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Quard's Corner #15 from the Quard's Corner Archive
By Vincent Navarino
[Orgg's Note: I lost the CD I had the archived Quard's Corners on for a bit, along with my Devo and Weird Al MP3s. I found them tonight, and I promise that I'll have all of the Corners edited by Monday. And that pigs will fly without the use of wings of axehandles.]

Quard's Corner: Unflappably Yours

It is that time again to entertain you. For free, for the lack of sanity and for the love of the world as we know it. I take no time whatsoever to come up with an opening paragraph; I don't believe in such a thing. That's why this is really the second paragraph. You see, the first paragraph was written using invisible text. To see the real first paragraph, print out this edition of Quard's Corner and hold the page up to catch the rays from a full moon. Once exposed to the light of a full moon the hidden first paragraph will be revealed. For those of you that can't wait that long to find out what it contains, I promise to reveal it's contents by the end of this article.
A lot keeps happening in the wonderful world of Magic that we all know and love to varying degrees, from complete bafflement to stark raving 5e is a wunnerful thing fanaticism. I would like to take this time out to quell the rumors that have been growing that the Golden Rosewater Idol of Greatness is a complete fabrication on my part in an effort to promote my own unique brand of Magic humor. Let me assure all doubters that the Golden Rosewater Idol of Greatness does exist. It's location is a closely guarded secret, hidden somewhere in the bowels of WotC's headquarters. It is there that WotC staffers go to pray for guidance, creativity and where recently the entire R&D staff went to pray for my return, after I was missing for two months. If you send $29.95, I will send you a picture of the Idol in all it's splendor (or you can get a back issue of Golden Idols Monthly magazine, issue #12 Vol. 4 for $5.95 [that's $112 canadian], plus shipping and handling.)

An Attempt on Ferratio and Das Voices

Some wanna-be Magic humorists out there have been getting jealous of all the attention I'm getting and have begun a character-assassination campaign, with my characters the target of the assassination attempts. I have lost at least two dozen imaginary insta-stunt ferrets to these shady characters and several of my voices have been asked to enter the Federal Witness Protection Program. Attempts have been made on beloved Ferratio (my imaginary trained typing ferret) and Voices 1, 2 and 6. These attempts by sordid and green-with-envy wanna-be humorists will be met with retaliation. I have personally abducted Rick Swan's cat and Ferratio is planning on a light snack. Yes, yes, Swan had absolutely nothing to do with this ridiculousness, but hey, I felt it had to be done. What makes this whole thing more than a tad silly is there is no way to kill an imaginary trained typing ferret or the eight distinctive voices in my head. Besides, Ferratio is protected by hordes of imaginary insta-stunt ferrets (just add water) and the only way that could rid me of the eight distinctive (and horrible singing) voices is a lobotomy or an exorcism. To date I still dislike 5th edition, so I haven't had a lobotomy and I don't scream in agony when splashed with holy water.

Ferratio and Quard Win Awards

On July 12th, I became the proud recipient of the Congressional Medal of Jocularity, awarded by non-other than Mr. Happy Pants himself, Bill Clinton. Ferratio was off on a speaking tour with the National Weasel Convention. He was awarded the coveted Most Slinkiest Weasel award and has been obsessively polishing the trophy with his fur ever since.

Microprose's Magic for the PC - Text Only Version!

A funny thing happened to me when I was messing with a friend's copy of Microprose's Magic, that wonderful game that is so great that the people who attempted to program it don't want to touch it any more (rumor is that Microprose is soon going to be recommending people pick up a free copy of Apprentice instead of scrounging around Earl's Bargain Basement Bin looking for Microprose Magic, only to call them up on their tech support line and ask them "Where are all the cards?") Well, I found something interesting while messing with the CD. Under the command line option of Windoze95, I entered C:MAGICPROGRAMMAGIC.EXE -nographics -nosound. I also accidentally flipped the CD over to the wrong side and was stunned to find out that there's a game there!

