Warp Drive

Monday, December 30, 2019

Games of Yesteryear

Below is a handful of my favorite classic computer and video games that have been thoroughly discussed in other articles on The Grig Post. I have included snippets from those articles here. I decided to present them in chronological order because I just cannot seem to bring myself to number them.

Chrono Trigger

I first played Chrono Trigger in 2000; one year after the "Year of Lavos." Technically, I first played it on PC, since I used an emulator (Snes9x). Before I played Chrono Trigger, I was not much of an RPG fan. I had a few friends that were very much into RPGs, however. They strongly suggested that I play a few. I was blown away by the depth of Chrono Trigger.

Nintendo Rhapsody (World 6: It's About Time):
What is time? We like to think of it as a straight line from past to present to future, but our hearts and minds often dwell exclusively in the past or future. We rarely exist in the present moment. Time, it would seem, is merely an earthbound construct. It was the year 2000 AD in actuality, but my mind was fixated ever in the past. 1995 AD to be more precise. I was trying to hunt down a copy of Chrono Trigger for the Super Nintendo. I was very unlikely to still find the game in any store, and virtual console services would not exist for another six years. Thus, I settled on an emulator for Windows 98. I downloaded Snes9x alongside a ROM of Chrono Trigger. I would eventually find and purchase the Sony PlayStation compilation with Final Fantasy IV and the Nintendo DS version of Chrono Trigger, but for now, emulation appeared to be my only option. Chrono Trigger begins with a legitimate sense of joy and wonder. Crono is a carefree boy just out to have fun with his friends on the morning of the Millennial Fair. A stark contrast from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in which Link's adventure begins with a frantic quest in the midst of a storm. Both story techniques work effectively in their respective games, but Chrono Trigger does a far better job of building tension, and boy does it deliver on surprise twists. From the moment Crono's mother drew open his bedroom curtains, I knew that I was in for something special. Lucca, one of Crono's dearest friends, is a dedicated scientist and a rather talented inventor. Her latest invention, a teleportation device, was about to take the Millennial Fair by storm.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Nintendo Rhapsody (World 8: Pros and Cons WIP + Cliffnotes)

With my unceremonious departure from Cerritos College, and the apparent end of my school career, I fell back on that which I loved. My ongoing endeavors with Goalsoft. In January of 2001, I launched my first ever online magazine dedicated to Goalsoft. It was no doubt inspired in part by Nintendo Power. The Goalsoft MAG featured monthly interviews with the web staff, release dates for upcoming game projects, short stories, poems and one very controversial comedy column. The latter of which was hosted by Dave Smith. Goalsoft's resident comedy writer and beta tester. In the span of time between January and April of that year, I released Sword Quest III: Dimensional Drift, Super Israel World 2 and Swashblood Isle. I had originally intended to develop Swashblood Isle in Glumol, but the tools were unfortunately not made available until much later. I would instead use Clickteam's The Games Factory. Much like Klik & Play, it left something to be desired when developing traditional adventure games. Everything, as usual, had to be created from scratch. That included an inventory screen and dialogue prompt for every possible scenario in the game. Timers were used to tell the game whether or not an event could be triggered, and when and where to display an item. As a result of these limitations and improvisations, Swashblood Isle was more than a little rough around the edges. Clearly, I had an awful lot of free time on my hands. It certainly felt strange being out of school, but I still had a teacher or two in my life. I became rather hooked on TechTV, a cable network focused primarily on the computer industry. Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton hosted a late afternoon show known as The Screen Savers. They covered every computer topic one could imagine, but my favorite segments were the ones where they built custom machines for gaming and whatnot. It would be several years before I attempted such a thing of my own. With 2001 rapidly drawing to a close, I had just one thing on my mind. Nintendo's brand new disc-based console. For the longest time, it was known simply by a codename. Project Dolphin. A name that left quite a bit to the imagination.