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Community Discussion: Blog by Chad Concelmo | Swimming with dolphins: A journey in picturesDestructoid
Swimming with dolphins: A journey in pictures - Destructoid




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About
Destructoid's Features Editor. Chad loves the Super Nintendo, pinball, Pixar, and dolphins. His dream is to one day be taken to the undersea kingdom of the dolphins and made their new king. Since that may not happen right away, he bides his time writing features for Destructoid and managing all of the original content that is posted to the site.

He absolutely adores Destructoid and the incredible community that goes along with it. The site has truly changed his life for the better.

If you are reading this, you will be spared when the dolphins take over the world. I give you my word.

What I'm playing:
Darksiders II
New Super Mario Bros. 2



Be my friend!
Wii: 2357-3047-5937-7707
Xbox 360: Optiville
PlayStation 3: Optiville
3DS: 1375-7200-0771



My Top Ten Favorite (updated as I play) ...

... Role-Playing Games:
1. Final Fantasy VI
2. Mother 3
3. Chrono Trigger
4. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
5. Final Fantasy IV
6. EarthBound
7. Lost Odyssey
8. Kingdom Hearts
9. Paper Mario
10. Final Fantasy IX

... Adventure Games:
1. Day of the Tentacle
2. Full Throttle
3. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
4. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
5. Sam & Max Hit the Road
6. King�s Quest III: To Heir is Human
7. Grim Fandango
8. King�s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
9. The Secret of Monkey Island
10. Professor Layton and the Curious Village

... 2D Action/Adventure Games:
1. Super Metroid
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
3. Cave Story
4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
5. The Legend of Zelda: Link�s Awakening
6. Fez
7. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
8. StarTropics
9. Shadow Complex
10. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

... 3D Action/Adventure Games:
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2. Shadow of the Colossus
3. Beyond Good & Evil
4. God of War II
5. God of War
6. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
7. Metroid Prime
8. Okami
9. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
10. Ico

... Survival Horror Games:
1. Resident Evil 4
2. Dead Space
3. Resident Evil 2
4. Dead Space 2
5. Resident Evil
6. Dino Crisis 2
7. Resident Evil 5
8. Alan Wake
9. Silent Hill
10. Dino Crisis

... Open World Games:
1. Red Dead Redemption
2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
3. Bully
4. Grand Theft Auto IV
5. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
6. inFamous 2
7. inFamous
8. L.A. Noire
9. Prototype
10. Crackdown

... 2D Action Games:
1. Contra III: The Alien Wars
2. Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
3. Gunstar Heroes
4. ActRaiser
5. Contra 4
6. Ninja Gaiden
7. Gunstar Super Heroes
8. Viewtiful Joe 2
9. Snake Rattle 'n' Roll
10. Viewtiful Joe

... 3D Action Games:
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
2. Uncharted 3: Drake�s Deception
3. Gears of War 2
4. Bayonetta
5. Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
6. Ninja Gaiden II
7. Gears of War 3
8. Vanquish
9. Gears of War
10. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

... Strategy Games:
1. Valkyria Chronicles
2. StarCraft
3. Fire Emblem
4. Pikmin 2
5. Advance Wars
6. StarCraft II
7. Advance Wars: Dual Strike
8. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
9. Pikmin
10. Plants vs. Zombies

... Sports Games:
1. Punch-Out!!
2. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
3. Wii Sports Resort
4. Wii Sports
5. Super Punch-Out!!
6. Mario Golf
7. Mario Tennis
8. Pilotwings 64
9. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
10. International Superstar Soccer 64

... First-Person Shooters:
1. Half-Life 2
2. Portal 2
3. Portal
4. BioShock
5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
6. Singularity
7. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
9. Resistance 2
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops

... Racing Games:
1. Uniracers
2. Mario Kart DS
3. Diddy Kong Racing
4. F-Zero
5. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
6. Mario Kart 64
7. Wave Race 64
8. F-Zero GX
9. Excitebike 64
10. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

... 2D Platformers:
1. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Super Mario World
4. Super Meat Boy
5. Rayman Origins
6. Donkey Kong Country Returns
7. Mega Man 2
8. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
9. Mega Man 9
10. LittleBigPlanet 2

... 3D Platformers:
1. Super Mario Galaxy 2
2. Super Mario Galaxy
3. Banjo Kazooie
4. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
5. Super Mario 3D Land
6. Super Mario 64
7. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
8. Jak 3
9. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
10. Jak II

... Fighting Games:
1. Super Smash Bros. Melee
2. Mortal Kombat
3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
4. Street Fighter IV
5. Super Smash Bros.

