JoelDixon.com

"Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel." - Homer Simpson, The Simpsons 1F06

Blog
General
Travel
Hockey
Technical
Gaming
Catalogue
Movies
TV Shows
Music
Video Games
Stats
Pages
Travel Plans
Hockey Games
Live Music
Phone History
Monument Mounting
Things to Do
Links
About


Blog Archive
Current Blogs
2017 (12)
2016 (1)
2015 (24)
2014 (1)
2013 (4)
2012 (39)
2011 (2)
2010 (18)
2009 (28)
2008 (25)
2007 (67)
2006 (23)
2005 (32)
2004 (10)

Blog Tags
General (13)
10 in '10 (4)
Books (1)
DVDs (3)
Funny (13)
Gadgets (5)
Hawt (1)
Movies (14)
Music (7)
Pets (4)
Recipe (17)
Running (3)
TV Shows (2)
Web (29)

Travel (80)
Akihabara (1)
Amsterdam (1)
Argentina (2)
Asakusa (1)
Barcelona (1)
Berlin (1)
Brussels (1)
Budapest (1)
Buenos Aires (1)
Cairo (1)
Calgary (2)
Chicago (1)
Cusco (1)
Dijon (1)
Dresden (1)
Edinburgh (1)
Edmonton (12)
Florence (1)
Gero (1)
Ginza (1)
Harajuku (1)
Himeji (1)
Hiroshima (1)
Iga (1)
inca-trail (1)
Ireland (1)
Japan (22)
Kamakura (1)
Kawaguchiko (1)
Killarney (1)
Kobe (1)
Krakow (1)
Kuala Lumpur (1)
Kyoto (1)
Lima (1)
Lisbon (1)
London (1)
Lyon (1)
Madrid (1)
Meguro (1)
Miami (1)
Milan (1)
Montreal (1)
Nagoya (1)
Naples (1)
Naples (FL) (1)
Nara (1)
New York (9)
Niagara Falls (3)
Nice (1)
Nikko (1)
Nile Cruise (1)
Odaiba (1)
Osaka (1)
Ottawa (1)
Paris (1)
Philadelphia (1)
Phuket (2)
Pittsburgh (12)
Porto (1)
Prague (1)
Provins (1)
Quebec City (1)
Rome (1)
Sakura (1)
Shibuya (1)
Shinjuku (1)
Takayama (1)
Tampa (1)
Toledo (1)
Toronto (1)
Ueno (1)
Valencia (1)
Vancouver (1)
Venice (1)
Vienna (1)
Warsaw (1)
Washington (4)
Whistler (1)
Yokohama (1)

Hockey (3)
Lemieux Fantasy Camp (4)
Pittsburgh Penguins (31)
Wolverines (1)

Technical (4)
.NET (3)
Java (4)
Software (3)
Work (2)

Gaming (6)
Commodore 64 (2)
Master System (1)
Mega Drive (1)
Rock Band (1)
Xbox 360 (16)
XNA (1)

The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs posted in the My Video Gaming History series

Sunday, February 03, 2008

My Video Gaming History - Part II: The Sega Master System

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 03/02/2008 22:47:30
Updated by Joel Dixon at 06/02/2008 14:24:36


Quote:
Find the miracle ball
In my early primary school days a geeky-looking kid named Nick joined our grade 2 class a few weeks into the year. My best pal Jason and I had planned to torment this "new guy" relentlessly, until we found out he was an Essendon Bombers fan. We became fast friends and as I lived a 10 minute bike ride away from Nick's house, we spent most of our after-school time together. We used to take treks "down the creek" to investigate sewer pipes, ride our bikes (I had a sweet set of Skyway Tuffs wheels) to the Ringwood bowl (no longer there) accomplishing amazing tricks (like a mono) and we spent a lot of time on Nick's Sega Master System hurting our thumbs.