The following is a text capture of my journey through the Text Only version of Microprose's Magic for the PC:

Microprose's Magic:The Gathering Text Only Game

Copyright (c) 1997 Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved

Microproze M:tG is a registered trademark of Infocom, Microprose and Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Revision 88 / Serial number 840726

In Microprose's Magic:The Gathering Text Only Game, you are a 16 year-old Magic player. You have played casually with friends, played in tournaments at the local store and your parents finally agreed to drive you 2,312 miles to the nearest Pro Tour to see what big-time Magic is like. You can't wait to get there and dream of meeting cool people, Wizards of the Coast staffers and maybe, if you're really lucky, you'll find someone selling a Black Lotus for $5.

It is 8:36am and your mother shakes you awake as the family car pulls up to the hotel holding the Pro Tour. You grab your backpack and the $163 your father gives you and get out of the car. You wave to your parents as the car pulls away while your mother reminds you to give them a call when you're done and they'll pick you up.

In front of Hotel holding Official Magic Tournament

You are standing in the middle of nowhere, the only building within 150 miles of desolate wasteland is to the north.

There is a sign here.

> Read sign

Welcome to the Boise Idaho Pro Tour! The excitement never stops at Boise or the Wasteland Hilton!

> Take sign

Do you normally try to take what's not yours? Leave the sign alone, it's not useful in this adventure.

> North

Wasteland Hilton Lobby

You are now in a vast lobby with marbled walls, floors, ceilings and approximately 300 other unwashed geeks.

There is a registration booth to the west. A very large 7' tall man in a Hurloon Minotaur costume looms over you and demands the $145 admission fee. To the east is a bunch of Magic artists and to the north is the Main Playing room.

> Pay Minotaur

The man in the costume grabs the money from your hand and gives you a PT Idaho entrance badge.

> Wear badge

It's official, you've just wasted $145.

> Go to registration booth

You get in the back of an extremely long line with other unwashed geeks. There is a sign on a post here. There is a small kid here.

> Read sign

Sign reads "Approximate waiting time: End of Puberty." Are you really going to wait this long?

> Yes

**** You have died **** Score -4 out of 12,387.5 points. Never ever wait in a long line without eating something first. Restart, Restore or Quit?

> Restart

.

.

.

It's official you've just wasted $145.

> Find food

Boise Idaho Coffee Shop

You look all over the hotel and find one small room set aside for dispensing food and drink. There is a sign at the door.

> Read sign

Boise Idaho Coffee Shop Menu

Hot Dogs..........$5

Hamburgers......$9

Soda................$4

Chips...............$12

> WHAT THE $%#@!

Hey, save that kind of talk for your opponent! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

> Disbelieve prices

Your attempts to disbelieve the ridiculous prices fail. This is what happens when you go to an Official WotC function in the middle of nowhere. Look on the bright side, at least you're not on a boat. Your gut rumbles it's need.

> Inventory

You are wearing a PT Entrance badge; you have $18 in your wallet and there is a 300lb backpack slung across your aching shoulders containing your play decks and cards for trade. None of these items have any nutritional value.

> Order a hot dog and a Coke. Pay cashier.

You now have $9 in your wallet. Your 5 oz. warm Coke and cold hot dog are on the counter.

> Take all

Coke: taken.

Hot Dog: taken.

Counter: securely anchored to floor, sorry.

Cashier: she giggles at your adolescent advances and pats you on the cheek, sending you on your way.

Cash register: you are surrounded by 5 Hurloon Minotaurs wielding large axes and quickly drop the register.

All: you can't take all. You could take an awl if you were a leather worker and there was one here.

> Eat food

**** You have died **** Score: 10 out of 2,387.5. Never, ever eat any of the overpriced "food" at an Official WotC function. Ever hear of E. Coli, Brainiac?

.

.

.

Wasteland Hilton Lobby

There is still a long line here at the registration booth. There is a small kid here.

> Offer small kid a Shivan Dragon if he'll get in the line and register for me

Smart move. The kid eagerly agrees and jumps in the line for you. Going to do anything while you wait?

> West

Magic Artists Table

There are several famous Magic artists here, talking with their fans and signing cards.

