From Ross Sutherland's Eco-esque review of Atari's 1985 arcade game, Gauntlet
Wizard, as an ironist, you alone receive some sense of subjective freedom. Your outré dress sense deprives your surroundings of a finite degree of cognitive reality. In this manner, the dungeon can never truly hold you.
I love it when people read between the lines of old video games, imagining a backstory and motivation for the likes of Pong
. But those early titles are so abstract that a certain kind of humor seems intrinsic to the project. So it's delightful to see someone with the same fetish I have: extrapolating literary pretensions from later games that offer more to work with, but whose hardware nonetheless imposed a ruthless minimalism onto the design.
Of those, Atari's Gauntlet
always seemed most pregnant with possibility. The doomed, infinite quest
is filled with pathos--if the protagonists are not dead, they are certainly already in hell. Most references, however, lean toward pop culture citation. For example, check out Five Iron Frenzy's song, "Wizard Needs Food Badly
," a phrase from the game whose variations have earned a place in broader culture
. There is even a Cafepress site
devoted to it.)
Here's my contribution to this very tiny genre: Such Bravery
, a short story which places Gauntlet
as a strange, myth-addled event from the Baltic crusades, itself hazily remembered by Thyra, the 'Valkyrie.' Twenty years on, our aging heroes are uneasily reunited at the old man's funeral, only to find he still has some tricks up his sleeve. Fans may get a kick out of the cute references to the game.
It's such a shame that after Gauntlet II, most of the sequels have been mediocre
. An iffy-looking DS remake
is apparently complete, but seems to be stuck in a dungeon.
To those unfamiliar with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, it suffices to say that it’s the blandest and goofiest of a game series otherwise famed for overcoming the creative limitations of its whitebread genre fantasy setting. So to those unfamiliar with Oblivion, these startlingly accurate parodies of its AI behavior may be bafflingly dorky and […]
Magali Barbé’s short film Strange Beasts depicts a futuristic augmented reality product for kids and parents — a piece of design fiction with a serious sting it its tail. (via Beyond the Beyond)
Pippin Barr (previously) created a game that presents itself as a Windows 3-ish desktop from about 25 years ago. Mash away at each task in It Is As If You Were Doing Work until you win promotions and break time, wherein Breakout may be played. “I positioned It is as if you were doing work […]
Whether you’re a seasoned entertainment industry veteran or a student working on your first spec script, having the right tool for the job will make a huge difference in your focus and productivity.Final Draft 10 is far and away the world’s best screenwriting software, used extensively by professional film and TV writers at top production […]
Web content creators who don’t have a solid SEO strategy should take note of Webtexttool. It’s a service that pulls in anonymous data from their entire user base to offer crowdsourced guidance that increases your search page ranks. By analyzing prior user successes, it helps you better gauge how your posts will perform at a […]
Just because English has become the common global tongue doesn’t mean it’s the easiest language to write—even for native speakers. If you’re looking to improve your written communication skills, especially on your smartphone, take a look at Ginger Page.Ginger is a cross-platform app that offers corrections for phrasing as well as grammar. It’s powered by […]