I am never sure! I can’t tell them apart. Regardless! Playstation enough! So I was on my way. Fatima dressed up as Nathan Drake as well as her good friend Cherry. Fatima’s then boyfriend Joe came dressed as young Heihachi and the guy who did not have a playstation Ron came in a fox hound sweatshirt. Cherry had her boyfriend with her as well Dave. Dave wasn’t dressed up at all.. he was slightly Arab in look so I think he said he’d just say “I’m the Prince of Persia but it’s too cold here” if he was asked. It wasn’t that cold that day though! The young Heihachi Joe wasn’t naked underneath his vest he wore a old Heihachi Tekken shirt.. but I am pretty sure it was just a shirt.. maybe he had a jacket he could throw off! Not sure,
The Hunt Begins!
We traveled to Maastricht together! For us to do that I have to travel about 20 minutes in the train by myself and also 20 minutes by bus. Then we still need 15 more minutes of joined travel. I expected lots of people to be dressed up and going to this hunt so I would expect the train ride not to be that awkward. I was wrong. Apparently most people came by car. We had one person too many to drive so we opted out of that. Had we come by car.. we would have won that PlayStation. Or at least one of them. I was asked a few weird questions but luckily it was the weekend and it was carneval season. So it wasn’t all that bad. People did not dare to sit next to me though… which was nice because I saved spots for all my friends! Thank you people for not wanting to sit next to the weirdo with a huge box and a beard painted on her face really badly!
I met up with my friends and luckily I could geek out now.. at their train station a few other geeks boarded the train as well and we hung out for a bit. I at least got recognised as Snake/Boss so I was content. Coming off the train I came up with a plan de campagne. We would split up in three teams of two to maximize our chance of winning. Each group would start on one of the three major squares in Maastricht and would only run to an area that they can feasibly reach within 10 to 15 minutes. (Otherwise there would be bound to be a group there faster than you because people came with bikes and scooters and such). It would be best if we divided ourselves based on our speed. Instead the idea was opted for a girls and guys team. so we already were one chance down..but then Dave wanted to go with Cherry instead as he made their team faster. He was saying they could just abandon the slow person for a bit to win a PS4.. Since Cherry and Dave did not have a PS4 and Ron did not have on either.. the winning group would get first dibs. This resulted in the fact that I ended up being the one that would constantly be abandoned by my group because I do not run that fast, due to my issues with my motor skills. I was a bit saddened by that but we would make it work. I knew my way across town so I would be the map person, then Ron would use his internet to google the answer to questions and Joe would be the one to sprint to the goal and abandon us. So that way I would not be alone as much! It worked..except for the fact that Joe is REALLY bad with directions and never reads any signs! That last fact contributed to us losing the PS.
The Hunt goes South
My hunch that the three squares would be involved in the hunt was on the nose, the square we were headed to, became an active search zone so immediately we knew we had a shot at this. I don’t remember the question but I knew the password of the thing was Uncharted. It wasn’t a super easy question so it was not like .. “what game is lead by Nathan Drake” kind of things. When we arrived on the square the scooter squad was there already.. so I got in my box and snuck up to them.. I was slow so I just did a distraction! Which worked! I got compliments for the awesome idea of bringing my own sneaky box and they took some pictures.. literally of a cardboard box standing on the floor with a few feet sticking out…!
Sure go ahead! As my friends searched on we could not find the guy! Eventually my box disguise failed and the scooter squad went to search as well! They had a Dante with them! So while his friends weren’t a threat (as they had no PS gear on at all) Dante was still a risk! We had to find the Playstation guy first!
I realised that the guy did not seem to be on the pinged location when I suddenly realised that there is an underground parking space below this square. The entrance is just a bit further away. So we ran into the parking garage to go down below.. I was so sure we would find the guy there. I told Joe who outran me that at the end of the garage there was a stairs leading down to lower levels. If he could run there and search from the bottom up, me and Ron could cover the search from top to bottom. A solid plan! Yet Joe doesn’t listen to listen to instructions very well and he does not read signs. So when he found a door downstairs at the MIDDLE of the hallway he was thinking! Oh man! I am so slick! Despite me knowing this garage. His judgment lapsed and he missed a major sign.
Unfortunately the emergency exit sign!. Emergency exits are often foreseen of an alarm so people know there is an emergency causing people to use that door. It helps great against thieves as well. Some guards showed up and we told them what was going on. They told us if we could not present them to show our car or we would be kicked out. . We did not even have car keys to show . We got booted out and all cosplayers were banned from entering the garage. .. Well if a PlayStation representative was in that garage clearly they would not do that right?! Well after I tried to sneak in via the elevator and got a very rude security guy telling me I could not enter because dumb people like me would only get ourselves killed for something stupid as a video game. He also took a jab at my costume! So I puffed up my cheeks and stomped the floor and told him he stole 400 bucks from me! He told me to go find a real hobby! So I puffed my cheeks again! I asked him what sucked all the joy and fun out of him and left without finding out the answer.
