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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Slime; They Have Taken Over

Many of you have e-mailed us making sure every thing was alright. We had not posted since Saturday, so naturally the fear was that Grandma, in all her anguish, had forced herself to fall down the stairs, dying; only to leave me with her riches but have a cruel police captain try his utmost to pin her death on me because of an incident some 30 years ago involving a well, an eclipse and a drunken child molester.

I assure you this is not the case. Grandma is alive and well. We both have been extremely busy, is all. I've been working and Grandma.... well, Grandma is working too I suppose.

Sunday Morning, 1:30am

I come home from an assignment for the paper to find Grandma swearing away at Dragon Quest VIII, frustrated by her failure after many attempts to capture a bird of some sort.

"NOOO!!! God DAMMIT!! I don't want to fight!! I have to follow THIS fucking thing's SHADOW!!"
[Grandma tries to flee]
"Oh, you bitch....."

Note: In her 113 hours so far into Dragon Quest VIII, Grandma has not yet discovered that the best way out of a battle is to fight through it rather than to flee. If the escape option is chosen with more powerful enemies (like those she faces now) her turn is lost, the move fails, and the monsters get an additional attack on the party.

"Alright, YOU explain this to me. I have to follow this bird's shadow, and it's supposed to end up on the other side of this island, right? But every time I go into battle I LOSE the fucking thing or it goes somewhere I can't get a ...straight shot, you know? Like a cliff or something I have to go around. And then the thing isn't OVER there."

Me - "I don't know."

"Well you're a lot of fucking help."

Sunday Morning, 5:15am

I go to bed after a few hours of photo editing and a couple hours playing Advance Wars: Dual Strike (more on why we have this later...) Grandma is still playing and eating potato chips (Barbeque) when I head downstairs for bed. She instructs me to pull up the GameFAQ's guide for DQ8 and scroll down to the Arcadia Region chapter so that she may double check to see if she missed any Mini Medals from earlier in the game. Apparently that's important now.

Sunday Morning, 10:32am

Grandma goes to the store and buys a hole-boring attachment for her power drill and some cable management supplies for the game room. She would tell me later that she wants it to look "pretty."

Sunday Morning, 12:00pm

Grandma plays HexicHD on the XBox 360 for a while. Grandma has found that Marathon Mode loses its charm after one acquires a black pearl for the first time. The difficulty and randomness of obtaining the required silver stars and positioning them to get another pearl becomes tedious if you're not up for it. Her only motivation is seeing the higher scores on the Leaderboards above her.

"It's these fucking BOMBS that piss me off. I'll be building a flower underneath or setting up for a pearl and I have to drop everything in SEVEN moves to clear that fucker."

Grandma does NOT wish to be coached while playing HexicHD.

Me - "Here, if you highlight these three-"
Grandma - "GET YOUR HAND OUT OF THE WAY!!! I can't SEE!"
Me - "Right, but I'm telling you, you could have a sta-"
Grandma - "I can DO it! Just work on your own score!"

Sunday Afternoon, 4:50pm

Dinner. Macaroni and Cheese with corndogs and applesauce. I'm stuck on Mission 16 in Advance Wars: Dual Strike and Grandma is once again playing Dragon Quest VIII.

"Alright, now I CAUGHT the stupid thing... but now I can't STEER IT!"

Grandma levels up her characters to max-out single weapon statistics. She gloats to me about things I simply don't understand yet.

"I got the Miracle Slash!! YES! It's about fucking TIME!!"

Sunday Evening, 8:00pm

Grandma takes a break from playing DQ8 on the PS2 to hit some World Championship Poker on XBox Live. The 360 does not yet support WCP, so she has to unplug the ethernet cable and move it down to her XBox.

"You have to set this up so I don't have to keep switching this cable. This is a pain in my ASS."

"Nobody plays this game anymore!! They've all moved on to the sequel! I can't find a decent table!"

Monday Morning, 2:15am

I come upstairs from a cleaning binge to show Grandma my latest discovery while unpacking boxes.

Me - "Hey! Check out what I found!"

Grandma - "What?"

Me - "It's a wireless router!"

Grandma - "...so?"

Me - "So now I can take the cord going into your 360, plug it into this, run three cables going to all three XBoxes, and I can get Wireless internet on the laptop downstairs!"

Grandma - "So I won't have to switch anymore?"

Me - "Nope! You'll have XBox Live on the XBox, the XBox Debug, and the XBox 360 with a port to spare. I just have to daisy-chain the routers together."

Grandma - "Cool! Where did you get that anyway?"

Me - "Ally put it in with my shit before we broke up. I guess she forgot about it!"

Grandma - "Sweet!!"

