Only Millennials remember Space Cadet (was actually a shareware demo from a bigger game).
Aah my beautiful pastel danger noodle I loves him so much. 💜
So when I was a kid, I remember really, really wanting a particular videogame, solely based on the box art. Dad, the big meanie,1 would not buy it for me.
Fast forward twenty-something years. For whatever reason, I was suddenly reminded once again of this forgotten game, and swore to track it down. Only problem? I barely remembered anything about it. I remembered I thought the art was cool, and that it was kind of that Beetlejuice-cartoonish horror-but-comedy sort of style. I remembered the title maybe had a number in it. I went scouring places like GOG looking for my Lost Game, but to no avail. People on Twitter try and help, to no avail. Eventually, I give up.
Fast forward twelve days (according to the Mastodon timestamps), where I’m watching old hbomberguy vids to procrastinate writing the final scene of the dragon book. I come across this video, talking about Dragon’s Lair—a game many people had tried to helpfully suggest as being my Forgotten Game—when…
… when he just…
… he just. Says the name. Of the game I’ve been looking for. For twenty years. And I know, just from the name, Brain Dead 13, that it’s The Game. The Forgotten Game. And so I eugooglize it, and there’s a pic of the goddamn box and… and I remember it. It’s The Forgotten Game! It’s here! It’s real! It even has a freakin’ iOS port that I can’t even freakin’ buy because it’s not available in the Australian iOS store because auuurrrghhh!
But you know what I can do? Oh, I can find a Let’s Play of this terrible, forgotten old game on YouTube. Because the internet never forgets, no matter how obscure the thing.
So here it is. The game my teenage self obsessed over. Hell, I even remember now I had a character at the time called Fritz, because I thought it was a cool name, although if I recall correctly he was more a The Maxx rip-off than related to his namesake in Brain Dead 13. But… whatever. I found it! I found the game!
Also, unnerving in retrospect: how similar the protagonist of this game is to what my husband looked like when I first met him (long red hair, worked with computers) which… is probably something best not thought about too much, y’know?
- This is a lie. My Dad’s great. Hi Dad, if you’re reading. ^
So I’ve been trying to find this old videogame from the 90s and I can’t and it’s driving me nuts.
I think it’s a point-and-click adventure, and all I remember about it is it’s 2D animated, and is a horror-comedy set in some kind of castle filled with ~zany monstrous types. I think the box art featured a vampire-ish dude in said castle? And maybe there was a number in the title?
Internet, am I making this game up? It did exist, right?
For my fifteenth birthday, I was given $40 to buy myself a present. That present? My Very First Tabletop Roleplaying Book, Litany of the Tribles vol. 1, a sourcebook for White Wolf’s Werewolf: the Apoclaypse game. (Why that book? Well… because they had it in the shop. And I had no idea how RPG books “worked”. Needless to say, my very next purchase was the actual core rule themselves.) To say this game changed my life is probably both hyperbole and an understatement; Liesmith‘s Lain, for example, had his first incarnation as the totem for our W:tA game, which was set in the proto version of Pandemonium City.
I spent pretty much all my teen years playing various versions of White Wolf’s World of Darkness, primarily Werewolf, Vampire, and Changeling. Yeah, the games both have and had issues—even to my un-woke, pre-internet teen self—but I adored them then and still adore them now. To the point that I spent hundreds buying up the various 20th anniversary editions from Onyx Path which, honestly, I thought did a fantastic job of keeping the “old WoD feel”, while simultaneously updating and smoothing out some of the… less great elements that had been present in the originals.
So when I heard about Vampire‘s 5th edition, I was cautiously optimistic. Even if it wasn’t going to be developed by Onyx Path, but rather a new studio under the same name as the original, White Wolf. The New White Wolf, or nWW, if you will. Because the *20 books were great… but they were also kind of “stuck”, in that they were designed very much as updated versions of old material, not new sourcebooks in-and-of-themselves. So to have things like an updated metaplot? Yeah. I could’ve been down for that. (Also, I really want more content for Demon: the Fallen…)
And then? Then I read the initial 5e alpha rules. Y’know. The one that had “Triggered” as a vampire clan weakness.
Oh, nWW, no.
Since then, everything I’ve heard from the nWW has pretty much gotten worse and worse, right up to the current point, where it’s… getting pretty hard to deny that the nWW is throwing 5e straight at the edgelord wannabe fascist alt-right scene. Which… for a game that introduced me to things like class politics, feminism, and queer activism?1 Yeah. 5e can basically fuck right the fuck off, and take its entire fucking dev team with it.
… talk about ruining someone’s childhood. Ugh.
(Also, while I’m on the subject: Why am I suddenly not surprised to learn the nWW is owned by Paradox Interactive? Because, yeah. I enjoyed Stellaris well enough but holy shit that game’s fandom is an alt-right anime Nazi trashfire. Yikes.)
- That Litany of the Tribes vol. 1 really was… formative, let me tell you. ^