Monday, October 27, 2008

Austin's own Amanda Lepre Perorming the Wizards And Warriors Theme


Admin Note: Turns out this was an early rehearsal of what became the awesome Austin video game tribute band Descendants Of Erdrick. Again, shweet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Excellent TI-99 Cartridge Rarity Guide

Here is an excellent rarity guide resource for cartridges for the Texas Instruments TI-99 system. Includes details on peripherals used, whether or not it included speech synthesis, and screenshots as well!

It's really graphics heavy. If you're more into text, and want a different opinion, this seems to be a popular and heavily mirrored resource as well.

Surefire Way To Triple Money You Already Have, Without Investing!

Let's face it. The current economic times are shaky. But I was recently clued in by a recent email about a fact overlooked by the media:

Apparently the dollar has fallen so low, and the bullion value has risen to the point where pennies are now worth more in copper than their currency value!

They're the only non-fiat currency we have left in this country! Empty your piggy banks before they drop the grid on us! AAAAAAUGH!

Just kidding. Don't go trying to melt down your pennies - First of all, it's a hoax. And it's not just a hoax, it's illegal. And it's not just illegal, it won't work.

Pennies made before 1982 are worth a fraction of a penny more in copper, but you physically couldn't carry enough to make a significant profit (a 24-ounce bottle, filled to the brim, is about $16 worth of pennies which would rake in about $4 profit, roughly).

Anyway, forget about all of that. What I'm about to suggest is perfectly legal, definitely has the potential to at least triple money you already have, and could be used as an excuse to spend an afternoon with family (or a really boring date)...

This, my friends, is a "wheat penny". Instantly identifiable, even common wheat pennies are worth 3 cents to collectors, as long as they are in reasonably good condition. And there is still plenty of them in circulation. As a personal experiment, I went through the change bucket in my room, which had about $8 in pennies. In about 10 minutes, I found I had 5 3-cent wheats and even 2 5-cent ones! It may not be worth your time to dig around your house for a couple of extra cents worth of coinage, but if it's something you keep an eye out for and seperate as soon as a cashier hands you change, it can quickly add up!

Happy hunting!

Current Wheat Cent Prices.

Current Bullion Melt Value Of American Coins.

Baconaisse, Because Everything Should Taste Like Bacon.

The new, hip sandwich spread, from the guys who make Bacon Salt.

Snagged from Boing Boing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bobcat Goldthwait Talking About Nirvana

Bobcat Goldthwait discussing opening for Nirvana during the In Utero tour on the Bob And Tom show, April 11, 2007. I have yet to find the video of him rapelling nude on YouTube. I guess it's for the best.

Funny 23-Minute Long Play Of Custom Super Mario Bros Level

"Super Mario: Frustration" is right! Apparently this was a video found on, and the commentary was added after the fact. But the truth is, it's pretty damn funny.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Huge (But Incorrect) Collection of American Flagg Comic Book Covers

This site chronicles the covers of Howard Chaykin's excellent (some, specifically me, would say masterpiece) comic book series American Flagg. If you've never heard of it, the story involves a group of steampunk-ish officers of a Ranger Squad (Plexus Rangers) and specifically a ranger named Reuben Flagg (who joined the force after playing one on television) and an incredibly tangled series of bureaucratic catastrophies that would be impossible to summarize (to give you an idea, his cat becomes mayor around issue 31).

If at all possible for you, it's worth checking out. As you can see from the covers, the artwork is gorgeous (especially the early issues), and it's satire of a sex and celebtrity obsessed culture choked with crooked officials is dead on.

Unfortunately, the collection on this website is incorrect, and instead of showing the covers of the first 12 issues of American Flagg, it is showing the first 12 covers of Howard Chaykin's American Flagg a later 12-issue story arc from 1988.

Live Action Duck Hunt!

From what I can gather, this is from a skit performed at an anime convention in Boston earlier this year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

WTF Is Going On Here? - Part 2

It looks like it's NSFW, but it's actually PG. No clue what is going on though.

