The Story of Pax: Part 2
Hey Gym N Japan Fam! Now that we have come back from Melbourne and PAX we have time to reflect on the great weekend that we had! There was a lot that went on for the whole weekend whether it was lots of drinking, gambling or just walking around PAX.
Thursday 6 October - this was the day before PAX started and all the boys started to arrive in Melbourne for what would be a great weekend. This day wasn’t particularly productive with me (Haydon) renting a day hotel to sleep all day after a red eye flight arriving at 7am… I would highly recommend this because it was $100 for the whole day and I caught up on sleep and was ready to enjoy Melbourne. Jordan arrived early in the morning and wandered the streets of Melbourne until Haydon finally woke up and they hung out until Jake and Ben finally arrived. At around 5pm, Once Ben and Jake arrived the first stop was getting a meannn HSP (or AB as they call it in Adelaide; or most commonly known as a meat box) from near the hotel which gave us enough food to start drinking.. of course the drink of choice was… -196s and a few bottles of soju to share as punishment if you lost a game. The night included: blackjack, Digimon and Uno in the hotel where we got a lil bit drunker than intended hahah Jake and I finished the night at 2am while watching ninja on twitch. Because there’s no better way to finish a night than watching ninja, because “I’m gonna be better than ninja.” This was a good day to just ease into things because we didn’t want to get too hectic, but then by the end of the night there were a few drinks lying around.
Day 2 (Day 1 PAX)
It is finally the first day of PAX and I have a bit of a sore head from drinking too much… The first stop was coffee and breakfast which was at a café a short walk from the hotel. It had some hipster food and coffee which were both really good. Portion sizes were a little lacklustre but overall the taste was actually really amazing and the coffee was great too. We got into the place in the nick of time because it started pouring with rain! Apparently there was flooding from it? Seemed like a small shower for those who grew up in Darwin… after this we headed straight to PAX. Upon entrance you knew that this was a gaming convention because there were people dressed up as their favourite characters everywhere and made you think “how are they going to wear that all day” because our feet hurt in our good/ comfortable clothes… also upon entrance we noticed a massive line up and were hoping we didn’t have to join it.. luckily it was to pick up the day passes (we were smart and got them mailed to us months ago). There was also a massive line to inspect anyone who brought in a prop; which is to make sure no one is bringing in a real sword/gun etc into the convention centre. Next you make your way into the event hall where you get your PAX lanyard and shoulder to shoulder with all your nerd friends. See pic below:
At the start when you first walk in there is a lot to take in with so many shows, loud music and even some guy just yelling AMD AMD AMD over the mic which is a good marketing ploy cause I remember it now… you get a map with everything on it but you honestly have no idea which way is up until you do a few laps to see what’s around (which is what we did). Based on what Jake said, it was a little underwhelming with it being a lot bigger in 2019 before COVID and the event not running physically since then. I (Haydon) think this is understandable because they will get bigger over the years as they realise the demand for a HUGE event is there. With this walk around there was a notable absence of Blizzard (Call of Duty) which would have been cool to have in there. The day was a long one with multiple food stops to various places and multiple messages to each other asking “where u”. Ben competed nice and early in two Digimon tournaments which then led to Jake spending $90 to compete in the day 2 event. Throughout the day we tried an F1 simulator which took almost an hour to get into, picture here:
In the evening while Ben had the Digimon tournament, me(Haydon), Jordan, Ollie and Jake went over to the crown complex originally for a burger but the line was way too long so we settled on sushi. This got my casino senses tingling so I went on a little adventure into the casino which payed off because I won some money on the pokies.. after this I met back up with the boys to brag and see how Ben went in the tournament which he didn’t win sadly.. and because it was still going so late and had another hour to go we decided it was time to go back to the hotel for a sneaky bev and HSP yewww HSP BABY!! But our excitement came to an end when Haydon decided it was a great idea to try the HSP place down the road from the good one we got last night (insisting that this was the better one)… it was not.. I knew I would never hear the end of this HSP saga and continued to be roasted about it for the entire trip… we then finished the night once again with a few -196s, games and some YouTube before bed.
