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Lasombra Files Episode 18: Changing Channels

11 February 2013

Welcome to the Lasombra Files, PSU’s weekly hit program. Follow the story of Lasombra and V as they try to stay alive in Shadow City, unraveling its secrets, while at the same time shining the spotlight on Trophy hunters around the world and in our community.



Why the hit squad, the subterfuge? Why all this drama and deceit if you just wanted to fire us?” I ask him, wondering how any of the past events all connected. The answer was not what I expected. He told us we shattered the mirror, we broke the barrier of power that keeps the elite atop their lofty throne. Who cares about the common man? The common man should only care about what we tell them to care about. What went from a 3am shopping network rival to a prime time hit caused too many important men to take notice that their imaginary power, power the media and press give them, was slipping through their hands like sand from an hour glass in Episode 18: Changing Channels. “What does this have to do with the OMNI Project?” I ask him in disbelief that I was getting stylistically assassinated Dojima style because I was a man of the people. Now I know what it feels like to be Robin Hood and Braveheart.

Name: Dan Taylor
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Occupation: Game Shop Manager
Country: Australia

Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee. Pictures copyright of their artist/photographer/owner. All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.

Lasombra: When did you start gaming?

Tazer: Well, I very first started gaming whenever I went to my cousins house which was usually only around Christmas and birthdays but when I was 14, I saved up enough money to buy my first console which was my SNES & have been going hard ever since.


Lasombra: How did you choose your PSN name?

Tazer: Mine is kinda stupid but it's ‘Great’ was because I was the best among all my friends, ‘Daze’ because in my younger days I was a stoner (proud to say I no longer smoke pot) and ‘Tazer’ with a z because I hit like electricity and have put many games to sleep. But it's still pronounced as taser like the stun gun.


Lasombra: What motivated you to become a Trophy hunter? What was your initial spark?

Tazer: To be honest I hated Trophies at first and I had no idea what they even were, but after getting my first platinum Trophy for Resident Evil 5 they turned into my must have shiny ornaments.


Lasombra: Are you a Trophy hunter, platinum hunter, or a specific hunter? (Example: All GoW game hunter)

Tazer: Well this is actually a good question for me, for the last 3 years I have been a platinum hunter (30) but because of that my Trophy level has suffered and is only L17: 23%. But this year I have decided that it's all about the Trophies, whatever colour they are. I can get 6 bronze faster than I can get 1 platinum so I will be more of a Trophy hunter this year.


Lasombra: How many hours do you dedicate to Trophy hunting?

Tazer: Too many to say the least. I suffer with insomnia because of past habits (DON'T EVER USE DRUGS) and only get around 1-2 hours sleep per day so during the nights I game when most people sleep but to answer the question about 60-70 hours a week usually.


Lasombra: What motivates you to go for that next Trophy? How do you stay motivated after a long gaming session, particularly with grinding Trophies?

Tazer: Gaming is my passion & that by itself keeps me motivated enough to go for the next step/Trophy and as for grinding Trophies, they don't worry me at all it's just a way to prolong a game & make it more worth our money. You're talking to a person who collected all the flags from Assassin's Creed (1) & 147/200 pigeons in Grand Theft Auto IV without the use of a guide.


Lasombra: Have you ever gone through any burnout from your sessions?

Tazer: No, I can’t say I have ever gone through any burnout from my sessions but at the end of 2011 my wife passed away from cancer and it took me close to 6 months to pull myself together & start gaming again earning 5 platinum Trophies back in May


Lasombra: What is your proudest platinum? Why? Was it your hardest?

Tazer: I have 2 games that rank high with me with getting their platinum Trophies. Sonic Unleashed, I spent 3 weeks trying to do a 15min stage, start to finish without any checkpoint help & I’m a part of the 3% of players who have this game to also have the platinum. Prototype is the other game, after giving up on it once I picked it up a year later after getting the Prototype 2 platinum and I was finally able pass the challenges which was quite a lot harder than the actual game.


Lasombra: Do you have a Trophy goal for the year? If so, how far are you along in it?

Tazer: By the end of this year I wish to have at least 50 platinums (30), 6000 Trophies (2,500), L25 (L17), above 80% completion rate (53%)


Lasombra: Do you believe gamers should be allowed to make Trophy hunting teams? Why or why not?

Tazer: If they feel that inferior that 200+ platinums makes them cool, I say let them have their moment for it doesn't matter how many Trophies a person has, it's the journey that means everything & we all need to just have fun and that's their fun I suppose, how sad.


Lasombra: Do you think Sony should create a world database with every user’s PSN Trophy info for all to see? Why or why not?

Tazer: I don't think they "should" create a database, but it would be a nice feature to have to see where I rank worldwide as that is yet another part of gaming that keeps me motivated. But I do think Sony should put on online gaming tournaments and offer some great prizes to their loyal customers.


Lasombra: What tips do you have for someone trying to reach the next level and going after a difficult platinum?

