Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Tarutaru Panic!"

Since starting Final Fantasy XI, I have had a great list of friends and many more acquaintances. Of these friends, some come and go of course. Some quit the game, some find new crews to hang out with, etc. Then there are the friends that stay with you forever. These are the people who keep me playing FFXI.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with two of my oldest FFXI friends, Fmtwo and Valion. FM lives in Minnesota, a fact I've known for quite some time. Upon my return to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it became apparent that getting together would be awesome. Valion, living a decent distance away, had to drive a ways to get to us.

Saturday was one of the best days I've had in a long time. We ate some great food, watched a demolition derby (more on that in a moment), played some multiplayer videogames, and spent hours and hours talking. It was a lot of fun.

Fmtwo is no stranger to demo derbies. In fact he's also a demo driver. Valion and I had never been to a derby, so that became the main purpose of the trip. The cars were loud, the carnage was frantic, and the energy was high. I enjoyed the afternoon quite a bit, and will likely find myself going to more demos in the future.

This was funny, found posted at the grandstands:

In the evening, we played some racing games to start with. Another FFXI player and friend of FM's, Hatchetman, also came over to enjoy pizza and participate in the chaos. FM & Hatch of course teamed up against Val and me, obliterating us whenever they had the chance (which was often). Racing games aren't generally my forte, but I think Val and I held our own. We also rotated in some James Bond first-person shooting, which was fun. I liked the game pretty well other than the analog sticks being not set up the way I'm accustomed. Once I got used to the controls, I started killing efficiently.

Possibly the most fun of all was the constant dialogue between us. We had personality and comedy to spare, and we laughed so hard I could barely think straight. It was also cool to be able to discuss the game with a couple guys who were of like mind. After Hatchetman went home and FM's girlfriend had gone to sleep, we stayed up until 5 in the morning just chatting about anything and everything. With internet memes, FFXI cliches, and individual silliness abound, the time just flew.

When Sunday came, we had some lunch and headed back on the road in our separate directions. We had been late and were tired, but it still felt like it was over too quickly. I think we all had a great time, and it definitely reminded me how cool my friends are. In a weird way, it also motivated me to get some stuff done in the game, so we'll see where that leads. It was a great weekend and I intend to repeat it whenever possible.

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