Day 3 (day 2 PAX)
So day 3 was Saturday. I (Jake) had to be there before everyone because I entered the stupid Digimon tournament but it was super fun and I got some really cool prizing. Ngl I was a little unwell in the morning after another late night so I just got a coffee on my way in and that was it. Thankfully the tournament only ran for like 3 hours so I was back with the lads pretty quickly. The other 4 went to another café and got coffee and food before coming in the morning. When I got there at like 10 am as the doors opened, there were soooo many people lining up and it was smelly and hot. I stood in a line for 30 minutes just to get into the venue and then yeeted my way to my event which was on the other end of the convention hall so I had to be a ninja and work my way through the giant crowd to get there.
Later in the evening when people started to leave we went and played on the free PC games. We all jumped on Overwatch 2 and it was so much fricken fun! We just walked around and tried some indie games, lined up for some more of the racing simulators and played table top games. We walked over to DFO to get some food and some of the guys had a look in some of the stores.
Tonight we actually had some stuff planned. We started the night off right with a nice HSP from the good one this time. Then we went, again on Haydon’s recommendation, Asian Beer Café and all got a giant jug cocktail each from Haydon’s winnings on the Pokies, what a king! This was a good start before we went to a couple gaming bars where they had retro arcade games to play while drinking. We wanted to go to a bar called Fortitude but the line was bloody enormous. So instead, we went and played adult games…at the Casino. We spent way too long there, with most of us except Ben and Haydon, leaving with some winnings. We just got drinks and drinks and gambled and repeated. Eventually at around 2.30am we decided to call it quits because everyone's feet were absolutely killing them. So we ended up at KFC for a final meal before walking back to the hotel to go to bed.
Day 4: Final Day in Melbourne (for everyone but Haydon) and Pax
This final day we were so tired because of how late we went the night before we really struggled to make the check out of 11am where we gave our bags to reception and headed over to PAX. Haydon was not overly impressed with this move because a coffee is needed before the day even begins… He wandered off and got 2 coffees and a breakfast which were all really good. In the time that Haydon did this the rest of us lined up for one formula 1 VR simulator (almost 2 hours of lining up) only for it to make us sick… after this we all went and did our final shopping and then Jake and Ben headed off on their early flight which they missed half the day…(leaving early was actually good because we got home early and we didn’t want to walk around anymore anyway because we were so tired and sore) The remaining part of the day me (Haydon), Ollie and Jordan just wandered the city until Ollie and Jordan had to head to the airport for their evening flight. I checked into my $72 a night hotel and oh boy as the saying goes you get what you pay for. You could hear the elevator going up and down, the aircon/heater was so loud you couldn't sleep, you could hear some weird noises coming from outside and the bed was so uncomfortable.
Day 5 (Haydon)
I woke up at 945 for my 10am check out and went too… you guessed it.. THE CASINO and I spent around 3 hours there winning a little bit of money ;). Then I went to the DFO and did a bit of shopping in the city while waiting for my 9pm flight. At about 5pm everything was starting to close so I headed to the airport super early where you aren't able to check your bags in until 2 hours before your flight. So I had to make the most of it by heading to an eatery where I had some curry and a bev while I waited for check in. Once checked in I was one of those guys that brought Krispy Kremes on the pla
ne for those in Darwin. And for those that don't know, Krispy Kremes are a delicacy in Darwin. I finally arrived in Darwin just after midnight where I had to back it up with work at 8am the next morning which was tough.
We are hoping that next year they have a lot more on display and games to trial and play. We will more than likely go again because it’s a good excuse to hang out with the boys, play video games, eat shit food and get drunk. What more could you want?
Overall the hotel we stayed in was actually really good, not super fancy but it was walking distance to the convention centre, we had food and coffee nearby and didn’t have to catch any Uber's or taxis.
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