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culturemag for a penguin generation

Bob Lull and Pinguino attended E3 this past weekend in LA, and returned
with dazed looks on their faces and bags full of presskits from different
gaming companies. Look out for tons of game reviews and interviews in
upcoming issues of Flippersmack!

Are you going to Defcon? Don't miss any Flippersmack issues between now
and then; each issue will have a clue. Collect answers to get a prize and
extra points for the DefCon Scavenger hunt this year at DefCon 9! See for convention details, and the article in this
issue for your first clue!


*FRESH* E3 Expo Review..................................Pinguino
*FRESH* Pre-Scavenger Hunt Clue #1 .................Flippersmack
Music Tip...........................................Flippersmack
Oni (PS2 Review)........................................Bob Lull
Starwish Fantasy (poem).................................Pinguino
*FRESH* Telus Caller Identification Routing Glitch.....The Clone

FRESH articles were written day of zine release- May 20, 2001


E3 Expo Review
by pinguino []

E3: the world's largest trade event exclusively dedicated to interactive
entertainment. The 7th annual E3 Expo took place in Los Angeles last
weekend, domainated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. The highlights of
the show included new consoles X-box, GameCube, and GameBoy Advance, a
live performance by skateboard legend Tony Hawk, and the upcoming Final
Fantasy movie.

This was my first E3, and I totally loved it. The densly packed floor is a
sensory overload of pixels and sound; millions went into packaging and
presentation at this show. This is where game titles are judged by the
media; some will earn hyper and glory, others will fizzle into the dust.

.] Xbox- Enter Microft. As much as I don't like to admit it, Microsoft did
pretty well with the Xbox. The machine handles graphics beautifully,
utelizing a NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU), delivering more than
three times the graphics performance of other consoles. It has an Intel
733Mhz processor and internal hard drive- basically a souped up multimedia
desktop dressed up as a console unit. It also has an ethernet port.

Capcom and Sega will be releasing games for the Xbox. Rumor has it that
for deveopers, Xbox is way easier to work with. In addition to Sega,
Acclaim Entertainment Inc., Activision Inc., Artdink Corp., Atlus Company
Ltd., Bandai Company Ltd., Capcom, Codemasters, Crave Entertainment Inc.,
Electronic Arts Inc., Eidos, FOX Interactive Inc., Gathering of
Developers, INFOGRAMES Inc., Interplay Entertainment Corp., Konami Company
Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Co., Midway Games Inc., Namco Ltd., Rage
Software, Rockstar Games, Sierra On-Line Inc., Taito Corp., Take-Two
Interactive Software Inc, TDK Systems, THQ and Ubisoft are the
industry-leading publishers committed to supporting the Xbox online

Xbox releases in America on November 8.

.] NINTENDO GAMECUBE- Kinda what you'd expect from Nintendo. Mediocricy that
brings gameplay close to the Sony PS2 standard. GameCube is kinda cool
because it's compact and uses smaller CD-like optical discs.

The games showcased at E3 were: Luigi's Mansion, Pikmin, Super Smash Bros.
Melee and Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet. Most impressive however,
was Eternal Darkness. The president of Silicon Knights, who developed that
game, sat in with players and pointed out key developments, like rolling
fog and animated eyes. He said that the GameCube was the first to support
details like the fog enhancements found in Eternal Darkness.

The NINTENDO GAMECUBE will launch on September 14, 2001, in Japan; in
North America on November 5, 2001; and in Europe early in 2002.

.] GAME BOY ADVANCE- A very impressive revision of the Game Boy color.
Hi-rez color screen makes the game more alive. Changes include horizontal
orientation, dual shoulder buttons, and a 2.9 in color LCD screen. The
Game Boy Advance supports 4 player gameplay and is backwards compatible
with Game Boy Color. Two AA batteries will last 15 hours.

The best-selling game for Game Boy Advance will be Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.
Nintendo plans on releasing Super Mario Advance and F-Zero as well. The
Harry Potter game will probably do well on the Game Boy Advance.

Game Boy Advance launched in Japan on March 21, 2001, and debuts in the US
on June 11, 2001.

Opinion- Still would get a Playstation 2 out of the main three systems
coming out. I'm a Sony loyalist; I like the PS2 games that I saw. GameCube
is a letdown and the Xbox is just a pretty computer.