What Andy Griffith Thinks Of Modern Information Gathering

I know even the meme of using this clip is kinda old, but it's still so hard to believe the country has swung so far to the right that cornball down-home wisdom from Mayberry sounds downright, um, liberal... almost leftist.

Free Dr.Pepper To Everyone (But Slash And Buckethead)!

First of all, no I am not getting money for this =P

Second of all, I know the whole "Dr.Pepper Will Give Everyone In America A Free Soda If Guns'N Roses Releases 'Chinese Democracy' This Year" is kinda old news by now too.

I just got through reading the text of the press release (link above provided by the obviously devoted fan/Dr.Pepper marketing agent responsible for the website 'Chinese Democracy When?')

Couple of things caught my attention, and actually gave me a little chuckle:

1) Apparently Slash and Buckethead are excluded, and will not get a free soda. Slash's response is here.

2) The wording itself is pretty humorous as well. Can't speak for everyone, but being told an album is "Dr.Pepper for the ears" isn't exactly gonna make me run out and buy it.


Another Piece Of My Childhood (Aquarena Springs) Is Being Bulldozed.

When I was a kid, it wasn't really summer until the family made a field trip to Aquarena Springs, usually on the way to a bigger event (like the now-defunt Astro World).

It was low-key but still pretty fun, especially when I was smaller. Glass-bottom boats, light-gun gunslinging, playing tic-tac-toe against a chicken, mermaid shows, and a diving-swimming pig named Ralph!

It was corny, but it had character. It's a shame to think of it as gone. Although it's cool that they're endeavoring to restore the land to the state it was a century ago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rare Footage Of The Very First Ever 'Strider' Game

"Wait" you say, "that just looks like footage from a Japanese release of the Nintendo version of Strider! What's the big deal?"

Oh ye of little faith! You forget one thing:

There was no Japanese Famicom release of Strider!

This is a commercial for what would have been the Famicom release of 'Strider', which was never released because they decided on an arcade debut instead (the one we're all familiar with).

Here's a speedrun (like you didn't see THIS coming) of the Sega Genesis version, which stays true to the epic arcade anti-cyber-communist manifesto that is STRIDER.

Once the game exploded in popularity, easily becoming one of Capcom's most recognized franchises, the abandoned Famicom version (the ORIGINAL version of the game, mind you) was ported over to the NES...

And even with this guy instructing you how to skip half the game, you can easily tell that it is vastly different. Still an amazing game, and one of the best (uneasily wrestling the first Mega Man and Bionic Commander for the title) of the Captain Commando "Challenge Series" NES releases.

The Ballad Of River City Ransom 2

The excellent website Lost Levels, dedicated to covering games that weren't (not to be confused with the other excellent site Games That Weren't), regaled this excellent tale of Armen Casarjian and the unlikely tale of what could have been an excellent tribute sequel to one of the best games ever made, River City Ransom.

The story's not long, so I'll summarize. In 2003, when Armen was 21 and working for Atari, he found out that the trademark for River City Ransom was running out (for the love of God, how?), and on a whim applied for it. Lo and behold, he got it. After assembling a small team, they attempted to fulfill all our dreams and make a sequel for the Game Boy Advance.

And because nothing works out like the movies would make you believe, Armen found out at a convention that Atlus just then (a decade and a half after the first release) decided to make a sequel to River City Ransom on the Game Boy Advance. Cruel, cruel irony.

Against the recommendation of his lawyer, Armen and his scrappy little crew backed off with their project, considering they only owned the trademark on the title, and not the charachters, plot or music.

And now if you don't mind, I'm gonna Google how to research trademark expiration.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weezer and AMVs...

Ok, I know this is old, but does a real Faye Valentine exist? and Fooly Cooly is super rad!!

Lord British Is Hanging Out In Outer Space Right Now

When I was 11 years old, Richard Garriott was one of my heroes. Being a kid in the late 80s, I idolized a lot of people (Ronald Reagan, Stephen King, Vanilla Ice, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) that today might seem laughable (actually, Eastman and Laird's TMNT still kinda rocks, so I take that back), but no matter what, my respect for Richard Garriot has NEVER wavered.

