Monthly Archives: August 2013

Retronauts Pocket Episode 4

Retronauts Pocket 4 cover

Hey folks, here’s today’s episode. Pardon this post’s brevity, but real life calls and I’m en route to do important day-job things in a few minutes.

Episode 4 of Retronauts Pocket brings to bear the long-awaited Kickstarter backer requests. In this case, a fine fellow by the name of Dave Epp has asked us to speak about Ultima IV. Conveniently, while neither guest Scott Sharkey nor I have played the game in a dog’s age, we’re both well aware of its innovations and importance — as are fellow co-hosts Bob Mackey and Ray Barnholt. So kick back for 45 minutes and listen to us speak about this seminal RPG and how it’s influenced so many games since its debut.

By the way, there’s no music in this episode. People sometimes complain about the use of music to break up different portions of the conversation, so I thought I’d try an episode without. Spoilers: I kind of hate it and won’t be doing it again. Sorry, haters!

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Next week: More talk of old video games! More special guests! But fortunately you won’t have to listen to me as lead host. See, there is a merciful and just god after all.

Thanks again to Dave Epp and all our Kickstarter backers!

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Retronauts Vol. III Episode 4 – Atari

Brace your face for Episode 4, kids. Because it’s here.

Retronauts 4 cover

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As you can see from the fancy cover image, this week’s show revolves around the essential, world-shaking, first major console ever made: The Atari 2600. And to make sure we did the topic justice, we dragged 1UP alumnus Scott Sharkey all the way from his modest hovel in the Nevada desert, where he’s lived the past couple of decades waiting for his friend Anakin’s son to finally reach adulthood. Sharkey’s sarcastic familiarity with key Atari-era figures like Nolan Bushnell and Ralph Baer knows no equal. He was the only choice that made sense.

This episode doesn’t focus on Atari’s games so much as its overall business and history. It’s really meant to be the companion piece to Vol. III Episode 1, so you may perhaps wish to give that one a listen before diving into this episode.

This week’s host is-a me, Jeremy Parish. Bob and Ray also appear, of course, and do a fine job of providing a nice, sensible midpoint between my boringness and Sharkey’s sniping. This week’s soundtrack selections all consist of pieces from Jake “virt” Kaufman’s Shantae soundtrack for Game Boy Color, a damn fine piece of chiptuning that happens to be relevant since we spend a while this episode discussing that game’s Virtual Console release. And man, there is just no Atari 2600 music I would want to splice in for interludes. Oh, there’s also an actual song spliced in along the way, but I’ll let you get to that in the natural course of things.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy Sharkey’s return as much as we did! We’ll try to have him on again sometime. And please let us know if there are any guest hosts you’d like for us to go after — we’re always looking for a fourth seat.

Next time: Our first backer-requested episode topic.

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Retronauts Special #1: Live from Seattle Retro Gaming Expo

Hola amigos, it’s your ol’ pal Jeremy with another episode of Retronauts. But this week’s a little different. We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled episodes to share the audio from our Seattle Retro Gaming Expo panel from a month ago.

Retronauts SRGE

Don’t worry, this doesn’t count as one of the 52 episodes we committed to with our Kickstarter — this is a bonus. Regular service resumes next week with an Atari retrospective! But since a lot of people wanted us to make this panel available, well, here you go.

Given the more comparatively chill climate of SGRE compared to the panels we’re accustomed to hosting (PAX, namely, where people line up for an hour or more to guarantee seating), we took a similarly light tone for this presentation and made it all about personal anecdotes. Specifically, we talked about our summer gaming memories. Thrill as we debate the merits of Legend of Mana! Gasp as the name EarthBound is invoked multiple times! Wonder as local Seattle references are dropped! Reel in amazement at Jeremy’s tearful confession that when it came to video game rentals, he was “kind of a dick”!

And, of course, once we’re done, panel attendees take the mic to share their own memories. Now, you may say, “What do personal video game anecdotes have to do with Retronauts?” But honestly, this is probably Retronauts in its purest form. It’s always about our stupid nostalgia, baby. This time we just dropped the pretense of academic objectivity.

Anyway, enjoy. And if you find it unbearable, don’t worry. Like I said, we’ll be back to feigning objectivity next week. And an old friend will make his triumphant return to the show. Huzzah!

P.S., all the music in this episode comes from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Because it was name-dropped, and I will take any excuse to exploit Symphony’s soundtrack.

P.P.S., we’re having a little trouble with SoundCloud right now, but that version will be up as soon as we sort that out.

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Status report: Physical rewards

Almost since we started publishing the podcast, lots of people have been asking us what’s up with the physical rewards; if we’ve asked for shipping info, and so on. Though we’ve been responding to many of those people directly, we probably should’ve been saying something more public. And that’s what this is!

Basically, we haven’t forgotten that we’re on the hook, and in just the past week or two, we’ve made a renewed effort to get it all done. At the risk of slinging excuses, the launch of the podcast and the almost-immediate trip to the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo threw us off-balance for a little while. So right now, we’re pushing forward on producing the relatively easier-to-produce merch (shirts, etc.; thanks again to our friends at Fangamer for giving us a hand there), and doing pre-planning on the more custom stuff (namely the DVD and book projects), which will naturally follow a bit later.

Crowdfunding projects often deal with people moving and changing addresses before the project is fulfilled, so we’re trying to minimize that as much as possible by making sure we’re ready before we ask you to be ready. All that while re-settling ourselves in the groove of making the podcast — which, of course, is the product that matters most, but we’re not about to leave anyone hanging.

Long story short: We have not asked for anyone’s address yet, but we will when we’re ready. You will get an email, and we will post updates all over the place. Nevertheless, thanks for all your kind words so far, and for sticking with us. See you next episode!

Bob, Jeremy, Ray

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Retronauts Pocket Episode 3: NES Accessories

Retronauts Pocket 3

We know that the games are what makes retro game appreciation, but for many of us, it wasn’t entirely the games that made an impression, but what we played them with. After all, monstrosities like R.O.B. and the Power Glove became much-discussed parts of NES history, though relatively few people actually owned them. On that note, this episode of Retronauts Pocket touches on NES accessories, with a focus on controllers or other direct-input peripherals such as the NES Advantage, NES Max, Power Pad, Acclaim’s wireless controllers, and several more. Of course, we couldn’t talk about everything (it’s Retronauts Pocket, after all), but hopefully we helped jog your memory a little. Thanks for listening, and look forward to more accessory episodes when I take the helm again.

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Links to pertinent TV commercials:

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