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The animals of the L.A. Zoo make our E3 2010 predictions! - Destructoid

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The animals of the L.A. Zoo make our E3 2010 predictions!


4:00 PM on 06.02.2010
The animals of the L.A. Zoo make our E3 2010 predictions! photo



Last year around this same time, I set out on a mission to see if a local Los Angeles psychic could make better predictions about E3 than a highly-paid videogame analyst. It was an interesting, exciting experiment that yielded some truly fascinating results. Inspired by last year’s post, I wanted to once again get predictions from someone (or, in this case, some things) that knew very little about the videogame industry.

I thought: What about animals? They sure as heck don’t know anything about videogames, and, selfishly, I love animals and would welcome any excuse to get close to them.

With my high-concept idea in mind, I contacted the Los Angeles Zoo in the hopes they would help me see my experiment through. I knew I was aiming high, but where else could I find a controlled environment with such a wide variety of animals?

In hindsight, now knowing that everyone that works at the zoo is unbelievably considerate and helpful, it makes sense that the staff of the L.A. Zoo was genuinely excited to help me with this feature -- but at the time of them actually calling me back to give me the good news, I was in shock. Wait, the Los Angeles Zoo -- one of the most respected zoos in the world -- wanted to help me with one of my stories? A story that actually might involve me interacting with some of the animals and talking about videogames? OH MY GOSH YES!

And so, with the L.A. Zoo agreeing to help me with anything I needed, this feature was born. And I officially became the happiest guy in Southern California.

Before we dive into the entire, ridiculously amazing experience, I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone at the Los Angeles Zoo for being so welcoming and helpful throughout this entire process -- in particular, my main guide through all this, Jason Jacobs (or, as he will be referred to throughout the rest of this feature, Jungle Jason), and two other animal experts, Jon Guenther (the bird trainer) and Ian Recchio (reptile extraordinaire). Without their knowledge and assistance none of this would have ever happened. Thanks for being awesome.

So, with that, let’s get started. What did the animals of the L.A. Zoo predict for this year’s E3? Who do they think will "win" the annual war of the press conferences? And how the heck did they even make these predictions? Hit the jump for the surprising and adorable results. You really are not ready for this.


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer

Advance warning: This is an epic post. You might want to grab a drink and get comfortable. A lot of stuff went down at the L.A. Zoo over the multiple days I researched this feature, and I wanted to document all of it. ALL OF IT, I TELL YOU!

Let me start by giving you a rather simplified rundown of how all of this worked.

Just like last year, I posted a recent cryptic community blog asking you, the community, to give me a list of yes/no questions about things you think may or may not happen at this year’s E3. Using 100 of these questions, I went into the zoo to observe and interact with twenty different animals, asking five questions to each of them.

Using the exceptional knowledge of Jungle Jason, Jon Guenther, and Ian Recchio, I learned a specific trait about each of these twenty animals. By observing and interacting with them, I then, out loud, asked each of the questions to see how the animals would react. In each case, their reactions determined whether the answer to that particular question was either a 'yes' or a 'no.'


Photo by Jason Jacobs

In addition to this, I brought along three videogame controllers (for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3) that I held in front of each of these animals. Documenting the reactions from each -- and again referring to the experts -- I then concluded which of the three major companies (Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony) would “win” the big press conferences. Sure, “winning” the press conferences is one of those obnoxious things that drives me crazy about E3 every year, but I figured having all the animals pick a winner would be nothing short of fascinating. Ever wondered if a flamingo prefers Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony? If so, YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!

And that’s basically how I got all this to work. Is it a completely absurd process? Oh, absolutely? Is it void of any and all scientific merit? No merit whatsoever! But was it one of the most amazing and interesting experiences of my entire life? Without question, yes! Seriously, some of these predictions and animal reactions are going to surprise you just as much as they surprised me.

So, let’s get to the results of all of this, shall we?

Photo by Jason Jacobs


Yup, that’s right. There is a gorgeous white cockatoo at the zoo named Scooter, and not only did I get to meet him up close during a private session on the stage of the bird show, he would actually nod yes or shake his head no after all the questions I asked him.


Photo by Jason Jacobs

He was also the first animal I met at the L.A. Zoo, which was both a good and bad thing. Good, because, as I just mentioned, the cockatoo actually answered the questions I was asking him -- it couldn’t have been easier! But for that same reason it was also bad, as the rest of the animals during my experiment were very challenging to read in comparison.

