King’s Quest

I may or may not have purchased the King’s Quest Collection one inebriated night over the holidays.  Perhaps browsing Steam’s holiday sale while tipsy was not wise for my wallet, but after having played a few hours it was definitely good for my mental well-being.

A quick word of caution to any Nostalgeria readers looking to follow my same path—it took a while to find the right dosbox required to make the games playable.  The edition sold on Steam is not entirely compatible with Windows. The link to make it work is below, but go to it sober.  Remember: friends don’t let friends buy outdated software and/or drunk-dial their childhood (at the same time).

As a child of the 1980s I look back on the King’s Quest games with a fond remembrance.  Many hours of my youth were spent huddled in front of our Commodore Amiga directing Graham across the various screens until I invariable drowned him in a lake.  In fact, now that I think about it I spent most of my time getting him killed instead of actually accomplishing anything.  Hello, God complex.

I am sure my dad was thrilled that his Amiga, which was originally purchased for him to work from home with, had been taken over. I practically turned into Smeagol each time he came near my precious.

The game I am probably most familiar with (and fond of) in the series is King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. I started to play this game when I was older and better able to grasp the tasks required to ultimately save King Graham from his heart attack.

Looking back on the premise with unsuspended disbelief, I must admit traveling to the mystical land of Tamir and finding a magical fruit seems like a long shot to cure a heart attack.  Sounds like Graham should have had a few less Mutton Lettuce & Tomato sandwiches or at least kept Miracle Max on retainer.

King’s Quest has developed its own mythos over the years and I hope to one-day see a new edition to the series.  If that day never comes hopefullyI will be rich enough to finally pass off my nostalgic obsessions as eccentricities and commission Sierra to create one.  Maybe then my future children will have their own chance at drowning Graham in the lake, too.  That very thought fills my 8-bit heart containers with joy.

This is all assuming I could actually drunk dial my past. Younger self: invest heavily in a thing called Google. And while I have you on the phone, forget about taking marching band in high school, unless you want to be a social leper. Buck up and take the physical education instead—you’ll have more time to play video games when you are not at marching practice.

The LINKS:

A great webcomic about King’s Quest: http://themiddlestsister.com/2011/11/02/the-perils-of-rosella/

The Patches Needed to run the Collection: http://www.sierrahelp.com/Patches-Updates/Patches-Updates-Games/KingsQuestUpdates.html

Keeping the Quest Dream alive: http://www.sierragamers.com/aspx/m/1046853

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Games

Thundercats

thundercats

When my wife recently left for a trip to visit her folks I did what any self-respecting adult would do and queued our mutual Netflix list with all the movies and shows only I would want to watch.  Little did I know that one of the shows I haphazardly added would send me on a compulsive two-week nerdathon.  When I received the first volume of the Thundercats I watched the whole disc in one sitting, then the second, and then the third, hardly bothering to shower or feed myself during the self-induced hermitage.  I was quickly captivated again by a show I loved so much as a kid. I let the geek fest begin, but did not go as far as this:

Thundercat Dress Up

::Facepalm::

 or this:

Lion----oh?

Lion----oh?

or even this:

Thundercats__Pumyra_costume_by_ArtemisiaSynchroma

Rawr?

 But I would not put past myself to buy this collection on a drunken night of Ebay shopping (much to the chagrin of my wife):

The True Fan Owns This

The True Fan Shrine

I never had the Cat’s Lair or the Thundertank, but I did have my fair share of Thundercat toys and seeing this picture is an instant reminder of the numerous hours I spent bashing them together…fighting or making out, I can’t quite remember which anymore.  

While rewatching all the episodes from an adult perspective I cannot quiet recall another program that combined all the elements of action, mesmerizing animation, and moral guidelines that the Thundercats brought to millions of televisions sets.  No offence to the hard work of mom and dad, but the Thundercats had a hand in shaping my moral development that they or other kid’s programming did not.  As Lion-O learned valuable life lessons from the ghost of Jaga,  so did I. I knew that patience, fortitude, and strength were all things to strive for, even if I didn’t quite know what they were while I was swinging around my plastic Swords of Omens.  I know I will continue through my life balancing what I find  just and fair until my own kids can learn these important lessons as they run around the house, yelling at the top of their lungs, “Thundercats, HO!” (Or find me completely unhip and crazy whenI dress as Lion-o for Halloween and they refuse to go trick or treating with me. And speaking of which, has the Philosophy of Thundercats been written yet? ).

