TA Community Interview - Flyboy80498

By Jonathan Barnes, 7 years ago
The Gamish Inquisition is coming off The Stallion Bump which is not dissimilar to The Colbert Bump. The benefactor of this influx of interest is none other than Flyboy80498, who has some excellent views on the current state of gaming as well as an incredible story to tell.

With that in mind, sit back, relax, grab yourself a Sunday Kool-Aid and enjoy this week’s edition of The Gamish Inquisition.


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obj - There's a story behind every gamertag, what is yours? I’m guessing that it has nothing to do with aviation but, rather, a homage to 90’s break dancers. Confirm, deny or elaborate.

Fb - You, sir, would be wrong in that case. I was in the United States Air Force from August 4th, 1998 to March 23rd, 2004. In case you have not put two and two together yet… The number behind it is a very special day to me. It is my enlistment day of 8/04/98.

obj – Before we go into the next question, I’d like to thank you for your service. In today’s day and age, I feel our service men and women can never be thanked enough.

Where is home for you and, if I were to visit, what thing(s) are the most excellent and awesome in your neck of the woods?

Fb - I am from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It is about 40 miles southwest of Louisville, Kentucky. So if you are not into seeing the Gold Bullion at Ft Knox (about 10 miles away) for the 1000th time, you could drive on up to Louisville to see the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory, or see the Louisville Bats play a AAA game. Contrary to popular belief there are a ton of things to do within 50 miles of the local area. This area gives us a lot of flexibility to do what we want to do, when we want to do it. And if you are really wanting a good time, Cincinnati is only 2 hrs away. So Kings Island is within reach and always a must at least twice a month. If you haven’t rode the Diamondback at least once, you haven’t lived.

obj – As a proud Ohioan, I’ve been to King’s Island numerous times. Diamondback is easily in the top five coasters in the state, nee’ the country.

What pays the bills in the Flyboy home and does your career come with any sweet perks like unlimited shaved ice, No-Pants Thursdays or mandatory tattoos?

Fb - As I mentioned earlier, I was in the United States Air Force. Unfortunately, I was had a very serious crime be committed against me in March 2003 and I was forced out of the USAF on 100% medical retirement after a full recovery in May 2004. So, I enjoy retirement from the USAF, the Veterans Affairs (VA), and Social Security. Since I was almost murdered while serving our beautiful country, I do qualify for VA benefits. Unfortunately, because I qualify for 100% disability from the VA, I am not eligible to work anymore. It bothers me. I was raised in a military home that instilled the values of you work Monday through Friday, and possibly on Saturday and Sunday if your country demands it from you. But over the years it has sunken in that I served my country in a very proud way, and because of that I deserve everything I get.

obj - The story of your injury in the line of duty and survival is quite remarkable, would you care to share?

Fb - I was targeted by a Muslim extremist, in Denver, CO, while I was off duty. I was on the way home from work one night, and was forced off the road in an accident. After getting out of the car, I saw the person brandish a 9mm and start firing at me. I was hit in the stomach once and was fired at a total of 6 times, while being told that I was an infidel that deserved this for serving the “infidel machine.” My friend, that I was taking home, was fired at a total of 3 times and wasn’t hit but was naturally shaken up quite a bit. It was very late at night because we were working late getting people out for deployment. So it was naturally very dark. We were situated in an area that if you went the wrong way, it was confusing, at best, during the day. So during night, it was down right mind bending if you went the wrong way. He turned down a wrong street and got totally lost. I tried to dial 911 on my cell phone but ended up dialing a friend in California instead and tried to relay what was going on but it didn’t happen. I suppose “Extremist trying to kill me” doesn’t sound coherent at midnight on Friday. I am positive he thought, “Chris is drinking again.” However, that wasn’t the case. I was in a very dire situation. My friend found a pizza delivery man who dialed 911 and got me help. I was medivac’d to the nearest hospital where I underwent major, life-saving surgery to repair very serious damage to my stomach area. I was given less than a 5% chance of living that weekend and my parents were advised to start making plans for my departure.

In case you are not aware, when you are shot in the stomach, you do not die right away. You die slowly, from infections when all the different organ juices start mixing together. That was happening with me on an epic basis. Unfortunately, these extremist were such a major threat that I was given an armed escort to and from the operating room table each surgery and around the clock security at my room and in the front of the ICU entrance. I was told it was a sight to be seen. Even more unfortunate is they never caught the SOB that was cowardly enough to do this to me.