He personally created and programmed (I would venture to say) the most innovative, seminal computer RPG since Collossal Cave/Adventure. He then built the success of that game (Ultima) into an amazing Austin-based computer game empire (Origin Systems) that had a good run of nearly dominating the genre. Anyone else ever went to the Origin System's HQ for their Halloween haunted house? If not, you totally missed out.

Anyway, I've idolized this cat for nearly 20 years and he's in space now! How awesome is that!

Rar =)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Death By 8-Bit Zombie

The infamous "Death By Zombie" ending from the game "Uninvited"; the NES and Atari ST versions.

123456 POKEMON! New Lemon Demon Song!

Holy crap this song is still making me chuckle! And I totally approve of the newest addition of 8-bit crunch to the multi-layer 4 cheese lasagna that is the music of Lemon Demon.

Man am I going to be tormenting my friends and loved ones with lines from this track in the next couple of days...

In case you've never heard of Neil Cicierega (aka Lemon Demon), he's the guy that, at 15 years old, invented the video technique/genre Animutation, and before he turned 20 releasd a track ("The Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny") that became the #1 hit on The Dr.Demento Show for that year (video below).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Long Have Been The Days I've Wanted To Mash A Morphoid...

...nearly two decades in fact. Sometime in spring of 1989, in the back of a Video Games and Strategy magazine, I saw a short review of "Bashi Bazook: Morphoid Masher" and the above picture. And ever since, I had never seen any more than the above picture. But holy crap, did that look like a super cool game. Unfortunately, it was never released in the U.S. So I've searched and searched, and pretty much been given scarce information, and as always, the above picture.

All that's changed fairly recently. A while back I found THIS article, and the loads of screenshots which got me back on the chase. Then, paydirt!

A full on Long Play of the entire game.

Don't have time for all that? Here's a 13 minute Speed Run! That's right, a Long Play AND a Speed Run in the same article! Hey, after 20 years of searching, I want to share the wealth!

The Night The Teenagers Ruled The World!

I just found this great fansite for 80s B-Rated Zombie movie "Night Of The Comet". It's got everything; trivia, quotes, memoramblia, bios of the cast... Above is the trailer, voiced by Optimus Prime himself. Below is a fun vid by Pirated Video where they whittled the whole movie down to 10 minutes. It's full of spoilers, so don't watch it if ya wanna check out the movie for more than just nostalgia.

Oh, and of course DMK has 23 cars.

The Conet Project, And Why You May Wanna Hold Onto Your Old TV.

We pretty much all know by now that television is switching over to a digital signal next year, and without a converter box, we will no longer be able to receive our favorite shows. That's hardly news.

But what's gonna happen to that huge bandwidth of broadcast signal? It's not going to simply dissappear... There is plenty of speculation as to who is going to be using those signals, from cell phones to emergency broadcasts to homeland security.

What about those of us curious enough to hold on to our regular tvs, or happen to have some of those old-school radios that pick up TV signals? What do you think we may be able to find scanning those "unused" frequencies?

Have you ever heard of a Numbers Station?

Scanning the shortwave dial, occasionally you will come across a funny little robotic voice (usually female) reading off a series of seemingly random letters and numbers. Reports of accidentally finding such stations date back to World War I, which could make them among the earliest radio broadcasts. References to them have been used as plot points in films since Jean Cocteau's 1950 film Orphee, appearing in Red Dawn, Toy Soldiers, Vanilla Sky and the television series Lost.

Funny thing is, nobody (at least nobody you or I are likely to know in our lifetime) has any idea where these signals are really coming from, or what their purpose is.

In 1997, Iridial Disks released a 4-CD collection called The Conet Project a found-sound project based on the work of numbers station enthusiast Akin Fernandez. The collection has been circulating around the underground since. As of recently, Iridial has released the collection as a series of free downloads from their site.

It's highly unlikely that anything broadcast along these newly acquired frequencies would be broadcast unencrypted. Without delving any further into speculation, all we can do is hold onto our rabbit ears and see for ourselves.

