Insert Coin Here

Apr 3, 2014
Originally published on December 11, 2014 11:03 am

Video game characters lead dangerous lives, so they could use our advice on how to stay out of trouble. Identify classic video games based on some helpful tips — before the ghosts get you!

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

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Let's say hello to our next two contestants, Jim Motes and Kimberly Debus.


EISENBERG: Jim, I love talking about nerdy hobbies and you and your wife are in a fife and drum corps?

JIM MOTES: She plays fife and she's the drum major and I'm the militia sergeant so I get to carry a rifle.



MOTES: Yeah.

EISENBERG: And then so was this like a weekly activity or daily or--?

MOTES: We get together for parades or we get together for camparees and things. And it's a lot of fun.

JULIAN VELARD: If stuff goes down are you prepared to defend your drum corps, Jim?


MOTES: To the last bullet. Yes.

WILL HINES: All right.

EISENBERG: Kimberly is in seminary school studying to become an ordained minister. That's right.


EISENBERG: I feel safe. I feel safe around you. What do you want your focus to be?

KIMBERLY DEBUS: It's absolutely the arts and bringing art as a way to build community and to understand God.

EISENBERG: This game is called Insert Coin Here and it's all about classic arcade games. So the life of a video game character isn't easy with all the pitfalls at every turn, right? Watch out for that scorpion! And in this round Julian and I are going to give some life advice to various arcade heroes and you'll answer with the game that that character appears in. Will, would you like to give an example?

HINES: Contestants, if I said now it's going to seem like a maze at first but if you keep eating dots and avoid the ghosty looking guys, you'll be fine, you'd reply Pac Man. Yes. It's hard to resist.

MOTES: Or Ms. Pac Man?

HINES: Don't get fussy with us Jim, all right?


HINES: You don't have your rifle right now, right, drum corps boy? I played French horn in the marching band, so we might have some words.


EISENBERG: So ring in when you know the arcade game that we are talking about.


HINES: Yeah. That's fun.

EISENBERG: Head to your right and up, then left, and up, then right, and up, and then left, and up, and then right, and up, and then one more left and you'll get there. Oh, and watch out for the falling barrels.



MOTES: Donkey Kong?



VELARD: You want to get home. First, you've got to cross the highway. Watch out for the cars. If you need to go backwards, do it. You'll come to the river's edge. Might want to hang out there to catch your breath. Don't land in the crocodile's mouth but if you land on a turtle's back, bonus.


EISENBERG: Kimberly.

DEBUS: Frogger.

EISENBERG: Yes, indeed.



EISENBERG: Where are you? You're in a field of mushrooms, dude. And, yes, you should worry about the spiders and fleas, but the only way you're going to steer out of here is by shooting every segment of that big arthropod up there.



MOTES: Centipede.

EISENBERG: Centipede is correct.


HINES: Or millipede, Jim. Or millipede.


HINES: No, it's just centipede?


HINES: I'm just trying to get some cred back with the contestant, Ophira.

MOTES: I appreciate that.

HINES: He has nerd status on me right now so I'm a little bit embarrassed.


VELARD: I see you're flying one of those space triangles. That's pretty cool. Now, you might get a little dizzy rolling 360s. Just keep spinning and thrusting and blasting rocks. And if you miss them up at the top, they'll come back out at the bottom. It's weird, I know.



DEBUS: Asteroids.

EISENBERG: Yes, exactly.


EISENBERG: You can go left and right but I'm afraid that's it. Now, these aliens like to side step but they'll stay close together so just keep firing till you're clear the wave.



MOTES: Space Invaders.

EISENBERG: Yes! Exactly.


EISENBERG: I feel like we locked eyes and you were like: I know this one from the first words you say.

MOTES: I just watched the "Futurama" episode the other day and shoot through the shield, that's the secret. Shoot through the shield.

EISENBERG: Shoot through the shield.


HINES: You didn't think fife and drum corps was nerdy enough so you had to...


HINES: ...bring up a "Futurama" episode that referred to strategies for playing Space Invaders?



HINES: I think it's going to come to blows.


HINES: Hey, I lettered on the math team. I'll bring that out.


VELARD: This is your last question. You can only move diagonally around here and whatever you do, don't jump off the pyramid unless you catch a floating platform. And watch that cursing, bub.


VELARD: Kimberly.

DEBUS: Quibbet?


DEBUS: Quibtix?

VELARD: Very close.

DEBUS: Oh! It was Quib-something. Ugh!



MOTES: Qbert.


DEBUS: There was something, though, that was Qui--

HINES: Kimberly, it hurts me more than you to say this but he's saying it right. Qbert.


EISENBERG: All right, Will. How did our contestants do?

HINES: They both did great but the winner, to my personal dismay...


HINES: ...was Jim. Jim's the winner.


EISENBERG: Congratulations, Jim. We'll see you at the end of the show. Coming up, we'll talk to comedian Mike Birbiglia about comedy, religion, and his current tour titled "Thank God for Jokes." I'm Ophira Eisenberg and this is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER.

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