Scooter is a rock star and couldn’t have been more cooperative. What did he have to say about the questions?

Guncannon asks: Will Nintendo announce a new Star Fox game?
The cockatoo says: Yes.

LK4O4 asks: Will the EA Partners project with Suda51 and Shinji Mikami finally be unveiled at E3?
The cockatoo says: No.

EdgyDude asks: Will Kid Icarus Wii be announced?
The cockatoo says: No.

Pedro Cortes asks: Will Nintendo release Mother 3 in the U.S.?
The cockatoo says: NO!
[Editor’s note: The cockatoo firmly answered this question before I even finished asking it. Hilarious and, most likely, accurate!]

Studakris asks: Will we get more solid release dates on the Final Fantasy XIII sequels?
The cockatoo says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: There was an odd long pause before this answer. I wonder what that means!]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


Huh. A giant, intimidating, strong creature is going to stare into my eyes as I ask it crazy questions that it doesn’t understand while waving plastic things in front of its face that may remind it of a toy it can reach for and play with. THAT SOUNDS SAFE!

Luckily, my irrational nervousness was unfounded, as Jungle Jason told me the gorillas were not nearly as aggressive and scary as people make them out to be. (In fact, I can vouch for this, as the nearby chimpanzees were much more vocal and active than the docile, noble gorillas.) But since physically interacting with the gorillas was still not something the L.A. Zoo legal department would have felt comfortable with me doing, I had to become the Dian Fossey of the videogame world and observe these primates from afar. (And, yes, I would like to be played by Sigourney Weaver when this feature is inevitably turned into a film.)

Being so close to human, the gorillas had wonderful reactions to all my questions. Some almost looked as if they were nodding while staring at me; others simply turned and walked away when I asked the questions. It was pretty incredible.

Elsa asks: Will Sony finally announce a valid release date for Gran Turismo 5?
The gorilla says: Yes.

chrissmith9c asks: Netflix for 3DS?
The gorilla says: No.
[Editor’s note: No 3D Showgirls on my plane ride to PAX?! BOO!]

Caspulex asks: Will Valkyria Chronicles 2 for PSP be demoed?
The gorilla says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: Yes, please!]

Seltzermx asks: Will Raskulls get a release date?
The gorilla says: Yes.

Enkido asks: Will Microsoft announce a handheld gaming system?
The gorilla says: No.


Photo by Jamie Pham, zoo photographer


The name of the main male lion in the L.A. Zoo is Lionel. At first, I thought Jungle Jason said his name was Lion-O -- the leader of the ThunderCats -- and I flipped out. Then I proceeded to make a million “hilarious” ThunderCats jokes until Jason finally jumped in to tell me it was Lionel, not –O. Oops. So, for future reference, when you visit the L.A. Zoo (which, my God, you should!), don’t hold your notepad and tape recorder up to your face and scream “ThunderCats HOOOOOOOOOO!” in front of the lion area. It won’t be funny for anyone involved.

Going into the zoo, I had a vision of all the lions roaring after I asked them each a question, culminating in a dramatic finale in which I held up the videogame controllers and a baboon would come out and hold up a baby lion cub, pointed towards one of the controllers as a giant sun beam shined down upon them, a gospel choir of amazing black women singing in the background.

Surprisingly, half of this actually happened!

Of course, you always want a lion to roar when you are at the zoo, but, most of the time, it never happens. Because I like to think they knew I was writing an important article, the lions honest-to-goodness roared after a couple of my questions, which I immediately equated as a yes answer.

[Editor’s note: Hearing a lion roar in real life, by the way, is one of the craziest and coolest things EVER!]

Takeshi asks: Will there be any news about another Ratchet & Clank?
The lion says: No.

Trebz asks: Will we receive any more information on Kirby for the Wii?
The lion says: Yes.

Woopman asks: Is the 3DS's name going to change?
The lion says: No.
[Editor’s note: Huh. This is interesting, and something I have oddly suspected as well.]

ZombiePlatypus asks: Will we see any gameplay from Metal Gear Solid: Rising?
The lion says: Yes.

EdgyDude asks: Will Konami show any footage of a new Silent Hill?
The lion says: No.


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


Okay, I have a new favorite animal at the zoo. The giant otters -- new to the L.A. Zoo -- are absolutely incredible. As their name describes, they are HUGE! They also make this ridiculously loud, high-pitched “yelp” that you can hear from all different parts of the zoo. Because of this sound, it was easy to figure out how to have the otters make predictions. After asking a question, a loud yelp meant yes, no sound at all meant no.

