Thom then showed us his desk and gave us a brief overview
of what his job was like. He fields calls from the call center, and helps people get through problems in
games and such. They have a vast
database with information for every single game on Nintendo consoles.
Within moments of getting your question, they have the information for
you. When Thom isn’t taking
calls, he’s playing through games to figure out more tips to help callers.
Thom Leonard hard at work
We were then greeted by Ali, one of the testers that we met
at E3 2000. She had been one of the
demonstrators (or as some would say, super cute undercover booth babe extraordinaire) of
Star Fox Adventures. Before we
could ask her about what games she was currently testing, she did this cool
Wonder Woman spin, and disappeared behind this door.
I got to learn how to do that.
That Mario statue is actually a machine
Yes, the testing area.
We unfortunately weren't privileged to step behind these doors.
We could only dream of the things happening in these areas.
It was pretty crazy to think that we were within 5 yards of the
Treehouse and internal testing facilities.
We knew the kinds of goods they had going back there, and it was hard to
choke back the tears as we walked away.
We even got to see Café Mario, the main cafeteria where
employees of NOA eat meals. Since
it was late, that was closed as well. I
just wanted some Yoshi Fries with my Shy Guy Burger.
We met up with Cory again, and got to see him at work as
well. They were training some
new staff to help with the heavy holiday load of calls they’ll get in the call
center. They were all high school
and college students. Man, back in
college, I would have traded that crappy bus boy job for this any day.
That pretty much wrapped up our part of the tour of NOA,
and we found our way back to the lobby. Since
the main office doors were locked, Thom walked us out the back.
He stopped and talked to someone and I was just looking around and
noticed the name plates for two people: Perrin Kaplan and Peter MacDougall.
Perrin wasn’t in her office, but Peter was, so I stuck my head in and
said a quick hello before we took off.