E3 Games- It's impossible to tell you about every game I saw there. The
ones I really liked were Final Fantasy X, Ico, Drakan II, Jax and Daxter,
Monopoly City, and the Harry Potter games. Look for reviews and blurbs
next issue!


Pre-Scavenger Hunt Clue #1

This clue is part of the phrase you need to give Pinguino at the
Flippersmack booth at Defcon. You will receive a special prize for solving
these 8 puzzles, and get 10 FREE points for the DefCon Scavenger Hunt.

This year's scavenger hunt will be truer to the nature of a scavenger
hunt. The puzzles will be tougher, the prizes will be cooler, and the
format will be completely different. It's a twisted and fun experience-
you can play solo or join a group of up to four people! Details to come.


Music Tip:

Have you seen the Terrible Secret of Space video yet? This catchy song is
by the creators of the original "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" song. Do
you have stairs in your house?

Laziest Men on Mars


+- K-1ine "A 'zine for the 780 undergr0und scene"
K-1ine offers the newest H/P and random misc
articles from people all across Canada and the USA. -+
w w w . n e t t w e r k e d . n e t


ONI (PS2 Review)
by Bob Lull []

Graphics 13/20 - Good characters, lousy environment (Thousands and
thousands of dull grey boxes)

Sound/Music 15/20 - Good punching sounds - weapons kinda weak. Not much
environmental sounds.

Gameplay 18/30 - Hand-to-hand is quite fun, but far too difficult to
survive. Weapons are more of a hindrance than a help.
This game is much better suited to the Mouse - Keyboard

Ingenuity 10/20 - Aside from some nifty fighting techniques, this game
doesn't have much new to the field to offer.

Closure (Ending) - Don't know. Never got there.

It's really disappointing when you finally get a game that you've been
waiting for months to get, only to find out that it's a rather drab, dull
and difficult hype machine. Such is the unfortunate case of Oni, a game
that promised so much, and yet, ended up only being so-so. It's not all
bad, but it is definately something you may want to rent first, before
shelling out almost fifty bucks.

Graphically speaking, this game is a mixed bag. At first, you see Konoko,
your metallic-purple-haired heroine, and her stylish combat suit. Her
movements are fluid and graceful, just as much so as most anime characters
she resembles. The enemies she fights are also well done. All the
characters in the game have excellent skins and vibrant colors. This is,
however, where the graphical beauty ends. You'll first notice it as you
find yourself moving from room to room, or shall I say, from large grey
box, to large dark-blue box. The buildings and other environments in this
game are so uninspired it looks as if the game designers had major bouts
of depression during certain parts of the building process. Most rooms in
this game contain maybe one or two objects, like a bench, or a generic
computer monitor, one or two doors, and lots of empty space. Holy
abandoned wherehouse Batman!

The sound is almost a complete miss as well. While sounds of Konoko
connecting with a punch or kick are realistic enough (in a Hollywood
action flick sort of way), most times the only other sounds you will here
are the clack of Konoko's shoes on the floors, or a hum of a nearby random
machine. Music usually consists of a quick bar or two when Konoko enters a
new part of a level, or where a section of plot is about to unfold. The
voice acting is above average, and some of the dialogue can be humorous.
My favorite bit of dialogue is between Konoko, and her Intelligence
contact - Shinitama. In an attempt at being more human, a large
Mother-Brain sort of computer demands to have a pair of feet installed on
it, or it will destroy an entire city. Some parts of the dialogue may be a
bit difficult to understand. While it isn't necessary to catch everything
said, it does add to the story to pay attention. You can turn on
subtitles, but for some reason, the font is extremely small, and hard to
read. It's almost impossible to read it all, unless you have a huge TV

Despite the graphical and audio problems, this game can be really fun.
Konoko is very agile and has a wide variety of pain-inflicting punches,
kicks, and throws at her disposal. She gains more moves as she progresses
through the game. My favorites include a throw where Konoko wraps her legs
around her standing opponent's head, and twists her torso to snap the
neck, as well as the now infamous (and painful looking) side-kick to the
back, which is accompanied by a satisfying CRUNCH. Weapons vary from
standards, such as the pistol and uzi, to some-what unconventional, like
an anime-like rocket launcher that fires 8 mini-missiles at a time, and a
cool beam gun. Konoko will slow down considerably when she has a weapon
drawn though, even with the pistol.