WE5T 0NE

Sega Master System
We had the vastly superior Sega Master System II

The game that utilised most of our time was Alex Kidd in Miracle World, which was bundled with the Sega Master System II (in this case bundled meant it was actually part of the system - when you turned on the game without a cartridge in it, Alex Kidd would start). Miracle World was a very simple platformer, and the first game starring the Master System's mascot Alex Kidd (in some games he was a boy with large ears, in other he looked more like a monkey than human). Being the time before Game FAQs, Nick and I spent countless hours trying to discover the secrets of Miracle World, and we eventually learnt all there was to know about the game. And, of course, all this time was spent bugging my parents for our own Master System.

Map
Alex is eating a rice ball here - but in my version it was replaced with a hamburger

Jenken
We memorised all of the boss men's jenken strategies

Helicopter
I really enjoyed the helicopter stages

Eventually our parents relented, and I think it was Easter of 1988 that we received our own holy grail of gaming. I didn't quite react like this guy - but I was very happy to say the least. We started with a copy of Enduro Racer (a very basic motorcycle game) and eventually built up our gaming library over time. As the games were all on cartridges, piracy was not possible, so we relied a lot on our local One-Stop Video store for new and exciting games. I can remember standing in One-Stop for a very long time, furiously studying the back of the game boxes to make my important choice. As we spent most of our money on hiring the games instead of buying them - we had a good variety of titles rolling through the Dixon household. I had hunted down some of the classics for a previous pixel-related blog entry:

Mega System Games
(from top-left) The Ninja, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Micky Mouse: Castle of Illusion, Desert Storm, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Enduro Racer, Sonic the Hedgehog, California Games, Parlour Games

There were a few games which hold a special place in my memory. The main would would have to be Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. Part of the Wonder Boy series, this game was a side scroller with a bit of a difference. At the very start of the game, after defeating the Meka Dragon, you are transformed into Lizard-Man a very weak character (doesn't even hold a sword). During your quest to return to a Hu-Man, you play as different -Man's (Mouse-Man, Lion-Man etc) each with unique abilities (ie. Lizard-Man is impervious to lava). You can also purchase various swords, shields and armour which can provide unique abilities (the Magical Saber can make invisible blocks appear etc). This game was on high hire rotation during primary school - and early in high school I found that Eryc-Ads was also a huge fan of this game (and better at it than I was). This sparked another period of squaring off against Mr. Meka Dragon & co. - and every couple of years I fire this one back up on the emulator.

Meka Dragon
The Meka Dragon is my biartch

Lizard Man
The first town isn't as fun when you're a damn lizard

Mouse Man
Mouse-Man is probably my favourite

Another family favourite was Parlour Games, providing electronic pool, darts and bingo faithfully represented in 8 bit graphics and a killer soundtrack. This title has the particular distinction of being the first game I ever bought with my own money (it was worth it!). Pool was the most popular sport in our family, but darts had a run every so often. This was another game that I rediscovered with Eryc-Ads in my high school days - as a group of us would take turns playing pool or sit around watching the one person play bingo.

Billiards
The Trendy Break in operation

Darts
Open In, Open Out?

Bingo
I still don't fully understand how this game worked

The Master System was a great introduction to console gaming, and it helped prepare me for the gaming juggernaut of the Mega Drive that was soon to follow!


This is the 2nd in the My Video Gaming History series
Part I - My Video Gaming History - Part I: The Commodore 64Part II - My Video Gaming History - Part II: The Sega Master System
Comments (13) | Add Comment

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Video Gaming History - Part I: The Commodore 64

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 09/12/2007 14:39:54
Updated by Joel Dixon at 20/12/2007 13:57:25


Quote:
Are you keeping up with the Commodore? Because the Commodore is keeping up with you!

Video games have played a big part of my life. NHL 94 encouraged a love for the sport of Ice Hockey. Samantha Fox's Strip Poker and others have introduced me to digital bewbies during my important formative years. And Distruptor for the PlayStation was an important game for me, as it was the first time that my older brother beat me to the end of the game (crushing). I've decided to do a little retrospective of my video game history, and hope that some of you will enjoy the walk down memory lane.

LOAD "*",8,1

Commodore 64
This actually looks a lot like our system. Getting the disk drive was a huge time saver!