Reactable Improvisation Demo

Excellent improvisational video by the guys that created the Reactable Demo video previously posted by Chad. Actually, it looks like all these videos are on the Youtube profile of one of the guys who made the thing.


Atari 2600 Rarity Guide

Provided by the excellent source of everything Atari (vintage and homebrew), AtariAge, here is an excellent rarity guide for collectors. It's a great source to roughly estimate how much you might have to pay to replace your childhood collection (HINT: usually not very much)

Or for someone such as myself to find that of my personal collection of about 140 games, only one rates even a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 for rarity. Meh.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

5 Most Brutal Deaths In The "Funny" Pages

Considering the impending death of Opus (previously known from "Bloom County" and "Outland"), I've deceided to chronicle the 5 most gruesome deaths in syndicated comic strip history.

Even in the "safe" confines of the "funny" pages, death is no stranger. Usually such tragedies are meant to humanize the series, and are usually played out with well-though out empathy (who didn't cry over the dead bird or the baby raccoon in Calvin and Hobbes?).

I'm not documenting any of those.

I found the five most cruel, senseless, or downright bizarre deaths in the history of comic strips. Here we go:


Chester Gould (Dick Tracy's creator) had little qualms about killing off bad guys. Legend states he actually maintained a miniature cemetary in his back yard, erecting a gravestone for every Dick Tracy villain that ever met his fate (and later adding gravestones for real life villains like Adolf Hitler and Mussolini). Within this top five, I want to submit the top 5 most brutal deaths in the Dick Tracy strip-

5) Queenie - Plunging into a steamboat's smokestack.
4) Gargles - Completely dismembered by falling panes of glass.
3) Jerome Trohs - Scalded to death in an outdoor shower by his mom.
4) Laffy - Bled to death by wounds suffered from a broken ether bottle, but he was laughing so hard he couldn't seek help.
1) Heels Beels - Hid in a prop soda bottle to evade capture. The soda bottle was lifted to a billboard sign 200 feet above the ground. With noone to hear his cries for help, he died of exposure and thirst.


This mustachioed, Chef Boyardee-looking individual pestered Mary Worth with his devotion, until after an intevention by Mary's friends (apparently so sick of her meddling in their lives, they wanted to meddle in hers), poor lonely Aldo got wasted and drove his car off a cliff. While at his funeral, Mary was asked if she was thinking of Aldo. Knowing the story arc was indeed at a close, Mary replied that her thoughts were actually on the handsome young doctor she met.

Aldo got served at his own funeral!


This beloved character spin-off of Tom Batuik's popular "Funky Winkerbean" comic strip met his end when Tom, as he was enduring licensing issues with syndication, took things into his own hands and drew in a gunman to blow the main character to pieces in front of thousands of funny pages readers.


Yeah, even Garfield himself. Even if it was an exploration by Jim Davis, you couldn't possibly make a list like this without mentioning a week of probably what might just about the most jarring, disturbing series of strips to appear in the funnies, especially in the mind of the average comic strip reader, besides...


Pulitzer Prize winning Doug Marlette was known for his syndicated comic strip "Kudzu", which ran for 26 years before the author's fatal car crash. A prominent gag in the strip was preacher Will B Dunn, whose strips had him eulogizing unnamed bereaved, while having a hard time actually saying anything good about them. As most professional comic strip artists turn in art nearly a month before it is published, the comic strip ran for nearly a month after his death, including a comic stip shortly after which portrayed Will B. Dunn presiding over the funeral of a man who had passed in a car wreck.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Brief History Of Rogue & ONE HUNDRED POSTS!!!

Ever heard of a little game called LEGEND OF ZELDA? Ever heard of a game called GAUNTLET?

Ever played a video game in your life where in real-time (not turn-based time) you moved some little nebbish through a maze to retrieve some treasure at the bottom and brought it back up to the surface?

If you've ever done anything like that in your life, hang loose for a second. I'm devoting my 100th post to telling you about the first computer game ever devised with that premise.

We're talking about the computer game "Rogue", the first 3/4 view (or at least that's how later 8-bit versions were rendered) dungeon-crawler video game ever.

