Free Swag Mystery Bag

Crossword: Character Study

Character Study: Solution

Who came first? Now you know.

By John Teti • November 22, 2012

Hey there, Gameological readers. We’re not publishing over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, but I wanted to follow up on our crossword contest from a couple weeks back. If you missed it, check it out before you read any further. The contest may be over, but the puzzle is a great way to kill a little time and ignore your family for a few minutes.

You’ll recall that we asked you to complete the crossword, take note of the theme on the grid, and then answer this mysterious question: “Who came first?” Many of you noticed that the first word in all the theme answers was a famous video game character. To wit:

17A: SONIC YOUTH
20A: MARIO LEMIEUX
38A: PACMAN DEFENSE
57A: LINK EXCHANGE
60A: CLOUD COVER

Of the five characters hidden in the grid, Pac-Man came first: He debuted in 1980, shortly before Mario made his first appearance (then known as “Jumpman”) as the hero of Donkey Kong in 1981. (The rest: Link, The Legend Of Zelda, 1986; Sonic, Sonic The Hedgehog [first playable appearance], 1991; Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy VII, 1997.)

The vast majority of the entries correctly answered “Pac-Man,” and we had so many entries that I picked four winners (at random) instead of the promised three. Congratulations to Michael S., Zachary M., Zoe M., and Jack C.—your assorted gifts from the Gameological swag bag are on their way!

Here’s a link to the full crossword solution. Thanks to everyone who entered. It seems that this crossword contest was something of a hit, so we’ll try to do another one in the coming months.

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  • caspiancomic

    Now we have the added game of seeing which Gameological commenters out themselves as Michael, Zachary, Zoe, and Jack, and wallowing in the shame of internet acquaintances knowing your real name.

    Unless they’re four randoms who don’t even comment, in which case nobody feels public shame and four people I’m not emotionally invested in receive prizes, meaning no sadistic glee for me twice over.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      I’m Zoe.

      Zoe is a man’s name now.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         I guess without the umlaut, we can just pronounce it as a single syllable, “ZO!,” which is pretty macho-sounding, I guess.

        • The Guilty Party

          His full name is Zoe Dirac Mo Thefu-Ker

  • Aaron Riccio

    I think I’ve already outed myself and my real name, so I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next crossword contest for a second chance to out myself more officially. (Though I did win a Darkness II water bottle from that “Name all the games in John’s room” contest.)

    That said, loved the contest, excited that you’ve got plans to do another. There can never be too many games about games; I’m just waiting to see you all go a step further into the metaverse and make a game about a game about a game. Let’s get crazy. 

    • Electric Dragon

       Is your real name “Aaron Riccio” by any chance?

      • Aaron Riccio

        That’s a common mistake. It’s actually Mister Mxyztplk, but people have such a hard time spelling it that I tend to just go by a more digestible and vowel-friendly spelling.

        • stakkalee

          So do you prefer crossword puzzles, or do you kill tip six ‘em?

        • Aaron Riccio

          Well done. ::poof::

  • Captain Internet

    So, what are you playing this weekend?

    • Fluka

      Away from ye old gaming PC, so am playing the “What to buy on the Steam Sale?!” game!

      Seriously, people, do I get KOTOR I&II, Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, or Mirror’s Edge?  Or do I remember that I have plenty of games in my queue for the next three months and stop needlessly throwing money away?  (Hah, yeah right.)

      • Captain Internet

        Yes, I’m going to have to reinstall Fallout: New Vegas and persuade myself that it’s better to play through all the DLC again and investigate every single cupboard than it is to buy Sleeping Dogs.

        I’m sure that will work.

      • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

        Mark of the Ninja is a true classic and a true dream to play.  It’s one of those rare games that just feels satisfying to succeed in. I’m sure you’re well aware of the stealth perfection, so I’m not going to go into detail about that.

        It’s a classic.  Get a gamepad and enjoy the hell out of it.

        • Fluka

          Might not end up buying it this weekend, as an exercise in self-control (plus, it’s only $15 normally), but nonetheless, *cough*…
          Sold.

        • Fluka

          Crap, apparently I have no self control.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        I just completed the last episode of Walking Dead, and it is pretty super-fantastic.