The game's fun level goes down sadly, as the game progesses from level to
level. There's not really much of a variety of settings, mostly just the
generic office buildings and wherehouses. Also, Konoko can usually handle
one or two enemies at once, but once she's attacked by more than two
enemies (which happens often), you might as well get up and make a
sandwich as Konoko takes her brutal beating. It'll be over even quicker if
one of the bad guys has a weapon. This game is almost impossibly hard to
get through. I gave up before I got to the end, so I had to give the
ending an arbitrary score of 5.

In Summary - A behind-the-back "sneak and beat" that has a few things to
enjoy, but not at $44.99.


Starwish Fantasy
by Pinguino []

I was a princess with a simple request
to find someone to love who loved me best.
I followed my heart into a maze of thorns;
a bad idea as I was loney and forlorn.
Agony can be silent or talk in a riddle.
My friends, now caught out in the middle.
The darkest days of peril hit my soul
Every line of sorrow etched firmly in coal.
One of my friends stood out from the rest.
I found someone to love who loved me best.
His eyes were gemstones that sparkled bright;
His heart made of steel glistened with might.
This was my knight in shining black dress
Here to protect his maiden in distress.
Patient with my fractured mind, he waits
Knowing that our joining must be fate.
How could one so perfect suddenly appear?
All this time I had nothing to fear?
I love my knight with all my heart
Nothing could possibly tear us apart.


Telus Caller Identification (CID) Routing Glitch
by The Clone []

This document has been written to point out and publically expose an
annoying, yet potentially exploitable caller identification (CID) glitch
within Telus' provincial and local routing system.

It is my understanding, after speaking with a couple of engineering folks
at the Telus Network Operations Center (NOC), that the routing glitch has
affected Telus since Caller-ID was first implemented provincially in
Alberta in late 1995.

It's obvious nothing has been done to solve this problem either because:

A. Telus doesn't want to spend a red cent of its multi-billion-dollar
yearly revenue on fix something that probably isn't a largly occuring
problem... in other words; a problem that isn't reported very often.

B. Telus doesn't know how to solve the CID-glitch issue.


This past weekend I made some international calls to a good friend of mine
in Australia with a couple of calling cards I had purchased the day
before. Eventually I was out of time, and the only way for me to
communicate with my friend would of course be to receive a phone call from
her. The first time she called me, she was on her Telstra mobile phone. I
let my landline phone ring three times (more than enough time for
caller-id to kick in), and to my confusion the call-display didn't show
the usual "Unknown Name, Long Distance"; instead my call-display showed
"Unknown Name, 424-2431".

After the conversation I had with my aussie babe from down under ended, I
told her to call me back on her landline in approximately one hour. I used
this one hour of free time to see if a theory on why her caller-id didn't
show up on my phone was correct. By using my other landline, I called the
line I was prev- iously using when talking long distance moments before
and only bothered to ring once... no caller identification showed up -
good. When the one hour mark arrived, my friend in Australia called me
back and I again let it ring 3 times. Did "Unknown Name, Long Distance"
appear on my call-display? Nope.

The information that appeared on my call-display was exactly what I
assumed it would be; my own landline name and phone number!

I'll summarize this:

Anyone calling your line who does not have any sort of caller-id block,
who dials your line but hangs up just before your caller-display can pick
it, will have their CID information flagged in Telus' routing table.

The next call that reaches your line from a person who does have caller-id
block on, will automagically push the flagged CID information from Telus'
routing table onto your line; thus showing the previous call's caller-id
instead of the current one on your call-display.

"A widely unknown CID-routing problem with Telus' CID routing?" Yes.

"Could a phreaker use this glitch to cause problems for me or my
business?" Have I just discovered and exposed another telco-vulnerability
for interna- tional CID/ANI diverting and social engineering? Yes.

NOC Contact Information -

Do you want more technical information on Telus'
Caller Identification (CID) Routing Glitch?

Telus Network Operations Centre (NOC) [Wireless):

Toll-Phree: 1-800-391-1391 (Clearnet)

Edmonton: (780)-944-4777

Telus Surveillance Switch Network Operations Centre (NOC):

Calgary: (403)-530-4052
Edmonton: (780)-441-7400


Still reading?! Get to work on that puzzle!!!! =)

Flippersmack (c) 2001 Flippersmack All Rights Reserved.

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