Rogue was developed in 1980 by Michael Toy, Glen Wichman, and Ken Arnold. It revolved heavily on a library of routines developed by Ken Arnold that allowed direct cursor positioning, a library he called "curses". I didn't even know about the previous two guys until just now, mainly because the Apple II version (the one I used to play of course) was made directly by Ken Arnold himself.

Despite it's simplicity, it had endless replay value because every aspect of the game was randomized. No matter how good you were at the game, there was always the chance that a roll of some invisible dice would throw you into a completely doomed situation. That concept has always appealed to me.

Gauntlet was the first arcade release that truly captured the feel of Rogue - wait, no I'm lying. Berzerk would probably be better suited for that role. Oh, and Venture... man that game sure was underrated.

My favorite true-to-the spirit "Rogue" based game also turns out to be one of the last, "Dragon Crystal" for Sega Master System/Game Gear (game footage above). Not only do the mazes change each time you play, but each time you start over, all the items in the game are unlabeled and are just designated by colors, and you have to figure out by trial and error what is helpful and what is harmful. If I was stuck on a desert island with just one game, it would probably be Dragon Crystal (I'd find some way to smuggle Clash At Demonhead out there too, tho.)

Well, on that note, ONE HUNDRED POSTS!!!

P.S. If this blog interested you at all check this out. These guys are working hard to make sure every classic version of Rogue remains compatible with current computer systems.

They're Gonna Kill Opus!!! =[


I've LOVED the Bloom County comic strip series since I was 8 years old, and have been doodling him on book covers and homework assignments equally as long. It was literally a halfway point between the political commentary of Doonesbury (which I was a bit too young to understand, but was trying to with MAD Magazine) and the whimsy of Calvin and Hobbes.

Now it seems Berke Breathed, the creator, is ending his third installment starring the plucky penguin ("Bloom County", "Outland" and now "Opus") by literally killing him off.

“With the crisis in Wall Street and Washington, I’m suspending my comic strip to assist the nation. The best way I can help is to leave politics permanently and write funny stories for America’s kids. I call on John McCain to join me.”

Anyone familiar with my comic book series knows about my penchant for killing off characters and bringing them back with no explanation. It's a comic book staple.

But from what I'm reading, Berke seems pretty serious. I wouldn't put it past him to pull a John Darling on us. (Google it. I'll wait.)

In the interview he made for "Fresh Air" on NPR earlier today, Berke related that he was surprised by how sad he felt drawing the last strip.

It doesn't surprise me at all =[

Opus' last comic strip is November 2, 2008.

Zombie Versus Shark!

You know this is exactly what you were waiting to see all day, even if you didn't know it yet.

What can I say? I aim to please!

Admin Note: This clip is from the Lucio Fulci movie Zombi 2.

Updated Admin Note (05/2010): An imitation/overdub travesty of this viral vid is in the new Windows 7 commercial.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Masonic History Was Revealed To Me In A Video Game!

It's 1993, and I'm a reasonably normal, if moody, Southern Baptist high school sophmore. I can't remember and can't currently imagine how I wound up playing "Exile" (XZR 2) in Japan on the Sega Genesis. I mean, the basic premise is that you are playing a Muslim during the Crusades! Weren't they supposed to be the "bad guys"?

The game turned out to be an incredibly awesome and innovative side-scrolling RPG-adventure game (my favorite genre of games). It was even cooler when I managed to chase down the Turbografx CD version of the game, with added scenes and less censorship (The main charachter has a cigarette dangling off his lip the whole game! ROXORZ!)

Then I start to learn a little history, and things get weird. Turns out everyone in the game is based on REAL PEOPLE. Roughly.

You play Sadler, who is not only a Muslim mercenary, but an actual Hashishim. You know, the legendary renegade Islamic cult, followers of the Aga Khan sect founded by Hassan I Sabbah, that not only do we get the word "assassin" from, but also where we get the ridiculously innacurate idea that all Muslims believe that dying for Islam will give them a metric ton of virgins to hump.

