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GSL/London Writeup
Posted By: BOLLDate: 9/6/04 3:51 p.m.

BOLL's trip to London

===== INTRO =====

So, I read Halo2 was going to be playable in London, on some strange event. I chatted with c0ld and he (obviously, as he lives in London) was going there, which made me think.

Here I had a reason to go to London, to play Halo2, and visit c0ld at the same time. I've chatted with him constantly for more than a year! :o

Anyway, there was no way I was going to fly (never done that before) to London, all by myself, so I asked my cousin if he wanted to tag along, at around 2am. And sure, heĎd love to!

So we planned what airports to use, how to get there, what it was going to cost etc, talked to c0ld about getting picked up, sleeping at his house, cuddling with his cat and eating his food. When all was set we ordered bus, train and air tickets.

===== GETTING THERE =====

Friday 3rd of September 2004

Then, a month later, we're off to London. First I met my cousin, after taking the train to where he lives. A little strange as I haven't met my cousin in real life in eight years(!!!)! So I hardly recognized him. We walked the town a little, bought some stuff, then had dinner at his apartment, which we walked to, a very long walk, in my new-ish shoes, that apparently were a little too small.

After a humongous dinner (took me an hour, at least, to finish) consisting of rice, some strange fish, and some chili sauce with vegetables in it. We took the bus to the station, and headed for the airport. Getting to the airport was done via two trains and three buses.

This was my first flight ever. Of course, as the very nervous and worrying person I am, I imagined planes crashing, wings falling off, fireballs going through the cabin, how it would be to crash in the sea with sharks chewing at our feet, how it would feel if the pressure would fail, stuff like that. All my headís doing, always.

The flight went by pretty smoothly. Each shake of the plane made me think of a possible and horrible cause, but apparently, anything bad never happened. Also, as it was dark outside (plane took off at 8pm) I wasnít able to see much except a few tiny lights now and then, which was actually calming.

Waiting for the trainSitting on the bus

===== BEING THERE =====

When we got into the arrivals place in Stansted, and we had walked quite a bit, we passed a passport control and got around a corner, BLAM!

It was like seeing a cartoon character in the real world! It was c0ld and demonelite standing in the next turn, shaking my hand.

While trying to understand their British English we were escorted to the c0ld-mobile, with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car! After paying the parking ticket we headed for the c0ld-house, driving on the wrong side of the road! I think c0ld said something about "It's definitely not the right side!" but more like "Is'defnaly'no'de'ra'sad" It was pretty freaky, especially in turns on two way roads.

After less than an hour, and some detours due to c0ld's reckless driving, and maybe the fact he had never driven to that airport before, we arrived at the famous building.

Can you believe it? They have fitted carpets in the whole house! Even the bathroom, and the kitchen! (strange!) I never checked the cellar.

The house itself is several stories high, but most like a tower than a house. Together with the neighbor house attached to the c0ld-mansion two of these towers make up something that looks like a house. We were showed around and given rooms, yeah, Extion got one room containing c0ld's DVD collection and a double-bed, and I got another containing fuel (alcohol) and a double-bed. Awesome! :)

Before going to bed, we watched some crazy British TV (brainiacs, quite interesting) and me and c0ld had a game of Halo: Keyes, Heroic, Co-op. I got killed by shotgun floods pretty many times, but we finished it, and it was good.

Sleep. The bed was really nice; I could stretch my arms and legs however I wanted... I think I need a new bed, double-bed, and a bigger room....

demonelite going to pay the parking feeThis is c0ld's DVD collectionThe c0ld cat!The c0ld cat again!

===== THE DAY =====

Saturday 4th of September 2004

We got up around 6 in the morning, eating breakfast, some of us at least, getting ready for going to ExCeL. c0ld and demonelite had already fixed these magic tickets that lets you go by bus and train as much as you like, for one day, very useful. We took a walk to the bus, then rode that to the train station, took the train to somewhere, and then switched train, and switched again and BLAM! (yes, again) We were attacked by a madman in a black outfit!