Excluding some generic "Game and watch" clones, the Commodore 64 was my first real introduction to video gaming - and I liked it! The Commodore was released in January of 1982 as a system designed to offer advanced hardware at a cheap(ish) price. I really took to the system (as did the rest of my family) and was sitting in front of it whenever it was "my turn". Turns got to be a bit of a problem whenever a cool game was acquired, with lots of fights between the family for play time. I can vividly remember my eldest brother waking up at 5 or 6 am before school to get a few extra hours playing California Games. I also remember feeling cheated because I was unable to wake up earlier than him!

You may have noted that I used the word "acquired" in the above paragraph - not many of our games were actually store bought. Pirating was rife - my eldest brother had a friend, who had a "contact", someone that provided us with as many copied Commodore 64 games that we could play. Those that know me now know that I am against piracy of any kind (except for amusing pirate jokes), but back in the day I didn't know any better. FastHackem fueled our piracy, allowing a game disk to be copied in 3 minutes instead of around 20.

That Commodore 64 was also life changing as it introduced me to the pastime of Basic programming. Basic in more than a name, my first program was probably something like this:

Basic Code:
> 10 PRINT "JOEL IS RAD!"

> 20 GOTO 10

> RUN

I also loved reading through the Basic books that were provided with the 64, and typing out the hundred line example programs. Armed with this extra programming knowledge, my coding skills were greatly expanded:

Basic Code:
10> FOR I = 1 TO 10

20> NEXT I

30> INPUT "ENTER YOUR NAME: ", N$

40> PRINT N$; ", DID YOU KNOW THAT JOEL IS RAD?"

50> GOTO 40

RUN
(the first two lines is now an obvious loop. I had no idea what it did, but included it in my own programs because it looked cool)

For me, the Commodore 64 was the golden age of video gaming, and it kept me entertained even after we received more modern systems (such as consoles). A pictures is worth 1,000 words, so this video of 100 Commodore games should be worth a fair bit. Go to the YouTube page to see the list of games displayed.

100 Commodore games in 10 minutes



This is the 1st in the My Video Gaming History series
Part I - My Video Gaming History - Part I: The Commodore 64Part II - My Video Gaming History - Part II: The Sega Master System
Comments (13) | Add Comment

Blog Search

Advanced Search


Recent Blogs
Pittsburgh - For some hockey (why not?), 2017
Philadelphia - Not that sunny, 2017
Miami, Naples and Tampa - Beaches, Babe and a Baby Sloth, 2017
New York - Third time's a charmed lamp, 2017
Pittsburgh Return - Fleury, Fleury, Fleury!, 2017
Chicago - Blackhawks, Bulls and a bean, 2017
Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp 2017 - Day 4 and 5 (Final Games)
Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp 2017 - Day 3 (Outdoor Game, Injury, Dinner and Drinks)
Marc-André Fleury still giving high fives to his injured buddy
Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp 2017 - Day 2 (Contract Signing, Training and Game)

Feed
Subscribe to feed Blog Entries

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!

Recent Comments
SNL Digital Shorts
posted 2 days ago by AlvinInfap
eyeadorepretty.com</a> link

More Calgary Impressions
posted 2 days ago by wdbseq
brand name cialis online - can i buy cialis over the counter cialis pills http://canadian-pharmasy.com link

SNL Digital Shorts
posted 2 days ago by Stewartkab
91p14eyw - wh0cd125951 Sildenafil 25 Mg</a> link

SNL Digital Shorts
posted 2 days ago by Brettbraby
s54a6sqm - wh0cd125951 valtrex online no prescription</a> link

SNL Digital Shorts
posted 3 days ago by Stewartkab
ejtt8pe6 - wh0cd54452 keflex no prescription</a> link


Comment Standings
1. the man with no name (45)
2. Hoff (39)
3. Hitman (33)
4. Gav (27)
5. Brad (24)
6. Eryc-Ads (13)
7. milly (7)
8. Deep Lurker (6)
9. thefury (5)
10. Dieter (4)
About This Site | Contact Me