Simple, right?

Tubatic asks: Will Konami announce a new Zone of the Enders title?
The giant otter says: No.

Monodi asks: Will there be an announcement of Mirror's Edge 2?
The giant otter says: No.

Volkarin asks: Will Respawn Entertainment announce the game they are working on?
The giant otter says: No.

BrunoDeckard asks: Will there be a Pikmin for DS or 3DS?
The giant otter says: No.

mourning orange asks: Will we see a sequel to 1991's cult classic Metal Storm announced for home consoles?
The giant otter says: No.
[Editor’s note: Dag! Maybe not so simple. The giant otters are so negative. All "no" answers!]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


Because of Jon’s helpful information about birds (the guy is an expert, after all), getting predictions out of the flamingos was both easy and fun! There was a huge area full of many flamingos, so I basically picked a random bird that was standing on both feet, asked it a question, and waited for it to eventually stand up on one leg. Standing on a right leg was a yes; left leg was a no.


Photo by Jason Jacobs

LazerJoe88 asks: Will we get any info on Half-Life 2: Episode 3?
The flamingo says: No.
[Editor’s note: BOOOOO!]

Mirax asks: Will Valve show Portal 2 gameplay?
The flamingo says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: YAAAAAY!]

Danzflor asks: Will Call of Duty: Black Ops be as good/sell as well as the Modern Warfare series?
The flamingo says: No.

Wolfy-Boey asks: Will The Last Story be playable?
The flamingo says: Yes.

Trebz asks: Will Interplay reveal more information on Project V13?
The flamingo says: No.

 
Photo by Jamie Pham, zoo photographer


If you had asked me what a peccary was before I went to the zoo, I would have either looked at you funny or been so intimidated by the weird word you said that I would have panicked, completely overreacted, and pushed you into a mud puddle. “Sorry! I am intimidated by things I don’t understand!” is probably what I would have said as I helped you out of the puddle and cleaned you off.

But after my incredible, epic zoo day, I now know what a peccary is! And they are so cute! You are safe from the mud puddle! Huzzah!

Like warthogs and other pigs, peccaries love to root through the dirt with their long snouts. After asking them a question, I waited to see if they would dig in the loose dirt all around them. Their actions would determine the answers to the questions!

Handy asks: Will we hear anything about Persona 5?
The peccary says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: I think I just heard Dale North giggle like a school girl.]

Sebastian Paul Lopez asks: Will Nintendo announce their new home console?
The peccary says: No.

Double J asks: Is this the year we will finally see the fall of the music game genre?
The peccary says: No.
[Editor’s note: I think I just heard Nick Chester giggle like a school girl.]

The Silent Protagonist asks: Will Castlevania: Lords of Shadow fail to impress, just like every other 3D Castlevania?
The peccary says: No.

CrimeMinister asks: Will Wii Music 2 be shown?
The peccary says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: In my favorite prediction of the day, after answering “yes” to this question, the peccary turned and ran away from me to hide. Amazing.]



At this point in one of my epic zoo days, opening hours hit, so my private access was over and the general population started to enter. This was no big deal at all -- I still had Jungle Jason and the gang to help me with all the animals -- but it made asking the questions and holding up the controllers all the more embarrassing. I was already embarrassed enough asking some of these nerdy (albeit awesome!) questions in front of the animal experts, but doing it amid a sea of eager, excited zoo patrons is an entirely different story. I have no complaints, though. I only mention it because I want you to imagine the looks on some of these people’s faces after I asked a zebra about Diablo III right before waving a PlayStation 3 controller around like a crazy person.

And speaking of the zebras, they were the next stop on my whirlwind tour!

In yet another example of how much I learned about animals at the L.A. Zoo, I never knew before writing this article that zebras love to flick their ears. They do it all the time and I never noticed it before! Using this observational knowledge, I asked my questions and made sure to watch out for that noticeable flick!

Matthew Razak asks: Will Nintendo actually have an impressive press conference unlike previous years' Reggie talk-a-thons?
The zebra says: No.
[Editor’s note: Sorry, Matt!]

Grafkhun asks: Will Blizzard show anything new related to Diablo III?
The zebra says: Yes.

WastelandTraveler asks: Will id Software reveal gameplay footage of RAGE?
The zebra says: No.