        Caveat: The Steam version has some seriously borked game-saving bugs, and I had to manually copy files around for it to remember my progress and decisions from episode to episode. This may not be an issue if you buy the whole series at once, though.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Constantly checking steam in the hopes that the few games i want end up going on sale. Also, debating whether or not to buy a bunch of boardgames. 

    • His_Space_Holiness

      Oblivion and TF2, as I have been all month. I’m trying to only play games I already have until Christmas, so as to avoid buying something for myself right before the holiday. If my Oblivion run ends before then, I’ll probably dip back into Ghostbusters or Sly Cooper 3, or perhaps an ahead-of-schedule replay of Arkham City. Ah, the adventurous life of the budget-conscious gamer!

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Apart from more Animal Crossing and random stuff (I just got home from running and then 1CC’d TwinBee because why not), I finally got Deponia and Civ 5: Gods & Kings for around 8 bucks each. The jungle-worshipping Zoroastrians of the Byzantine Empire are proselytizing like crazy and also giggling at Maria Theresa’s accent behind her back.

      Have a nice Sunday everyone!

  • Staggering Stew Bum

    Geez Teti, without my usual Saturday morning dose of Comment Cat I don’t have that slight feeling of lingering disappointment and bitterness to start the weekend. What is this weird feeling…could it be optimism? Well we better nip that in the bud. If you’re not going to do a Keyboard Geniuses, guess I’ll do my own:

    KEYBOARD GIRARDIUSES

    Keyboard Girardiuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from @paraclete_pizza:disqus in the Girardeological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or laziness.

    John Teti had a look at the new Wii U. One non-Girard commentor made a comment that Girard agreed with, to which Girard paid the ultimate compliment by saying:

    “That’s a very good point”

    In a later comment, Girard said:“…overtly…”

    which probably made sense in context.

    In Out This Week, Steve Heisler took a look at games that are out this week. One game which isn’t out this week, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, piqued Girard’s interest:

    “Does that require the original Alan Wake to play?”

    It turns out that no, it doesn’t.

    Epic Mickey 2 is out probably. Steve Heisler made some sort of joke about Mickey in art school, which prompted Girard to say:

    “…there is a strict binary relation between “good” aesthetics and “bad” aesthetics…”

    No, I don’t know what a binary relation is either. Aunts are 0s and Uncles are 1s? Fucked if I know.

    In Gameological Q&A, we asked the readers “What games did you enjoy the second time around?” Turns out Girard didn’t answer the question, probably because Girard appreciates games on a deeper level to the rest of us and does not associate his gaming experiences with so-called ‘enjoyment’ like a common beast. We considered deleting the article out of respect, but he did end up writing this:

    “Even with all the default directories, the Steam version shits the bed and forgets all of your decisions with each new episode. There’s a workaround for that, though, so I haven’t had to re-play anything. Still annoying as hell, though.”

    So the article was worth it after all.

    And with that, we leave you to your weekend and hope to see you next week when we will have 67% more articles for Girard to comment on.

    (EDITED because Disqus has gained sentience and is preparing to destroy us all in 4 weeks time).

    • stakkalee

      Aww, you missed my favorite Girard quote of the week, from the Knights of Pen and Paper Sawbuck where he longed for a Community-D&D-episode-based video game.  Classic Girard!

      Oh, and obviously I’m not doing my crap this week, but I did want to give a shout-out to @Gameological_Society_Commenter:disqus who got the 2nd most-liked comment this week on his CodBlops (god I love that acronym) review.  Unfortunately his 24 likes weren’t quite enough to propel him into first place.  You’ll get those wings yet Speedy!

      • Staggering Stew Bum

        You know @stakkalee:disqus , I was hoping you’d do one of your summaries after my Fake Keyboard Geniuses and I have not been left disappointed.

        As for missing your favorite @paraclete_pizza:disqus comment, well there’s so many classic Girards that it’s very tough to pick some classic Girards over other classic Girards. Girard will just have to lift his game next week to dislodge Girard, Girard and/or Girard in the next edition of Keyboard Girardiuses.

