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Ask Joystiq: Chex Quest, He-Man and broken 360 gamepads

Ross Miller

Making up for last week's barren edition, today's Ask Joystiq is a little heftier. Topics covered include He-Man and Day of the Tentacle, Chex Quest, PS2 boxes, broken Xbox 360 controllers and region downloading (again). If you have any burning questions, unsolved gaming mysteries, or just a desire for musings from our knowledgeable cadre of writers, drop us a line at ask AAT joystiq DAWT com (and yes, we write it that way for a reason).

Q: Do any of you remember the 1997 PC game "Chex Quest"? When I was 9 I got it in a box of chex cereal and thought it was amazing. Recently my 5 year old cousin came over to my house and told us about a game with chex and cheerios and "zorch". Amazingly enough he had been playing Chex Quest on his friends computer! What ever happened to quality games being released in cereal boxes?

- Curtis C.

The question here is more rhetorical than anything, but once we learned more about this game we absolutely needed to post about it. In 1996 a small newmedia company called Digital Café created Chex Quest, a Chex-themed first-person-shooter that has the esteemed honor of being the first video game ever distributed for free through cereal boxes.

If that alone wasn't cool enough, Chex Quest was actually a total conversion of id's Ultimate Doom, meaning that cereal-munching munchkins were playing a re-skinned version of the violent revolutionary series just two years after the height of its controversy. According to the Chex Quest wiki, the inclusion of the game helped increase sales of Chex cereals by over 200%, and it won several awards for promotional achievement.

Chex Quest has since been made freeware (PC only), and can be found for download here. As for releasing quality games in cereal boxes, we're all for it. If indie games can be distributed along with trendy t-shirts, we see no reason why indie developers can't strike similar deals with Kellogg's. Get on it, guys!
- Scott Jon Siegel

Q: So, the other day I randomly caught an episode of He-Man: Masters of The Universe or whatever. The voice of Skeletor sounds really similar to Dr. Fred Edison from Day of the Tentacle. Are they one and the same or is it just me?

It's just you. Nick Jameson (who voiced Zed and Dwayne in addition to Dr. Edison in DotT) didn't provide the voice for any of the three versions of Skeletor that have appeared in various versions of the He-Man cartoon. You may be interested to know, though, that Jameson has lent his voice to a whole boatload of cartoons and video games -- everything from The Critic and Clone Wars to Psychonauts and 50 Cent: Bulletproof, according to IMDB. He even got some face time as President Yuri Suarov in the fifth and sixth seasons of 24. Always nice to see a local boy make the jump from video games to TV. Keep up the good work, Mr. Jameson.
-Kyle Orland

Q: This weekend I was out and about with my wife. She decided we should get Singstar 90's Edition for PS2. ... I was a little surprised to find that the PS2 game case didn't have the handy tabs inside that allow you to snap a PS2 memory card in to the case. ... I am wondering why Sony has taken this feature out of the game case.
-Patrick D

Indeed, current PS2 games do seem to be shipping in cases that don't include the memory card holder slot holder that became standard shortly after the system's launch in North America. We weren't able to find any official information on when this practice started, but online discussions suggest it was sometime late last year. Some have theorized it's a cost-cutting measure (perhaps Sony can now buy generic, mass-produced DVD cases at a cheaper rate). Or perhaps the move is a nod to the PS3, which doesn't even have a PS2 memory card slot. Those pining for the old-style cases can always turn to eBay.
-Kyle Orland

Q: Last week I was between games of COD4 when I realized my 2nd Xbox 360 controller's left joystick was loose. I figured I just needed to open it up and snap it back down, but come to find out the joystick piece had snapped off its connector point. Is there a way to fix this?
- Marshall D

Sounds like you have a problem similar to this guy. If you want to go the more official route, the instruction manual (PDF file) for the controller states that the controller is under the system's warranty, so try calling 1-800-4MY-XBOX (1-800-469-9269) to see if you can send the gamepad back for repairs.

If you can't wait that long or feel the urge to pull a MacGyver, so to speak, there is a video how-to for fixing the analog stick using a toothpick, scissors and super glue. For further assistance on disassembling the wired or wireless controller, check out Llamma's Adventures. See also: system setup page.
- Ross Miller

Q: I live in the UK (England to be exact) and I want to buy an Xbox 360 year's live account online from a US site. The benefits of this would be that I save money with the exchange rate. But will a code from a US site be able to work on the PAL SKU?
- Kye

Update: "I mees-interpreted the question." Re-answer to follow in next week's addition.

This was actually already answered by us in the April 4 edition, skim through the first question. As noted there: "Xbox Live users can also create dummy accounts to get around regional restrictions, but there are reports that Microsoft has been blocking downloads from accounts where this practice is detected. As always, let the international buyer beware."

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