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Questionable artwork and pedantic miscellany
September 23, 2007
We’re not playing it for giggles, like you

We (“we” being me plus at least one other person) went through a few Nintendo Entertainment Systems in the old days. All the dust particles that built up due to the machine’s cartridge door being held open by the object also holding the game down because the spring-lock was broken probably did not help. Lincoln logs, legos, Sega Genesis games, many items held the honor of this holding. Various “game cleaning” devices may also have found at last a legitimate use in this role.

The games themselves similarly suffered. There were some, like Air Fortress, which always worked, either due to disuse or simple irony, but the older ones were a different delaware. I actually had mapped out in my mind which glitch patterns and colors meant Legend of Zelda was how close to starting up properly. A blank blue screen was bad. That was the furthest from function. I knew when it started being gray and occasionally showing white dashes it was almost working. The NES we got later, unfortunately, defaulted to a blank grey screen so it was really hard to know how much more blowing needed to be done. We had to replace the first NES, as I said, because its spring-lock broke. Its door had also broken, but that didn’t really matter since that wouldn’t stay closed while the game was being held down. Though the second’s spring also broke, we were cautious enough to see that the door remained intact. By that time we had moved on to leaving control devices in stupid places and letting them get stepped on. Big kid stuff. (that’s noise)

Good old Legend of Zelda. This was the version without the “hold reset or lose data!” warning.

This warning was added to the later issues of the game without the gold cartridges, which has me mystified, as it doesn’t look at all expensive to have produced. All the more mystifying is that the absense of silence, which is also golden, ought to have resolved any budgetary issues. Perhaps this is golden wisdom.

There were some graphic errors with which the game was playable, like vertical white lines, and others which I knew not to bother with, like the horizontal orange lines which gradually spread from the upper left corner to cover the whole screen. My cousin Patrick called that “the ozone layer,” and I never questioned it. I don’t think I ever questioned a thing he told me, even though 53.7% of it was rubbish, and that’s a bit more than half. I believe it was from a friend of his that I learned the “blow in the cartridge” trick. You know, that great trick that never worked one time. We did that for six years.

It’s impossible to say to what extent this sort of thing contributed to my lifelong fear of being sent to prison. Incidentally, Patrick also told me that the creature with wings is named The Guy Who Flies With His Pants On. It makes sense; why fly with your pants off, if you have pants?

Different games had different diseases, but all suffered from the ozone layer. It is a good thing I never heard that aerosol sprays “depleted ozone” until later, as I would probably have found myself emptying those directly into cartridges in lieu of plain inefficient mouth-driven air and thought myself quite clever. Mmmm.
Sometimes there would be “good” lines at the start, but then ozone would slowly start sneaking in. Of course I was always in denial about it. I would pretend not to notice it, and hope that it would go away. Alas, ozone is all around us, and is in all places at all times, so it really cannot go anywhere. Even if it could, Ozone Road was a mere two blocks from my place of business, Olympus Battling business, so its fearsome layer could return before long. It did.

There was a period when I was just grateful to get a certain intendo tape, as the people I liked less liked to say more, working for a few minutes. There was one Metroid password that I entered so many times that I actually memorized it and no longer needed to consult the birth certificate or Abraham Lincoln autographed picture I had written it over. It wasn’t even a good password. I think it had one energy tank and fifteen missiles, in the second part of Norfair without the high-jump boots.

BOOTS, I said! Why, in a situation which involved boots, and you had space on the screen to print “boots,” would you not do so? I guess I’m just old.

Newer Legend of Zelda cartridge side-by-side with picture I found online of older Legend of Zelda. Obviously taken by an amateur, who set it up in an environment with minimal light reflection or whatever, so the precious metal exterior just resembles plastic painted to be a goldish color.

Newer Legend of Zelda side-by-side with earlier picture I took depicting itself and gold cartridge picture. Despite the tape issue, not I nor anyone I had or yet have met called these things “carts.” I remember getting an occasional issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine between 1992 and 1996 and wondering what video games had to do with driving around in little mechanical cars or transporting groceries.

I also wondered if Mike Weigand was really a Battletoad.

How Blackthorne could be “game of the month” in any situation had not yet occurred to me to ponder. I mean, you can’t even draw your gun when climbing up a ledge. I hate that. For shame!
Oh, and Gary Coleman did own an arcade at the time this magazine was printed, but I assure you Mike thought he was being every bit as hilarious dropping the name then as he would today.

July 19, 2007
The sailors locked him up because he was impossible!

I have obtained the list of 2007’s worst selling video games. Although 2007 has yet to conclude, I feel these are reliable figures, much like the organizers of the Live, Earth! concertos wrote up reports in advance boasting of their 2 billion viewers. Although I have been forbidden from publishing this list on the penalty of fines and unfriending, I believe four or five members of the public have a right to know.


Mario Kartographer

Quake ‘n Bake

Age of Humidifiers

Animal Crossdressing

Baldur’s Fence


Baywatch NiGHTS

Secret of Mundane Island

Tom Clancy’s Piles of Cash

Betrayal at Condo

Smash Brothers Pele (except in Brazil)

Donny Most Recon

Mr. Don’t Bother


Madden 0Canada

Addworld: Abe’s Exponents

Marble Vs. Capcom

Spy Vs. Pie

Crack Ho the Dolphin


Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo Puyo

Where in the Room is Carmen Sandiego?

Earthworm Gym

Final Fantasy Spastics

American McGee’s Name

Duke Snookums

Double Drag

Return to Condo (I Forgot my Keys)

Hooked on Phonics the Hedgehog

Space Inaners

Bubble Bob Dole

Quest for Maury: So you want to have a paternity test

The Colonel’s Breakfast

Super Mario All-Sars

Super Mario All-Bill Mahers

Oops! Super Mario All-Berries

Panzer Brigadoon

Code Name: Vapo-Rub

Tales of Phanphiction

More of that sort of thing

Oh, this is hardly over.

Nobody I know has a website anymore

Mr. Sr. Mxy
Gilhodes (bah you need a facebook account to see)
video game music database
pacific novelty
Green Lantern Head Trauma

them`s fightin` woids: May 23, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
oh it was “jimbo.” yes he still has nothing to say but is doing it constantly and...
May 23, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
I am trying to determine what “thimbo” was before I changed it so I can check on if...
May 23, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
i am glad i did not delete those! I wish I put more of my notes from classes like that here. I...
May 19, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
I didn’t get a good look before he tossed me in the trunk.
May 19, 2020
Purplespace sez:
So who is the lucky crane rigger that has taken you?
April 29, 2020
Charmlatan sez:
Don’t worry, I was only kidding!…hm, for the most part..
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