After some odd looks, turning heads and general suspicion, the crazy man was revealed as Stuntmutt (though no one can remember who pointed it out, one theory is that Stuntmutt doubles as a ventriloquist). Even if the day was hot, with a blue sky and a burning sunshine, Stuntmutt wore strict black; jacket, shirt, trousers, shoes even a black wig! (it might have been his own hair, I never pulled at it)

I've had little practice in speaking English, which makes it somewhat uncomfortable, so I was mostly trying to understand their weird accent than making myself heard. c0ld and Stunt chatted pretty much while I was half asleep, then we swapped to the ghost train (no driver) heading for ExCeL.

When we came to the entrance of ExCeL, there was hardly any queue at all, nice! But there's 1Ĺ hours before the event even starts. When it was almost time to enter the hall, a guard tells us to move to the second gate, as the queue has gotten too long. Sure, but when we got there, we noticed that that gate was closed(!!). After waiting the remaining 15 or so minutes, we see the queue we stood in before starting to file into the hall (with a roaring sound) while our gate still was NOT open! It started to slide upwards though, and people pushed forward to get in, showing their tickets to the guard. When everyone had gotten through, we followed c0ld as he ran towards the Halo2 area, as we had planned beforehand. Stuntmutt mentioned that he was checking if I was keeping up with them, though by the time he had turned his head around, I was right behind c0ld, in front of Stunt. Long legs help.

demonelite had run like a mad cow directly when he had gotten in, and he did that before all of us, so he was sliding around inside the queuing area when the rest of us got there.

We ended up with only 6 people in front of us, but we let three past us as we wanted to get in as a group, and one lucky sod from the back of the queue as there was another group behind us that also didn't want to split up.

After a few minutes we were led into the bunker. There it was, Halo2, in real time!

First I had to remember I had to aim non-inverted (gah!) and with a Controller-S (damn white and black buttons), then I almost got deaf from the incredible loud voice explaining to us what we were about to experience.

What first struck me when I started playing was nothing caused by the game, it was the screen, the contrast was not adjusted, or badly adjusted, so it was milky gray, I'm not sure if this was the case with just my monitor, or all of them, as I didn't spend too much time looking around the room while I played. The sound was also pretty loud. It was hard making out what sounds were coming from what game.

Maybe I'm just stupid, or used to other hardware, but that's how I experienced it.

Now, to the game itself... I can't really say anything that hasn't been said.. but at least I can sum up what I did.

Breakfast!Walking to the bus, c0ld has a nice shirt onHard to NOT notice this restaurant...At the train station, waiting for the train. I think I have my eyes closed, and c0ld's bunny ears are hardly visible.Making a strange face while posing next to Stuntmuttc0ld and Stuntmutt, a charming couple, eh?

===== ACTUAL HALO2 GAMEPLAY =====

First, I ran towards the ghost, I wanted a vehicle. The "Normal" control setting really messed with my head, but I didn't need much vertical aiming. I used boost (Woohoo!) to swoosh into the middle area of the level, crossing it strafing and firing towards the defenders' building. When a Spartan appeared, I pushed the left trigger and boost-crashed him into a wall, very satisfying. A little after that I was flipped over by a rampant Warthog (I later found out it was demonelite driving, curse him) and was engaged by Spartans. I ran to the side and entered the building, running for the flag, but was killed on my way out.

I never really spent any time checking out details or animations...I just got immersed and played the game. This has caused me to not really remember what happened, but I remember killing someone with the rocket launcher, dual wielding Sub machinegun and a Plasma Rifle, feeling the recoil while filling up a desperate Spartan, driving the hog for half a second before it got blown up, wondering about the onscreen player icons and lowering the bridge to the Plasma Sword just as the game ended.

I did score the flag once, after running with it from the base, almost to the beach, died, and then picking it up again after someone else had carried it a bit further but died and carried it to the capture point, looking at my legs at the same time.

The game ended way too fast, and the queue waiting outside wasn't really encouraging waiting for another go at it.

After melting that the game was over so quickly, we looked at a few other games, then I and Extion borrowed c0ldís cell phone so we could run off on our own without being totally lost forever. c0ld and demonelite had been there the day before, so they had already seen most of it.

