Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Programmable nightmares!

I treated myself a little bit last month when I bought a computer game called "Darksiders." Right away, it grabs your interest by bringing the biblical Apocalypse to Earth. According to the tale, Heaven, Hell, and Mankind were to have it out when the time was right, but SOMEONE brought it about too early, and human beings were wiped out...completely.

And who takes the blame? The main character, War. That's right! You get to play one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In the game, you return to Earth a century later to find the planet in ruins. So you have to go on a quest to not only find out who is REALLY to blame for the "premature apocalypsation," but also to gather up the tools you'll need to defeat the big baddie at the end.

One of the tools you find along the way, (and everything you find is REQUIRED in order to complete the game, or at least portions of the game), is the Mask of Shadows. This item allows you to see into the Shadow Realm, and use those things that you can suddenly see. Without the mask, it doesn't matter if you know where things can't use them. This includes something called a "shadow current." (Don't look at me. The designers of the game have a thing for shadows.) By leaping onto these things and using the ability to glide, called...*sigh*..."Shadowflight," you can reach great heights.

After investing 81 hours into the game, with some parts of the game played over again because of major screw-ups on my part, I reached the end of the game. The time had come to head for the big baddie at the end, and I equipped the mask of Shadows so I could see the Shadow Current and use my Shadowflight to reach the area I needed to start the very end of the game...

...and the game wouldn't let me use the Mask of Shadows. I tried everything I could think of. I switched items. They started behaving oddly, as well. I restarted the game. No help. I restarted the computer. That was also useless. Finally, I surrendered to the idea that I might simply have to restart the game from scratch, maybe give it one more attempt before completely losing my cool...

...and now Steam, through which the game runs, wanted to update. The problem there was that it would update to 99%, and then stop. Even after waiting for two hours, I was having no success running the update. I did...something, I can't remember what, and the update suddenly stopped at 26%.

But I wasn't ticked off just yet. A wee bit frustrated, but not angry. Upon the suggestion of my resident computer guru, Cody, I did a Google search for "steam update freeze," and found the potential answer. Those who were responding said that when they removed AVG, the virus scan program, the update ran without an issue. So all I had to do was remove AVG, and all would be well, right?

Well, it turns out that AVG is like herpes. Once you have it, there's no getting rid of it. I tried using the uninstall option on the program itself, and that didn't do anything. I tried using my computer's control panel, and that also did nothing. I went to AVG's site and looked up how to remove it, only to find some of the most useless instructions ever. Like saving the program to my desktop. That option never even comes up. Use the "uninstall this product" on the "select setup options" while running the installation program...? There is no such option. I tried simply dragging the program to my recycle bin, and it refused to move because it was running. Heck, it was running even when I'd disabled it. My final move was to put Steam into the programs AVG would overlook when it ran, and that proved as useless as everything else.

All I wanted to do was play my game. The game that I bought as a treat for myself. I don't do it often, and this was a good one, as I'd played it on the PS3 and had fun. Now I could play on my computer, meaning I could bring it with me when I finally moved in with Becky. Instead, I have a $44 piece of crap that was once an entertaining game, and an anti-virus program that appears to be a virus itself.

I think I need to open up my NaNoWriMo projects and kill some people on paper. The story doesn't actually call for anything like that, but it will certainly make me feel a bit better. And I think the characters' names that I'll murder will be "Steam" and "AVG."


Valiant Turtle said...

Try the avg remover utility on the page below and see if that does the trick. It was once a good piece of Anti-virus. Now it's a piece of crap. At this point the only free anti-virus I can recommend is actually Microsoft Security Essentials, which is surprisingly quite good for a MS security product.

Rob Meadows said...

It works, VT! IT WORKED!!!

Vicariously, you have cured herpes...of a sort. You're a hero to the sexually indiscriminate!

Seriously, thanks for giving me that link. It worked like a charm. Now I'm just bothered that the AVG site didn't direct me toward that corner of tools from the start. Instead, it gave me all of those worthless directions, and then asked if it had been helpful. My rant was...less than polite.

"Blue" said...

That's one reason I like Avast. I mean.... it's being annoying, you pause/stop the providers and once they're not being jerks (or the task they were being jerks to is done with) you just re-start them... and if you forget, they restart themselves next computer reboot anyways.