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Classic Video Game - Forum Guessing Game


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Posted (edited)

I spend a lot of my down time playing classic console and computer games, it's one of things I do to relax. While I do mess around with some modern games, I am a classic and retro gamer at heart, and love to play though many 80's and early 90's games.

So I thought it would be fun to play a simple and silly little guessing game where you try and figure out the classic video game based on a variety of hints and clues. You can use images, videos, animations, facts, or whatever you want.

I will kick it off. 😆

 

guessgame.jpg.d199eeff39075ac06eb44c939ef78949.jpg

 

This game is a trip down memory lane for me, and tells an interesting story about how games from the 80's and 90's differ based on region and platform. How some games were deemed "too difficult" for the Western market, how translations were done, and how some games were completely altered from their originals when they came to the West. All things many people had no clue about at the time.

 

Hint #1: This game was released in the early 1990's, but it's part of a series that got it's start in the mid 1980's, and is still going to this day.

Hint #2: It's a "Platform Action-Adventure" game, though some also list it, and other games in the series, as "Horror".

Hint #3: It's series (along with another) is often credited with sparking a separate genre of it's own that's very common today among indie developers.

Hint#4: This specific title in the series was not released in North America, but was ported to the Super Nintendo, but altered from this original and under a different name, but still in the same series. (A common practice back then.)

Fun Fact: The Super Mario Bros. II that most of us remember and played was actually a completely different game in Japan, called "Doki Doki Panic". It was altered for the Western market, had different sprites and a different story, and was renamed to the Super Mario Bros. II game we recognize. In Japan, they had a completely different Super Mario Bros. sequel, that was later released as "Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels" in the West on other platforms. In fact, the Super Mario Bros. II we know today in the West, finally made it back to Japan in 1992 as "Super Mario USA".

The  game I am hinting at here was similarly altered for the West, renamed, and released on a different platform than this original title. Many of the bosses and aspects from this game made it into other titles in the series on both the SNES and Genesis. I originally played it in all it's Japanese glory in the mid 1990's when a friend managed to get a copy when his dad visited Japan and brought him back a copy along with the Japanese version of the console, and a few other games of course. The version I play today is a translated version that was done much more recently. The game is left intact, but most all the dialog has been translated into English.

 

Here's a clue from the games ending...

game1-2.gif.e527c88fbd850de97ebf8cc6018e511a.gif

 

Another clue.. Who's on the horse? The hero of the adventure of course!

game1-3.jpg.7caf08391fc9e434d31fc35e6e209f2c.jpg

 

The hero was riding off after defeating ...

game1-4.jpg.331ac7dfa78c22a0a917e7137b9ad545.jpg

 

I will periodically pop in and add hints until someone posts the correct answer. 🙂

Good luck!

 

Oh, and just for fun, I am including a prize! 🕹️

I have extra game keys from bundles I have purchased for one reason or another. Sometimes you get keys to games that you either already own or that don't really interest you all that much.

If you're interested, and are the first one to post the correct game name, I will send you a copy (via private message on here) of a fun little indie title based on classic 8/16-bit era RPG games like Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest. It's called "Dragon Fantasy: The Volumes of Westeria" and it's pretty fun to play through, very comical, I really enjoyed playing it!

You will need Steam on PC to redeem the key and play the game. You don't have to take the game if you don't want it, I am just throwing it out there because I already own it and this extra key it's just sitting on my hard drive collecting virtual dust. haha

https://store.steampowered.com/app/327980/Dragon_Fantasy_The_Volumes_of_Westeria/

 

Edited by Strider
Added more hints, a fun fact, and a 3rd clue. :)
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I might be falling for a red herring here, but are you thinking of "Castlevania: Rondo of Blood"?

I have never played it, but I did play the rather watered-down SNES version, "Casltevania: Dracula X."  A few years ago I remember reading about the games' production history and how North America somehow never got the substantially better original version of the game. I had to google a little to remind myself what the name of the original was.

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2 hours ago, John Chow Seymour said:

I might be falling for a red herring here, but are you thinking of "Castlevania: Rondo of Blood"?

I have never played it, but I did play the rather watered-down SNES version, "Casltevania: Dracula X."  A few years ago I remember reading about the games' production history and how North America somehow never got the substantially better original version of the game. I had to google a little to remind myself what the name of the original was.

