We are currently between episodes of Chrontendo, so I'd like to take a moment to answer a couple questions that I get in the comments from time to time. In other words, this is a literal FAQ, unlike the vast majority of so-called FAQs out there. Which makes me wonder -- why, in the video gaming world, do we call an unofficial, thoroughly detailed set of instructions for playing a game a "FAQ"? A "walkthrough" I can understand; but a FAQ? Most of these things contain no questions at all, much less frequently asked questions. Perhaps years ago GameFaqs was started by some guy who was tired of people constantly asking him how to perform MK II fatalities or something, and it just grew from there?
Hey... anybody out there have the "nudality" code?
Every subculture has its own special terminology and nonstandard uses of common words. Another very strange usage I see a lot in writing about video games is "franchise," as in, "Microsoft's Halo franchise." It seems impossible to talk about Mario, Zelda or any other video game series without using the word. I've done it myself many times. But why do we call a game series (or the totality of games based on a certain character) a franchise? Strictly speaking, the word franchise means a right that has been granted to someone. Hence the phrase, "disenfranchised voters," referring to those whose right to vote has been taken away or compromised. In the business sense of the word, it means to right to manufacture or sell a company's goods. McDonald's is called a franchise because they will allow you open up a restaurant with their name on it and sell their sandwiches (in exchange for a $45,000 fee and a chunk of the profits.)
Microsoft certainly doesn't go around granting people the right to make Halo games. Nintendo has occasionally allowed other companies to make Mario games (probably a bad idea,) but you can't walk up to Mr Iwata, hat in hand, and say, "I'd like to apply for a license to make my own Mario games, sir." So why do we insist on calling these things franchises? Other forms of mass culture do this as well (e.g. the Star Wars franchise.) When and why did we start using this word in such a bizarre fashion? How have "series" and "franchise" become interchangeable?
This is what happens when you let just anyone use your characters.
Anyway.... enough ranting. On the FAQ part of this post.
Are you going to be covering unlicensed or unreleased games?
In some form or another, yes. Probably in their own special episodes. We are technically already covering unlicensed games from Tengen, but releases from other companies such as Color Dreams or all those weird Asian companies like Sachen are a diffferent story. Since no one seems to know much about the release dates of those games, it would be difficult to integrate them into the main series. There's also too damn many of them, so I'll probably just play the more interesting titles. But you can look forward to Dr. Sparkle talking about Cheetahmen or Bio Force Ape at some point in the future.
A totally accurate depiction of someone playing Action 52 for the first time.
Will you ever be covering handhelds such as the Game Boy?
I can't imagine myself taking another project of that magnitude. Plus, I don't think most Game Boy games have enough visual appeal, being in monochrome and all. GameBoy-tendo would be really boring looking. However... feel free to start your own chronogaming series on the Game Boy!
What's the music that plays in each episode?
The opening is UFO by ESG.
The between game music is Tin Cans (Puerto Rican Remix) by Tortoise
There is a longer version of the between game music I sometimes use. Technically the track used is 3030 by Deltron 3030, but 90% of the music in that clip is sampled from an old classical/electronic fusion album called Lux Aeterna from William Sheller, who later went on to make a lot questionable pop music.
Seriously, does he have his tie tucked into his pants in that video? Someone should try to bring that back into style.
Lastly, the end music is a live version of "Vitamin C" by Can. For the longest time I couldn't remember exactly where this track was taken from, but I have finally found it again - it was from a May 1973 performance in Paris. This version has a wild guitar part which doesn't have a counterpart on the LP version of Vitamin C, so the clip I used isn't easily identifiable. Going forward, I'll list the music details in the credits of each episode.
Are you ever going to fix Episode 7?
Yes, I swear. It's just that Ninja Hattori Kun is such a boring game I can't think of much to say about it. Also, I'm biased against that game since "Ninja Hattori" is one of the top search terms that brings people to this site by accident It's quite surprising, the sheer number of folks who come in from this picture in Google Images. I don't think this site is quite what they were looking for, but who knows? I'm just baffled at how many folks are looking for info on Ninja Hattori Kun.
Oh, yes... if you're wondering about Episode 38: it is coming along pretty nicely, though the massive 1988 computer game roundup will slow it down a bit. I'll post a preview before too long.