> Have artists sign cards. Talk to artists about how much I love their work.

The artists are all very cool to talk to and don't seem to mind signing the mere 2,450 cards you dump in front of them. Later, after looking at your newly signed cards that you plan to sell to chumps at the local store for $10 per common, you are crushed to see signatures of Dork, Lamer, Uncool, Stupid and Get Real Kid. Perhaps you shouldn't have been so greedy to the artists and maybe only gave them 5 cards to sign?

> Wait for kid to come back from registration

Ten years go by, and the little boy, who should now be graduating from college hands you your registration card and you happily give him the promised Shivan Dragon. You miss no events during your wait as the local tournament organizer, who is good at taking everyone's money is bad on running even one event on schedule.

> North

Main Play Room

There are many tables and chairs here. There are also lots and lots of your fellow Magic enthusiasts around. Some are at tables playing and trading, and others are wandering around looking for their mommies and daddies. There are promotion tables to the west, vendor tables to the south, and the Do Less Convocation booth in the center of the room.

> West

Start of the Promotions Tables

At the first table there is a bearded man in a Wizards of the Coast/TSR jacket trying to teach some fourth graders how to pick through garbage cans for food, so they can save their lunch money to buy the latest Magic expansion. He spies you out of the corner of his eye and beckons you to come and "dig in."

> West

WotC Gunslinging Promotion Table

Here there are four employees from Wizards of the Coast challenging all takers to a Magic game. You ante a card, and if you win you get one of the bazillion Italian Legends packs they mysteriously always seem to have.

> Play WotC employee

After shuffling, the WotC staffer cuts your deck; the first card is flipped up, revealing that your ante is one of your two Rathi dragons. While you play, you ask your opponent about Magic and their reprint list and old cards coming back. You drop a mountain, tap it and cast a Mogg Fanatic while he rants on and on about how broken cards are the bane of Magic and they should never be reprinted; how they ruin the game for everyone and that the new cards are more balanced and fair and how the old cards are nasty, evil, vile and that Magic is much better off without them. After you signal you're done, he draws, lays down a Library of Alexandria, taps it for a card, lays down a Mox Jet, Sapphire, Ruby, Black Lotus, sacs the Lotus for 3 black mana, taps the Jet for black, casts a Juzam Djinn, taps the Mox Sapphire and Ruby and casts Time Walk. He takes another turn, untaps, attacks you for 5, lays down a swamp, casts Ancestral Recall on himself and plays another Juzam. The game is over the next turn and you walk away, minus your Rathi in a complete daze.

> What just happened?

Hypocrisy in it's purest form.

> Go West

Meet Magic Humorist Table

There is a large sign here and big crowd. The crowd is so big that you can't see who is at the table.

> Read sign

Andon Unlimited is proud to present, by popular demand, MEET QUARD the Magic humorist and FERRATIO, his imaginary trained typing ferret. That's right, this is your chance to finally meet the one and only QUARD from Quard's Corner (www.vaultmag.com); the self-professed Magic humorist/columnist and his slinky assistant.

> Wow!

Cool, ain't it?

There is a man here with a large box hanging in front of his chest, wearing a straw hat. He is working his way through the line of people waiting to see Quard.

> Examine man in straw hat

Quard Memorabilia Vendor

The man is dressed in a red, white and blue striped jacket, straw hat and wielding a large vendor box full of neat stuff. He starts yelling "Cheese Wiz! Kittens for Ferratio! Fly head masks! Red claw hands! Copies of the latest Quard's Corner!" He tosses items underhand, overhand and behind his back to anyone yelling for Quard memorabilia.

> Raise arm and wave at vendor. Shout for a copy of the Corner and a kitten for Ferratio!

The vendor flings the appropriate items at you without even looking. You catch the coveted items.

> Pay vendor

You attempt to pay for the requested and received items but the vendor just smiles widely at you and says "They're all free, kid. As long as you enjoy them, that's all the payment Quard desires. Enjoy!" The vendor also slips a 16oz bottle of 7-Up and a bag of your favorite chips into your backpack as a bonus.

> Did he say free?!