A few minutes later the zone got cancelled no PlayStation was given away from it..as no one managed to reach the guy..and he himself got trapped in the parking garage and actually failed to get a signal out.. so his zone was just invalidated….even if I was smart enough to wait by the exit for him so I could see him pop up! Alas! Joe, now driven by frustration, was desperate to win the next one. We almost got this one after all. Zone 2 was all the way across town. About an half hour walk away. I told him we would never reach that in time because there are people on scooters and with cars as well. He ignored my advice and began running in the opposite direction. Fifteen minutes later we ended up getting a message the new guy was found.
The first guy got reactivated and had a checkpoint very close to where he was first I knew exactly where he was! But we now were well over 15 minutes out after all we just ran until I was fully out of stamina. Had we followed my advice and waited there..or even followed the ps guy I am sure we would have won still! But Joe’s Alpha moment made him command us to follow him. Now I was fatigued, Ron was a bit vexed with him and Joe was just frustrated. I was still having fun.. as I had no PS4 to lose. I do not care about winning. The other two seemed to be more driven than me though. Joe dashed off to reach the old location while we stayed behind. Ron knew nothing of directions in town so he stayed with the one person who did! Me!
The Hunt for Drinks
Joe doesn’t know the way in town though so he needed me, but he was a bit fed up with my poor condition, even though it’s medical not by pure choice. Bless him for trying so hard though. I know the shortcuts around town though. So when the fourth checkpoint came up we actually managed to make it to the location right before we got the signal the guy had been found we even saw him.. Just missed it again.. this time he was found by guys on bikes. When I say we, I meant Ron and me , Joe went the long way around arriving there very out of breath a bit later. When the next and second to last checkpoint spawned 30 minutes away we decided with a bunch of other cosplayers to go share a drink. We wouldn’t make that and even if we did we did not know the answer to the question. We could not even find it on google. Well the answer was on the internet but it was hidden in a 15 minute video or so.. not really practical. So we had some geeky fun with some other guys. Telling our story about how we blocked the other guys in the garage!. Apparently they were there as well and got chased out by guards as well they wondered who did that. We all realised that I should have just hidden in my box and then snuck past the guy! It was a nice drink and fun moment. Joe could let his frustration go.
The final checkpoint spawned way uphill and we and the other group started to travel together for a bit and honour would go to the fastest runner. So I was out! However I was needed for my familiarity with the land so I had to sprint in the second wave . However the weather was turning around. It started to storm a bit making sprinting even harder. That big cardboard box on my back was a big wind catcher so I fell on the streets as I got hit by a good gust. We all had a good laugh at how silly it looked to see Big Boss get done in by a gust of wind. As I lay down the new people helped me up . .but not before yelling SNAKE?! SNAKE?!!!! SNAAAAAKKKKKE! Halfway to our destiny we got passed by the scooter squad. I told the group that at that spawn point the guy most likely was in this garden/ small park like thing. There was nowhere he could hide and there was no way we could outrun the scooter squad! We felt more like drinking and geeking out with our new friends. Doris the Cardboard box got dumped in an alleyway and at the Mcdonalds Restroom I cleaned off my fake beard and took off my eyepatch! My eye hurt sooo much! Also running through a crowd without depth perception?!.. Not a great idea. I had several accidents. I wonder how Snake does it. While I was cleaning up my friends called the girls and Dave. They had gotten lost all the time so never got close. Together with our new friends we went to a little Irish pub.
We had a good laugh and the story of Solid Snake being blown over by a gust of wind got spread along the table.. as well the girls and Dave running into a hoard of other Nathan Drakes. When Ron began describing all the times I got hurt during this trip, I shifted the story to the parking Garage to tell Fatima Minusima about her boyfriend’s failure, in a playful way. We all agreed Joe had ruined the PS4 for Ron so we made him buy a round of drinks..for our traveled group.. not the ones who joined.. we are still Dutch after all. He offered but they refused. Instead their leader guy named Gary treated them to a round of drinks. We shared a few PlayStation stories and joked Ron would not get it..and just had some fun. Their team all had a PS4 but they really wanted the collectors edition. After three drinks we parted ways from Gary and his gang and went home..I bought a nice coat so I could carry my cosplay with me (since it came with a nice big bag to carry it in and I switched stuff over) and we went for Sushi afterwards… all in all, later I realised that with my new coat , which I still have as a warm rain coat, and the sushi I spent 80 euro’s that day hunting for something I already had and wasn’t going to get anyway! But I had a lot of fun! Even if I felt slow and could not keep up, which can be painful to be confronted with, there is something special about running around as a geek, meeting fellow geeks and just having some fun! It was worth it because I could be me! With people like me.. with friends! That in the end was what the hunt was really about…but Joe never gave Ron his PlayStation!