Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Grandma Destroyed Fatal Frame III: The Tormented

It's about god damn time. I know, you've e-mailed us, you sent out search parties in our area, you've wondered why the hell we haven't posted in a while. I'll tell you why. The blame lies on a single entity; Grandma and I are faultless.

It was that final bitch in Fatal Frame III.

Grandma spent DAYS trying to defeat the last boss in that beautiful game. It took her so long for a few reasons, we had some press come over a few times, we're packing everything preparing for the move this Friday, MCI hates Grandma (long story; I'll tell you when you're older) but the main cause to the delay was Grandma's preparations for battle.

Grandma insisted on being "GameFAQ's Free" for the whole of this game. As such, her strategy and gameplay were forced in such a way that told me she had something to prove. Well, by God: she proved it. She didn't realize that when playing as different characters, certain film should not be touched so it may remain there for later in the game. You are unable to retain your inventory from character to character.

Right before the final boss, there are these three flying girls that can knock the living shit out of you if you don't fight them right. A huge spiral staircase with an open area at the bottom is your arena as you try desperately to capture the rotten banshees on film; only you must wait for them to dive straight at you to get the good shots. The bottom plane seems like the best place to confront them, but it isn't. Grandma found that if you fight the first one ON the pillar crossing the staircase (on which it is difficult to maneuver, so its easy to see why this option didn't jump out at her sooner) and then fighting the other two either on the way down the staircase or at the bottom pit- you have a fighting chance.

Grandma could take them out just fine, but it was keeping all of the health items she had accumulated for the final boss that proved difficult.

When Grandma began her agonizing four days of campaigning against the final handmaiden, she had in her inventory The Moon Stone and two Spirit Waters; 50-some type 14 flim and only 1 type 90. That's it.

Now you know why it took so long.

It would be like trying to take down Metal Gear with only a bowie knife and 15 rounds for a 9mm.

"GOD FUCKING DAMMIT THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!" she would scream, throwing her Dual Shock dangerously close to the glass doors on her TV stand. "This black and white BULLSHIT prevents you from making ANY shots. You just RUN. It's better to stay in the open so you have room, but if you choose the wrong direction- she's got you. It's fucking OVER."

Her last save left her with around 4,500 points to use for lens upgrades, something she had neglected in the final chapters in her panicked effort to stay alive long enough to get to the next save point. This meant that she would begin the final battle fully intending to upgrade the lens after five shots or so, and then finish the job.

Arduous. It's a funny looking word we often use in conjunction with the word "long." It's appropriate enough for this occasion, but I prefer the phrase "DEATH MARCH."

Thursday Night--11:34pm
Me - "Hey Grandma! The Channel 3 thing just aired again, it was shorter but they mentioned the Vodka. Oh! You made it to the final boss!"
Grandma - "No, I didn't. I'm just fucking around right now, I have to go back and try to fight those three chicks again so I have more health for THIS." [gestures towards the screen as her character is given the hug of doom, killing her instantly.]
Me - "But..."
Grandma - "There's no other way. I HAVE to go back."

Friday Morning--3:55am
[Just before going to bed, I can still hear the sounds of Grandma's character screaming in pain followed by the laughter of the demonic girls responsible for the injury]
Grandma - "Mother FUCKER!!! I NEED that health you BITCH!!!!"

[I wake up to find Grandma sleeping in front of the load screen. I shut off the television and go to work.]

Grandma - "You stupid cunt. [throws controller] GO TO HELL!! I don't even FUCKING CARE ANYMORE. I quit. This is a game that's not going to be finished. There's no god damn fucking way."

Me - "Did you make it to the-"
Grandma - "YES. I managed to keep the Moon Stone this time too, and I still have that one type 90 left for her."
Me - "So.... is she, ...hard?"
Grandma - "Don't be a smartass."

Saturday Morning--4:15am
Grandma - "Where are you- WHERE ARE YOU-- WHERE THE FUCK IS SHE!?!?! [screams] YOU WHORE!!!"

Saturday Afternoon--Time Unrecorded
[Grandma sits exhausted, still fighting the same boss. By now she isn't trying to kill her, just study her weaknesses]
Grandma - "I can get you... I can get you right before you dive... so you hit me- big fucking deal; I still got 800 points off your ass. Let's see you try that shit now......"

Sunday Morning--1:44am
Grandma - "God DAMN!!! FUCK. YOU!! Did you hear that?!?!
[voice of game] - "...Etched in my mind.... over and over... again..."

Grandma - "Stay down.... stay down, bitch.... STAY- [shutter sound] YES! I got your ass, now show your ...fucking face... come one, where are you ...okay come on--come ON, COME ON!!!! [shutter, scream] FUCK YOU!! YEAH! Oh you are so close. You are so close, I got your ass. I ...GOT... [Shutter] YES!!!! YEAH!!! Tim!! TIM!! Come here! I got her! I got her!!! That's it!!!"
[Bobby comes in from other room]
Bobby - "Grandma can I-"
Grandma - "Not NOW, DAMMIT! I want to see the END of this thing!!"
Bobby - "Okay! Fine! ...jeez." [walks away]

Grandma watched the final cutscene intently, finding the closure that was promised to her at the beginning of the game; that opening moment of rain and twisted metal... and now, she can rest.