Grandma continues to play DQ8 while I hook everything up. An IP Address conflict error shows up on the computer in the kitchen, I reset everything and it works beautifully. Grandma tests the wireless connection by playing some MarioKart DS with some folks online, and later contacts some friends in Animal Crossing (more on why we have this later) with no problems. For those all those living within 50 yards or so from the house, "Tim's Shitty Network" shows up in their available connections folder. We doubt anyone will notice.

Monday Morning, 10:00am

Grandma is STILL playing DQ8. It just occurs to me that I've never actually seen her go into her room and sleep. She assures me it happened, but I don't remember it.

Monday Afternoon, 3:45pm

.........The soundtrack to DQ8 starts growing on me as Grandma soars above her kingdom on some giant bird. She shows me a few new weapons she's picked up and demonstrates a quality whip attack. Grandma tells me she's almost done with the game.

"And you said there was no way I would even come CLOSE to what I put in to FFVII. I'd say this is pretty damn close."

Monday Evening, 11:30pm

Grandma is in bed. I play HexicHD for a while trying to beat her high score, now above the 100,000 mark... and fail. I try Condemned but I'm not quite ready to start a new game yet. Out of curiosity and through the benefits of a Premium Package, I utilize the free month of XBox Live Gold and create my own account using the profile name for me on the 360: "BarronVonEspie." I congratulate myself for being so damn clever before realizing just how incredibly "gay" it sounds. "Meh, if the shoe fits..."

Grandma emerges sometime between midnight and 2:00am and I surrender the chair. She plays World Championship Poker and I retreat downstairs to review my photography work from the previous week.

Tuesday Morning, Time Unrecorded

She's STILL up there. From the music I THINK it's DQ8, but she could be playing God Knows What with all the Debug games she's received from MTV.

Tuesday Afternoon, 3:30pm

Day off. I sleep in. A LOT. Grandma is already on the computer reading some document off of GameFAQ's on DQ8 when I wake up. She tells me she isn't "stuck," only "confused." We receive some voicemail from the Post Office, but whatever it was, it's too damn late now. I feel nervous about leaving the blog post-free for the past few days, but the photo-editing has eaten up all my time. Grandma notices.

"Have you posted anything recently?"

Me - "No, why?"

"Because we haven't gotten SHIT for e-mail in the past few days. People are going to think you FORGOT or something."

Thinking that she's on to me for posting about her upcoming birthday, I avoid the topic.

Me - "...Well, there was a holiday."

"They don't celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in motherfucking UK. I guess traffic must be slow everywhere."

Me - "Yup. That's it."

Tuesday Evening, 9:40pm

Grandma is asleep in her chair with the Dragon Quest VIII startup screen playing quietly in front of her. I turn it off and continue working.

God DAMN those slimes. They really take a lot out of a person.

Grandma woke up a few hours ago to fight what she ASSUMED was the final boss of the game. It turns out she still has a ways to go....

...to be continued.

Game on!!


  • At 6:13 AM, Blogger Bi-coastal Eddie said…

    I'm laughing at the time line indicated in the post - posted at 4:15 am, I'm reading it at 3 am Pacific time, and it's all about playing in one long session that starts 1:30am on a Sunday. So who needs sleep anyways?

  • At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Zwomann said…

    Man, I bet my ma (another hardcore grandma) would love DQ8. The problem is, my son has the only playstation...looks like we'll have to steal it from the little shit.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Kirvi said…

    Tim - I emailed you Monday, I still haven't received my shirt. Can you give me any tracking info?

  • At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm still in suspense about the DS...

  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger paine said…

    lol sounds like my fiancee hes still at the beggining of DQ8. Hey can you give us a list of what games you guys have.

  • At 12:24 PM, Blogger paine said…

    i think you should post some of your photography on here.

  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous J Money said…

    Man, I love your posts that account for when you guys have been up to in time-chronological order! It's absolutely hilarious!! I wish Grandma would get into World of Warcraft... I think she'd like it, even if it's on the computer. Perhaps if you made a list of what the different keys do on the keyboard then she'd have a quick reference guide and it wouldn't be confusing.

    Anyway, that's amazing that DQVIII is turning into FFVII for Grandma... FFVII took forever for me and I don't think I got quite everything that you can get either. Hopefully the ending of DQ will be as great as it was for FF!

  • At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Elfindreams said…

    That shadow bird is a right fucker. It took me a good half hour to follow it without loosing it. I definitely sypathise.

    Have/Do you or OGHC play FFXI? The XBOX 360 beta is in the OXM that just hit the shelves. Free (ok $9) Final Fantasy well rocks my world, esp since I can finally play it... (I never bothered buying an ethernet addon for my PS2)

  • At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If she ever gets to PC games, the one she needs to play is F.E.A.R. Needs to man! If you like the Fatal Frames and the Silent Hills, this is the way to go! It dragged my ass in and still won't let go.

