Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chrontendo Episode 2!

For whatever reason, I neglected to post earlier about the release of Episode Two. It was released a little while ago on archive.org. This episode can also be streamed. I've definitely been remiss in updating this blog. Heck, Episode Three is almost ready to go up, and Four is well under way.

Episode Two contains another 15 games, covering the rest of 1984.
Donkey Kong 3
Nuts and Milk
Lode Runner
Galaxian
Devil World
F1 Race
Pac-Man
4 Ninuchi Mahjong
Mappy
Clu Clu Land
Excitebike
Balloon Fight
Ice Climber

An interesting episode, as we get the first non-Nintendo developed games for the Famicom. Available to download here.

8 comments:

Jonathon said...

I'm currently watching this episode, and I heard you say in reference to Mappy that the name was just sort of a nonsense English name that didn't translate from the Japanese well, "like Pac-Man". I'm not sure if you were aware, but Pac-Man was actually originally called "Puck-Man" in Japan, in reference to the title character's perceived similarity to a hockey puck. However, when the game was brought to America, the name was changed to Pac-Man for fear that vandals were sure to change Puck's "P" to an "F". Just an interesting bit of trivia I picked up from the book "The Ultimate History of Video Games" by Steven L. Kent.

Aside from that, I'm glad that you're doing this series, as I had just decided to do the exact same thing, and then stumbled upon your videos at archive.org. Your background information is always very interesting. Good luck and keep it up!

Doctor Sparkle said...

Hey Jonathon,

Thanks for your comment. I hope you're enjoying the series. I have heard the Puck-Man explanation, though "back in the day" we had no idea what the name Pac-Man meant; it seemed like weird Japanese gibberish. Same with Donkey Kong, Mappy and lots of other Japanese games - there were various theories floating around as what the names meant. Though in those pre-internet days, baseless speculation was rife.

So if you are actually going to try to play every NES game, I wish you luck; please remove all firearms from your home in anticipation of the inevitalbe madness. It has recently addeled my brain to the extent that I have decided to add the Sega Master System to the project.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Funny, I often read the reason for the "puck/pac" thing was an onomatopoeia the Japanese use to explain the sound made by eating (i.e., Chomping) as the character does in the game.

DONKEY KONG 3:
At least you didn't make a sly comment over how obvious the scenario seems the way Stanley is practically spraying at DK's questionable region to keep from from climbing down!

GALAXIAN:
Namcot is the consumer division of Namco. The name continued to be used into the 90's (noticed it on Japanese PS1 games).

DEVIL WORLD:
Love this one. A while back there was some "Famiclone" devices sold at shopping malls that often had this game stuck in with several other released/unreleased Famicon games that were sold illegitimately for a while. The game did get a release in Europe however.

F-1 RACE:
Funny it wasn't released over here. Seems basic enough. Those of us who remember Pole Position would understand this type of race game too well.

PAC-MAN:
While the Atari version was a bust (let alone the 5200 tried to make amends to it), the Famicom edition for it's time was quite well done despite the differences in screen size and all that (the colors of the characters still come off slightly different from their arcade originals). There were two releases for the NES, one from Tengen and another from Namco.

Some of Namco's titles in those days were often licensed to other third party companies in the US I noticed (like Dig Dug II or Xevious through Bandai). I can only assume this might be due to them not having a US presence yet through a subsidiary that could handle such releases outside the coin-up machines (Namco didn't really get into that early on either since they had Bally/Midway and Atari release their games prior).

Many arcade versions of Famicom/NES games were often released under the "VS." hardware, and usually have the "VS." listed with their names.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Vs._System

Doctor Sparkle said...

I think Namco's hesitation to release games in the US for the NES may have had to do with their dislike for NOA's licensing restrictions. Namco and Nintendo seem to have butted heads a bit back in the day. For example, Namco was closely connected with Tengen; they rather quickly started publishing games for the TG 16 and Genesis; and I think they stopped stopped releasing games for Nintendo for a while in the early 90s.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I think Namco's hesitation to release games in the US for the NES may have had to do with their dislike for NOA's licensing restrictions. Namco and Nintendo seem to have butted heads a bit back in the day. For example, Namco was closely connected with Tengen; they rather quickly started publishing games for the TG 16 and Genesis; and I think they stopped stopped releasing games for Nintendo for a while in the early 90s.

Thanks for the added info, that was probably it as well.

Garrett said...

Part of Namco's absence from American publishing in the NES era has to do with their lack of an American subsidiary until the late '80s. All of their earliest titles were released by Bally/Midway (until Namco became fed up with Bally/Midway's string of unauthorized Pac-Man sequels), and then they partnered with Atari, starting with Pole Position. When Atari was split off into the arcade and home divisions, Namco purchased a stake in the arcade-only Atari Games. Then, when Atari Games created their Tengen home division, some Namco titles were released by Tengen (with Pac-Man and RBI Baseball, the US conversion of the first Family Stadium game, seeing a Nintendo-licensed release in 1988).

Doctor Sparkle said...

Garrett - From what I understand, Namco America began operations in 1978 or so. In fact, Dennis Wood and Hide Nakajima, the guys running Atari Games and responsible for Tengen, were former Namco America employees. Though I think Namco America was primarily involved in licensing rights for arcade games and Pac-Man cereal and that sort of thing. I guess this, combined with Nakamura's dislike of Nintendo, delayed Namco's entry into the US console field.

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