Why yes, he did. Imagine that. And at a big Magic event too.

> Holy...

One-hundred and fifty lasers suddenly pop out from the walls, floors, and ceiling; all pointed at you. Don't spoil the moment by being profane, please.

> ...Strength. Hehe.

Nice save! You earn 12 bonus points for being good. You score is 22 out of 2,387.5 points. The lasers pop back into their hidden recesses, except for one which "accidentally" fires at anyone playing a non-WotC owned card game.

> Read latest Quard's Corner while I wait in line

MEET QUARD Promotion Table

The line seems to go so quickly due to the generosity you have received, that you don't have a chance to read the latest Quard's Corner (that and the fact that we had absolutely no idea how to let someone read Quard's Corner while in the game, while they were in Quard's Corner...whew). Before you is the one and only Quard, dressed in a black robe, with red latex hairy clawed hands and a large green fly mask on his head. He is finishing signing a can of Cheese-Wiz for a fan while his imaginary trained typing ferret is having his belly tickled by other eager readers. Before him are seven chess sets, labeled Voice #1 thru 7 (the eighth voice is acting as referee) with 7 players hunkered down, each squaring off against one of the distinctive voices in Quard's head. You step up to the front of the table and Quard turns towards you, with a smile.

> Talk to Quard. Tell him he's funny and that I laugh every time I read a new Corner.

Quard takes the time to talk to you for quite a few minutes. He tells you how much he enjoys his work and thanks you for your kind words and signs your printed copy of the Corner. Ferratio sniffs enquiringly at the kitty that is clutching the front of your shirt like its life depended on it. You thank Quard and to the trembling kitten's relief, head away from the table so that others can get take their turn meeting the Carrying Case for Eight Voices. You smile and guffaw at the choice puns Quard shouts to you as you leave.

> South

Do Less Convocation Line

There are two lines leading to the booth. A man wearing a Do Less Convocation shirt intercepts you before you get to the booth and asks for your nationality.

> American

He points you to the line marked by a sign hanging from the ceiling. It reads "$35 - United States". You glance up at the other sign and it reads "$0 - Not the United States." Soon you are at the head of the line.

Do Less Convocation Booth

You step up to the booth and see a man and woman wearing shirts marked DCI on them. The man is typing madly into a laptop and the woman smiles at you and asks you if you'd like to sign up for the Judge Certification Program.

> Ask her for details about the Judge Certification Program

She hands you a Do Less Convocation Judge Certification Pamphlet: American Edition only

> Read Certification Pamphlet

Become a proud member of the Wizards of the Coast Certified Magic Judges! Pass a simple test of your rules knowledge, judge side-events for 265 straight hours under the watchful eyes of our already certified Magic judges here at the Boise Idaho Pro Tour and remember to remove $35 ($25 for membership and $10 for the test) from your wallet and hand it to our DCI representative and you'll get the following well-worth-it golly-gee-willikers cool items:

* A certificate saying you are a certified Magic Judge!

* A cool plastic Certified Judge ID card (it's almost as good as a decoder ring!)

* A threat that one day you'll actually receive ORACLE! (Yes, everyone will be able to download it for free, but so what?)

* A 120lb steel ball and chain with an attractive iron ankle cuff. Must be worn when judging any sanctioned Magic events.

Your eyes read the rest of the pamphlet but you can't find anything even remotely worth $35. Or $25. Or $15. Or anything.

At the end of the pamphlet is the following note: In case you are not from the United States, and were accidentally handed the Do Less Convocation Judge Certification Pamphlet: American Edition only, please disregard the $35 fee, it's free in just about all other countries. Americans are sooo stupid.

> Ask DCI member what they are paying certified judges to judge here at the Pro Tour

The woman howls with laughter and points at you. The man typing on the laptop looks up and asks her what is so funny.

> Ask woman if they get paid at least minimum wage

The woman's peals of laughter increase with intensity and the man starts to roll all across the floor in mirth, tears streaming down his cheeks.

> Tear up pamphlet

Smart move. 200 points have been added to your score. You score is now 250 out of 2,387.5 points.