Takeshi asks: Will Kevin Butler do the whole Sony press conference by himself?
The zebra says: No.

Sonic9jct asks: Will Telltale announce a new episodic game based on either Full Throttle or Grim Fandango?
The zebra says: No.
[Editor’s note: This would have changed my life.]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


I was originally going to use the jaguar's pacing-like hypnotic movement as an indication of what answer it was choosing, but the movement was on such a pattern, there was no sense of randomness to it. I was afraid the answers would be a foregone conclusion before even asking the questions, which goes against everything I wanted to get out of this experiment.

But then I noticed it. When certain people, including zoo employees, would make sounds outside the cage, the jaguar would sometimes do a distinctive head bob. This was my in, and my basis for the predictions!

VGFreak1225 asks: Will the new Zelda have a darker tone a la Majora's Mask?
The jaguar says: Yes.

JTHomeslice asks: Will there be news on new home consoles from Nintendo? Sony? Microsoft?
The jaguar says: Yes. No. Yes.
[Editor’s note: Unlikely, but as my mother told me, ALWAYS TRUST A JAGUAR!]

ZombiePlatypus asks: Will there be a Natal/Fable III bundle announced?
The jaguar says: Yes.

Mayiplay asks: Is there still hope for bringing Virtual Console between Wii and 3DS?
The jaguar says: Yes.

Mirax asks: Will Chad have a great time at E3?
The jaguar says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: Hell yeah, jaguar!]


Photo by Jamie Pham, zoo photographer


When I reached the giraffe section of the zoo, all three giraffes were gnawing away on a cluster of tree branches that was hanging down from an enormous tree. Instead of waiting for them to finish, I found it easier -- and surprisingly more effective -- to just use their eating motions as ways to predict the answers to my questions.

Every time one of the towering giraffes would lean forward to eat, it would either yank really hard on the branch, causing leaves and berries to fly everywhere, or gently lick the end with its enormous, colored tongue. After I asked a question, I would sit back and watch as the giraffes made for the branches. Aggressively yanking the branch was a yes; licking the branch or doing nothing at all was a no.

Morty asks: TimeSplitters 4?
The giraffe says: Yes.

Perri asks: Will Zelda Wii steal the show?
The giraffe says: YES!
[Editor’s note: The giraffe really yanked the branch when I asked this question. Interesting.]

Ramalho asks: Will a new Paper Mario be announced?
The giraffe says: No.
[Editor’s note: Dag.]

TheJesusNinja26 asks: Will we see gameplay of I Am Alive?
The giraffe says: Yes.

EdgyDude asks: More information on Parasite Eve 3 (a.k.a. The Third Birthday)?
The giraffe says: Yes.



Now, before you leap up and down yelling “ZOBOOMAFOO! ZOBOOMAFOO!” as I may or may not have done when we reached the ring-tailed lemur cage, keep in mind that Jungle Jason politely informed me that the popular star of the PBS children’s show is actually not a ring-tailed lemur, as most people think. Zoboomafoo is actually a Coquerel's Sifaka, which is a type of lemur. SHAME ON SOME OF YOU FOR THINKING ZOBOOMAFOO IS A RING-TAILED LEMUR! SHAME!

The first thing I noticed when viewing the ring-tailed lemur is that it loves to jump. Within the first few minutes of me standing there, the lemur leaped back and forth between a group of crooked branches.

Using this physical action as the basis for my prediction, I assigned two nearby branches with answers, one as yes, the other as no. Then, after asking a question, I waited to see which branch the ring-tailed lemur would jump to first.

Here are the results:

CelicaCrazed asks: Will Sega be announcing a new Jet Grind/Set Radio game?
The lemur says: No.

Davoidbot asks: Will Interplay make a major announcement?
The lemur says: Yes.

Walrusmustdash asks: Will Capcom announce a new Breath of Fire game?
The lemur says: No.

KyleGamgee asks: Will there be more 4-player co-op games for XBLA like X-Men or The Simpsons?
The lemur says: Yes.

WastelandTraveler asks: Dead Space 2 has been confirmed for the PC. Will it still have the same co-op mode as the console version?
The lemur says: Yes.

As I walked through the zoo, I passed by a newly opened building called the “Churro Factory.” It comes as no surprise that they sell nothing but churros.

This fact alone is amazing.

But as I looked closer, I noticed they carried something called a churro sundae. Basically, it’s a giant churro, cut in half and stuck into a bowl of ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and sprinkles.

