The box was dark gray with a nice matte finish. Inside, the drive was kept in place by a thick cardboard holder with this super-sturdy foam padding. The back of the holder contained a metal mounting bracket for the drive. I didn't need this, but it was a nice touch to include mounting hardware, and it made the package feel much more substantial. There was even a little sticker included. I know it's silly to put so much stock into the packaging of a piece of hardware, but when I bought my original SDD, I was surprised how boring and crappy the box was. When you buy a fancy new piece of cutting edge technology, you want the box to suggest the wonders contained within. I actually made a short film about building the new computer, in order to get some footage to test potential new editing software on. Maybe I'll post it someday, and you can see the other SSD's lame box.
Anyhoo... Chronsega 8 is going to be a pretty big episode, with several large, "important," games, and very little that could be considered to be total crap. There are, however, several games that I personally don't care for. One game that I do like a lot, is the one I mentioned last time, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap AKA Monster Land II (which would have been the Japanese title, had it been released in Japan.) To make matters more confusing, there was also an arcade game called Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, which received a TG-16 and Mega-Drive port. The Dragon's Trap also received a TG-16 port, but I don't want to make the issue any more muddled than it already is. The virtues of The Dragon's Trap have been detailed elsewhere, but I'll chip in my 50 cents as well.
The prior game in the series, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, introduced RPG elements - money, shops, armor, etc - to the series. But it still had a completely linear, SMB-like structure to the game world. WBiML also had a timer feature that greatly discouraged exploration and looking for hidden items. Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap ditches the timer, and requires you to do quite a bit of poking around for secrets. Instead of having a series of self-contained linear stages, WBIII:TDT uses a simple Metroidvania style structure. The game is invariably compared to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night due to its opening sequence. Much like SOTN, you begin WBIII:TDT in the last level of the previous game, Wonder Boy in Monster Land. Your character is fully leveled up with the best weapons and armor, and you replay the final boss of Monster Land, the Meka Dragon. After defeating him, you not only lose your equipment, but your stats and lifebar get downgraded to almost nothing. It's a surprisingly familiar moment to anyone who's played SOTN. Likewise, Metroid games usually start a similar prologue in which Samus loses all her abilities.
|In Mouse Man form you can walk on walls and through tiny passages.|
|The bird form will allow you to fly to secret areas and obtain the best equipment.|
Fianlly, as a bonus this post, I'm throwing in a bit of music. If you are a fan of Chrontendo, you must be pretty weird, so perhaps you enjoy music from off the beaten path. This is not Krautrock, but keeping with the Axis theme, here's a classic Japanese psychedelic/progressive obscurity, Flied Egg.
This is the title track from their 1972 ablum, Dr. Siegel's Flied Egg Shooting Machine, a mini epic of sorts, complete with a sing along chorus, groovy organ riffs, Zappa-esque goofiness, and sudden change in tempo and mood halfway through the song. A stone cold classic in my opinion, though some, such as Julian Cope, disagree. Enjoy!