... Puzzle Games:
1. Tetris Attack
2. Planet Puzzle League
3. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
4. Meteos
5. Puzzle Quest 2
6. Tetrisphere
7. Tetris DS

... Variety Games:
1. Journey
2. World of Goo
3. Shatter
4. Wario Ware: Twisted!
5. Katamari Damacy
6. Pac-Man: Championship Edition
7. Devil�s Crush
8. Flower
9. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
10. Boom Blox

... Rhythm Games:
1. Elite Beat Agents
2. Parappa the Rapper
3. Rock Band 2
4. Rock Band
5. Guitar Hero
6. Um Jammer Lammy
7. Guitar Hero II
8. Karaoke Revolution - Volume 2
9. Karaoke Revolution Party
10. Karaoke Revolution

... Shooters:
1. Ikaruga
2. Star Fox 64
3. PixelJunk Shooter
4. Gradius III
5. Air Zonk
6. PixelJunk Shooter
7. Galaga Legions
8. Space Invaders Extreme
9. R-Type III: The Third Lightning
10. Omega Five

... Party/Multiplayer Games:
1. Mario Party
2. Mario Party 2
3. Scene It?
4. Mario Party 6
5. Mario Party 7
6. UNO
7. Mario Party 3
8. Pac-Man Vs.
9. Mario Party 5
10. Mario Party 4

... Simulations:
1. Roller Coaster Tycoon
2. Animal Crossing
3. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2
4. Nintendogs
5. Animal Crossing: Wild World

... Light Gun Games:
1. Link's Crossbow Training

... Collections:
1. God of War Collection
2. Metroid Prime Trilogy
3. God of War: Origins Collection
4. The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection
5. Final Fantasy Anthology
6. Final Fantasy Origins
7. Final Fantasy Collection
8. Sonic Mega Collection

... Beat 'em Ups:
1. Castle Crashers
2. River City Ransom
3. MadWorld

... LEGO:
1. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
2. LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
3. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
4. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
5. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
6. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
7. LEGO Batman
8. LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
9. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

... NES Games:
1. Super Mario Bros. 3
2. Mega Man 2
3. Mike Tyson�s Punch-Out!!
4. StarTropics
5. Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
6. Castlevania III: Dracula�s Curse
7. The Legend of Zelda
8. River City Ransom
9. Ninja Gaiden
10. Snake Rattle �n� Roll

... Super NES Games:
1. Super Metroid
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
3. Final Fantasy VI
4. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
5. Contra III: The Alien Wars
6. Chrono Trigger
7. Final Fantasy IV
8. EarthBound
9. Super Mario World
10. Uniracers

... Genesis Games:
1. Gunstar Heroes
2. Earthworm Jim
3. Sonic the Hedgehog
4. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
5. Shining Force
6. Beyond Oasis

... TurboGrafx-16 Games:
1. Air Zonk
2. Devil's Crush
3. Neutopia II
4. Neutopia
5. Bomberman '93
6. Bonk's Adventure
7. Alien Crush
8. R-Type
9. Cho Aniki
10. Bonk's Revenge

... Nintendo 64 Games:
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2. Paper Mario
3. Banjo-Kazooie
4. Super Mario 64
5. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
6. Goldeneye 007
7. Star Fox 64
8. Conker's Bad Fur Day
9. Banjo-Tooie
10. Diddy Kong Racing

... PlayStation Games:
1. Final Fantasy IX
2. Metal Gear Solid
3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
4. Final Fantasy VII
5. Resident Evil 2
6. Final Fantasy VIII
7. Spyro the Dragon
8. Parappa the Rapper
9. Dino Crisis 2
10. Ape Escape