I had to have it.

So I got one.


Photo by Jason Jacobs

And it was delicious.


                 Photo by Jason Jacobs

Now, back to the task at hand!


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


Okay, it is going to take all the power in my body to not hit my caps lock right now and just go crazy over how adorable the black bear was. Seriously. Must … not … hit … caps lock …
… arrrrrrrrrr …
I CAN’T HELP IT! THE BLACK BEAR WAS SO ADORABLE! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Now I feel better.

But it really was perfect timing. When Jungle Jason and I reached the black bear area, one of them was sitting in the middle of a small pool of water, washing his face with one hand and playing with a toy ball with the other. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

Overwhelmed by the adorableness of it all, it was tough for me to focus, but I did my best to start asking the prediction questions, using the motions the bear made while washing his face as a guide to whether he was answering yes or no.

SERIOUSLY ADORABLE! CAPS LOCK!

smurfee mcgee asks: Will we see a new Wii Sports?
The black bear says: No.

MowDownJoe asks: Will Monster Tale be a success?
The black bear says: Yes.

CrimeMinister asks: Will there be a new Boktai game?
The black bear says: No.

Nic128 asks: Will Namco-Bandai announce a release date for Tales of Vesperia PS3 in the U.S.?
The black bear says: Yes.

WastelandTraveler asks: More Diablo III goodness?
The black bear says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: It seems all the animals are predicting additional Diablo III news! That game must be the talk of the zoo!]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


Well, thank the lucky stars that Komodo dragons can only be found primarily in Indonesia, because, well, I WAS ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED WHEN I SAW THEM! Taking me back behind the cage to a special, employee-only area, Ian opened up a large metal door, leading the Komodo dragon right in front of me, a chain link fence being the only thing separating me and the prehistoric-looking beast.

Here, Ian explained how he feeds the Komodo dragon and trains him to enter a small, windowed crate to take care of him. It was all extremely fascinating, sure, but I couldn’t stop looking, terrified, at the so-much-bigger-up-close monster that was standing only a foot away from me. I am not normally freaked out by animals (I love them all!), but, man, the Komodo dragon is one intimidating creature!


                        Photo by Jason Jacobs

Watching him closely, though, I noticed how often he would flick his tongue. Knowing this, I noted each and every time the Komodo Dragon would flick its tongue after I asked a question. A flick meant yes; no flick, no.

Blindfire asks: Will the next Rainbow Six title be announced?
The komodo dragon says: Yes.

eternalplayer2345 asks: Will Zelda Wii get a release this year?
The komodo dragon says: No.
[Editor’s note: This goes against everything Nintendo has been saying, but I can see a delay happening.]

ZServ asks: Will a Borderlands sequel show up or be hinted at?
The komodo dragon says: Yes.

Guncannon asks: Will there be any games announced that haven't been rumored or leaked beforehand?
The komodo dragon says: Yes.

Ramalho asks: Will Milo make another appearance?
The komodo dragon says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: Creepy.]

 


Photo by Jamie Pham, zoo photographer


At first, the beautiful tiger didn’t do much -- he decided to pretty much do nothing more than lie on his side and sleep in the warm sun (more power to you, tiger!). I was a little disappointed, as I was really looking forward to working with the tiger, but right before I decided to mark him off my list and move on to a new animal, he perked right up. Even animals would do anything to be Internet famous!

After jumping up, the tiger walked around in a circle a few times and then began clawing on a hanging scratching post in the middle of his pen.

This is when I jumped in and started asking the questions. Scratching on the post was a yes, walking away and doing nothing was a no. Oh, and as a side note, there was a group of two men who were really into the questions I was asking the tiger. I am sure they had no idea what I was doing, but they acted like it was the greatest thing in the world. This really has nothing to do with anything, but there was something about those guys that I really liked, so I felt it beared mentioning. If you are reading this, you guys are cool. We will always have the tiger area …

smurfee mcgee asks: Will we see anything from Pikmin 3?
The tiger says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: !!!!! Please, please, please.]

TheDRMaster asks: Will a new SSX game be announced?
The tiger says: No.

SirDregan asks: Will there be an Alan Wake 2?
The tiger says: No.

CelicaCrazed asks: Will Nintendo be making a new Legend of Zelda: Four Swords game?
The tiger says: No.

SteezyXL asks: Will Unreal Engine 4 make an appearance?
The tiger says: Yes.


