TVG: 2.03 – Preserving Our History

Stack of NES games

Once upon a time, someone decided to make a video game. It was made for a console that you could buy in a store! It came with carefully crafted manuals, posters, and packaging! You took the game home, you appreciated the packaging and … well maybe your dog ate it. It’s gone. Luckily that game still exists! But well… over time maybe the connections were not so tight on that console… you blew some dust out of that game and for a while it worked great! But over time, that little bit of saliva from your breath corroded the connection on the game. And the system itself? Well it kind of stopped working too. By that point? Neither the game nor the console were available to repurchase. Our history was lost.

It’s sad when we lose those relics of the past. Sometimes we’re lucky and they’ve been preserved. Let’s discuss!

We get on-topic pretty fast today! Part of that is because it’s a topic that’s relevant to what we’ve been already discussing in the past couple weeks.

  • * At 3:00 we lead into discussing Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII largely because Steve has been playing it using PCSX2. And this pushes into the discussion of emulation in general and the difficulty associated with getting your hands on old games.
  • * But emulation in itself doesn’t really solve the problem when we lose behaviour that was baked into hardware like the Nintendo Light Gun, which notoriously doesn’t work on modern displays. Or Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble which had an accelerometer built into the cartridge.
  • * We’re not just talking about games themselves here with things that are difficult to preserve. We talk about packaging, instruction manuals, and toys.
  • * Games like Dragon Warrior II had fantastic packaging with maps, manuals, bestiaries. 
  • * Preservation also gets interesting when you get into the versions of a given production. This could be the different versions of Star Wars. Or editions of Braveheart that have different scenes.
  • * By the way, that OAV that Steve was trying to recall at 22:30 is called Sol Bianca
  • * That book Steve mentions at 25:50 is called Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection – but just a correction, the “Foreword” is by Steve Jarratt. The BOOK was done by Stuart Brett.
  • * at 29:00 Steve brings up the SEGA Mega Drive and Genesis Classics game available on Steam – a kind of neat representation of what was life was like in the days of old.
  • * at 31:40 we discuss a movement aimed at preserving games. You can actually buy their “Blind Box” Vintage Video Game Magazines from their shop.
  • * at 41:15 we discuss the fact that game preservation is even becoming an issue with “modern” games what with Sony’s announcement that the PS3, PSP, and PSVita stores will be closing down this year.  Luckily they’ve relented on the PS3 and PSVita (for now) but. Bye bye PSP!
  • * at 45:40 we bring up the interesting idea of World of Warcraft Classic. It’s crazy trying to understand which edition of a game is considered the authentic version these days. Where games may receive a Day 1 patch, or in the case of something like WoW just completely evolve over time.
  • * is a site that’s done a great job in terms of preserving old games such as Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry – games that actually had an anti-piracy measure that was built into the manuals that shipped with the game.
  • * the games we’re playing include: E.V.O., Mega Man 7, and Paper Mario The Origami King.
  • * if you’re interested in making an Origami Boo, here’s the tutorial Steve followed. 
The Vagabond Gamecast is a podcast by Stephen Tucker and Matthew Langille that covers gaming from the perspective of nomadic parents.
The Vagabond Gamecast
TVG: 2.03 – Preserving Our History