However, thankfully, after 7 months of some very tough sledding in the hospital I recovered enough to walk out and do the rest of my healing outside of the hospital. Unfortunately, I suffer from very serious chronic pain in the stomach from the 25 surgeries I had to have. Hence the forced medical retirement.

obj – An amazing story, indeed, and another testament to the bravery and sacrifice that soldiers of every nation provide.

Coming off of that story, there's no good way to segue to the next question, so I'll just throw it out there. Aside from playing the 360, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Fb - If my son is with me, then my son has my full attention. I enjoy getting to hang out with my son and take every moment with him as a gift. As I know, tomorrow is not guaranteed. If my son isn’t around (I am divorced) then I am watching TV or hanging around the house doing daily chores. It is a fairly charmed life I lead.

obj – You mentioned a fly-son and a fly-ex, but is there a fly-girl, fly-dog, fly-cat or fly-honey badger that shares your home with you and, if so, how do they feel about gaming?

Fb - Well, the Fly-Mom has been between jobs for the past two years and was looking at homelessness. Since this said Fly-Mom was the bearer of my loins, I felt the obligation to see that she was not homeless. So she is living with me. The Fly-Son gets to see me whenever we get the chance, usually around 3x’s a week plus weekends. There is a Fly-Dachsund (and is never more than 5 ft away from me at all times) that makes his presence known around the Fly-Home. Other than that, there isn’t anyone else in the Fly-Home. If you are willing to take the Fly-Mom away, contact me.

obj – Fly-Wiener Dog for the win!

What is your current, favorite television program and, if it were made into a videogame, what kind of format would it have?

Fb - My current favorite TV program is… Oh my, there are so many awesome ones to choose from now. Hmmm… If it wasn’t videogame based, I would say Survivor. But it had a videogame makeover and blew worse than Devil May Cry 2. Also, I am not liking how they are bringing back past players in recent seasons. Blue Bloods is always a can’t miss, and is #2 on the DVR (right behind Survivor). If done right, it could be a very interesting videogame. But it is a long shot, because CSI isn’t very good as a videogame and essentially that is the same type of game it would be with some cop elements in it. Maybe if they did it sandbox style with NYC it would be better.

obj - Before we get into The Gamish Inquisition, is there any non-gaming related question you WANT me to ask that I have not? As always, an answer to this question would be helpful as I seem to have misplaced my Carnac Turban.

Fb - Well, Johnny Carson aside (which is, in my opinion classic TV at its finest), I don’t seem to have any.

obj – Hay-OH!

Let’s kick off The Gamish Inquisition, with a picture of your setup and a quick description of its features.

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Fb - It is nothing super fancy. I have a 53” flat screen high def TV with my Xbox 360, Blu-Ray, and DirecTV hooked up to it. DirecTV is a must for the football package. I can watch my Green Bay Packers every weekend, which is VERY nice indeed! I also have my super comfy chair with my computer by the side for any references I need when gaming. It is ALWAYS open to TA when I am gaming for that achievement that I may want to go for.

obj – With Ryan Grant and Aaron Rodgers on my Fantasy Football team this season, I’m right there with you, which (as a life-long/long-suffering) Detroit Lions fan, hurts.

What is your first gaming memory?

Fb - I lived in Germany for the majority of my early years (from age 2 – 11), as Dad served in the US Army. So I got whatever we could find at the PX (a military store on base, kind of like a mini Wal-Mart) for the computer. We had a computer (Tandy 1000), which at the time was the latest and greatest invention in computers. Dad brought home the very first Leisure Suit Larry game in 1989. I was allowed to play it only if I got by those damn questions in the beginning alone. This was before the internet, so there was no looking up the answer. And, I was 11. So I wasn’t easily able to answer those adult questions from eras before me. I eventually wised up and started to write down right/wrong answers. And in my 100th try of trying to pass those dumb random 5 questions, I did it. I was SO proud of myself. And from there I was hooked on the Sierra games. Looking back on it now, maybe an 11 year old shouldn’t have played Leisure Suit Larry: Land of the Lounge Lizards. I would have to go to the base bowling alley to get any arcade gaming in, and to see the latest and greatest games out. I burned through many of allowances on TMNT, WWF: Wrestlemania, and After Burner.

obj – I, too, remember the pain of being a kid and trying to play the original Leisure Suit Larry games.