Photo by Jason Jacobs


Tortoises are (unsurprisingly) slow and very inactive. But, as I learned after my experience at the zoo, this all changes once carrots are involved.


Photo by Jason Jacobs

After hopping into the giant tortoise pen and watching as a rather large group of people started to gather (seriously, I was like a zoo celebrity that day -- it was so awesome!), reptile expert Ian handed me a large carrot stick and also grabbed one for himself. I assigned Ian’s carrot as the yes and my carrot as the no. And then we basically just stood in front of the tortoises, I asked the questions, and we watched for which carrot the tortoises went for. Questions answered!

VGFreak1225 asks: Will Nintendo ditch the obsolete Friend Code system with the 3DS?
The tortoise says: Yes.

Cadtalfryn asks: Will a new Resident Evil be announced?
The tortoise says: No.

manasteel88 asks: Will Atlus localize 7th Dragon?
The tortoise says: No.

Projectexodus asks: Will Retro Studios announce the new game they are making?
The tortoise says: No.

Guagloves asks: Will Nintendo do more with MotionPlus or the Vitality Sensor?
The tortoise says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: This answer seems rather obvious, but it’s interesting that the tortoise predicted correctly.]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


And now it’s time for the sad story of the day! Randa the rhino -- the lone rhino at the L.A. Zoo -- was recently diagnosed with cancer of the horn. Because of this, the distinguishing horn had to be removed. While this may seem horribly depressing, it was the work of the amazing doctors at the zoo that actually saved Randa’s life. So, while she may be missing the one thing that most people think makes a rhino a rhino, she is happy, healthy, and seems to really enjoy her life in the zoo. Which is awesome.

So, actually, the story is really happy, I guess. Yay for Randa!

While I was asking Randa the questions, she moved over to a gate separating her two areas, leaned her head forward, and proceeded to rub what was left of her horn up and down along the front of the door. Oddly enough, she didn’t continuously do it, but seemed to wait until after I asked certain questions. Of course, I know this was most likely a coincidence, but of all the animals I observed and interacted with at the zoo, Randa seemed to be one of the most accommodating.

Professor Pew asks: Will an exclusive game be Game of E3?
The rhinoceros says: Yes.

JusticeDude asks: Will Capcom revitalize the Gargoyle's Quest series or characters in any way?
The rhinoceros says: No.
[Editor’s note: This was a super random question, but that would be cool, huh?]

Tron asks: Will Sony announce PS2 and Dreamcast games on the PSN as discussed earlier in the year?
The rhinoceros says: Yes.

smurfee mcgee asks: Will a sequel to Deadly Premonition be announced?
The rhinoceros says: No.
[Editor’s note: Sorry, Jim Sterling!]

Double J asks: Will Shenmue III be announced?
The rhinoceros says: No.


Photo by Jamie Pham, zoo photographer


One of the animals I was most looking forward to seeing at the zoo was the koalas. I mean, LOOK AT THEM! They are adorable and I want to have one clinging onto my back like a backpack right now.

Knowing that koalas love to eat eucalyptus leaves, my plan was to observe the koalas eating, and use my findings to determine the answers to the questions. Well, that didn’t happen. All the koalas did was sleep in their cute little trees, occasionally eating a little of their cute eucalyptus -- all the while, I can only assume, dreaming of other cute things, like being licked by puppies. Oh my gosh, can you imagine a koala being licked by a puppy?! THAT MAY BE THE CUTEST THING EVER!

Sorry, sorry. I am getting completely distracted.

After waiting for a very long time for the koala to help me with my predictions, I got a little impatient and decided to just ask the random people around the koalas the E3 questions. I know, it’s completely unscientific, but I didn’t know what else to do! It was either this, or skip the koalas entirely. And I was not going to pass up the opportunity to include a picture of them in this post.

So what did the random zoo patrons have to say about the E3 questions?

Guncannon asks: Will some games that actually use the Wii Vitality Sensor be announced?
The koala says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: I asked this question to a family, and they all got excited to find out what the Wii Vitality Sensor was (they have a Wii at home). Who knows? Maybe this thing will actually be a hit!]

Studakris asks: Will Blizzard reveal anything new?
The koala says: Yes.

EdgyDude asks: Will Eternal Darkness 2 be announced?
The koala says: No.

TheJesusNinja26 asks: Will a new Strider game be announced?
The koala says: Yes.

