Archive for January, 2011

My Paperboy Achievement Quest

For those of you unfamiliar with the arcade classic Paperboy, it was originally released by Atari in 1984. The game allowed you to assume the role of a boy who dished out newspapers along a suburban street on his bicycle. With a unique control scheme and layout, Paperboy was successful in convincing kids to shell out quarters with the hopes of making it through an entire week without getting fired for crashing too frequently into the many obstacles along your route.

Like many popular arcade games, Paperboy was eventually ported to various computer systems and video game consoles in the ensuing years. Though I have virtually no memory of ever playing the original stand-up version of the game, I actually bought and played the Commodore 64 version 20+ years ago. The cool Dennis the Menace-style artwork on the cover was intriguing, spurring me to bring home the 5 1/4 floppy and pop it into my noisy 1980s disk drive. As fun as the game was, I found it to be overly challenging. Though I would play it from time to time, I recognized that I would never actually complete the week on Easy Street (the main objective for a standard game). A year or two later, my friend Jimmy (who is coincidentally getting married this weekend) got the game for the original NES. He was better than I was, but, as far as I know, he never actually completed the week on Easy Street.

Nearly two decades later, having not thought about the game since the early 90s, I found out that it was to be released on the Xbox 360 for just $5 via their download service (Xbox Live Arcade). So a couple years ago, I gladly purchased Paperboy once again. This time, it was a direct port of the arcade game, meaning it was even more difficult than the already seemingly impossible versions I had been accustomed to. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the nostalgia, played it a few times and basically just let it sit on my hard drive.

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I felt like giving the game a try again. This time I noticed that there was an Xbox Live achievement for actually completing a week on Easy Street — the impossible dream. I thought that with a little practice, I might actually be able to beat it. The thing is, I would typically just play the game for about 15 minutes or so, and that would be it. It would be different now because I’d actually dedicate a significant chunk of time to getting good.

At any rate, after a few attempts, I was still resigned to the fact that it was probably just never going to happen. However, I had friends over last weekend, one of which was Ham City Kev. He saw that I had been playing Paperboy, and he told me of a time in college that he managed to complete the week on Easy Street. Sure, he struggled mightily with this arcade version, failing to complete a single day, but I recognized he was rusty and that it really didn’t matter because he already did what I had forever failed to do. Naturally, being the mental patient that I am, I was jealous and now more motivated than ever to find a way to do it myself. In fact, this time I’d have a tangible record of it, thanks to the Xbox achievement system which would put on record the date I officially slayed the dragon that is Paperboy.

So it was my goal this past week to “beat” Paperboy. As one might imagine, I found myself getting progressively better as I played between one and two hours a day. Within the game, you start out on Monday and have to successfully complete seven straight days of deliveries. Though I was improving, I was still consistently dying on Saturday or Sunday, raising my video game frustration level to obscene heights which included minor temper tantrums of pounding my fist against the couch and the occasional curse word. It was driving me nuts because I’d be playing flawlessly and then make a stupid mistake to blow the game. Finally, after about 10 hours of game time during the week, in a game where I wasn’t even happy with my performance, I reached Sunday with NO LIVES left — so there was no margin for error. Miraculously, I pulled it off, and I felt a ridiculous amount of accomplishment when the completion achievement showed up on the screen. The monkey was off my back. It was probably the most satisfying video game victory of my entire life… whatever that means. Sure, it’s worthless in real life, but damn was that a rewarding moment!

Now I never want to play that fucking game ever again.

Gord Tep’s Top 10 All-Time TV Shows

As always at GordTep.com, we’re never capable of compiling the definitive list of the greatest “whatever” of all time. This list is just a representation of my personal favorites. Feel free to post your own.

10. WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event (31 Episodes, 1985-1992)
I have great memories of waking up on Sunday to watch last night’s action on tape.
Personal Favorite: Randy Savage
Standout Performer: Hulk Hogan
Favorite Episode: The Mega Powers Unite

9. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (45 Episodes, 1986-1991)
My favorite Saturday morning show as a kid.
Personal Favorite: Billy Baloney
Standout Performer: Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens)
Favorite Episode: “Christmas Show”

8. Entourage (88+ Episodes, 2004-2011)
The very definition of a “hip show” in the ’00s.
Personal Favorite: Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon)
Standout Performer: Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven)
Favorite Episode: “Lose Yourself”

7. The Simpsons (450+ Episodes, 1989-?)
It boggles my mind how they’ve managed to say so good for so long.
Personal Favorite: Homer Simpson
Standout Performer: Bart Simpson
Favorite Episode: “Homer at the Bat”

6. The Ultimate Fighter (120+ Episodes, 2005-?)
Each season is entertaining in its own right, but Season 10 is probably the funniest.
Personal Favorite: Rampage Jackson
Standout Performer: Dana White
Favorite Episode: “Gave a Hundred”

5. Dream On (118 Episodes, 1990-1996)
Lovable characters. Brilliant writing. Beautiful women. What’s not to like?
Personal Favorite: Martin Tupper (Brian Benben)
Standout Performer: Judith Tupper Stone (Wendie Malick)
Favorite Episode: “Angst for the Memories”

4. Da Ali G Show (12 Episodes, 2003-2004)
It’s not for everybody, but it makes me laugh harder than any other show.
Personal Favorite: Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Standout Performer: Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Favorite Episode: “Belief”

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm (70+ Episodes, 2000-2o11)
Every season is phenomenal.
Personal Favorite: Susie Greene (Susie Essman)
Standout Performer: Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin)
Favorite Episode: “Shaq”

2. The Larry Sanders Show (89 Episodes, 1992-1998)
Top-notch casting and acting for what is probably the smartest show ever written.
Personal Favorite: Hank Kingsley (Jeffrey Tambor)
Standout Performer: Artie (Rip Torn)
Favorite Episode: “The Mr. Sharon Stone Show”

1. The Honeymooners (39 Episodes, 1955-1956)
I’ve watched all of the Classic 39 multiple times, and they never get old!
Personal Favorite: Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason)
Standout Performer: Ed Norton (Art Carney)
Favorite Episode: “Chef of the Future”

Favorite Underappreciated Fictional Characters – Waldo Geraldo Faldo

Welcome to another edition of “Favorite Underappreciated Fictional Characters.” In this series, Kev and I will discuss fictional characters we loved in the 80s and 90s who, for whatever reason, didn’t get the cred they deserved for being awesome. Sometimes they were too obscure for the public eye, sometimes they were simply overshadowed by a fellow character, etc. Here at GordTep.com, we are happy and proud to give them the praise they deserve. This week, we have…

WALDO GERALDO FALDO
waldo faldo

“Hey, whatcha gonna do, Willie?

Family Matters (otherwise known as “The Urkel Show”) was extremely popular in the early-to-mid 1990s. Though Karl Winslow and Steve Urkel carried the load in terms of outrageous overacting, and over-the-top physical comedy, Waldo Faldo brought his own unique brand of humor. Much like Urkel, Waldo initially was a very small bit part. However, he played the role so well that Waldo became a recurring character. Originally, he was simply a dopey follower of the school bully. Ultimately, he became one of Eddie’s closest pals, and he even hooked up with Maxine (Laura’s hot friend). On his first date with Maxine, they went to see “Malcolm X,” which Waldo referred to as “Malcolm 10.” He also believed that Canada was pronounced Kenyada.

The following is a list of interesting facts about the Waldo Family Tree:

  • his father is a stewardess
  • his sister, named Quesadilla, was born at a Taco Bell restaurant and her parents – in typical Faldo fashion – decided that a second possibility for a name, Burrito Grande, was not a good choice
  • his brother is named Ronaldo Geraldo Faldo
  • his Uncle Jalapeno has two sons named Nacho and Gary; When Waldo was asked about Gary (due to his “normal” name), Waldo replied, “He’s a bit of an oddball”
  • his other cousins are named named Bobbalobbadingdong, Reynaldo, and Doofus

Waldo Geraldo Faldo, I salute you.

Special Thanks to WikiBin.org for the Faldo Family Tree details

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