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Topic: Review: Final Countdown by Rafael Czaja
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (May 17, 2010 02:50PM)
You may know him better as King of Diamonds here on the Café. Either way, Rafael has released a VERY nice effect called Final Countdown. It is a fun effect and quite off-beat, and for those of you seeking a packet effect that hits harder than a Lou Gehrig line drive and everything is examinable, you HAVE to check this out!

Effect: A card is selected and outjogged from a deck which is then put on the table.
Now, you bring out a packet of five prediction cards that you show back (all
reds) and front (all differents), saying one of them must be the selection.
You explain that the cards will help you, not to find the right one but to
eliminate the four wrong ones!
After some magical gesture:
– One card gets a cross drawn onto its face.
– The back of a second card turns blue.
– A third card reverses itself.
– A message appears on the back of a fourth card saying: "NOT THIS
You're left with one card, let's say the King of Diamonds. The selection is
revealed for the first time; it is the King of Diamonds!

This is really a strong effect and really fun to do. Whether you are a hardcore knucklebuster or someone still feeling your way along the misty murky mysteries of sleight of hand, this effect is deserving of your attention.

The main thing that struck me about Final Countdown (and Knocked For Six) is the clarity of instruction Rafael presents. Part of his excellent instruction also addresses a pet peeve of mine. Have you ever worked on an effect and your hands are holding the pack in some strangely contorted position and the instructions state to look at figure 5 on the following page? Grrrr!!!! I have thrown my back out and my liver has hemorrhaged when having to do this. Not so with Final Countdown. Rafael's instructions and clear color photographs accompany you perfectly in the learning process. So, yes, to those of you who prefer to print your e-books, you will NOT be turning pages and giving your chiropractor and/or internal medicine practitioner a call! :)

Rafael points out his "handedness" at the beginning of the manuscript, so, do expect reversed images of cards. This by NO means detracts from the learning process. Fans of Darwin Ortiz are already accustomed to this.

The sleights involved are NOT tough, and each one makes sense in the context of the routine. The structuring of this effect is very good and the skill set well within the reach of any magician with a bit of basic sleight of hand skill - that means you need not worry about Top Card Cover Passes, Greek Deals, and 17 perfect out Faros.

I bought this and Knocked For Six after reading the praise given by Peter Duffie, Scott Guinn, and Cameron Francis. THESE guys have SERIOUS "street cred" in my book - and a lot of my money too :P

Well, suffice to say the praise given is well deserved. The price is right for a truly STRONG effect that leaves you clean at the end.

Superb job Rafael!!!

Message: Posted by: KingOfDiamonds (May 17, 2010 04:24PM)
Wow, thanks for the review!

Packet tricks are overlooked by many magicians but this one is really strong especially because a lot of magic happens with a few (ordinary) cards and you end clean.

And glad you also "loved" Knocked for Six. Really appreciated. :)
Message: Posted by: KingOfDiamonds (Oct 14, 2010 08:23AM)
I've just updated the PDF file with an alternate handling by Mr Cameron Francis!

If you have already bought it through lybrary, you should have an updated file in your Digital Shelf soon.

If you have bought it through me, pm me with your email adress and copy/paste my final Note (the last paragraph).

Feel free to spread the word on other forums! :)
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Oct 14, 2010 07:41PM)
I wrote my review back in May. This IS a great effect folks, and Cameron's handling is a joy as you would expect from Cameron Francis.

Message: Posted by: vinsmagic (Oct 14, 2010 08:17PM)
Is there a demo n??/
Message: Posted by: KingOfDiamonds (Oct 16, 2010 10:09AM)
Message: Posted by: KingOfDiamonds (May 6, 2017 03:24AM)
I've uploaded a new video demo using a new, simplified handling of my own.