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    You guys are living a gamer's dream, playing from your house and getting paid for it pretty much. Makes me wanna cream my pants. Well good to know you're still alive. I'll have to check out DQ8 once I beat the 20 billion other games I have to beat.

  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger kazumi said…

    Hi this is Kazumi from Japan .
    This morning I knew about you, because I was lisning you are talking from radio.

    You are famous in Japan, too.

  • At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Firebyrd said…

    Hee. Just wait until she finds out that you can get a second ending. Which reminds me, I need do need to finish the bonus dungeon one of these days.

    I'm glad that the DQVIII love is spreading, though!

  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous rei said…

    Hello. I am Rei.
    The message is written from Tokyo.
    It listened to the radio of J-WAVE this morning.
    It is a very wonderful grandma.
    It has become a fan.
    It will keep playing a game energetically in the future.

  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger Jess said…

    Hello! I just have to say that I LOVE this blog! Anyway, I was wondering if Grandma has any plans to play Prince of Persia 3? I just got it recently and haven't had a lot of time to play but I have noticed that it is much better than the second one. Just wondering :)

  • At 6:33 AM, Anonymous blackroseowl said…

    Hello, Tim and Grandma! Greetings from an Aussie fan!

    I have just gotten an X-Box for the first time. I was hoping you might give me a few recommendations for games I might enjoy? Some of my favourites on the PS2 are: Project Zero and Project Zero 2 (US name = Fatal Frame); the Ratchet And Clank trilogy, Kingdom Hearts, Shadow Of Memories. For the PS1, a couple of particular favourites are: Oddworld Abe's Oddysee, and Medievil.

    Any suggestions? Thanks for your time!

  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger paine said…

    im not tim but fable is fun, i suggest not getting sudeki its pretty freaking annoying

  • At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congrats Tim it looks like you got yer very own spammer.

    Glad to see OG is taking her new job seriously!

    - Mama Lombax

  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Art Green said…

    Noticed that you guys have played Kameo...How do you like it?

  • At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Chibininja said…

    Gaming very clearly appeals to all walks of life.

    A very good friend of mine is the Guild Leader of Hand of Valor on Midgard Gawaine in the mmorpg Dark Age of Camelot...she is also the great grandmother to five little ones...

    Here's to you, Sabena Psychotank!

    Go go Grandma Gamers!!!

  • At 12:14 AM, Blogger Big J said…

    Hi I was wondering if Grandma Hardcore is into racing games. Right now I am 50% done Forza Motorsport.

  • At 4:35 PM, Blogger Sang said…

    i have a feeling that at the bonus dungeon after the game, she'll be cursing a whole lot

  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger school_rocks said…

    hi tim and everyone else you and grandma are even famous in saskatchewan and my birthday is a month after yours

  • At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Troels said…

    So I haven't posted in quite a while, but I have been faithfully following. Congrats on all the good stuff that has happened.

    So Tim: What does Grandma think about the new silent hill movie? I know it's a video game-movie, but Uwe Boll isn't directing it. Trailer: ftp://ftp.peliplaneetta.net/pelikonsolivideot/seikkailu-roolipelit/t_silenthill_movie_2.mov

  • At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Bob Johnson said…

    Yay, thanks for the XL T-shirt from http://oghc.blogspot.com/2005/12/t-shirts.html
    I will be the envy of the Harley Davidson bikers in our pool league as they see me in my "Telatubby Purple" and black tee shirt. Game On!

  • At 3:42 PM, Blogger Kirvi said…

    You got yours? I still don't have mine, and while I've emailed 3x and posted here twice, I have had no response either.

  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Stacy said…

    Hooray! I received my shirt today, I love it! Thanks!

  • At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Shirt arrived today. Love it. Muchas gracias :)

  • At 3:21 AM, Blogger missy said…

    I came here after reading the cnn article... will now follow you and your grandma's game playing adventure!

  • At 3:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Spoxx blog :))))) LOL

  • At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    no post for 8 days...gettin' worried...

  • At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    do you ever reply to people

  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger Hawk said…

    Remember kiddies, just because they're cute, cuddly and have a big stupid smile does NOT mean you should underestimate the slimes!

    .. they're BEASTS! Beasts, I tells ya!

  • At 2:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Man, I like your site content that be the cause of when you mankind has also beenDiablo 3 Items around within time-chronological get! It really is absolutely entertaining!! I wish Nanny would likely go into World of Warcraft... I'm sure she'd enjoy it, whether or not it truly is on your computer. Perhaps in the event you designed a set of just what the different car keys perform withinBillig WoW Gold the keyboard set next she'd have a rapid reference guidebook also it may not be difficult.


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