2j53bn.jpg.36dbcf4ac99e0290edc711b0a6935888.jpg

 

You guessed correctly, it is indeed "Castlevania: Rondo of Blood"!

 

1108965678_AkumajouDraculaX-ChiNoRondo(English-FullyTranslated)-210601-040442.jpg.a68c104ee4f242b3f4ec250f5fc0076d.jpg

 

To expand on my hints a little bit...

The game was released in Japan in 1993 on the PC Engine CD (Turbogragx-16 CD to those of us in the West), but this version didn't officially make it to the Western market until 2007 when it was released on the PlayStation Portable. It's also available on the Turbografx-16 Mini console released in 2020. My favorite version is the orignal PC-E CD from 1993!

It was altered and released in the West as Castlevania Dracula X on the Super NES, and some of the games content can be found in Castlevania Bloodlines on the Sega Genesis(The New Generation outside of the US).

The genre of games I am referring to is "Metroidvania". The mechanics and style of the original 8 and 16 bit era of Metroid and Castlevania games is widely used today, especially among indie developers.

I have played through this series many times on the classic consoles, and is by far one of my favorite series of games. I just got done playing it yet again when I thought it would be fun to play a little game with it and see if anyone would recognize it. 😆

 

If you want that copy of Dragon Fantasy, just send me a PM here on the forums and I will send it your way. 😁

 

Also, if anyone else wants to post hints to another game, go for it!

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Oh, what fun!  Sure, I'll take that code; I'll PM you shortly.

Well, perhaps I'll go with scavenger-hunt rules where the winner makes the next challenge.

I'm thinking of a game...

Hint 1: There are versions of this game for many systems of the 1980s. The first version of this game that I ever played was the NES port, which was released in 1987.  I would later learn that the original release was four years earlier, in 1983, for the Apple ][.  It's been ported to at least 10 other '80s systems.

Hint 2: The NES port, which was handled by both a different studio and a different publisher than the original, was significantly changed.  Among other changes, where the original had occasional in-jokes relevant to the early '80s software development world, these were all removed in the NES port.  Sadly this made at least one key element of the plot much more difficult to understand.

More clues to come, if needed.


I also have spare Steam leys, and for the same reason: I would sometimes buy a game then later buy a bundle that included another key to the same game.  Alas, none of my duplicate keys at the moment are retro-related.  But I could give a key to "Baba is You," an excellent puzzle game which has graphics that at least look like they might have been designed on an 8-bit system.

Remember, the 'prize' isn't really the point; don't be afraid to chime in even if you're not interested in the Steam code.

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I think I know this one! 😜

I'm going to guess ...

20340-lode-runner-commodore-64-front-cover.jpg.683568ad274b10b81a6c35cef95f07a8.jpg

 

I first played it on the Commodore 64, I had the cartridge version. Loved it! A true classic.

I know it was developed for the Apple ii, but made it onto most platforms of the time, and had many remakes under different brands, including the NES. If I am correct, I don't remember anything about the removal of the in-jokes from the NES port, but it's also been many many years since I played it. haha

Fun! You always learn something new!

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I'm afraid that isn't it.

As someone who played the original Lode Runner on an Apple ][, before I ever owned a NES, I can tell you it didn't contain any industry in-jokes.  Also, as far as I can tell, the dates don't work: the NES port was apparently released in 1986.  (Interestingly, that's the same year the NES launched in N.A., and apparently a Lode Runner port was one of the first third-party games for the system. I didn't know that until I looked it up just now!)

Before adding a third hint, I'd like to leave it up for one more day to give other people a chance to see it.

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Posted (edited)

That would explain why I don't remember it. haha

What got me on that track was the fact Load Runner had something like 6 different developers and around 20 publishers for it's many ports across most common platforms. The "in-jokes" threw me off, now I know why, wrong game! 😛

Perhaps someone else's memory is better than mine. lol

oh-well-back-to-the-drawing-board.jpg.e971ac57f95adcb587db52b1bfd0d37e.jpg

Edited by Strider
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Okay then, here we go:

Hint 3: This game is part of a series.  There are numbered 'main series' games as well as a handful of spinoffs.  The game I'm thinking of is one of the main series entries, and is neither the first nor the last.  They're all in the same genre and the earlier entries all had a top-down view (later entries and spinoffs experimented with other perspectives). 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, SlithyMatt said:

Ultima III?