The fact that Sadler rejected all of that (to the point of killing his leader/father in the previous game, never released in the US or on a system that has existed in 20 years) to become a cynical atheist with a penchant for hallucinogenic drugs (the latter being erased from the American releases as well) makes him, as far as I'm concerned, the coolest video game charachter EVAR.

During the game, you encounter the Templar Knights (as well as their leader Hugh de Payens, another major character), the ghost of Noah, Cathar Monks, Middle Eastern Mystery Cults, renegade Buddhist monk Nichiren... all while chasing this shape-changing MacGuffin called the "Holimax"...

then you are flung back in time to confront Mediterranean Mystery Cults, make allies with Pythagoras himself, and solve the murder of Hiram Abis - leading up to a final showdown in the Garden Of Eden Itself.

In short, twenty tons of historical awesome.

All names in the U.S. release are butchered and distorted, which somehow doesn't surprise me. I still find it hard to believe this game was ever released in the first place.

Strangely enough, though, shortly after this game was released in the US, a sequel emerged. One that inexplicably resurrected popular characters from the previous game, had legendarily bad play control, and dumped all the religious, political, and spiritual themes of it's predecessor.

Sometimes I think that the Illuminati infiltrated the company that released it and indulged themselves in making that sequel that totally took a crap on the previous games. It's the only logical conclusion.

Beck Hasn't Aged Well.

Yet again, the Church of Scientology has taken a scrappy young talent, full of charisma, and turned him into a bucket of crazy...

Just kidding. This is actually "Wanderin'", the first video from the ill-received Neil Young album "Everybody's Rockin". This was part of a series of experiments he made in the early 80s (his previous album Trans was a fascinating synth and vocoder heavy project spawned by noticing that his cerebral palsy-afflicted son reacted better to his voice when filtered with a vocoder).

His record label (Geffen) sued him after this album for making "uncharacteristic and uncommercial" albums. Legend says this move cost them being able to sign R.E.M., who cut off all contact with the label during the lawsuit and were snapped up by Warner.

Neil Young got sued for sounding TOO LITTLE like himself. Two years later, John Fogerty (from Credence Clearwater Revival) got sued by his publisher for sounding TOO MUCH like himself.

I'm kinda glad the mainstream Music Recording Industry is on its last legs.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The BEST Stage From Any Batman Game EVAR!

Actually, tho, this is a coveted and highly debated designation, considering the impossibly excellent Sunsoft NES "Batman" games.

This is stage 3-1 from the Sega Genesis game "Adventures Of Batman And Robin"... twenty minutes of straight holy-crap awesome. The whole fact that the stage is a (literal) "stage", with lights and gaffes and other theater crap crashing down on you is fun, blah blah blah and electrified gnomes or something...

But we know we're all waiting for what comes up at the 3:10 mark... I'll wait with ya, or you can move up the scrollbar to the MOST AWESOME MINI-BOSS fight that has ever existed.

Then, exploding bunnies. And giant mushrooms. And flame-spewing flowers. And more electrified gnomes than you can shake a stick at. And then, the game literally disentegrates into a full-on grand-mal seizure right before your eyes before the mini-boss appears.

And still, you're only half done.

Unfortunately, the second half is about half as inspired as the first half. Yes, I really did write that.

Anyway, a truly amazing and innovative boss makes his appearance at about 5:28. Catch up with me as you find appropriate.

One of the things that is kind of a shame about the prevalence of actual for-real 3-D graphics is that a boss stage like this cannot (or rather will not) be properly rendered ever again - this boss stage probably holds the position of being the last gasp of the "Space Harrier" engine... *sigh*

Let's see a more drawn out and dramatic playthrough of that boss-

There ya go. You can thank me later.

Space Fantasy Zone! Legendary Unreleased Game

Ok, so technically this was intended to be a game for the Turbografx CD System, the game itself was a mashup of two games licensed by Sega, which makes it Sega-tastic.

This game could have been awesome. The bright and surreal landscape, flora, and fauna of Fantasy Zone, with the gameplay of Space Harrier! Unfortunately, when the games were pressed, it turns out NEC didn't have all the licensing figured out and the game was shelved. A sad, sad story.

