Thursday, September 20, 2012

Summer's End

Things were slow around the Sparkle household today. I had the day off work so I'm cooked a big pot of chili (this is, Dr. Sparkle's patented signature super-hot chili.)  The stuff is basically a recipe for cardiac arrest, considering how much horrible, fattening stuff it has it in - like chorizo and beer - so I only cook it every once in a great while. It's also takes a few hours to cook, so its virtually an all-day project.

I'm also doing a bit of work on Chronsega 8. There will be some changes to the Chronsega series starting this episode. Just like Chronturbo, there will be a new animated introductory section. Things start getting tricky for the Master System at this point, since Sega pulled the plug on it in Japan in early 1989. Thus, every SMS game from here on out is either a US, European or Brazilian release.  The actual release dates for these things are completely unknown. Old videogame magazines provide clues, but sometimes the only hint is the copyright date on the title screen or box.  Heck, even determining the exact release date of Super Mario Bros. in the US is pretty difficult. So at times, Chronsega is going to be more like Randomsega.  Also, more older Chrontendo's will be uploaded to Youtube. I'm aiming to get a playlist for the 1987 episodes up next.

Coming soon, I think.

One last thing, before I sign off, I'd like to share with you the single greatest thing on the internet at this particular point in human history. Webcomics, as you know, are mostly terrible. There are a few exceptions; I love Whomp!, for example, but the majority of webcomics are pure crap, especially the videogame related ones. Tails Gets Trolled is a rare case of something that manages to be terrible, brilliant and baffling, all at the same time. It's an extremely elaborate piece of Sonic the Hedgehog fan-fiction, but it also functions as an example of 21th century art brut. The most obvious comparison might be to Christian Chandler's Sonichu comics, or even closer, the Sonichu parody, Asperchu. The art is often amateurish, and filled with spelling and grammatical errors, while retaining a certain level of self-awareness. Yet, over time, TGT has becoming compelling reading, with its storyline gradually expanding into a sweeping epic as more characters and subplots are folded in.

TGT began life on the author's Deviant Art account, then was discovered by the Something Awful forums. Confused at first, the SA community quickly warmed up to the series, resulting in fan art, musical tributes and video adaptations.  Much of the appeal is due to TGT's liberal use of videogame and cartoon characters, and giving them very non-canonical back stories and personalities. For example, Mario is a driven, Machiavellian schemer bent on revenge; Knuckles is a constantly-stoned idiot; Kermit the Frog and Hello Kitty are dedicated troll-fighters. The plot moves in completely unexpected directions, and there are many genuine surprises and edge-of-your-seat moments. As several SA posters have pointed out, it's far better than the recent official, canonical Sonic the Hedghog stories from Sega.

There's a few ways you can experience Tails Gets Trolled: you can watch the story unfold gradually on the Something Awful post that made TGT famous.  Or can you view every strip on the fan-curated Wordpress site.  Or you can watch the fan-made videos (with professional quality voice acting.) Prepare to be amazed.


Unknown said...

I know I commented on this earlier but since then I have seen some interviews with the creator of Wonder boy 3 the Dragons trap. Westone was a Japanese developer, does tha mean that tha this game was made in Japan but never released there? Actually checking Wikipedia tis appears to be the case. Although it did have a Japanes game gear release. Are there any other Japanese developed games for the Master system that never got a Japanese release?

Unknown said...

Speaking of Wonder Boy here is a good interview with Ryuichi Nishizawa, one do the founders of Westone about the Wonder Boy series.

ShaneWM said...

OMG, Tails Gets Trolled is killing me!

Discoalucard said...

There's a ton of JP SMS games that were developed in Japan but only published overseas (or only released in Japan for the Game Gear). Master of Darkness, Psychic World, Running Battle, at least a few OutRun games (though OutRun Europa I think was maybe done in Europe), Dynamite Dux, Laser Ghost, Line of Fire, Psycho Fox, Basketball Nightmare, the list goes on and on.

Wonder Boy III (AKA Monster World II) was going to be released in Japan, but the plug was pulled by Sega on the whole system over there, so it only snuck out as an overseas release. If you run an emulator using the ROM and put the system into "Japan" mode, you can even see the original title screen.

Also, please post the chili recipe!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Cool I never tried that with the ROM. Loved that game, Monster World 2/Wonder Boy 3: The Dragons Trap. Alot of those late Master System games I never got to see because I moved on to the Genesis already. Only reason I saw WB3 was the friend I sold my SMS to bought it. I always wanted to see if Psycho Fox was any good or Dynamite Dux for that matter.

Also I didn't realize you were the guy who ran Hardcore Gaming 101. (Discoalucard) Love your site. Especially the treatment you give series of games or themed games. Great stuff. I'll have to listen to some of your podcasts sometime as I havent gotten around to it yet.

Doctor Sparkle said...

Yes, I remember seeing the interview with the guy from Westone a while back. I was quite surprised to find out that Westone owned the Wonder Boy character. I always heard that Sega owned the character, hence Hudson changing using different characters in all their ports.

In Chronsega 8, we'll be seeing the Japanese version of WB III, due to the better sound.

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