At one point demonelite called me, some time after I called him but he didnít answer, and told us they were at a bar outside the hall. So we went there.

The two nightmare armor dudes that waited outside the bunker for people who exitedWhen we got out, we saw that the queue had grown a little...c0ld texting and Stuntmutt figuring out how to drive in Burnout3The walkway to ExCeL, the large white building to the left, Gamestars banner ahead.

===== BOOZER =====

We found the bar, or Extion did as I looked past it, and entered. Two of itís walls were glass, so there was plenty of light. We saw Stuntmutt sitting there as if he owned the place. He asked us if we wanted anything to drink, and he got us cokes even if he tried to make anything we said into ďVodka?Ē c0ld came back from his business just a few seconds after we had sat down, and demonelite came back too, from whatever heíd been doing. We met him walking the other way when we walked to the pub (and I still canít understand a word he says).

We sat in the pub for quite some time, talking about lots of things Halo, HBO and just life. It was the first time ever that Iíve talked with real HBO people about HBO stuff outside the Matrix, and probably the first time for the others as well. Itís really odd to take up stuff that has only been chatted about, that there really are people that ARE interested in the same stuff as yourself! Wonderful :) We discussed lots of areas, artwork, gaming tactics, road cones, people etc.

Stuntmutt had lots of funny stories, and we had many good laughs. He also showed us how to draw the One One Se7en Master Chief, I missed the start though as I fiddled with the digital camera to find video-mode. :(

We had more to drink and some chips, then we headed back into the hall. Extion and I ran off alone again, to see if we had missed anything. After watching people screaming for freebies in front of a stage, and walked around looking for free stuff ourselves, we ended up at the bar again. We expected to find our people, and we did.

A few more cokes, more chatting, and then one last run into the hall before it closed, to see if we could play Halo2 again. When we got there, the queues had closed, but a bunch of people were standing in line at the exit. We lined up too, but were told by some evil person who had stolen a Halo2 shirt that the ones before us were the last players. And that was that.

The Halo2 logo on the front of the bunkerRed and Blue still outside the bunker, I wonder if it's the same people inside the suits...Attackers entry at the back of the bunker, not too much people queueing.The whole bunker thingyThe people in Starforce finally gave up.. kind of sad.Doors closed :(The pub where we spend quite some time that day

===== AFTERMATH =====

The whole group headed for the station, to go home, or wherever Stuntmutt were going. We shook hands with Stuntmutt and thanked for a wonderful day :) then jumped on a train to escape him. c0ld was pretty wasted, too many beers, I guess :X

When we got back, we were pretty exhausted and my feet were living dead, damn shoes. As we had gotten pretty hungry, c0ld ordered pizza, very tasty.

c0ld and demonelite began listening to a football (soccer) game while I messed up c0ldís computer, abusing his IRC client and chatting in his name.

The football enthusiasts were semi-awake, so we decided we should go to bed early (around 9:30pm) as we had to get up at 5 the next morning, to go to the airport.

Riding the bus backMe messing with c0ld's compc0ld asleep.. almost..

===== GOING HOME =====

Sunday 5th of September 2004

c0ld has an amazing ability to sleep even if his alarm clock is making lots of noise. I didnít dare wake him up myself though, as I feared for my own life. After a short breakfast and packing our stuff together, c0ld joined us and we went out to the c0ld-mobile, yet again.

As the clock was about 5:30, attention wasnít at its peak. I sat in the front seat, next to c0ld, as demonelite was happily snoozing back in the c0ld-palace.

We reluctantly saw a black cat sitting next to the road, nothing special about it. Suddenly the cat looked at us, just a few meters before we would drive past it. I could see the two bright white dots that were light reflecting in its eyes. And then it leaped out into the road. *THUMP* c0ld tried to avoid it in the short time we actually saw it moving, but it was too sudden. Weíd hit a cat. Not much were said except c0ld pointing out that he hadnít hit a cat before, ever.

When we got to the airport, after a rollercoaster trip on the highway, c0ld guided is to where we checked in, we shook hands and said our farewells, and then c0ld went home to bed again, before his car could get towed away from the drop off parking section.