Do you own any other gaming consoles/platforms aside from the 360 and, if so, what is your favorite game on that console?

Fb - I own the following: A laptop, PS2, an original Xbox, Dreamcast, Amiga CD32, Sega Saturn, NES, Super NES, N64, Super Game Boy, Gameboy, Genesis, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, Tandy 1000, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari 2600, too many hand held (the old versions) video games to count, and the very old pong game. Many of these systems are stored away for safe keeping as they are collectors’ items now. But they are easy to get to, along with the games, should I ever want to play them. There are far too many games to choose from to choose one favorite. Also, I don’t think I would do the others any justice if I chose just one favorite out of all those consoles. I do the majority of my gaming on the Xbox 360. I was going to get a PS3 right before the hack into Sony. But Sony waiting a week before telling their customer base that they may have had their CC information stolen really stunned me. For that sole reason, I will not buy anything to do with Sony. I don’t want my CC information possibly hacked into, and a company waiting an entire week to notify me.

obj – Having been a long-time gamer with a massive, historical collection, what is one game from a bygone era that would make a great transition into current consoles?

Fb - Going back to Leisure Suit Larry, I played virtually every game Sierra made in my childhood on the computer. And I have my fondest memories of gaming playing the Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest, Police Quest and King's Quest series. So, easily (by a country mile) any of those series. Save for that trash that was http://www.trueachievements.com/Leisure-Suit-Larry-xbox....htm and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude. Neither of those games were made by the original designer, Al Lowe. And, it showed. Those two games were a slap in the face for the original fans of Leisure Suit Larry.

obj – Let’s imagine that the first game you ever played had achievements. What would the hardest achievement in that game have been?

Fb – Leisure Suit Larry: The Land of the Lounge Lizards. It would either be “You perverted child” for just trying to play the game at 11. Or if it was a harder achievement, it would be something to do with that blasted 5 random questions that were my nemesis.

obj – The top three “Best Games” list in your bio contains http://www.trueachievements.com/Borderlands-xbox-360.htm, http://www.trueachievements.com/Fallout-3-xbox-360.htm and http://www.trueachievements.com/Fallout-New-Vegas-xbox-....htm. Do you have a thing for post-apocalyptic dystopias or do you just like RPG shooters?

Fb - I like RPG’s that have a solid story line that allows me exploration. If it happens to be an RPG/Shooter then so be it. I tend to gravitate toward the games that give me a very solid story line with very enjoyable playing time. I just picked up http://www.trueachievements.com/Oblivion-xbox-360.htm, and love it. I am just an RPG fan overall. I tend to believe they are given more thought to the story lines, and they give you the ability to cultivate your character based on how you enjoy to play. Also, generally speaking, no two playthroughs will be the same.

obj – There has been a lot of debate on trying to hammer down what exactly an RPG is. Some gamers think that the genre is being “dumbed down” and diluted with titles like http://www.trueachievements.com/Mass-Effect-2-xbox-360.htm that stray from the pen-and-paper/dice-roll roots. Where do you stand? Do you see this “evolution” of RPGs as a good thing, a bad thing or the natural progression of the genre?

Fb - I see it as a great thing. Mass Effect 2 gave us an epic gaming experience for a very reasonable price. I have 200+ hours into that game. Paying $59.99, plus any DLC for 200+ hours is a very reasonable thing. I have even more hours into Borderlands, and the Fallout Series. Those games hold up to their prices. I also look forward to the DLC that are being done for them, and do not have any problems shelling out $10 for the DLC because I know it is going to be solid or better. Borderlands is a great RPG/Shooter. When we are talking about ME2, Borderlands, and the Fallout Series, we are talking about much loved IPs that are getting sequels to them. So while some gamers don’t like them, enough must have for them all to be blockbusters.

obj – With so many “big games” on the horizon, what is on your Chrismahanakwanzaadan list this season?

Fb - Oh man, there are so many. In order of release, I have: F1:2011, Forza 4 (CE), Batman Arkham City (CE), Elder Scrolls V (CE), Saints Row: The Third, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (CE), Kinect Disneyland Adventures, SSX, and Mass Effect 3 on pre-order at GameStop. I also have two (one for me, one for my son) Star Wars Xbox’s on pre-order. So, my wallet will feel the punch this Christmas season. But I know all of those games (and the Star Wars Xbox) will be well worth it.

obj – The original Halo is getting an HD release in November. What (other) game from the original Xbox era would you like to see re-released with HD graphics and achievements?