Right after she figures out "Mission Mode!"

Grandma loved Fatal Frame III: The Tormented. The graphics were on par if not better than the previous titles, and the audio will stay with me until I die, most likely popping up now and again after a night of drinking. It seemed harder than the first two, at least to Grandma. She had no complaints, only a dissatisfaction when contrasted with Fatal Frame II: The Crimson Butterfly, a game she finds superior only because- in her words, it was "more scary."

In staying with the theme of the series, your heart will be broken at the end, we'll leave it at that without providing spoilers.

Well done, Project Zero. Grandma LOVED it.

Game on!!


  • At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Alessa said…

    My eyes teared up when I saw the end. Kind of stupid, huh? So, is the OGHC going to go after the second ending? :D

    P.S. Ninja Gaiden Black! *falls to her knees* Please, try it out sometime! ,_,

  • At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yeah! go grandma! just...go grandma!

  • At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Blue said…

    WOOHOO! I dance in triumph for you!

    (...and now I fall over in a heap because it is 3 in the goddammed AM! MAN I need some sleep.)

    Take care, be well, and as always, GAME ON!


  • At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interesting site. Go granny! Beat them all! Man, you can find ANYTHING onine these days! LOL! Keep fighting!

  • At 7:37 AM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    Hot damn! Congratulations Grandma =)

  • At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Whitney Butts said…

    Congrats, Grandma. You know, I've been toying with getting this game myself, but after this tale of the end boss, I'm beginning to wonder if my walls can handle all of the controller throwing I'd be doing...

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Kirvi said…

    I played it on "total wimp mode." It still kicked my butt. Grandma FTW!!

    love you guys

  • At 12:59 PM, Blogger Renee said…

    Just saw you on our local news in Lancaster Pa. Very cool!:-)

  • At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    where has tim disappeared to? how is/was the move? can't get a hold of you, thought this would work.


  • At 3:37 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    That is awesome Tim! Congratulations Grandma!

    A bit of news you may have missed, what with Fatal Frame III and moving: http://www.gamespot.com/news/6141010.html

    What I find interesting is the way Thompson refers to himself in the third person in his news release mentioned in the second paragraph. Is this a lawyer thing, or a crazy person thing?

  • At 2:56 AM, Blogger lisettecana said…

    woo woo woo..
    i am from Malaysia, practically a die-hard game addict for the last 20 yrs. but when i read about you in my local papers, i was blown away.
    it totally rocks!!
    i'm 31 and people here thinks i am too old to play PS2 or visit the arcade..
    Go grandma!
    Lead the way.

  • At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hearing it on NPR right now. I'm an aging gamer (37) and we need more grandma's doin' this. One day, I'll be a gaming grandpa.

  • At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay, this is frigging great!

    I live pretty close to you guys in the grand scheme of things (Dover, Ohio - and my uncle used to be the postmaster around Mantua IIRC).. anyway, congrats on kicking Reika ass! :D

    If you guys feel like it, drop me a line at siara79 at gmail dot com. (I'm the author of one of the GF Fatal Frame guides, btw, if you feel like shredding it. :P)

    Congrats again, and here's to Fatal Frame IV! :D

  • At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At last GrandMa can rest a while before gets her Christmas gifts.
    Lil Monkay M'sia

  • At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Jaime said…

    congrats grandma! you are way more hardcore than i am! i am on my 3rd time playing Easy Mode and i'm scared of the missions!!

    i'm 25, but when i'm your age i hope to be as cool as you and still gaming.

    love, Jaime =^_^=

  • At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Claudia said…

    I heard Grandma and her grandson
    on NPR today while driving to pick up
    some meds. What a joy someone my
    age still enjoys life as much as I do !! Sure would like to know how
    to use those games. I was younger when packman was out and it made me very nervous playing it, so don't know if my nerves could handle it Grandma. What do you think? I value your opinion btw!!
    My son lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. We visited there in August. Beautiful place. My son
    is on his way home as we speak. He is a scientist and associate professor of med at Case Western.
    Keep up the good work Grandma, you make us older folks proud!!
    Hooray for grandma!!!
    North Carolina

  • At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Hilary said…

    Congratulations on beating the game!
    And good luck with mission mode! It's hard as a bitch! I'm currently stuck on level 6.


  • At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Seles said…

    Kickass! Saw you guys in a local FFIII community I'm apart of.

  • At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LoL, who you ated the bord and it da lolzorz.

  • At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Aludin said…

    Yeah, I prefer my women old and wrinkly.


  • At 6:23 PM, Blogger Bi-coastal Eddie said…

    Thank god, now I know that it can be done. I've been sick for a week and just clicked back in to shamefully admit that I had given up. Given up to the extent that I went out and bought Psychonauts because my ego couldn't handle anymore of the hoors punishment. Great, now that I'm well again, I can go back to my totally unhealthy lifestyle of too much stress, way too little exercise and a diet mainly of taquitos and scorpions (the drinks, not the crawly icky bug things). Game on!

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  • At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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