> Head towards the play tables

Before you get to the gaming tables you are bowled over by what appears to be a man in a straight jacket. He is screaming "I AM THE RULES!" over and over as he is pursued by several large orderlies, and a slender woman with glasses, long hair and wearing a shirt saying "No, I am the rules." The pursued and his pursuers rush out of the room headed for the lobby.

As you get up, you are startled to feel something run up your leg and perch on your shoulder. You move your head slowly and stare eye-to-eye with Ferratio, the imaginary trained typing ferret. He chitters happily into your ear. He seems to like you (or perhaps it's because of the kitten you have and he's a bit peckish).

> Keep Ferratio for now and head towards the play tables

You and Quard's pal resume your trek to the play tables.

Playing Tables

You sit down at one of the gaming tables and get out one of your decks, waiting for someone to play. Within moments a young man challenges you to a duel. You accept and after beating him 2-1 with your Sligh deck, you both shake hands and spread out your decks, looking for each other's opinions on making the decks stronger. You both have a good time talking about Magic, life and both agree that the female Elvish Ranger is the coolest babe on a Magic card. You trade email addresses and you are soon challenged to a duel by a guy wearing a shirt that says he belongs to a Magic team.

> What Magic team?

I'm sorry but this game is rated PG and the name on the shirt exceeds that rating.

> There are teams with bad names on them?

Yes. Sad, isn't it? The gentleman slaps a twenty-dollar bill on the table. "Play for money?," he asks.

> Tell lamer to get lost. I play for fun!

He smiles down at you and starts to insult you, calling you a scrub and starts to question the legitimacy of your parentage.

> Teach dork a lesson

How? What do you think I am a mind reader?

> Use Ferratio

Use Ferratio on?

> Use Ferratio on dork

Ferratio slinks off your shoulder and disappears under the table while the moron continues to berate you when suddenly he rockets straight up out of his chair howling in pain. He crashes to the floor screaming "Get it off me! Owowow! Get it off me!" and you notice the mischievious member of the weasel family securely attached to his keister by very sharp, pointy teeth. Quard taps you on the shoulder and asks you if you've seen his furry collaborator. He then notices your screaming would-be adversary crashing through the aisles with a ferret firmly anchored to his posterior. He chuckles, says something about feeding time and walks away.

A voice is heard over the loudspeaker announcing that in Meeting Room 2B there will be a Q&A answer session with Wizards of the Coast's president.

> Go to Meeting Room 2B

What do you think I am, an auto-pilot? Tell me how you want to get there.

> I'd like to walk, I seem to have misplaced my Lambourghini.

**** You have died *** Your score is -234,317.2 out of 2,387.5 points. Never ever get smart with the parser.

Would you like to restart the game from the beginning, restore a saved game position, end this session of the

game or apologize for trying to be Mr. Smarty-Pants (Type RESTART, RESTORE, QUIT or GROVEL.)

> Grovel. Yeesh, you don't have to be so sensitive.

Yes, I do. I'm programmed that way. Now, let's take a look here... Well, you probably deserve another chance.

* POOF * You have been reconstituted back to your former self. You seem to be alright, although you notice your backpack is a tad lighter than it was before you had to be Mr. Wise Acres.

> Inventory

You are wearing a PT Entrance badge; you have $5 in your wallet and there is a 300lb backpack slung across your aching shoulders containing your play decks, cards for trade and 2,450 cards signed by Dork, Lamer, Uncool, Stupid and Get Real Kid.

> Where's the kitten?!

Hint: Think of it as the activation cost for using the ferret. Ferratio really likes you now, even though the kitten wasn't

covered with Cheese-Wiz.

> And I'm missing $3!

Hint: Think of that as the activation cost for messing with the parser.

> Grumble

Excuse me? (I have many lasers at my command)

> Nothing. Goto Meeting Room 2B.

Wise choice.

