The TBoD Podcast – 94 – Random Access Memories (the audio version) Part 1

This week we’re doing something a little different, those of you who have followed us since the dawn of TBoD might remember a little post we made by the same title. Today we are re-visiting that post in an audio fashion.

Talking about the games that began our love affair with the medium and cringing at our early inept attempts at blogging, have a listen and let us know what your favourite games were way back before 1080p 60fps was even a thought.

Random Access Memories Part 1

Random Access Memory Lane Part 1: The Milk At School Years.

Having watched Indie Game:The Movie both myself and my fellow tea bagger Elth got a little nostalgic about ‘the good old days’ when a whole megabyte of RAM in any kind of computer was only seen in Star Trek. So we decided it might be a good idea to give you a run down of the video games that we remember from when we were littler. In order to keep you from tears of boredom from what would definitely have become the war and peace of amateur games blogging, we have cut it up into manageable under-seasoned goujon’s for your dainty palates. Anyway my turn first, let’s go waaay back to the day when shoulder pads were only just going out of fashion.

 Fantasy World Dizzy

(Commodore 64 – 1989)

To the best of my memory, which at this stage in my early development was still mushy mental ribena fueled contraption that only really had to focus on was the nuances of British Bulldogs, ensuring my lego was secure in a larger red lego brick and wanting to follow in the footsteps of fireman Sam, this was the first proper video game I played.

The exact year is not important but I think it must have been really late 80’s or right at the beginning of the 90’s. What I do remember from when I first visited my friend Thomas’ house to have tea (fish fingers I believe) is the moment I walked into his room to see this kind of brilliantly clunky keyboard affair with a huge floppy disk drive and a tape deck attached, along with an array of cassettes. When he put one of these tapes in and a video game blinked to life on this massive 9 inch monitor I was immediately mesmerised. Previously I thought tapes were only for the music of Michael Jackson and the ‘Now that’s what I call music’ albums. (I would like the record to show I have since discovered that these tapes are in fact NOT what I call music).

I can’t remember whether Dizzy was on one of these tapes or a floppy disk, but he had all the Dizzy games and the one thing that stuck out and still does to this day was Dizzy had an explorer’s hat on and wikipedia tells me this was Fantasy World Dizzy. It was immense and we played for ages. At this point I should fill you in on the plot, but I was like 8 or some shit and didn’t have a clue what was going on so again I will let wiki do the hard stuff that my memory can’t

“The game’s plot revolves around Dizzy and his girlfriend Daisy. Daisy is taken by the King Troll while walking through a forest with Dizzy, and he has to chase after her. On his way Dizzy must also collect 30 coins. Some of them are hidden quite well.”

Quite well hidden indeed, the wiki also mentions that Dizzy has garnered some kind of resurgence thanks to the usually excellent and very popular YouTube game reviewer   Zero Punctuation. Although if I am honest his video on Dizzy is a bit rubbish so here is a much better one on Skyrim instead.

So if that fairly vague recountal and completely off topic video has got you thinking “fuck yeah I would love to play a dead old game” then you’re in luck because you can download Fantasy World Dizzy for free!

-MS Dosser

Gauntlet

(Spectrum, ’87)

Unlike Dosser I have never known the discomfort of not having a machine with which to while away the hours gaming so I began my career of gaming very early using this.

My parents can probably give you a more accurate description of Gremlin graphics’ port of the Atari Arcade classic Gauntlet but from my perspective this title was like being transported to another world. Looking at it now I cannot see any of the game I remembered mainly because my tiny brain had a much better imagination than my boring fully formed present day noggin. I vividly remember the bleak gray dungeons, large wooden doors and shining golden keys. Terrifying ghosts hurtling towards me and hell hounds firing magical fireballs all over the shop. Ducking and dodging as my chosen character (the Elf Questor obviously) taking down sorcerers and the aptly named lobbers with my trusty bow. This however is what it actually looked like. Kids eh? mental.

Is this a game or a pirate flag?

The premise of the game is actually just your standard dungeon crawler, pick a character from four basic classes, dive in knock some heads together, collect some keys and get out alive. A lot of modern hack and slash and RPG titles owe to Gauntlet their very existence and it set the mould fo all the subsequent Dungeons and Dragons inspired titles. The in-game footage may not have been very exciting but a quick look back at the box art goes someway toward explaining my misremembering of the grandness of this early adventure game.

Many sequels have been released for many different platforms but none since the first (which is available on xbox live arcade) have managed to capture my imagination as much as this iteration. Perhaps this was because of my age or even because it was my first real gaming experience that I loved this game, still do. Probably nostalgically and much less colourfully than in my younger days mind you.

So it may not have as much substance as my co-writers top-notch choice Dizzy but it really was the first of its ilk and will be remembered fondly by many a child born in the early 80’s (but probably more accurately by their parents).

– Elth

So what did you guys reckon to Part 1? If you have any thoughts please leave us a comment about these games or share your first gaming experience with us, we would love to hear from you.

Part 2 is coming on Thursday the 16th of August so please follow us by clicking the button at the top right of the page, we are also on twitter @TeaBagOrDie. Cheers big ears.