Fb - I am not a Halo fan, *ducks from incoming debris*. I am generally not a shooter fan, which includes CoD, and MW. I think that has a little do with my previous profession. I’ve seen war. It isn’t fun. I don’t want to see it onscreen, nor do I want to “play war” as a soldier in something real life like. Also, the online element is SO jacked-up with mod’ers it makes it difficult to enjoy it. Microsoft is doing their best, but the mod’ers will be back in full force soon, if they are not already back. And with online, being an adult, I have to be extremely careful. I don’t want to end up on the Dateline: To Catch a Predator, the Video Game Edition. Playing online with children is risky business. All it takes is one false accusation and you could wind up in a load of a mess. There are a few that I play online with, but they are teenagers (late teens) that are mature far past their age. Also I took my time to get to know their maturity level before I started playing online with them. Meeting Chris Hanson is not on my bucket list. But I digress.

I wish I could see some of my old favorites from the bygone era get a release (like the Sierra games) but other than that, there is a reason that they are in the past. Could they really have a good conversion to the Xbox 360? Or would you prefer to have fond memories of your most loved games without them being ruined? I prefer the fond memories rather than some rubbish remake ruining those memories for me.

obj – *stowing away potential, projectile debris*

We haven’t seen an increase in the cost of games in several years, yet the cost for their production has risen greatly as has the sales of used games (which do not monetarily benefit the developer or publisher). With that in mind, how do you feel about developers planning for Paid DLC and “Online Pass” systems that encourage purchasing new and discouraging game resale?

Fb - I like the paid DLC and “Online Pass.” For starters, it is putting money in the pockets of the developer/publisher. The other benefits are that we can pick and choose the content that we want to pay for. We can wait to see the reviews of the content before we decide to buy. If it is getting all around rubbish reviews, then I know to stay away. The “online pass” has its own benefits (some more noticeable than others). Is it a game that I will play online? If so, and I haven’t bought it new then I have no issues paying $10 for online play. Also it keeps the gamers that are just going to get on for 7 – 10 days of their rental from getting on, joining your group/league, playing the rental period, and quitting, leaving your league in a jam from players quitting. Also gamers fail to realize that the “online pass” is included in the new games. So unless you are buying used, it doesn’t affect you. I love the idea of the paid DLC, and online pass. It gives me flexibility I wouldn’t otherwise have. I suppose I understand the business aspect of gaming and want to see our community/hobby thrive. With that comes to tough decisions from EA Sports to start the “online pass” or to shut down servers. It isn’t that EA is against gamers. It is they need to turn a profit so they can release the next NCAA Football, or Madden that we all love. And it isn’t that publishers are keeping content off the discs prior to release. It is that they have certain deadlines to meet, to push the game out on delivery day. There are entire teams of developers working on DLC on the side with the team making the game. This is so they can support the game in the months ahead after release. Imagine how long it would take to push DLC out if they waited until the game was released to make DLC. The interest would have faded from their game, and they would have missed a very critical window to make some money so they can publish the next game. I’ve always said out of 50 games, 40 will be flops, 8 will make enough money for the other 40 to break even, and 2 might be breakout hits to make the company money. How many other industries operate on the same formula? Not many.

obj – Let’s imagine that you’re Commander Shepard and have been tasked with assembling an elite unit of four video game characters to defend humanity from an oncoming threat. Which four characters do you put on your squad and why?

Fb - Mario is a must. We have to have the plumber that can squish Goomba’s, flatten Koopa Troopa’s, and save the Princess, while giving me 1Ups. Ezio is an easy choice. Who doesn’t want an Assassin on his side? This guy could silently kill two enemies while jumping from a building. Sean Devlin would be in the group, because… Well, he just handled his business in a very cool way. And to level out the testosterone and to add some “eye candy”, Miranda Lawson. Let’s just say, I was HIGHLY disappointed at how far they took her scene in ME2 without going further.

obj – Mmm… Miranda Lawson… I dumped Ashley for her INSTANTLY.

From some of your Best Achievements List, I’ve noticed that you like to create characters in sports games and work them up to the highest level. What appeals to you in creating your own character?

