Holy dream come true Batman Batman Batman! Ryan announced a Chrono Trigger Endurance Run on Tested's Oktoberkast! HOLY SHIT! That absolutely is the best news I have heard all year. I simply can't wait. This has literally given a reason to live again. I'm really looking forward to this. I hope Ryan and Patrick form a dynamic team; I really want this to be awesome.
Oh man, I just watched an awesome documentary on Tetris called Tetris: From Russia With Love which details the fierce licensing war between Nintendo, Atari and Mirrorsoft. I had no clue that there was a messed up war for Tetris.I was aware though, that the game's designer, Alexei Pajitnov, got screwed out of his rightful earnings earlier on in the game's market history.
But what I found most satisfying was Howard Lincoln, former chairman of Nintendo of America. In the interview, he openly relishes his victory over Atari and mocks them thus: "We didn't take advantage of them, they were incompetent businessmen; it was competent business men taking advantage of incompetent businessmen." Also, after having secured the deal, Mr. Lincoln quipped: "When we flew back across to Seattle, every time I looked at Arakawa* or he looked at me, we started laughing because we knew we had not only the hand-held rights but we had the home video game rights as well and at the same time, we found a way to really hand it back to Atatri games." And he says it with smug self-satisfaction; that's how Americans get things done: balls! Also, on Nintendo's cease and desist order forcing Atari to stop selling Tetris games, he admits with glee: "[...] knowing full well that they would go nuts."
Quotes: "Back in America, the battle for Tetris was just beginning. A jubilant Nintendo plunged the knife in."
"Like stopping a tank with your hands." -- N. E. Belikov, official in charge of granting distribution rights, describes the the pressures of the Soviet system.
Tetris: From Russia With Love, a must see for video game fans.
*Arakawa, Minoru. Former president of Nintendo of America.
Coincidentally, as I was checking out a computer fixing course, I happen to find Ubisofts' MoCap studio in Montréal. It was a neat surprise, like accidentally walking in to a movie studio's back lot. The studio is located in the former Angus Shops where they use to build locomotives... from scratch!
I'll try to get some pictures. The Angus Shops were HUGE. in 1992, they closed down and the city used the land partly for housing (condos of course) and partly for business. There are many enterprises located there now, for example the now defunct Icestorm Studios where the movie 300 was shot.
A city withen a city built by the industrial technology which defined the 20th century has now become the home of digital technology which will shape the 21st; kinda poignant.
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Another bit of Nintendo Power nostalgia I have conserved is the character cards they sometimes printed. These cards featured characters from popular Nintendo games on the front and information on the back.
Some characters from Street Fighter Alpha 2. The Alpha series were a breath of fresh air for the franchise and I played the hell out of SFA2 on my SNES (which hasn't turned yellow... YES!)
I think I only played Super Mario RPG as a rental and I didn't understand it: i've always had trouble with turned based RPGs (which is why I love Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door; the turned based fighting being very easy to learn.)
Sharks are cool, therefore this game is cool.
Here are some bosses from Yoshi's Island.
Watch the fuck out for these bastards!
These wanted posters'll give you the skinny.
In 21XX, these are the assholes Rockm... I mean, Megaman has to deal with.
And last but not least.
Before 3D was 3D, there was the Virtual Boy... and it sucked. It also cost Gunpei Yokoi his job. Being the party newspaper, Nintendo Power obviously made a big deal about the VB. In fact, they made a 3D cover featuring the VB replete with slick transparent 3D glasses (not the old red and blue kind) and the above cards which could be viewed with said glasses. As a kid, THAT WAS AWESOME. I watched TV with those glasses and used them to view certain other magazines in 3D... (how long do you think it took me to realize I could do that?) But, I had to be stupid and lend them to somebody so he and his friends could use them when they got high, needless to say, the glasses were gone (any surprise that guy is now a follower of Lindon Larouche?)
That reminds me... What ever happened to Virtual Reality, you know, how in the 90's we were told that we would soon use equipment that would simulate being in another world? Didn't really happen did it? I mean, Jeff Fahey didn't take over the world like he was supposed to. Oh well, maybe if I wear a Power Glove and a Virtual Boy whilst playing The Sims with Tron and Reboot on in the background...
Well, those are all the NP cards I kept. I have some NP posters but they're too big for my scanner , will work on it.
Not satisfied with controlling the information about your own games? Why not sell some merchandise?
I bought Player's Guides and the Mario 64 soundtrack. In the second GDC 2011 Bombcast, I think it was John Vignocchi who said that in grade school he had bought the Killer Cuts Killer Instinct soundtrack and a KI medallion; I must confess, I contemplated buying that medallion from the subscribers only catalog and that N64 System House could've been handy.
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As much as Nintendo Power was a self-serving mouth piece, their Player's Guides were great. I still have my Ocarina of Time PG with a foreword and Link sketch by Shigeru Miyamoto. And the whole PG is written in the past tense and reads more like an epic than an NP. I fondly remember my Donkey Kong Country NP PG (where you learn how to get 101%, the B-R-R-A-L 50 lives trick and the hidden cannon barrel that lets you finish a mountain level easily; if you'll forgive an old man's teary eyed nostalgia... Fuck I miss those days! Player's Guides were works of art, but progress a.k.a. the Internet, marches on.
Ever wonder how people renewed subscriptions before the Internet? Well, if you were subscribed to Nintendo Power Magazine (the video game equivalent of Pravda) you would receive a letter imploring you to renew. What? An actual letter, with my name on it and everything? Whoa! That's grown up stuff.
Signed by Gail Tilden and everything! They even got a kid you looks like that kid from Home Improvements. But wait! What if I want a FREE Player's Guide? Well, just follow the instructions and stick Body Harvest's J-Bomb's head where indicated.
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