        • stakkalee

          What the hell, I’m stuck here at my in-laws where there’s nothing to do but eat and crap, eat and crap.  Let me see what I can whip up.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           REVELATION: I am John Teti, and creating this site was my way of going through my own Malkovich door, creating a perfect echo chamber where I write or edit every article, AND extensively comment on every story.

          There’s a very good chance that YOU are also John Teti. There’s a very good chance that EVERYONE HERE is also John Teti.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          That would explain why I’m wearing his pants.   

    • Captain Internet

      I’ve missed the casual references to Jean Beaudrillard too. It’s as if “The Gulf War Never Happened” never happened :(

  • stakkalee

    In honor of the first edition of Keyboard Girardiuses, I give you the top 5 most liked comments by Girard!

    1) Girard got 15 likes on this comment, sharing his appreciation for a bit of witty composition.

    2) Girard got 7 likes for this discourse on the potential pitfalls of marketing a new game system.

    3) In third place, Girard got 3 likes for informing us some great value in indie games.  Erudite and economical!

    3) Tied for third, we have Girard again, with 3 likes for this trenchant insight into Nintendo’s marketing practices.  Nicely done sir!

    5) And last but not least, we have Girard getting 2 likes on this plaintive hardware lament. I feel for ya, buddy.

    Nah, let’s do it for real this time.  The most commented article this week was the Wii U review with 190 comments.  And now Top 5 most liked comments, here we go:

    1) @Staggering_Stew_Bum:disqus get 29 likes on this bit of marriage advice.

    2) The man, the machine, @Gameological_Society_Commenter:disqus gets 24 likes for this comment which skirts the line from review, to narrative, to cry for help.

    3) @Bad_Horse:disqus takes a whack at a troll and gets 19 likes!

    4) Your humble interlocutor takes a whack at the same troll, but can only come up with 13 likes.  Ah well, I sacrificed wit for speed, and reaped the rewards.

    5) @HobbesMkii:disqus offers some constructive criticism, and gets 12 likes for his effort.

    Well done, one and all!  And finally, a little link dump – we got some discussion going earlier about the massive number of fan-made mods for the PC versions of Skyrim and other Bethesda games, so here’s a link to some absolutely stunning Skyrim screenshots made possible by those PC mods.  As a console owner, I’m deeply envious.  Enjoy the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend, and remember to keep it scintillating!

    • Fluka

      Whoa.  Dat grass.
      Pity that Skyrim is apparently now populated entirely with teenagers from a Clearasil / collagen lip injection ad.

      • stakkalee

        I know, right?  I don’t know if you checked the other Skyrim sections on that site, but it gets “better.”  You start scrolling down and it’s like, ”Gorgeous landscape, gorgeous landscape, lush grassland, pouty chick in a string bikini, gorgeous landscape…”  It’s very disconcerting.

        • Fluka

          The flipside of the awesome Elder Scrolls mod community is the number of people publishing mods to “fix” the women.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           I am so, so glad I, on a whim, decided to check if there were any new comments on this story this morning.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/mattman-begins,89632 Mattman Begins

    Ohhh.  See, this is why I don’t participate in these things, because I tend to overthink them.   I saw “Pac Man Defense”, I saw “link exchange”, I saw “bitmap”, “X Boxes”–I’m thinking, “okay, ‘electronic things’ is the theme, got it”. 

    And then “Ames”, as in Ames, IA, cropped up.  A quick glance at your friendly neighborhood internet will tell you that the first electronic digital computer was built there, so I was all, “none of those things in the theme would be possible without 66-Across!  Even if I’m not seeing all of the pattern, it probably has something to do with video games–no ABC, no video games!”

    So, my answer to “Who came first?” was going to be “The Iowa State University Of Science And Technology!”  Then I thought, that’s a really stupid thing for me to submit, even without the exclamation point.  It made a certain amount of sense, but I intuited that it wasn’t what John was looking for.  Paralyzed with uncertainty, I submitted no answer.

    I was evidently attempting to solve a different puzzle.  In future crossword challenges, please make sure there are no 9/11 conspiracy theory threads worked into the theme.  My sanity thanks you.