Another day, another slim chance of finding a friend. I boot up my fully charged DS Lite to the familiar but empty sight of Stornway Inn in Dragon Quest 9, and select the canvass mode, today I was going to find a guest. I watch the screen for a few moments in the hope of a minor miracle. Maybe my neighbour had the game? Nah. I put the console in my bag and head off into the world, uncertain where the day will take me, but hopeful.
Sydney is a big place, there’s got to be quite a few people here who own Dragon Quest 9. It’s not the most successful game in the world, but it’s a damn good one, and a lot of people can’t resist a good RPG. I just had to find them. DS is quite popular too, I see them everywhere. At least a few of them must have DQ9. Surely. Even if nobody bought it, at least ten copies that I know of were given away in competitions.
I arrive at Central Station, lots of people here, it’s potentially the busiest station in the country. It’s always exciting in these situations where my chances of finding a guest increase ten fold. So many people who could be just like me. If you were out looking for fellow DQ9 players, this is where you’d go. After all, I was here. I take out my DS and open it up. 0 guests. I keep it open for a minute until the train starts to move off again. Still nothing. Ah well, the day was just starting.
Next stop, Town Hall. The heart of the city. I was confident my DS’s wireless could cover a good portion of the station. I again open up my DS… still no guests. Maybe I’ll have to get out and walk around. After all, anyone with DQ9 in the train would be playing it right? Not sitting there in canvass mode.
I stay in the train until Circular Quay station. Lots of people walk by to see the water, plus, there was a Nintendo event going on there, involving the launch of a new Donkey Kong. Sounds like a Jackpot. I get off and bump into some familiar friends, all with DS’s!
“Anybody have Dragon Quest 9?” I ask.
That’s alright, there’s hundreds more people here. I check my DS anyway in case some other Nintendo fan had their DS in canvass mode. Still nothing, but I hadn’t started moving around yet. The DK event was interesting, there were hundreds of people stopping to have a look. I imagine anyone who has DQ9 with them will boot it up for the high chance of finding a guest in this area. My excitement was at an all time high, the place was buzzing. Not just with people wow’d by the event on the big screen, but people sitting in cafes and shops all around the place. I was sure I’d find a guest here. With people constantly walking by I thought it would be better to wait a bit instead of checking every few minutes. I soaked up as much of the atmosphere as I could.
A few hours had passed now, and night had fallen. I was confident I had found the right spot, it wouldn’t surprise me if I even had more than one guest. I started to get giddy at the thought. This was the moment, I pulled out my DS for the final time to check for guests. I slowly unfolded it, as the screens came back to life. Nobody. No guests? Really? Hmm. I guess today just wasn’t my day. But if I couldn’t find anyone today, when will I? As I contemplated the thought and reflected on the day, I headed off back to the train station, and back home.
I still have no friends in my game. Does that mean it was all for nothing? All the canvassing, just wasted battery? Or was it all worth it for the journey?