April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.


Game Center CX LEGEND – Back to Contents
The Far North Game Travelogue
Parts 7 – 8 – 9

Game Center CX LEGEND was a short "best-of" series that ran in between seasons 4 and 5. Though the bulk of LEGEND was old hat, there were brand new TamaGe-esque segments featuring a plainclothes Arino on a snowy journey across Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, in order to find the northernmost game center in the country.

LEGEND Episode 3

Part 7

Arino walks along the line of fans outside the store, saying hi before stepping inside. The fans have all sorts of gifts, from Cream Lemon DVDs to cold pads. At the end, a shy little girl hands Arino a rolled-up piece of paper. On it is a picture she drew of Arino and Mario. A nice little end to a fan-appreciation event out in the middle of nowhere.

LEGEND Episode 4

Part 8

Arino’s arrived at Wakkanai Station, signifying the northernmost town in Hokkaido and the home stretch of the journey. But there’s still a couple more places to check out! Arino heads over to Hitoshi no Mise for a bite to eat, and he asks the owner about the area before settling down with an order of kanimeshi (crab & rice).

Further along, Arino arrives at the first game center, Kousouku Douro — another somewhat large place. Anyway, Arino heads in and the first thing he spots is another Mario Kart machine. He pulls out his user card from last time, and is delighted to see his "Arikacho" Wario pop back up on the screen. Amazingly, he places in first again, ranking up in the process.

From there it’s on to that seminal classic, The Typing of the Dead! Yet as soon as he starts, he can’t find the "A" key. Hunting for the key with his head down, Arino lasts less than a minute. He tries again, but his hunting-and-pecking kills him quickly again.

Giving up, Arino moves to another end of the center and spots a couple of little girls perched at the Love & Berry machines. He goes over and tries to start up a conversation with one of the girls, but she won’t give him the time of day. So it goes with shy young’ins.

Arino leaves the center and checks his GPS device. He’s been at the furthest-northern game center yet. But there’s yet more to do…

Part 9

Arino and Co. find a game center even further north than last time, at a hot spring center named Doumu. Arino stpes inside and sees that it’s another modest little room, but no matter. He begins with another Lucky Holder machine, but this time he puts more money into it and fails even harder than last time.

After giving up, he finds a kids’ machine based on Doraemon’s Dokodemo Door. It’s basically a hide-and-seek game, and Arino aces it. He gets four prizes from the machine, one of them being, oddly enough, a Pikachu trinket.

Arino moves on to an actual Pokemon machine, where you must swipe a spinner and see if it lights up a line of LEDs to reach the "goal" end of the line.Incredibly, Arino wins it on the first try. The prize isn’t even a Pikachu, it’s Anpanman!

The last game Arino tries is a pachislo machine based on Hakushon Daimaou. By his account, this is the northernmost game machine in the northernmost game center in Japan. After giving it a go, he writes a little message on a piece of tape and puts it on the machine — just a little calling card that Game Center CX was here.

The journey ends with Arino standing at the base of the monument at Soya Point, officially the northernmost point in Hokkaido. He reflects on the trip one last time before bidding farewell.

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