Meeting Room 2B

There is a stage here and approximately 200 chairs, 150 or so are occupied by your fellow geeks. There is a man with a bucket and a mop that approaches the microphone and is introduced as non-other than Pete Adkison, WotC's President. He thanks the crowd for coming and begins to talk about WotC, upcoming expansions, alternative CCG card games and various other products like WotC toast, jam and breakfast cereals that are going to be coming out soon. After a while, he announces that he will now take questions from the audience.

A youth stands up and asks him why WotC is printing so many Magic expansion. Mr. Adkison replies "because the more expansions we print, the more we make."

Another youth stands up and asks him if there will be a 6th edition. He replies yes there will be a 6th edition, and no there will be no new art on the cards, or cards with banding. When asked if 6th edition will suck just like 5th edition he has no reply. The crowd starts to mutter.

> Stand up and ask him why American judges are charged for the Judge Certification program while they don't charge people in other countries

He blinks, looks down at the mike a moment and replies, "I don't know anything about the judging program; I didn't know American judges were charged for it. The organization is so big, I don't know some of the stuff that is going on." The crowd starts to boo. For Magic players, this crowd seems uncommonly intelligent.

> Press him! Ask him now that he does know it's going on, is it right?

Several large men in Hurloon Minotaur garb roughly grab hold of you and drag you out of the room. On your way out the crowd boos even louder while Adkison pretends he didn't hear the question and asks everyone if they'd like to see a preview of an upcoming new TSR collectible card game called, Spellfire: the Gathering. You are tossed to the floor outside the meeting room; one of the Minotaurs says "No more Adkison for you, kid." Evidently you asked the wrong questions.

> But it's not fair!

You're talking about fair? You play a card game where you get rares like Auratog, Lion's Eye Diamond and Gallowbraid? A game where the rules change every week and you just paid $9 for a warm 5oz. Coke and a cold hot dog?! Reality check, please. So what if US judges get ripped... they deserve it if they're that silly. Before you get the courage up to foolishly storm through the Minotaurs to get answers to your questions, a red-headed, incredibly curly-haired individual bursts out of the playing room into the lobby. He is wearing a Head Judge's black and white striped shirt and is running away from a note-pad wielding Quard. "C'mon, Jeff...say something memorable! I need another quote for the Corner." Quard begs as the head judge, hands over ears tries to outdistance his fly-headed pursuer screaming "I'm not saying anything; I'm not! Forget it! No way!" The two disappear around the bend.

Another horde of Hurloon goons toss out an extremely beautiful young woman from the Q&A session.

> Talk to girl

She tells you that she was bounced for asking why WotC isn't doing anything about cheaters. You recognize her from some of her posts from the Dojo. You tell her of your experience and she smiles in sympathy. You both agree that these meetings are uninformative public relations hype and that no one is allowed to ask real questions about valid concerns. After talking for a bit, she departs to play in some sealed deck side-tournament.

> Go to the other promotion tables I haven't seen yet

Alright. I'll take you there, but next time I need directions.

Meet InQuest Table

You see three people here. One is a blonde-haired gentleman with glasses and an MjS initialed shirt. He hands you a new copy of InQuest and introduces himself as IQ's Editor, Mike Searle. You tell him that you like IQ way better than Scrye; he thanks you for your kind words while the second gentleman hands you a copy of an upcoming Dead Man's Hand Magic puzzle that will be appearing in a future IQ. The second person is wearing a badge that says "Hello, My Name is Rei." You look over the cool puzzle and tell him you think it's great and hope he does more puzzles for IQ. The third guy is a man in a Team Legion shirt that speaks just like Chekov from Star Trek! He introduces himself as Alex Shvartsomethingorother and hands you an advanced copy of his upcoming electronic book about using the cards from the Rath Cycle. You thank him for his generosity and remember him also from several articles he did for the Vault on-line magazine (www.vaultmag.com).

> Save game

Why?

> I gotta go to the bathroom

** Game saved ** Although I'd like to mention that this is a text-adventure game and that nothing happens unless you TYPE something, genius!

As you're walking the promotions tables you hear someone shout "Last call to enter a Type II Swiss tournament!"