Xzyliac asks: Will The Clash's “Guns of Brixton” be in Rock Band 3?
The koala says: No response.
[Editor’s note: No joke, the girl I asked this question to asked, “What’s The Clash?!” Yikes!]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


As a massive lifetime fan of Disneyland -- and, more specifically, the Jungle Cruise ride -- I have come to learn that hippos wiggle their ears right before they decide to OMG ATTACK YOU AND EAT YOUR FACE! (Thanks for that everlasting, comforting memory, pun-filled captain of the Jungle Cruise boat.) While this may be true, Jungle Jason informed me that they also do this when they emerge from under the water.

Using that information, I observed Jabba the hippo (best name for a hippo ever?) after she emerged from her newly filled pool at the front of her enclosure. Lucky for me, she was very active and seemed to respond surprisingly well to the questions I was asking her … well, at least she did on the very first question.

Read on for the results to see what I am talking about.

The Silent Protagonist asks: Will the Metroid Dread DS project be revived for 3DS?
The hippopotamus says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: Um ... WHAT?! THIS WOULD BE AMAZING!]

Sonic9jct asks: Will the 3DS have a handheld virtual console for Game Boy and/or Neo Geo, Game Gear, and Atari Lynx?
The hippopotamus says: No.

Mayiplay asks: Will Okamiden get the attention it deserves with a loyal and wonderful ad campaign to bring in people of all types to play it?
The hippopotamus says: No.

ZombiePlatypus asks: Will Nintendo announce a StarTropics revival?
The hippopotamus says: No.
[Editor’s note: I would pass out at the press conference if this actually happened.]

ZombiePlatypus asks: Will there be an XBLA title to tie in with Fable III, in the vein of the Pub Games that came out for Fable II?
The hippopotamus says: No.
[Editor’s note: As you can see, the hippo went crazy after I asked the first question ... and then just kind of stopped. Accurate predictions or just laziness? We shall see in two weeks!]


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


A quick, fun story about the alligators at the L.A. Zoo. The main male at the zoo is named Reggie, and he is a little bit of a celebrity around Southern California. A few years back, Reggie was randomly found living in a local lake (random and terrifying!). For two long years (yes, two years!), professionals from all over the world were called in to try to capture Reggie and move him from the lake and into captivity. He thwarted them all. I was obsessed with the story when it was on the news for all those years. I even bought a Reggie T-shirt. He was my hero.

It wasn’t until the L.A. Zoo’s very own Ian Recchio stepped in that Reggie was finally captured. And now he happily lives with his mate Cajun Kate in a nice, shaded area near the front of the zoo.

The alligators, I was told by Jungle Jason and Ian, don’t do much.

And, man, were they right. Getting predictions out of Reggie TOOK FOREVER! It was easily the longest animal session I had. Granted, I was a little star-struck that I was standing right in front of the great and powerful Reggie, but still … it took so long!

Basically, I picked out two large rocks in the alligator pen, assigning one as yes and one as no. Then I asked the five questions, and waited to see which rock Reggie would move towards to sun himself on.

After waiting … and waiting … and then waiting some more, I finally got the answers I was looking for. Sheesh, Reggie! Help your biggest fan out next time!

Brain Candy asks: Will Sony announce a phone-capable PSP?
The alligator says: No.

Guagloves asks: Will any info on Beyond Good and Evil 2 come out of E3?
The alligator says: No.
[Editor’s note: I say this every year, but ... DAMMIT!]

RoninZero asks: Mega Man Legends 3 and/or Mega Man Online: Will we learn anything at all?
The alligator says: Yes.

buffaloAAA asks: Will Nintendo be releasing a new Wiimote that has Motion Plus built in?
The alligator says: No.

Monodi asks: Will we see Project Sora's project?
The alligator says: No.


Photo by Jason Jacobs


One of the highlights of my days at the L.A. Zoo was working with the birds. Not only was Jon (the bird trainer) one of the nicest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, the birds themselves were absolutely fascinating and, to my surprise, smart. Seeing some of these exotic birds up close was a real treat.

Mercedes the wreathed hornbill was no exception. Standing right next to this bird was such a crazy experience. The shape of its detailed beak; the power hidden behind her eyes. I know that sounds so dramatic, but, to me, Mercedes looks like she came right off the set of Jurassic Park. Seeing some of these endangered animals up close is a real eye-opening experience. It truly makes you appreciate what this magnificent planet has to offer.