Tazer: Explore everywhere and don't be afraid to die. Patience is key, slow down and look at the environment you might see something that you didn't before. Having pen and paper is a good idea as well. Take a break if you can’t pass something as you're probably just trying too hard or are too angry to see the simple solution. Go to a good Trophy guide forum, ask and work together and finally YouTube it if everything else fails but that's my last resort as I like to make those videos not use them.


Lasombra: Regardless of the system, what pre-Trophy game would you auto-buy if it was released on the PS3 with Trophy support?

Tazer: Lufia 2 The Rise Of The Sinistrals, it was back on the SNES and I loved the game and it has some ultra-hard puzzles and challenges, a couple that are almost impossible to pass, a 99 floor basement with no checkpoints with 10 hidden treasures and hidden within 1 being the final boss on the 99th floor and a puzzle with different sized squares and rectangles, where you have to bring the treasure platform to you by sliding the pieces around the main game board (easier said than done). I still sometimes play the game to this day.


Lasombra: You are known for your generous contests. What made you decide to put your own hard-earned cash on the line to help out a community?

Tazer: Actually, you are a part of this Lasombra. When I sent you your replacement copy of FFXIII, it gave me a good feeling to give something to someone else. So I sat down with my daughters one afternoon & told them that I wanted to give back to the forum which has provided me with more platinums in a year then I did in 2 without them, because of their brilliant guides. My eldest daughter said what about a competition. Everything has since developed from that point.

Interviewer's Note: Check out his current contest here.

Lasombra: What have been some positives and negatives you've experienced from all your contests?

Tazer: Positive: I love reading the entries because they are so creative and funny and most are worthy of a prize.

Negative: I don't think I have one but, not enough people enter. I offer new games and PSN codes and I’m lucky if 20 people enter.


Lasombra: Is running a game shop the dream job lots of people like to think it is?

Tazer: Ha, well so did I but it's not all fun and glamour, yeah I could take pre-orders home early but I don't and won’t allow my employees to do so either as 2 have found out the hard way. The easiest way I could explain my time here would be to compare me to the guy that works at the bottleshop who has a drinking problem and can't touch them and customers can get quite rude but you have to be polite at all times.


Lasombra: Do you have any funny and crazy stories from dealing with customers in your store?

Tazer: I have a regular customer who is has special needs and he always comes to the store with a horse on a stick toy and he gallops around the shop and carries a horse whip and always leaves the shop by saying "Hi Ho Silver Giddy-Up" then turns and waves to us, but he is a really nice guy and spends a lot of money with us, so he can come into the store wearing anything but his birthday suit.


Lasombra: What is the gaming scene like in your part of Australia? Is it a console stronghold for one of the big 3 or is the pie evenly distributed?

Tazer: My store is in a rural town and not a city. We usually sell 3 PS3's to every Xbox but we sell 3x as many Xbox games as we do PS3 games. Nintendo has been a clear winner in my shop, as we are in an area that has a lot of young families that are just starting their lives and having their own children and Nintendo’s products have been flying out the door, especially around Christmas.


Lasombra: Having children what do you think of all the controversies surrounding violent video games being linked to violence in the real world?

Tazer: Ouch, strong question but answerable. I don't believe banning games would be the answer, I also think that stopping civilians from carrying firearms might help the problem somewhat. But it's not video games and it's not even guns, but rather it's the fault of the individual that did the shooting. When my 9 year old first heard of the shooting in America and that they were blaming games she came up to me and said the smartest thing I have heard about the whole thing, she said "Daddy did that man keep his life problems to himself, until it was too late?" and she is absolutely right, it would take a lot to make a person snap and go off the deep end so badly. I think they need to stop the finger pointing at what is causing the problem and start looking for new ways to avoid it ever happening again. It took 12 days to buy firearms back over here in Australia when firearms were banned, and we do have shootings but nowhere near as many than if guns were legal to carry.


The elevator doors open to a flood of more lackeys, bringing a smile to V’s face as she never reached her daily fix of bone snapping. “So what do we do now, Boss? We have a street fight, we beat each other to near death, and then we talk things out and hug?” The sound of a gun was the only reply I received as pain etched my body like someone was tracing it with an etch-a-sketch. I stumble back, in shock as this is not how the story was supposed to go, hand outstretched towards V as I fall off the side of the high-rise tower roof in Episode 19: Toxic Work Environment. Hearing V’s scream rang in my ears, seeing her try to grab after me, as gravity took hold of my body as if she were love starved and never wanted to let go. Clutching the bullet wound in my chest, blood seeped through my fingers as I tried to hold onto life for one second longer before everything suddenly went black and quiet.

Missed an episode? Check out the back issues.

Want to hear random thoughts about life in Japan, gaming, or want to leave your thoughts about the series and the story? Follow our intrepid reporter on FacebookTwitter, or email him at Dane.Smith@psu.com
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