THE STORY The 13 teams of two quickly race from a nearby subway station and up the centre of the streets meeting at Time Square, to an area cordoned off by velvet ropes and guarded by security and traffic personnel. Across the entire street, a thick white line has been painted. You are instructed to step up to this line, abreast with every one of your competitors. A large, multicoloured hot air balloon hovers above you, slowly swooning back and forth in the hot summer breeze. It is rigged to the ground - tied around a nearby streetlamp - and is also protected by the nearby security personnel. A young individual - Tim, your sworn enemy that stole from you in order to come up with this prize - arises from within the basket below the balloon, and begins to speak. "Here we are, in Times Square, New York City - one of the most popular destinations in the self-proclaimed capital of the world. Some of you have come from afar to be here, others of you call this city your home; whatever the case, it has been quite an adventure to get this far already." The 13 teams of two are shuffling their feet, already anxious, wanting nothing more than to get on with it. "Some of you are best friends. Some are siblings. Others are in relationships. Some have been forced together, with little to no prior relationship with each other. Even one pair of you claim to be "Incestial Grandmother's Niece's Daughter-in-law twice removed with Dracula fangs." There is some snickering and dirty looks given, but the majority of the pairs stand together, united. "In the coming months, you will follow myself on a race around the world, in an effort to catch me and reclaim your prize. Your challenges will come in many shapes and sizes. The ultimate goal each time is to successfully complete these challenges as fast as you can. Whoever does not goes home empty-handed." Tim surveys the group of twenty-six below, all weighed down with various backpacks and whatnot. "Mr Cat Dog. Kinel Ozoa. MahouShoujo13. LightShadow1890. AuroraSzalinski. Javeman. Kylewayne. Outlander. Kury Wagner. Lord Dalek. Otacon. Pupmon 4.0. Captain Zechs. CoolSSJEnergy. Red Giant. Weatherman. PaQ. Anime Guy. imisshostinCCF. Style 92. Colin. Guinaevere. Alex Toon. Welshie's Mate. daffy dork. Bearpod91. Welcome to the Amazing Race: Toon Zone." Tim ducks as one of the contestants below hurls a rock in my direction, hitting the wicker basket of the balloon. "You all know the rules. They will always be posted for easy reference." Tim holds up a checkered flag and leans out the side of the basket. "Play hard. Play smart. Play safe..." And, on cue, a giant rat crawls out of a nearby sewer grate and gnaws on the rope; the rope is severed and the balloon holding Tim begins to ascend out of Times Square. At that point, Tim drops the checkered flag. "GO!!!!!!" As the balloon continues to ascend and make its way through the concrete canyons of Manhattan, the 13 teams below dash across Times Square to the thirteen clues positioned on the other side. THE AMAZING RACE: TOON ZONE has begun. TimTwoFace's Notes After the Practice Leg, I think it's safe to say that you generally understand how to play. Remember, you can answer all of these questions at once in one PM, one at a time in seperate PMs, or in whatever combination necessary. I will not be looking at any corrections until after I have checked your initial PM to me; once you PM me any answers, don't bother sending them to me again until I get back to you. When I write back, I will tell you how far you have progressed. All of these PMs will be viewed by myself in sequential order. You know...first come, first serve, first place (if you're lucky). When you send PMs to me, either member of your team can do so; it doesn't matter to me which you designate as "leader" in this case. You could alternate if you choose, it doesn't matter - but only one person is necessary. Make sure you and your partner communicate well and are confident with your answers before sending them to me. Remember, every second counts! Also remember, SPELLING COUNTS, and as some of you are now aware, I'm pretty picky with my answers. (Recall back to the fact a number of you confused Ellis Island for Liberty Island in my practice round, and thought Queens was a different city than New York.) Remember, READ ALL THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE ANSWERING. PS - Just in case I didn't make it abundantly clear already, ALL PRIVATE MESSAGES FOR THIS GAME MUST BE SENT TO ME. Most weekdays I won't be around to check my PMs until the mid-afternoon. PPPS - LEG #1 WILL CLOSE SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2005, at 6pm PACIFIC TIME...or when everyone checks in, whichever comes first. ________________________________________ LEG #1 -Checkpoint A: In the official “Amazing Race” CBS program, this was the first North American city in the history of the show to be visited by the teams outside of the United States – and remember, this didn’t necessarily happen in the first edition of the show. It is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. It was home to either the summer or winter Olympics in 1968. One of the major squares in this city is known as the “Zócalo”. It is home to the “Angel of Independence”. To answer this clue, you must name the city, state/province/federal district, and country. CITY: STATE: COUNTRY: -Checkpoint B: In March 2005, this was the tallest tower in all of Latin America. Hop in a green VW - the popular choice of vehicle for a taxi in this city - and travel to this tower. To answer this clue, you must first mention the city, state/province/federal district, and country it is in; then mention the name of the tower and how many stories tall it is. CITY: STATE: COUNTRY: TOWER NAME: NUMBER OF FLOORS/STORIES: -Checkpoint C; PIT STOP: Travel westbound along the magnificent Paseo de la Reforma to this large park, located in the same city as Checkpoints A and B. It features an amusement park. It is home to this particular nation’s National Museum of Anthropology. The pit stop for this leg is a palace built within this park, once used by the Viceroys of New Spain and, later, refitted to be a Mexican military academy. To answer this question, you must name the city, state/province/federal district, and country in which it is located, the name of the park, and what the name of this park is when translated into English. CITY: STATE: COUNTRY: PARK NAME: PARK NAME TRANSLATED IN ENGLISH: THE LAST TEAM TO CHECK INTO THE PIT STOP WILL BE ELIMINATED.