Wedge and Choryoth's page, dangit.

Wedge and Choryoth are too busy to update their page, bless their hearts. They asked me if I would be so kind as to provide my own link to the latest installment of the column which they have allowed me to append to this fine site. And since I am that kind, I have done so. I suggested that they might want to consider putting "This Old Level" higher up in the heirarchy of links, and merely inform you in a footnote to my column whenever Wedge and Choryoth have updated hocopus. They, however, declined my kindly offer. Let me just say, I completely understand, and I hold no ill feelings towards them. I'm still eternally grateful to them for taking me on in the first place. I wouldn't want to give the impression that I am scheming to take over their site. If I were to do that, then Valve Software might suspect I had my eye set on a takeover of that site as well. Let me state emphatically that I am merely the equivalent of a microbe on the rear leg of a flea which resides parasitically on the hindquarters of the hocopus site, which itself makes an excellent addition to the Valve line of websites...draped over that sturdy limb of game-related data like an attractive mistletoe (in keeping with this holiday season) or some other commensal encrustation. Anyway, just click on the link. - Archie Vial.

Another installment of This Old Level arrived on our doorstep this morning. Archie's got some extra time on his hands these days, it seems.

That Archie guy updates more than we do... here's the new This Old Level.

Some guy was bugging me for some space on the server so he'd have a home for his web site. I don't usually give out charity space (I don't have much myself!) but he seems nice enough and it's for a good cause. He's a professional map designer and he wants to pass on help and info to aspiring designers. So check out his page: This Old Level

Half-Life MPGs!
If you REALLY wanna k!ck @ss, try the 1:1 scale stuff from
...yeah, good stuff for “ventilating” dear ol’ Ben ;-)
-Vik Long

Not Dead!

Hey there! This is Wedge. Most everyone is gone from the office at this hour, so since I've no one to torment with my new toy, I decided to actually work on my half of the page update so that John doesn't kick my ass.

We've got new AVIs on the Half-Life section of our page, so go check them out!

I'm just going to brag about how I own the coolest toy ever. It's a miniature battery-powered M-16 that shoots tiny, evil hard plastic pellets. It's fully automatic and delivers approximately 15 welts per second to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught between the sights when I'm on a maniac shooting spree. So the day this thing comes in, I'm pelting just about everyone at Valve. In fact, I've prepared a list of the three people at Valve that I most enjoying shooting, and why:

  • Number One: Doug Wood (Animator/Cool new guy)
    Doug is the greatest of all victims because he mutters "Ow." each time I fire at him, whether I hit him or not. As an added bonus, although I can't quite shoot Doug from my office, I have a clear line of sight to the metal blinds on the window directly adjacent to his workstation. I would think that having a volley of hard plastic pellets smash into metal blinds 4 feet from your head would derail anyone's train of thought, but Doug keeps working. I secretly suspect that Doug started cranking his headphone volume through the roof after the first attack of this type.

  • Number Two: Ben Morris (Worldcraft/Tools programmer)
    I enjoy shooting Ben because he's Ben. Other people at Valve ask to borrow my gun so they too can shoot Ben. I then shoot them, and they leave. Only I may shoot Ben. For a dollar, I will shoot Ben for you.

  • Number Three: Kelly Bailey (Sound/Music guy, Keeper of the Jelly Beans)
    From the comfort of my desk, if I get the angle just right I can shoot pellets directly through the doorway and into Kelly's office. At random times throughout the day I'll just crank off a nice four to six round burst of hard plastic death that ricochets wildly about his office, hopefully pelting him about the head and chest. More recently, I began writing email that made very specific demands of Kelly. I usually demanded a tribute of between 40 to 60 assorted flavor Jelly Belly jelly beans and then threatened to fire a hail of pellets into his office every fifteen minutes, beginning at the top of the hour, until my demands were met. Following recent negotiations I now have more Jelly Bellies than I could ever eat.

    Lately some of my trendier co-workers have discovered that, much to my dismay, their corduroy clothing acts as a sort of Brady Bunch body armor that deadens the impact of my pellets. Ben Morris was the first to shrug off one of my ambushes, grinning as blue plastic pellets rolled down the front of his thick, thrift-shop trendy, fresh-from-Canada corduroy pullover. I did the only reasonable thing: I raked my line of fire back and forth real good across the unprotected flesh of his exposed hands and forearms. Harry Teasley's ultra-thick corduroy flak suits have proven completely inpenetrable. Although I originally purchased this gun with the sole intent of shooting Harry, I shall have to find another way to do him harm.

    The instruction manual that came with the gun is almost as cool as the gun itself. If you've ever read an original Creative Labs Soundblaster manual (the old ones from the 386 days) or if you buy many toys or novelty items direct from Asia or Japan, you may know what I'm talking about. You get these manuals that try to teach you the basic common sense issues surrounding your new purchase ( don't shoot anyone's eyes, don't drop it, don't eat the pellets, etc ). The problem is, it doesn't seem that whomever translated the text in the manual speaks English OR the language that the manual was originally written in, which usually makes for some pretty funny reading. I have a small collection of such manuals and although the text in this one isn't nearly as funny as some of my others, the diagrams are priceless. John insists that we share them with you, so here are a few pages from the manual:

    Page One
    Page Two
    Page Three

    I've managed to lose almost all of the 150 pellets that came with my rifle. I'm down to my last 20 or so, which should hold until the extra ones that I ordered arrive. I know that the guy that vacuums our offices hates me. He comes around and you can hear the vacuum cleaner sucking up tons of pellets from the floor he gets this sort of "What the hell..." look on his face as the first few go clicking their way through the vacuum's hose. I'd do a better job of picking them up, but most people won't let me into their offices after I shoot them. Don't forget to pick up the latest round of Half-Life movies! Now I'm going to go shoot my eye out. See ya!

    Wedge & Choryoth.