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April 1, 2012 / jwaxo

Worms Armageddon (Luck)

Everyone’s favorite annelids wreaking havoc on another landscape.

A number of months ago I spoke briefly about my experience with Worms 2, under the guise of telling a story about Zerg rushing. It was a true story, of course, and one that definitely taught me an important lesson, but I feel like I glazed over a few important parts of it. Namely, everything to do with Worms and the entire series.

See, in case you forgot, I first encountered that game at a week-long computer camp. And while there were several important lessons and classes that I took at the camp, anyone who has ever been to any kind of camp should know that the most important experiences are the ones that aren’t scheduled. For me, that was the games that I played.

Sure, there was StarCraft, but there was also Dune 2000, and Age of Empires, and Unreal Tournament. An enormous pile of games that we could pick and choose from to play against each other during downtime. The most important of these games was Worms 2. Through all six days, we held no less than three tournaments, and possibly hundreds of different games. I finely honed my skills and my team (all named after characters from the Pokémon anime).

During lunch breaks over at the college campus, we always talked about Worms and strategies. It was during one of these breaks, after I had loaded up my tray from the food court, that we first talked about continuing to play after camp was over.

Sometimes it was hard to hear others over the sound of all-you-can-eat soft serve, though.

“Sure,” one kid said, “you could buy Worms 2. But a new one just came out, Armageddon.”

“Like the awesome movie?” we all asked. It was PG-13, so I hadn’t seen it, but it sure looked awesome.

“It means the end of the world.” There was a series of gasps and excited laughter. A Worms game named after the end of the world? That sounded even better than the already-nearly-perfect Worms 2. I had to have it.

I began saving up my money, and looking on websites for the best place to buy a computer game. Don’t ask me why I neglected my usual local haunts; somehow the fact that I had never heard of Worms before summer camp instilled the idea that it was rare upon me. Eventually I found my prize, on a site surely some of you might remember: Egghead.com, a site that would be engraved upon my memory as a bastion for nerdy products and games.

I crossed my fingers and wired the money using my parents’ credit card, putting my blind faith into the internet like I had so many times before. And then the old waiting game began.

I hoped it was as good as that movie looked like it was…

A stupid thing to hope for. Ben Affleck is the absolute worst.

Disaster struck in a week. After this entire week of waiting, of checking the front door hopefully after school, I received an email shortly before leaving for school. One with the worst subject imaginable: “We Apologize for the Inconvenience.” Apparently, due to unexpected demand, Worms Armageddon was out of stock from Egghead, and they weren’t expecting to restock any time soon. Our account would be refunded shortly.

Head hanging, heart sunk, I plopped off to school. All day I was sorrowful: sure, my mom’s account had been credited, and I had the cash I had given her back in my pocket, and I’m sure I could find Worms somewhere else, but, well, who was to say this wouldn’t happen again? I helplessly doodled drawings of worms blowing everything up all day, my mind unable to concentrate.

And then I got home to find a box on my porch.

It seems that, somewhere, wires had gotten crossed, and there had been one extra box shipped out before they realized they had overbooked. That game had gone to me. Even the rep at Egghead was surprised, and told us we owed them nothing: their mistake.

And that’s how I learned that sometimes you just luck out.

But only in unimportant things, like getting games that let you blow your brother up hundreds of different ways for free.

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