Fb - I just love having a say in how I game. It is a lot more fun to cultivate your character how you want to rather than being told that this is going to happen then and this is when you will get this ability. I like those types of games, some of them being my favorite. But I would prefer to mold my character according how I see him/her unfolding through the story being told.

obj – You mentioned Sean Devlin (the protagonist from http://www.trueachievements.com/The-Saboteur-xbox-360.htm) a few questions ago. I also noticed the top two trophies in your Trophy Case come from that game, which is, in my opinion, a great (but flawed), under-the-radar title. What game is your favorite under-the-radar game and why?

Fb - You’re right. It was rough around the edges. However, it was a very different take on an old subject in video games. It was also a very cool take on the subject, and an overall very enjoyable game. It is in my Top 5 favorites. I was disappointed the publisher folded the studio, and we missed out on what could have been some very good DLC for the game. It would have been wonderful to see the game supported. It would have been even better for us to see Sean Devlin continue his story in Saboteur 2. I still hold out hope that it may happen. But not much hope.

obj – Do you have a favorite snack or beverage (either alcoholic or non) that you like to enjoy while gaming?

Fb - I usually have Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid by my side in one of my many Diamondback cups. If I am eating, I generally take a break. I don’t like getting my hands dirty/greasy and then messing with my controllers. It makes them nasty.

obj - Let’s imagine, for a moment, that you’ve been unjustly convicted of a crime that you did not commit and were sentenced to death. You’ve been allowed a last meal and a last evening of gaming. What is your meal and what is your game?

Fb - Bring out the Big Texan, 72oz Steak (cooked medium-rare), with all the fixins. If I am dying, I am going out full. As for the gaming, I think I would stick with an old standby such as ME2 or http://www.trueachievements.com/Assassins-Creed-Brother....htm.

obj – And now, FlyBoy, are you ready for some Lightning Round?

Fb - As much as Homey D. Clown is ready to be a substitute teacher…


Favorite 360 Game – Retail

Fb - The Assassin Creed Series

Favorite 360 Game – Arcade

Fb – Pac-Man

Favorite Game Weapon

Fb - M-920 Cain. If you can’t unleash massive destruction with that, then there is something wrong with you.

Favorite Developer

Fb - It is a tie between Bethesda and BioWare

Favorite Gaming Journalist/Reviewer

Fb - osubluejacket, of course.

Best Game Sequel

Fb – Mass Effect 2

Worst Game Sequel

Fb - http://www.trueachievements.com/Tony-Hawk-RIDE-xbox-360.htm

If you could spend a “night of passion” with one character from the gaming world, who would it be?

Fb - Miranda Lawson

If you could have lunch/a drink with one real person from “the gaming world” who would it be?

Fb - Al Lowe. This guy is a genius and a pioneer of adventure gaming. He has done some very funny and irreverent games. The Leisure Suit Larry series, that he had a part in, stand up to the test of time.

If you could punch one person (real or fictional) from “the gaming world” in the face, who would it be?

Fb - Anyone who thinks DLC and the “Online Pass” is evil. DLC is nothing but good for the industry as we get to choose what we want with our game. And the “Online Pass” enables developers/producers/studios to recoup money lost from second hand sales.

obj - Any final thoughts, shout-outs or soap-box statements?

Fb - I want to thank DeadxMaiden and JMJimmy. Both have been wonderful gaming partners and truly are the spirit of TA. Neither ever makes gaming a chore with them, and both will go above and beyond to make sure you get what you need. Also, check out my blog. If I can get enough followers (15 – 20ish), I am going to start a trivia contest with a small monthly prize for the winner. There is more detail about this in my blog. But I am well enough off that I want to share my passion for gaming with others, but want to do it in a way that others have earned it. Most importantly, I want to thank TA for its amazing website and community. While I do not game for the achievements, I have met many wonderful gamers on this site that I will game with for a very long time. Without this site, I doubt I would have met 1/10th of the great people that I’ve met. It also has kept me more up to date with games than I have ever been.


A big thanks goes out to Flyboy80498 not only for submitting himself to the Inquisition, but also for his service and sacrifice.

As always:

If you’d like to be featured in a Community Interview, want to be a solid citizen and nominate someone more awesome than yourself OR want to submit a "Community Asks the Community" question, send a PM to me, osubluejacket . FYI - You’re MUCH more likely to be selected if you’re well-written, interesting, funny and/or can help my Fantasy Football team find a stud running back on the waiver wire.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.