That sounds like a great guess. I'm thinking probably IV though, as that chapter is much more well-known and is featured regularly on 8-BitGuy's channel.

Even if I'm right, give the credit to Matt because I wouldn't have thought of Ultima on my own. (never got into that series)

I've got one to post, but want to wait until this one is solved, first.

Edited by ZeroByte
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1 minute ago, SlithyMatt said:

The years line up with III, which is why I guessed that.

Yeah, looks like IV hit the NES in 1990.

I always did remember the town music from C64 Ultima III because a friend had that game, and I really liked the music. I was just more of a Bard's Tale player than an Ultima player.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, SlithyMatt said:

Ultima III?

Yeah, that makes much more sense!

Believe it or not, I never really got into the Ultima games back then, and I have never actually fully played though any of them. Sadly, this is true of many good games.

I really need to do a full play on that classic series.... 😜

Edited by Strider
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"Ultima III: Exodus" is correct!

(I apologize to everyone for not being able to log in yesterday to check this thread.  It was a long day.)

In the NES version, the player is told that they need to defeat "Exodus, " which is some form of great evil.  You do this by gathering four "cards" which my friends and I interpreted as being some sort of magical spell cards or something.  At the end of the game, the final boss is simply called 'Floors', and it appears that the floor tiles in the final room are attacking you.  You don't even fight Exodus... we were so confused by this as kids.

Turns out, the original Apple version made all of this more clear.  "Exodus" was supposed to be a supercomputer, and the cards you use to "defeat" it are punch cards.  The 'Floors' boss was a reference to a security system that some company at the time had installed to protect its computer, triggered y pressure plates.  This got parodied in the game - you had to literally fight the floor to get to Exodus.

Apparently the people who ported the game to the NES thought kids wouldn't appreciate the weird references to computing, and removed all reference to it.  (Recall that even the first Ultima game ended on a spaceship, so it's not like the weird mix of technology was new to the series).

Later, in Ultima VII (I think) the plot references Exodus and refers to it as "that machine you destroyed", or something similar.  So although they started taking the plot more seriously (less goofy) in the later Ultima games, they still made good on their own series history.

@SlithyMatt, if you want a Steam code for "Baba is You", feel free to PM me.  Sorry that's the only spare code I have at the moment.

 

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Okay, here’s one:

This second-gen console game was made specifically to get back at the top devs from Activision. In the previous year’s CES, the Activision guys snubbed this game’s creator, not dropping by to check out his new game. He vowed to create something so cool that they would HAVE to come by in person to see it.

He stumbled across a glitch in the display chip that rendered a cool, useful effect that was technically “impossible.” So he built this game around that effect. Yes, it's a fun game, and yes it sold well and was ported to other systems, but the real reason he made the game was to be a tech demo of this cool effect.

Sure enough, at the next CES, David Crane himself dropped by and tried to nonchalantly figure it out w/o admitting he had no idea how it was done, much to the creator’s glee.

Incidentally, both this game and the prior snubbed game are both highly regarded by classic game enthusiasts.

Edited by ZeroByte
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I had no idea about this one, but I was very curious and so I did some research, which sent me down a rabbit hole of anecdotes about Atari and the several game development firms formed when Atari employees left to form their own companies.  All that reading was quite enjoyable but it does feel a little like cheating, especially since I'd never ever heard of the game before (despite a 2600 being my first childhood game console, this game's existence escaped me). For this reason, I'll give it some more time before offering my guess.

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1 hour ago, John Chow Seymour said:

All that reading was quite enjoyable but it does feel a little like cheating

I don't remember the conference, but I watched the guy give a talk about this and it was quite amusing. Even decades later, he still feels the satisfaction of stumping the king of the mountain, making him come down from the ivory tower in person. The rivalry between devs definitely helped push the edge of the envelope for us gamers.

