Tag Archives: video

Atari A to Z: A-Rogue

Roguelikes are big business today, but they’ve been around for a long time.

Much like many early games, they originated as mainframe affairs that didn’t get home ports until much later, when ambitious programmers decided to see exactly what they could get their micros to do.

A-Rogue is what happened when Robert Jung decided to take the original Rogue and rewrite it in Atari BASIC for 48K Atari home computers. He did a pretty good job considering the limitations he had to work within!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Vampire Hunter F(F)

Last time, the Warriors of Light decided to take a well-earned holiday in the town of Melmond, only to discover it was a right shithole.

It (apparently) wasn’t the fault of the people of Melmond, however; the nasty vampire who had taken up residence in the Cavern of Earth was supposedly to blame, because he was blocking the flow of earth energy from the crystal and making everything rot. And this made all the buildings fall down, supposedly.

Motivated entirely by altruism (well, maybe a bit of greed… treasures are shiny!), the Warriors of Light descend into the Cavern of Earth to try and deal with this undead terror once and for all…

Atari A to Z: Zone Ranger

We’ve made it to Z again, folks! And today’s a real stonker of a game that I used to really love playing back in the day. And still do today, in fact.

Zone Ranger was released in 1984 by Activision, back when they still made good games, and was the work of one Dan Thompson. Drawing loose inspiration from Asteroids and Sinistar, two favourite games of Thompson, Zone Ranger tasks you with shooting down a bunch of space junk because… why not?

It’s the quintessential mid-’80s arcade blaster in many ways: easy to learn, hard to master and very, very addictive.

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Lali-Ho!

In this sixth episode of the Final Fantasy Marathon, we take our legitimately gotten gains (courtesy of the Mystic Key) and take a trip to go and visit the dwarves.

Dwarves are another example of an aspect of Final Fantasy that was lifted from Dungeons & Dragons, though few can deny that the Japanese series puts its own unique twist on the dumpy delvers. Their catchphrase of “lali-ho!” (or variations thereof depending on who was on localisation duty at Squaresoft that week) became a recurring feature for a number of installments… and indeed at the time of writing the dwarves have most recently made a comeback in fanservice festival Final Fantasy XIV as part of the Shadowbringers expansion.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I’ve got some Nitro Powder burning a hole in my pocket (quite literally) and I can’t think of anyone better equipped to make good use of it than a dwarf.

Final Fantasy Marathon: The Mystic Key

After last week’s little… mishap, the fifth episode of our Final Fantasy playthrough sees the Warriors of Light taking full advantage of the mysterious Time Magic known as “Load”.

From thereon, we proceed to track down the wrongful owner of the Crown we found in the Marsh Cave, kick his head in, then set off in search of the mysterious, magical Matoya, who has been feeling a bit left in the dark recently.

We then proceed to spend considerably longer than I intended finding all the locks that the Mystic Key fits. Because treasure.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Sprint 2

Back before makers of arcade games figured out how to do a vaguely convincing 3D effect, racing games tended to be strictly top-down affairs.

Sprint 2, developed by Kee Games (actually Atari in disguise so as to get around contractual obligations) was one of several examples from this early era. Pitting either one player against a computer-controlled car or two friends against one another over twelve different tracks, it helped define the early days of a genre that has grown and changed significantly over the ages.

The oldies can still be goodies, though, and I still have a lot of time for Sprint 2, as simplistic as it is!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Those Blasted Pirates

After overcoming their initial challenge to defeat Garland and rescue Princess Sarah, the four Warriors of Light set out to begin their quest properly… and promptly get lost.

A key part of the early Final Fantasy games — especially this first one — is figuring out exactly what the hell you’re expected to do next. The series’ iconic linear main narratives wouldn’t become more pronounced until the SNES era, and this first Final Fantasy in particular is a prime example of the initial influences drawn from Western role-playing games.

Still, your progress is gated off in a few key ways on the road to adventure — beginning with the necessity to acquire a ship. And who better to get one of those from than a band of rowdy pirates?