First Generation

July 25, 2003 by Tim

Update: You guys constantly amaze me. I had over two hundred emails of support trying to help me solve my Xbox problem when I got home today, and they are still trickling in.

I want to thank all of you. You gave me some ideas I never would have thought up on my own, and I think I’ll be playing KOTOR soon enough.

You guys are awesome.

/End Update

So I go to the store and picked myself up a copy of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for my trusty ol’ Xbox.

I get it home, and I settle down in front of the TV and prepare to immerse myself in this game that I’ve heard only great things about.

The intro was cool, the title screens oozed Star Wars. I create my character (I chose the nerdy guy with the big nose, because I thought it would be damned cool to watch him be consumed by the dark side), and I head off into the game. I watch the classic Star Wars opener, the fairly cool opening movie, and then it tosses me into the game.

I now realize my Xbox was teasing me.

I got through the first conversation just fine, and I was all psyched because the game was living up to my expectations. I even got as far as the very first hallway, just outside the starting room. I was feeling very n00bish, and looking at everything, when I noticed a repair droid hanging out nearby. So I head on over to say ‘what’s up’.

It’s about this point where my Xbox wakes up and screams “WAIT! I’M A FIRST GENERATION CONSOLE! I CAN’T FUCKING PLAY THIS GAME!” and proceeds to freeze up on me.

I’m now a bit exhasperated, but I figure no big deal. It’s not like I was very far into the game. I reload. This time I get as far as character creation before it freezes. After that, I get as far as the intro movie.

I had heard of problems with the first generation Xbox consoles, that the dvd drives originally used were faulty pieces of shit. I now realize I had even experienced it first hand on a previous occasion, after having bought a pre-owned copy of Deathrow. I blamed the freezing on the game. I now know it is the Xbox’s fault.

So I went to the Xbox forums looking for some answers. I found a couple of tips concerning deleting the KOTOR file and shutting the box down for a minute. I did this, and it got the game running, but only for a few minutes, before it freezed again.

I even, in pure desparation, went so far as to delete all of my saved data on a tip that there might be a corrupt file somewhere. No dice.

The nice gentlemen at the Xbox technical support call center who couldn’t speak a word of english, and insisted on calling me ‘Yam’, even though I insured him my name was “Tim” as was printed on my driver’s liscence, told me that my the vents to my Xbox were blocked by nearby objects, and it was overheating. I looked to my Xbox, and it was sitting out in the open on a hardwood floor, right where I had left it. Apparently my retinas were playing tricks on me, because this gentlement persisted that the vents were blocked. I must be wrong.

Eventually we moved on to the point where he explained to me that the disc was faulty, and that I should go exchange it. I again explained to him, much in the manner one would explain something to a brick wall, that all of my older games worked fine, and that the Xbox was only choking on the newer stuff. Nope, I was wrong again. He says it’s the disc.

Finally (and like no one knew this was coming) he tells me that I need to send the Xbox in for repairs. All it will cost me is a cool $100. Actually, he quoted me $99, because apparently Microsoft thinks we’re idiot’s and that if we see two digits instead of three, we feel like we’re paying less, and are more happy to part with our green paper. As if we don’t know it’s still a hundred god-damned dollars.

So here lies my issue. If by noon today when I leave for work, none of you have provided me with an ingenious fix, a technical repair, or a method for throwing the Xbox against a wall that will make this game work for me, I am going to buy a new Xbox.

I really don’t want to buy a new one. I really can’t afford to buy a new one, with Otakon right around the corner. But I am not a patient person, and I am simply incapable of waiting 6-8 weeks for my Xbox to make the round trip voyage to Microsoft and back, all the while KOTOR is staring me in the face, taunting me.

If anyone knows of a fix for the first generation, piece of crap-shit Thompson DVD drives, please let me know.


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