> Enter swiss tournament

**** You have died (of old age) *** Your score is 257 out of 2,387.5 points. Never enter a perpetual swiss tournament! They last approximately 520 years and after all that, you get 4 booster packs of Korean 5th edition. And that's if you win.

> Restore game

** Game restored ** (I almost had you)

As you're walking the promotions tables you hear someone shout "Last call to enter a Type II Swiss tournament!"

> Ignore call for swiss

Good move. Your score is now 280 out of 2,387.5 points. You're still a loser, though.

> I am not

You didn't even think of kissing that girl back there, did you?

> No...

Looooosssser! You're a *coughloser* *cough* loser.

A voice on the loudspeaker announces that the final rounds of the Pro Tour are about to begin. They're taking place right at the tables to the east of the Do Less Convocation booth, behind you.

> Watch the finals

Final Matchup Table

You watch two players square off against each other. One is playing a Bloom Drain deck and the other is playing some deck you are not familiar with. A judge is sitting at the table watching the two players as they duel. They start to play, after shuffling their decks and cutting. Something seems wrong to you somehow.

> Examine the player playing unfamiliar deck

He looks perfectly normal to you.

> Examine the player playing the Bloom deck

Something rubs you the wrong way about this guy. It appears to you that he's up to something. You don't have any idea what's got your hackles up, until you spot a Magic card on his chair.

> A card on his chair?! That doesn't belong there!

No kidding. Don't tell me, I can't do anything.

> Wave for a judge

A judge comes over with black hair and a striped judge shirt. He has the name Roth embroidered on his shirt. He asks you what is the matter.

> Point and tell him about the finalist with the card on his chair!

He looks, and is stunned to see that you're right and hurriedly interrupts the match. He grabs the card from the finalist's chair and holds it up to everyone watching. The card sitting on the guy's chair is a Cadaverous Bloom, the key card the player needs in his deck! Wow, what a koinkey-dink!

> He's a @$#!ing cheater!

Yessiree he is. The lamer tries to say that he didn't know the card was on his chair but no one is that stupid to believe a Pro Tour player could accidentally be hiding the key card of his deck on his chair without knowing it. The judge proceeds to tear the cheater's hat from his head, eats it and then proceeds to ram the cheater's deck (which contains 59 cards, 60 if you include the key card he was hiding) down his throat, all to the applause of the outraged spectators. After the cheater recovers in the hospital from being force-fed his cards, the player finds out that he is permanently banned from all sanctioned Magic tournaments by the Do Less Convocation.

> Great!

Not great; the player/cheater is only given a match loss and once again the Do Less Convocation, living up to their real name allows a cheater to continue to play. Despite the outrage of everyone there, the games continue.

> Grab a Do Less Convocation guy and demand to know why this cheater is still playing

The Do Less man looks at you and screams "Shut up kid, no one cheats at Magic!" The people around you are totally disgusted and realize that the people who are in charge of this game are promoting cheating at their tournaments and that is not why they play the game. There is a mass-exodus of players and judges that firmly resolve never to go to another Pro Tour/Magic event held by WotC ever again. They know deep in their hearts, with disgust that the situation will never change because of this explicit situation and others previous inactions by the creators of Magic.

> Go home, this is totally disgusting and wrong!

You said it. Months later, a LONG time goes by and you scan the newsgroups to find that the cheater was defeated and didn't win the tournament that he shouldn't have been allowed to continue to play in. You find that the Do Less Convocation does not perm-ban him from future Magic tournaments like they should have, or slap him in any significant way and continues to throw forth meaningless propaganda that they are firmly committed to eradicating cheating at tournaments. This time though more people see through the lie, with this latest example and attendance at future events decline. Smarter US judges also demand that it doesn't cost them to be certified judges and stop judging for them until they give in on this most unfair practice of charging US judges when they don't charge judges from other countries.

> Score

Your score is 2,056 out of 2,387.5 points. You've seen a lot, done a lot and learned a lot. Some of it quite unfortunate but the decisions you made over-all were quite good. I even got to kill you several times *snicker*. Thank you for playing!

*** End of game capture ***

Wow, that was sure fun! Well, except for some parts. Have fun when you play the text only version at home!