... GameCube Games:
1. Resident Evil 4
2. Beyond Good & Evil
3. Pikmin 2
4. Metroid Prime
5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
6. Pikmin
7. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
8. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
9. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
10. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

... PlayStation 2 Games:
1. Shadow of the Colossus
2. God of War II
3. God of War
4. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
5. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
6. Kingdom Hearts
7. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
8. Ico
9. Final Fantasy XII
10. Okami

... Xbox Games:
1. Halo
2. Ninja Gaiden

... Wii Games:
1. Super Mario Galaxy 2
2. Super Mario Galaxy
3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
4. Donkey Kong Country Returns
5. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
6. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
7. Kirby's Epic Yarn
8. Punch-Out!!
9. Wii Sports Resort
10. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

... PlayStation 3 Games:
1. Valkyria Chronicles
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
3. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
5. LittleBigPlanet 2
6. Demon's Souls
7. LittleBigPlanet
8. God of War III
9. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
10. Final Fantasy XIII

... Xbox 360 Games:
1. Half-Life 2
2. Portal 2
3. Portal
4. Lost Odyssey
5. BioShock
6. Red Dead Redemption
7. Rayman Origins
8. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
10. Batman: Arkham City

... PC Games:
1. Day of the Tentacle
2. Full Throttle
3. StarCraft
4. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
5. StarCraft II
6. Sam & Max Hit the Road
7. King�s Quest III: To Heir is Human
8. Grim Fandango
9. King�s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
10. The Secret of Monkey Island

... Game Boy/Game Boy Color Games:
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
2. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
3. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
4. Metroid II: Return of Samus
5. Final Fantasy Adventure
6. Final Fantasy Legend
7. Golf
8. Tennis

... Game Boy Advance Games:
1. Mother 3
2. Fire Emblem
3. Wario Ware: Twisted!
4. Advance Wars
5. Drill Dozer
6. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
7. Metroid Fusion
8. Advance Wars: Black Hole Rising
9. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
10. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

... Nintendo DS Games:
1. Mario & Luigi: Bowser�s Inside Story
2. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
3. Elite Beat Agents
4. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
5. Advance Wars: Dual Strike
6. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
7. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
8. Contra 4
9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
10. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

... PSP Games:
1. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
2. God of War: Chains of Olympus

... Nintendo 3DS Games:
1. Super Mario 3D Land
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
3. Resident Evil Revelations
4. Mario Kart 7
5. Pilotwings Resort

... WiiWare Games:
1. Cave Story
2. World of Goo
3. Mega Man 9
4. Fluidity
5. Mega Man 10
6. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

... PSN Games:
1. Journey
2. Shatter
3. PixelJunk Shooter 2
4. PixelJunk Monsters
5. Flower
6. PixelJunk Shooter
7. Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
8. PixelJunk SideScroller
9. Noby Noby Boy

... Xbox Live Arcade Games:
1. Super Meat Boy
2. Limbo
3. Fez
4. Shadow Complex
5. Spelunky
6. Pac-Man: Championship Edition
7. Braid
8. Plants vs. Zombies
9. Costume Quest
10. Castle Crashers
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First off, I have to thank the Destructoid community for everything you are about to read. Without you guys this never would have happened, so Ö thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3

As some of you may know, I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine this past Saturday: swimming with dolphins.

A few months back a large handful of Destructoid community members chipped it to buy me a birthday present in the form of an Interactive Dolphin Program at Sea World in San Diego.

It was the greatest experience of my entire life.

But letís start at the beginning.

Honestly, everything from the minute I woke up until I arrived at Sea World was a giant OMG blur. It goes without saying that I was in an extremely happy mood.

But donít take my word for it. Let these pictures speak for themselves:


OMG I GET TO SWIM WITH DOLPHINS TODAY!


OMG SHOWER!


OMG GETTING DRESSED!


OMG CEREAL!


OMG WALKING MY DOG LUNA!


OMG BRUSHING MY TEETH!


OMG DRIVING TO SAN DIEGO!


OMG MORE DRIVING!