The travel homewards wasnít that spectacular. We waited to check in, looked at tax-free merchandize, walked to our gate, boarded the plane and flew home.

This flight was a little more interesting, and a little scarier, as we had a very nice view out the windows. Geez, England is flat! We saw an infinite pattern of fields, areas of buildings and small dots of woods. After flying out the coast and all that was seen was the blue ocean, I spent my time reading about Louis Wu in The Ringworld Throne while Extion continued gazing out the thick glass.

After landing, we traveled with buses and trains, again, to get all the way home. I had a little detour as I had booked my tickets with Extion, so I first went to his home town, and then back a bit and then towards where I live. I was home that evening around 10pm, mostly late because we had to wait for four hours at one location. I got picked up at the train station by my brother and driven home.

Not my plane, but it looks the same.We had to wait for four hours in one town, so we relaxed in this place.Mmmm... nice weather, still.Hot, bored and tired.We played cards while we waitedQuite nice place this...A train station.. old.My almost dead feet, sitting under the roof of the old train station.

===== EXTRO =====

All in all, it was a very nice trip, not too much because we played Halo2, even if that was exciting, but to meat physical HBO people :)

Huge thanks to c0ld for his insane hospitality, and Stuntmutt and demonelite for their fantastic company and Extion for being crazy enough to go with me ;)

===== REFLECTION =====

After having met the people IRL, I thought chatting with them would change, but itís practically the same :) which is fine by me! We just know each other a little better now ;)

===== BONUS MATERIAL =====

If you've read this much, I almost feel sorry for you. Anyway, here's three videos, two of them utterly pointless, but the first one is pretty interesting. Too bad I missed the beginning.

A part of the creation of a 117 Master Chief, by the original, Stuntmutt!Short film of us sitting on the bus (no Stuntmutt) headed back to the c0ld-cave.Just filmed out the window while travelling home, this is Sweden ;) Nice blur too...

That is all ^.^

//BOLL


Message Index




Replies:

GSL/London WriteupBOLL 9/6/04 3:51 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupRyan_R 9/6/04 4:03 p.m.
     Woo! flash top!guns_n_cars 9/6/04 4:11 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupWalshicus 9/6/04 4:11 p.m.
     Cool write-up!KP 9/6/04 4:29 p.m.
           Now THAT'S a write up. *NM*Stuntmutt 9/6/04 4:32 p.m.
           Re: Cool write-up!Zerostar 9/6/04 4:39 p.m.
     Awesomeness :)Chester the Destroyer 9/6/04 4:34 p.m.
           I drove back that way..c0ld vengeance 9/6/04 4:45 p.m.
                 I can't help it...Chester the Destroyer 9/6/04 4:56 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupVid Boi 9/6/04 4:45 p.m.
     gg *NM*rapture 9/6/04 4:53 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupKingPhreak 9/6/04 4:56 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupDj Suppai Saru 9/6/04 5:30 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London Writeup - awesome!R.G. 9/6/04 7:53 p.m.
     Awesome stuff, c0ld, now your turn ; ) *MN*Gothmog117 9/6/04 8:03 p.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupJamirus99 9/6/04 10:21 p.m.
           Re: GSL/London WriteupBOLL 9/7/04 3:12 a.m.
     minor stupid questionSnowy Duck 9/6/04 10:38 p.m.
           Re: minor stupid questionBOLL 9/7/04 3:16 a.m.
                 The Ringworld ThroneSyracuse022 9/7/04 7:45 a.m.
     Third Video?Mintz08 9/7/04 10:32 a.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupKarellen Lurksalot 9/7/04 11:16 a.m.
     Re: GSL/London WriteupUb3rMC 9/7/04 2:28 p.m.
           Re: GSL/London WriteupE.T. the Extremely Tired 9/8/04 9:48 a.m.
     Your pictures = beautiful. Nice write-up. *NM*Max Power (aka- dewbe) 9/7/04 10:57 p.m.
     FANTASTIC write up!Sarah 9/8/04 11:49 a.m.



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