And now it's that time again for me to answer your questions I have received lately:

Q: Why don't more people play Ghazban Ogre? - Nick Drury, InterNet

A: Actually people do play with the Ghazban Ogre. It's the Grey Ogre you're thinking of.

Q: Will reading Quard's Corner hurt my chances for getting elected to public office, perhaps even the Presidency? - Joe C., InterNet

A: If you become the President, reading Quard's Corner will be the least of your problems.

Q: WHY THE HELLO DID WIZARDS R&D MAKE GREEN SUCK SO MUCH??!?!? Just wondering. - Chris H., Chicago

A: That question has now been answered, WotC R&D staffers admitted at a recent event that they feel green is a
support color. It's intentional, not accidental.

Q: Yeah, I got something ask. Am I the only magic player with a girlfriend? Thanks. - Gorett Bonanno, InterNet

A: You call that a girlfriend? The one with the feedbag?

Q: Hey Quard, do you think that Microsoft and WoTC are in cahoots? - Proud Mac User, Minnesota

A: I doubt it as Magic does not exist in electronic form. And if you're going to try to count Magic for the PC, I strongly suggest a visit to the Shiny Buckle People.

Q: I've been reading your column for about a year or so now. Since I started, you have said you haven't had a date in 3 years. Does time stop if you don't date for a long period? - Skip, Washington D.C.

A: Date? What's a date? Isn't it a fruit from a tree in the desert? I'm confused...

Q: I noticed that any hate mail will still be forwarded to a neighbor you don't like. When you decided to live in Las Vegas, why didn't you decide to live next to someone you DO like? - Kevin Rohleder

A: Well, I'd really hate to do what I do, to a neighbor I DO like. So finding one I don't like is much more convenient.

Q: Why does DC rotate out the entire set (Mirage, Visons, Weatherlight) at the same time; why don't they stagger it? - Dan Moultrie, InterNet

A: With one expansion dropping out at a time, current decks were still viable with replacing the few cards that left with others. With multiple expansions dropping out at a time, people are forced to buy new cards to keep up. Dastardly, ain't it?

Q: Do you think that card advantage is the key to winning magic? I hope you think the way I do! - Wayne and Monica Kreiter, Internet

A: I think the key to winning Magic is killing your opponent, personally. And if you thought like me, you'd have written your question to me in crayon.

Quote to remember: "Naked is ok" - Jeff Donais on IRC one day responding to the question "If everyone at a tournament signs a permission sheet, can players play naked as long as their opponent agrees?"

(You heard it here first folks, it's official!)

End of Article.

Oh, sorry about that, I did promise to reveal the contents of the real first paragraph for those of you that don't want to wait until the first full moon (or ran out of toner on your laser printer). Here it is, the real first paragraph for those of you who care.

"This paragraph intentionally left not-blank."

Note: Are there any Magic related questions you'd like to ask me that might see print in an upcoming Quard's Corner in Vault? If so, e-mail your questions to me at quardd@hotmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------

This article was put together for your reading pleasure by Vincent B. Navarino (aka Quard on IRC:#mtg) and his imaginary trained typing ferret, Ferratio. Vincent considers himself quite the humorist and can regularly be spotted late at night on IRC:#mtg(EFNet) tormenting the people there with his rantings. He'd also like to write Magic humor for the Duelist and someday might start submitting his articles to them, but is too afraid of rejection right now after not having a date in over 3 years. If you'd like to talk with him, or any one of his eight voices, please feel free to send them e-mail at quardd@hotmail.com. All feedback received is welcomed.

Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor he doesn't like. In triplicate!

[Author's Note: The Zork-style Magic:The PC Game that I created to poke fun at the Microprose Magic game was deemed hysterical by many of you rabid Quard's Corner readers. I received tons of emails from you guys, but sadly I was still batting a big fat lousy zero in my quest for hate mail. And I tried hard too *sigh*. You people are NO fun. Originally appeared in Aug. 1998 on the beloved Frank Kusumoto's Magic Dojo]

Read More Articles by Vincent Navarino!

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