I’m sure a whole chapter of my new Thundercats book could be dedicated to the interesting tidbit I picked up on my wife showed me while putting off writing researching this blog entry: The voice of Lion-O, Larry Kenney, is also the father of Kerri Kenney from MTV’s The State and Reno 911! fame.

larrykenney

Larry Kenney

kerrykenny-silver

Kerry Kenny-Silver

Dude, if my Dad were the voice of Lion-O you had better believe I would have an awesome personalized voice mail message, “You have reached Logan, the Lord of the Thundercats, and I am away from my phone right now fighting mutants or cruising for chicks in the thundertank, please leave a message after the beep.”  This would also be followed with using the Sword of Omens to screen my calls because the Lord of the Thundercats can’t be bothered with telemarketers or prank calls from Mumm-Ra.

Leave a comment

Filed under TV Shows

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

When I think of the best board games of all time, Milton Bradley’s The Game of Life comes to my mind first and perhaps most often. Forget the inane picture on the front of this 1992 edition (the closest to what I remember playing as a kid) because this game isn’t all sunshine and Cosby sweaters.   Any family game where you can royally screw over others by simply flashing ‘share the wealth’ cards at opportune moments is probably going to end in flipped over tables and tears.  In fact, repeated use of these cards will certainly not guarantee a happy, Last Supper of Christ, family photo.  

While it doesn’t have the same asshole tomcockery that is allotted to certain slumlord players of Monopoly, the fun side of opportunistic capitalism is still present as everyone races to the end with the most money possible.  Don’t get me wrong, I fancy a good game of Monopoly as much as the next red-blooded american, but there is something in the presence of a distinct ending to LIFE that I prefer.  I also remember enjoying this as one of the few games that didn’t require the use of dice, which always managed to somehow fly off the table creating the inevitable argument of rolling again or keeping the numbers you found somewhere under the table or couch.  I suppose one could say the spinner has a similar disadvantage in that if you spin too hard, the entire wheel will lift in true UFO fashion and ultimately crash, sending cars, plastic people, and little white houses everywhere.    

Spin the Wheel

Spin the Wheel

IMG_5952

The Nuclear Car

The Portland Car

The Portland Car

The Big Love Car

The Big Love Car

Monopoly comparisons aside, the real question is–do I play LIFE more conservatively or viciously as an adult than I did when I was child?  I am not sure I immediately know how to answer that, but one would think that as an adult player, I would purchase and utilize the conservative features inherent in insurance and stock market certificates.

IMG_5962

Although the truth is, the OCD case in me as a child was always far more interested in lining up those colorful slips neatly under my section of the board than I was with the safeguards they provided.  Today I still enjoy that aspect, but I think winning has become more important.  If I can win and control my fictitious board game LIFE, maybe I will have more say in the progression of my real life.  Not to mention, there is nothing more frustrating than getting your pink plastic car handed to you by your considerably younger competitor. 

life

In the end, the Game of Life is unique.  For children, it provides a great adventurous sense of a life where earning money is as easy as driving your car over Paydays while discovering lost pieces of art.   For adults, the game provides an imagining of just how different you could be if given a series of either fortunate or unfortunate events.  For both, it shows just how truly unfair life can be when, despite playing everything safe with your neat little rows of paper, you can still find yourself bankrupt and struggling to feed two sets of multicolored twins.  But that is the great thing about this LIFE, you can start all over again.  Throwing caution and fake paper money to the wind, a few well placed spins and a whole hell-of-a-lot of luck might just be all you need.

Leave a comment

Filed under Board Games

Never Go Home

The idea for The Nostalgeria came to me mid March while playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the SNES.  From the moment I moved the purple console switch on to the final moments of Gannon’s defeat I was reminded of the endless hours I spent in the basement of my childhood home, surrounded by a treasure trove of Nintendo products, action figures, and board games.  

Where is Mom to take this picture for me?

Where is Mom to take this picture for me?

Those items have all since been replaced by a mixture of pleasant memories and mournful nostalgia, until recently, hell bent on getting at least a piece of them back, I have begun to search.  So here I am at the beginning.  My two selves, adult and child, together on a quest to remember and learn from each other, to reconcile the who I was with the who I am by collecting and writing about the objects, places, and experiences of my past.  A blog about both the exultant and heavyhearted nature of nostalgia, knowing that you can never go home, but seeing no reason why you can’t have as much fun as possible while trying.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Games