Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dr. Sparkle's been out sick

Hey kids, Dr. S has been lying low for the last ten days or so due to some unplanned cold and flu action. This has put a bit of a kink in my schedule for Chronturbo, but things should start moving again before too long.

So, in the meantime, I've updated the links a tad, adding the new retrogaming podcast, Pixel Dreams, as well as the well loved Retronauts blog from 1UP.

One thing I mused about while playing Metal Gear, is why, whenever your video game hero gets captured, does all his weapons and gear get conveniently stashed in a nearby storage room? If I were a video game villain, after capturing any heroes I found sneaking around my top secret base, I'd have all their weapons, health refills and pilfered key cards tossed in the incinerator. I would definitely NOT place everything unharmed in an unlocked room 20 yards from where I imprisoned aforementioned hero. This immediately stuck me a rule that should be in the Video Game Evil Overlord Top 100. If bad guys followed even 1/10th of these rules, you would never beat any video game. I've added Socks Make People Sexy to the links, in case anyone's not familiar this this awesome site.

Lastly, a word about Sunsoft. Last episode, I speculated over the surprisingly high production values in Ripple Island and noted the name Tokai Engineering in the credits - a name that also appears in some later good quality Sunsoft games. Unfortunately, actual details about what exactly Tokai Engineering was are pretty scarce. CRV pointed out an out 2Chan post stating that Tokai was merely some sort of shell company.

However, a bit more information about the old days of Sunsoft can be found the Game Maker Vol. 2 DVD, recently covered in Retronauts. The DVD contains an interview with Atsushi Sakai, former programmer at Sunsoft. Sakai discusses such gems as Atlantis no Nazo and Mitokoumen... but it appears that the first game at Sunsoft which Sakai was completely responsible for was Ripple Island! He also mentions Super Spy Hunter, Ufouria and Gimmick, in the interview, so I assume he was involved in the programming on those as well. Was Sakai Sunsoft's secret weapon? A transcript may be found here.


qaylIS aka Nicolas Deußer said...

Man, as you began to talk about the idiotic idea to move the equipment of the captured hero in a nearby room, I just thought about putting the Evil Overlord 100, but you beat me to it.
Though, there is something which I realised which happens frequently in J-RPGs: The Hero gets imprisoned, and keeps all his equipment (!!!). It happens in Final Fantasy 5 (I think it was 5...there are so many of them...), it happens in my beloved Chrono Trigger (the first time you get imprisoned (in Guardia Castle) you still have everything in your inventory, so you can lure the guard in and fuck him up, while the second time (I hope I am not spoiling this to anyone), when you are in Daltons Air Ship, everyone looses their stuff and you need to track the equipment of every sucker, AND the misc party items) and the third example...I just forgot (hard day at work), but I think there are numerous examples for this.
When I remember I post it in the comments, so stay tuned =)

Doctor Sparkle said...

Its funny you should mention that, since an early example happens in Dragon Quest III, which I've been working on recently. Your party gets tossed into a castle jail cell with all their equipment intact, including a key that can open any jail door in the world! Obviously, escaping is not much of a problem. Of course, it also happened in Phantasy Star, when a robot guard imprisons you. Though this leads to the question of why exactly your very well armed and powerful party lets themselves get captured by a couple lowly guards.

And about Hasselhoff, yeah, I figured you weren't the Hasselhoff type. But his purported popularity in Europe is sort of a running joke for Americans. There's a certain subset of young American guys who, if you were to ask them to name one fact about contemporary Germany, would only be able to come up with "David Hasselhoff is really popular over there." I guess that fact that someone like Hasselhoff had a music career overseas is surreal enough to stick in the minds of a lot of Americans.

And no, I don't have the swine flu, but I did get RSV which at this point is like having a really long, drawn out cold.

Qun Mang said...

Thanks for the link updates. Get better soon!

qaylIS aka Nicolas Deußer said...

Hey, no hard feelings about Hasselhoff Doc, there are some things about music I don't get...for example the swedish Symphonie Metal Band Therion was extremely popular in Mexico, which I never understood. I liked the band, but it didn't fit into my picture of mexicans at all. An little example of their popularity: They scheduled an concert in Mexico City, and it was sold out in days...so they scheduled an 2nd event, just a day after the first...which was sold out as fast as the first one. Then they wanted to schedule even a third one, but they couldn't attend...food poisening.

Also the german fun metal band Edguy is popular with the mexicans, though they have a complete different style as Therion.

There are numerous examples of these, and not just in the metal scene...but i guess you know these, since you mentioned you had some affiliations in this business.

So, I am currently watching Deep Space Nine on my second monitor while writing, and I am still wondering why it is so hard to get the 2 Albums of the Klingon Death Metal Band Stovokor...talk about small niches =)

Doctor Sparkle said...

Stovokor, huh? I've never seen them, but they've played shows in my town, one of which was documented for the movie Trekkies 2. My hometown is noted for having two Star Trek themed bands, No Kill I and Warp 11, as well as several spin off bands. So I think we're the Star Trek music capital of the world.

drew said...

thanks for the shout out! feel better man.

killias2 said...

Phantasy Star III also has a prison scene early on. In fact, you can bug the game if you buy an escapipe and break out before you're 'supposed' to.

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