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LK4O4 avatar 6:02 PM on 12.07.2009  (server time)
Aliens Have Landed (Space Invaders Extreme 2)

Posted by: Ryan

I had some time to kill while I was waiting for Karina on Friday night, so I took out my trusty Nintendo DS Lite and started playing some Space Invaders Extreme 2.

When I was in college, I played a lot of Advance Wars 2, since my commute was over an hour, and the later battles in Advance Wars take about an hour or so, which made it the perfect length to play during those mornings. But these days, I work in a building that's actually in my own city, and my commute is really only about 15 minutes. So my DS usually has a much shorter-length game in it, like Bangai-O Spirits or Space Invaders Extreme 2. With Bangai-O, I can get on the train, fire up a level, die two or three times, and that fills up the little pocket of 10 minutes.

I'm alone. I'm outside, walking around, going to shops, trying to kill time, but also trying to stay nearby in case Karina needs me to come to her rescue, and I end up sitting on this short staircase with no one around. It gets dark early, and it's pretty cold outside, so it doesn't seem weird that there aren't many people walking around beyond the one main street with all the stores. I still had Space Invaders Extreme 2 sitting in my DS, so I took it out, and with no one around, I didn't feel weird turning the sound all the way up as I played it.

The sound. Once of the best things about SIE2 is the sound: the game has this cool, electronic music, and every time you shoot, the game makes a sound effect in time with the music. Kind of like the sound in Rez, the music doesn't just sound great, but it feels good because you're playing part of the music by shooting enemies.


While I was out there, I was focusing more than I usually do. Every time I've played the game since I've gotten it, I've made it to Stage 3B, and that's usually where I'll die. But this time, I blazed through Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3B without losing a single life. For the first time, I made it to Stage 4C.

Now normally, just getting to a new stage isn't that big of a deal, but I wasn't expecting the song that would come with it. The music in Stage 4C just feels heavier than anything else I had played in the game up until that point. There's almost something sinister about it. But being the farthest stage I had ever gotten to, it was also the hardest stage that I've made it to so far. I lost all of my lives less than halfway through the level. I went to the level select to try and play it again, and Stage 4C still wasn't unlocked: you have to actually complete a stage to unlock it in the level select.


Sunday morning, I'm awake. No one's home. No one was home last night either. The sound. It's in my head. But I can't remember how it goes. You know when you're trying to say something and it's "right on the tip of your tongue"? Well, I felt like the music for Stage 4C was right on the tip of my brain. So while still laying in bed, not wanting to get out of my blankets due to the cold, I grab my DS and I start playing again. I have to get to Stage 4C. I have to hear that music again. My brain is searching for that music. I don't have to get a high score, I don't have to play well, I just have to not die—and I have to not die for three stages in a row.

After a few attempts, I made it to Stage 4C again, and I died before the boss again. That's it, I'm looking for the soundtrack to this game. It takes a good long time to find a download for the soundtrack, but once I did, I started playing it on my iTunes, and I decided to start making something. Something out of my old deck of playing cards.

Yes, I spent my Sunday afternoon making a Space Invaders UFO out of 48 blue Bicycle playing cards, electrical tape, and lots of staples. I'm hanging out with Karina tomorrow, I'm going to a movie and a party with Jeannette on Friday, and I'm going ice skating with Kiri on Saturday—thank goodness, because this is the kind of ridiculous insanity that goes on when you people leave me alone.


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