My favorite anecdote involving David Crane, though, is on the Atari Age forums. They were discussing how Pitfall II managed to get audio out of the expansion chip in the cart, as the VCS only had enough lines on the cart port for an address and data bus. No audio lines, no bus mastering capabilities, etc. Just enough to plug a ROM onto the bus, yet he was able to read and write the chip. Well, that thread went dormant for ten years, and then David Crane himself posted a long, detailed post about how it worked and how his program then got the audio into Stella, etc. Two posts after this, someone posted: "Now THIS is how you necro-bump a thread, folks!"

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Well, no one else seems to be ringing in, so here's my guess.  Could it be...

cosmic_ark.jpg.0e1547ef72892c7a38ac4af623795668.jpg

Cosmic Ark, from 1982, designed by Rob Fulop at Imagic?

I'm not sure I know which one was the 'snubbed' game though - possibly Fulop's port of Missile Command from 1981 while he was still at Atari.

The clue that both games are highly regarded by classic games enthusiasts made me hesitate, because while Missile Command is a well-known classic (and one of my personal favorites), I'd never head of Cosmic Ark before looking it up.

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I absolutely love reading and learning about video game and technology history, especially the "behind the scenes" interviews and stories. It's fascinating to learn the real "human" story about how a lot of the games and tech we grew up on, and shaped the tech world we know today, got their start.

One thing I learned early on, there was indeed a lot of "borrowing" of ideas and concepts back then, and still to this day. When something works, the first thing people want to do is copy it, and I really don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. I have always thought innovation often comes from the inspiration one gathers from the world around them. While you may get a hundred cheap clones or knockoffs, of those, there is a good chance someone will improve upon it or even come up with something completely different.

 

As far as the game in question...

Yeah, I did a little reading around as well. There are quite a few games for the 2600, assuming that's the 2nd gen console in question, that are held in high regard. Then again, it could be the Intelevision, Colecovision, or Vectrex. There are more in that list of course, but those three were the most popular and well known to most people, outside of Atari.

What got me is the technical aspect, what effect was a glitch that resulted in something useful but was thought impossible, so I am trying to think of games that would jump out at me in that respect.

Still ... I got nothing. 😆

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Cosmic Ark is correct. The star field is the reason the game exists. I forget which graphic element is glitched to create the effect but when Furlop saw it, he designed Cosmic Ark around it to show it off.

I guess what is meant by “highly regarded” is that it’s not an obscure title and it’s considered a good game. Well done.

And the snubbed game was Demon Attack.

https://web.archive.org/web/20091227184554/http://robfulop.com/blog/2008/04/14/making-david-crane-cry-the-origin-of-cosmic-ark/

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That link tells the story better than anything I found when researching.  What a great story.

One other odd tidbit I found was that, although Cosmic Ark has been included in some iterations of the "Atari Flashback" devices, the "Atari-on-a-chip" is just imperfect enough that the glitch doesn't work, and instead of a starfield one gets a weird sort of laser-looking effect.  There's a video about it here.

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If you're going to try your hand at making an Atari 2600 emulator, then I'd say Cosmic Ark should be in your testbed. Pitfall II is another special case, because it has an expansion chip in the cartridge, and is the only game with that chip so it's kind of a special case in your emulator. (But a worthy one IMO as that's a fantastic game for the 2600)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got another one, the problem is, it's pretty well known, so how to word it so it's not obvious.... 😛

 

* This game got it's start as a tech demo for a companies BASIC compiler, and saw limited release in the early 1980's in Japan.

* The games premise was very simple, but also very addictive (at least it was for me). No real story, just simple fun gameplay.

* The game gained in popularity when it was ported to the Famicom, and a couple years later, released outside of Japan on the NES.

* The original game was ported to over a dozen different platforms, mostly computers of the 1980's such as the ZX Spectrum, MSX, Sharp X1, and more. It was later ported to other consoles and handhelds as time went on.

* Like any good game, it spawned several different sequels and versions, well over 50 in fact. Spanning the last 30+ years, across just about every platform you can think of. It also has a huge list of spin-offs and clones that are not nearly as well known. Several such clones made it to the Commodore 64!

* Lastly, the game was re-released in the early 1990's to several different platforms before it's sequel was released.Including the Commodore Amiga, Turbografx-16/PCE, MS-DOS, and the Atari ST.

 

I really can't give any visual clues, it would give it away pretty quickly.

 

Also... it's one of my favorite all time "time killer" games. 😁

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