Who knew the wreathed hornbill would be the animal that almost brought me to tears that day?!

As far as the questions go, Jon informed me that the wreathed hornbill was an amazing catcher. After asking a question, I threw a grape at Mercedes from quite some distance. If she caught it, the answer was a yes; if she missed, I jotted down a no.

Xzyliac asks: Will Grand Theft Auto V be announced?
The wreathed hornbill says: Yes.

superdance14 asks: Will Sony finally give me a Sly Cooper 4 or am I going to have to kill someone?
The wreathed hornbill says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: No murder necessary!]

eskimo bob asks: Will Left 4 Dead 3 be announced?
The wreathed hornbill says: Yes.

Blindfire asks: Will we see more of the roster from Marvel vs. Capcom 3?
The wreathed hornbill says: Yes.

Wintersocks asks: Will a new Endless Ocean be announced?
The wreathed hornbill says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: The hornbill is incredible at catching grapes -- he never misses! -- so this may have been a failed attempt on my part. All the answers were “yes” and I doubt some of these will come true. But maybe I should just trust the hornbill?! Maybe he would have missed a grape if he knew the answer was "no?" Who knows?!]

 


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer


California residents, represent!

The big horn sheep were the last animals I observed at the end of my long, incredibly rewarding days at the L.A. Zoo. Although my body was tired, my mind was inspired and racing after seeing all the fantastic things I had seen throughout my time at the zoo.

But as I approached the big horn sheep, I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my overdramatic mind, I was hoping I would ask the mountain sheep a question and they would ram horns as a bolt of lightning struck a tree in the background. Sadly, that didn’t happen. I did get something slightly dramatic, though, which was perfectly acceptable.

The big horn sheep I chose to watch kept rubbing their horns on the edge of a large rock (again, in my mind, they were sharpening them for an upcoming epic battle on the edge of a massive cliff!). After asking my questions, I waited to see if the big horn sheep would rub its horn on the rock, or stand there and do nothing. Obviously, a rock rub meant a yes; standing still meant a no.

Masterron2 asks: Any news on Kingdom Hearts 3?
The big horn sheep says: Yes.

Enkido asks: Will we hear more about Golden Sun DS from Nintendo?
The big horn sheep says: Yes.
[Editor’s note: Sweet!]

Wintersocks asks: Will a new Mother game be announced?
The big horn sheep says: No.

Handy asks: Obligatory! Will a Final Fantasy VII remake be announced?
The big horn sheep says: No.
[Editor’s note: I think even the big horn sheep has accepted that this may never happen.]

Wolfy-Boey asks: Will Dragon Quest X finally be shown?
The big horn sheep says: Yes.


Photo by Tad Motoyama, zoo photographer

Whew! So, there you have it! The animals have spoken and made their predictions known. Thanks again for asking such great questions. I <heart> you guys so, so much.

What do you think? Are you intrigued by the predictions? Which animal do you think is going to be the most accurate? Do you have a feeling the animals of the L.A. Zoo are going to make better predictions than some of the professional analysts?

All will be revealed when E3 starts in two weeks. Make sure to stick with Destructoid for all the latest news and updates!

And, for people who were not keeping track, here is a scorecard for who each animal thinks will be the victor at the big three press conferences. You can even print this out and use it as a guide during E3! I can guarantee you will be the only person checking to see what a ring-tailed lemur thinks while the E3 news is pouring in! And that makes you cool.

Looking at the scorecard, 11 animals picked Nintendo to win the press conferences, 5 picked Microsoft, and 4 picked Sony. It looks like Nintendo will be the clear winner as far as the animals are concerned. Do you agree with this?


Photo by Jason Jacobs

Writing this feature was such a wonderful experience -- one of the best I have ever had while working for Destructoid! And none of it could have happened without the help of the Los Angeles Zoo. Again, I thank the incredible staff (and all the adorable animals!) for being so generous and helpful throughout this entire process.

If you live in Southern California or are visiting anytime soon, please take the time to visit the L.A. Zoo! It is a wonderful place and, obviously, the more people that visit, the better the homes will be for all the animals. By supporting the zoo, you are supporting all the animals they care for, which, in turn, helps our planet! YOU WANT TO HELP OUR PLANET, RIGHT?!

If you ever decide to go, drop me a line at chad@destructoid.com and I may tag along with you. I know so much about these animals now that I could easily take you on my own guided tour.

“Zoo Tours by Chad!”

I like the sound of that.






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