OMG SOME MORE DRIVING!


Boo, traffic.


OMG THE TRAFFIC IS GONE!


OMG GAS!


OMG IíM ALMOST THERE!


OMG I PARKED IN LOT E3!


OMG THE ENTRANCE TO SEA WORLD!


OMG I AM ONLY A FEW STEPS AWAY!

And then I arrived.

The Dolphin Interactive Program.



Once I checked in I was placed in a group with five other people (more on something amazing relating to this later) and brought into a classroom.



Here, we learned a little about dolphins, including what they eat (rainbows!), where they live (an undersea kingdom!), and who is destined to be their king (me!). Seriously, though, the classroom portion was basically just a refresher course on what not to do when handling a dolphin: poke it in its eye, stick your hand in its mouth, or cover its blowhole. Thankfully, I was not planning on doing any of those three things.

Once the class was over, our group was led into a locker room, where I promptly changed into my wetsuit.

I wanted to run right into the GIANT TANK FULL OF DOLPHINS that was only a few feet away, but, sadly, I had to wait for the entire group to get ready.

Okay, now what I am about to tell you is super embarrassing. But we are all family and you would never laugh at me for this, right? Right?

As we walked to the ladder to descend into the GIANT TANK FULL OF DOLPHINS I actually stopped myself because I started feeling a little strange. The rest of the group was lowering themselves into the freezing cold water and I was just standing there like an idiot.

All of a sudden I realized what was happening: I was bawling like a four-year-old girl.

Oh, yeah. No joke. I was so emotional about getting in the water with the creatures I have been obsessed with since I was a little kid that I just lost it.

The trainer (Kelly) asked me if I was okay and I think I made up some lame excuse that something was stuck in my eye. But instead of saying that, it came out of my mouth sounding something like this: ďZiím pine. I zust fink I *sniff* has zomethink *sniff* stick un my eyebz.Ē

Ugh.

Once I pulled myself together I threw caution to the wind and just hopped right into the water (screw you, ladder!). I saw the trainer do that as well and wanted to do anything I could to be like her.



The entire session lasted for about an hour, but I swear it is hard to remember the details. I was in such a haze of happiness that I could barely focus on anything.

As a group, we got to swim with the dolphins (a mother and daughter pair that were the cutest things I have ever seen), get pushed around the tank by the dolphins, feed the dolphins, train the dolphins, and pet the dolphins. I, naturally, reached out and tried to pet the amazingly smart creatures every time they passed by us -- all this to the chagrin of the trainer (sorry, Kelly!).

Sadly, I could not bring my camera with me so I was at the mercy of some of the Sea World employees to grab a few shots as I was in the tank. While I would have loved to have more shots of me swimming in the water with the dolphins, the employees did a great job of getting some pretty memorable pictures.

I wonít bore you will all of them, but here are a few of my favorites:


Um, yeah ... that's me and a dolphin.


















The dolphin is making the Chad face. My God, could this day have been any more amazing?!

And now for some of the highlights (well, the ones I remember/were conscious for):

-I got to train the mother and daughter dolphins on my own once. Using a simple hand motion, I instructed them to swim to the other end of the tank and return to me ďwalkingĒ on the water with their tails. Yup, doing that made me cry again. :/

-Every time you kissed the mother dolphin on the head it would make this ridiculously cute sound -- kind of like a baby laughing. It was amazing.

-One of the guys in my group contacted the Sea World people beforehand and had them put a note in a giant plastic bottle that the dolphins use for a toy. During the training, the dolphin brought the bottle to this guyís girlfriend. She opened the bottle and read the note. THE NOTE ASKED HER TO MARRY HIM! There was even a ring attached! You better believe I cried after this happened! Note to whoever is going to propose to me someday: this is how it needs to happen.

I obviously donít need to say that Saturday was the best day of my entire life. I truly feel like my life changed after the experience of swimming with the dolphins. Call me overdramatic, I donít care. You can call me anything you want! I got to swim with dolphins and I am so freakiní happy!

Thanks again to the people that made this happen. There arenít enough smiley face emoticons to express my eternal gratitude. :)



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