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StriderHoang avatar 11:02 PM on 11.11.2011  (server time)
Acquisition: Solid Snake signed your what?

I'm a very leveled headed person. When it comes to games, I pre-order the games I'm sure of and when I don't pre-order a game, I simply ask at my nearest store. I don't go on crazy hunts for most games with the exception of hunting down a hard to find copy of Street Fighter Anniversary. But there is one thing I went out of my way to get.

For several years, I staffed as access control at Anime Expo. It was an exciting job that let me enter a great convention for free and attend its events and exhibitor hall for free, plus food and room for the duration of the convention. As part access control, it was my duty to keep the lines nice and orderly so they'd move smoothly and people would be safe.

During one year of AX, Super Smash Brothers Brawl was at the peak of it's popularity, so I brought in a copy of Brawl with my Wii for personal use at headquarters during break. A nice surprise that year was David Hayter, known as the English voice actor of Solid Snake, coming to the convention as a guest of honor as well as autograph sessions. Unfortunately, even during my off-time while staffing, the lines for his autograph were huge. I'd hate to spend all my break just waiting in line to get an autograph, especially since I didn't have anything useful to get autographed. It'd be pretty nice to get his autograph as he one of the easier to recognize names in pop culture but even then, my break was coming to an end and I had to head back to HQ to be assigned a position.

Near the end of the day, I was simply kicking back at HQ with Brawl. Whenever I wasn't proving how overpowered Metaknight was, I was playing Diddy Kong and abusing his banana peel slide-throw, where you simultaneously roll and throw an item at the same time, allowing you to move in the direction of your roll while still throwing.

The Brawl reunion tour

A call then came out from the radio table. David Hayter was actually holding a surprise autograph session in one of the hallways to sign things for anyone who missed out. As soon as the radio man called out for volunteers, I cut off any response with a, “Me! Me! I'll go!”

I grabbed a red vest to wear for work but I also needed something for Mr. Hayter to sign. Then I had a flash of inspiration! Solid Snake is a guest character on Brawl, which the is the character David Hayter voices.

I arrive at the seemingly random hallway in order to act as the line cap. I was to act as the end of the line so attendees could find the end and so that the other staff knew when the line officially ended. As far as jobs you do as access control at AX, it was fairly easy and fast. Before I knew it, I was face to face with David Hayter myself and everyone thought we were done.

“Actually, I wanted an autograph too Mr. Hayter.”

Everyone, including David seems surprised but accepting. “Sure, I'll sign what you have,” he said.

So under my vest, I brought out my Gamecube wireless Wavebird controller. It was certainly not something I'd want to hold onto all day but it was the best thing I could bring in for an autograph. It had served me well on all sorts of Gamecube games and getting something I regularly use autographed seemed like a great idea.

Of course, David was surprised at what I brought out. “What is that?” he asked.

“It's a Gamecube controller. You see, cause you voice Solid Snake and he's in Smash Brothers now. He's a really good character.”

Of course, I meant broken, but that wasn't important. He awkwardly took the controller in his hand and seemed to smile at the challenge of autographing something so unconventional, not just at what it was but where to sign. Of course, the only broad spot one could write on a Wavebird was the very center, so he somehow smushed what seemed to be his signature onto it. You can make out the D and the H, but at least he took space to legibly write out SNAKE above it to reinforce the fact that David Hayter had in fact signed this random gaming accessory.

This was actually the first time I had ever had anything autographed. It was exciting to think that this Wavebird is one of a kind now. I brought it back to HQ to brag, though they were about as confused as David Hayter at my choice of autographed item. It wasn't until I took a picture of the item and uploaded the photo to my Facebook so all my friends could see it. My friends thought it was a hilarious idea, to get my Wavebird of all things autographed by David while one friend on Facebook considered it beautiful.

To this day, I still own this controller. I haven't owned a Gamecube in God knows how long and I sold my Wii years ago, so really it doesn't leave my gaming drawer much. But at least knowing the permanent marker with the care and isolation means the marker ink will last for a very long time and that I can hold onto a very interesting piece of paraphenelia.

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