All we have to work with is the same 5 screenshots that a dozen other video game blogs have posted (so I'll abstain), as well as the above video. I'm also practically obligated to mention the mysterious bootleg ROM floating out in cyberspace that everyone seems to be able to get to work but me.

Sega Collector's Guild

Ratings, rarity/price guides, and detailed reviews for anyone looking to dip their toes into collecting, or at least acquiring a stash of old favorites!

Segagaga - Sega's Quirky Swan Dive Out Of The Console Race.

One of the last titles released by Sega for one of their own systems, "Segagaga" is a truly bizarre, post-modern romp where you are hired to help Sega win the console war.

That's right. In the Sega game you are playing, you are hired by Sega to help them make successful games. Makes your head hurt a little, don't it?

During the course of the game, you run into many, many familiar faces-

And encounter parodies of high-grossing games from the competition-

Haven't had a chance to check it out myself, but it looks like a fun romp as well as an opportunity for Sega to have gone out with a bang (shortly after the release of this game, Sega left the console race to focus primarily on games). However, I think American audiences should feel a little cheated to not have had this opportunity to bid farewell to our old friends.

Good news tho, THIS GUY has been working a translation patch, available for free, and utilizing professional translators.

A Crash Course In Sega's ORIGINAL Mascot (Not Sonic!)

We all remember Sega's mascot, designed to compete with Nintendo's ever-present Mario. A popular charachter that cavorted through colorful varied adventures, and whose image graced advertisements and inspired comics and...

What's that? You thought I was talking about Sonic The Hedgehog? Oh dear.

Gather around, children, and let me tell you about Alex Kidd...

Alex made his way through a dozen or so games on the Sega Master System and was retired after his debut on the Sega Genesis. Why was he less popular in the US than in Japan? maybe it had something to do with the fact that the Japanese games had him look like THIS-

And in America, he looked like this-

Really, which of these guys would you play a game involving? The dude who looks like Link from Legend Of Zelda throwing kung-fu? Or a fat, pasty, jug-eared doofus?

Next thing you know, Sonic entered the picture and Alex Kidd was demoted to being a checkout clerk (as depicted in the Dreamcast game Segagaga)

Poor guy; tough break.

All you ever wanted to know about Phantasy Star

I've decided today should be Segatastic Saturday! Why? I'm not all that sure. But let's roll with it.

In any case, for my first Segatastic article, I dug up two of the first websites I looked up as soon as the internet was available to me - a pair of excellent and thorough fansites to the seminal Sega "Phantasy Star" RPG series. Amazingly, they're both still around and fairly-regularly updated.

Most of us were exposed to the series because of Phantasy Star 2, one of the first cartridge releases for the Sega Genesis, and likely the first (or one of the first)console RPG many American children of the 80s had ever played - Dragon Warrior was released in the US the same year (1988) and the first Final Fantasy game was released a year later.

The first game was released on the Sega Master System, and is a coveted collectors item. It was known for being one of the first story-based console RPG releases in the United States on any system (1987, a year before Dragon Warrior), as well as being the first with a female protagonist.

The series continued with the epic Phantasy Star III, in which you play through the lives of three generations of characters, and the excellent wrap-up/reboot Phantasy Star IV.

For more (much much more) information, I present to you The Phantasy Star Cave and The Phantasy Star Pages. They contain scans, detailed walkthroughs, maps, fan art/fan fiction... In short, all you ever wanted to know about the series.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dragon Strike!

So, D & D got upset with HeroQuest's success in the early 90s and responded with their own board game introduction to the D & D world that included a VHS tape video to introduce you to this world.  This guy will explain it to you better than I can!

So you think you're a dork....

Did you ever play HeroQuest?  This was one of my favorite games as a kid.  It was for the dorks who were too dorky to find dorks to play Dungeons and Dragons with them.

Besides, I like Rush. Their music is very complex.

For all of you dorky RPG fans out there!  Don't kill a goblin, listen to Rush!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So You Think You're A Mashup Artist?

This is a fan-made video of a song John Oswald released over TWENTY years ago.

No Ableton. No MP3s. This song was made with TAPE.