This month, I am going to try and add a few new things to the newsletter. I am going to slowly expand the size of it. But I plan on keeping the few articles that I have been doing since I returned, the Video Game Hunter and WOW Moments. I plan on adding to those, some articles that I used to have in the past. One being where I spotlight websites that deal with video games and the other where I will talk about fun Youtube videos that deal with video games. So sit back and enjoy the every growing Retrogaming Times and be happy knowing this added content will not raise the price. We will remain free (unless you want to donate, but I am not holding my breath) and well worth it!
As I was growing up, my Uncle Ron bought a TI computer and that was my first experience to the computer. Many hours were spent playing Tunnels of Doom, Alpiner and Parsec. Later on, he went into selling TI computers and software. I picked up one from him later and it was my first attempt at programming.
Years later, I was looking through the classified section on AOL (yes, I have been on AOL for decades, go ahead and make the jokes) and I came across an ad that grabbed my attention. A man in a city about three hours away from me was giving away a bunch of TI 99/4A computers and accessories. He said it was free to the first person to pick it up. It was too much to ship and he did not want to be bothered by it. I sent him a quick email and within hours, I received a reply back that it was mine if I wanted to pick it up. I arranged to pick it up the next day.
The next day, I packed my son Alex in our car and drove the three hours to his house to pick it up. I figured that I had more than enough room as the trunk was empty as was the back seat. How much stuff could the guy have? Well, as I arrived, I found that I sorely miscalculated.
As I arrived at his house, he greeted me at the door and took me to a room in his house that was full and I mean full of TI computer stuff. There were at least six boxed TI computers, over 100 carts, hundreds of disks, magazines, disk drives, controllers and more. I was stunned by the sheer amount of stuff. To say this guy was a TI fan was an understatement. I asked him why he wanted to get rid of this stuff and he said he has moved on to PCs and he wanted to regain the room it was taking up. He knew it didn't have much value and didn't want to be bothered with trying to sell it and ship it.
Before I left, he gave me an email address of a person who emailed him and asked him if they could get a computer for their disabled child. Having a child with a disability, I could sympathize and told him that I would email them and gladly send them one of the computers.
When I was done filling the car, I had almost no room left. The trunk was filled to capacity. The back seat was overflowing. I even put a few things on the floor in front of my son. But I did fit all of it into my car.
When I got home, started sorting the stuff out. I put together a system for myself with one of each game. Then I made another set with the computer and a handful of programs and emailed the person and sent it out to them at no cost. I then started to make up sets and was able to trade the rest of it to different collectors to get games that I did not have for the TI and other systems.
Once the sorting was done, I had a marathon game session. I played games that I have not played in a decade. Games like Sneggit, Slimeoids and Anteater. It brought back so many memories of when I was young and enjoying these fun games.
Youtube Classic Gaming
Pac-Man Meets Mario
Sites of the Month
Arcade Art Library
This mall had an arcade and we made a beeline for it. With some money left from the show (I had a paper route as well as getting money for helping at the show, so I always had some arcade money.), I went to see if there were any new games to play. I always liked to try new video games and a trip to a new arcade would often lead to a new gaming experience. As I walked through the arcade, I was greeted by the usual games that filled every arcade - Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, etc... But I was looking for a new experience.
I quickly cleared the first screen and was sent to the docking level. Simple stuff. But then the alien talked again. I was not used to a game where the speech fit with the game. In Gorf, it was just a few canned lines "Long Live Gorf", etc... but in this game he was talking right to me. Granted, I would find later on that the speech became repetitive, but at the moment I was amazed.
What really blew me away was when the game ended, he told me I was an adequate opponent. That made me want to play again and see if I could get a better ranking. Many dollars later, I finally received an outstanding warrior compliment from the alien. I felt satisfied that I had defeated the one eyed monster, even if he made me somewhat poorer.
While the game never had quite the same excitement as the first time, I do
find myself playing it occasionally, even if it is nothing more than a mediocre
Asteroids clone. But for a brief moment back in my youth, I really felt
like the game was directly talking to me and challenging me. And that is
truly a WOW moment.
Game Therapy - The Dig Dug Session
DigDug - Doctor, I am experiencing some personal problems.
Dr. Sane - What is your problem?
DigDug - I find it embarrassing to talk about.
Dr. Sane - You can relax here. I am here to listen, not judge.
DigDug - I know, but it is just that I have never experienced this problem before and it makes me feel like less of a man.
Dr. Sane - Let's start at the beginning, when did you first experience this problem?
DigDug - Well, I was going around my game, digging along as I always do, when I came across Fygar the dragon. He did not see me as he had his back turned to me. I was ready to pump him up and blow him away when it happened.
Dr. Sane - What happened? Please continue.
DigDug - It happened. My hose didn't work.
Dr. Sane - Your hose?
DigDug - Yeah, it's my weapon in the game. I shoot it into an enemy and then pump them full of air until they pop.
Dr. Sane - And this time your hose didn't pump?
DigDug - Worse, it wouldn't come out. I aimed it at him and I shot or so I thought, but it just laid there all limp and lifeless.
Dr. Sane - Did your get your equipment checked out?
DigDug - Yeah, I went and had it looked at and they said it worked fine.
Dr. Sane - So you think it is psychological?
DigDug - I don't know Doc. My hose has never let me down before. It was always there when I needed to pump up a villain.
Dr. Sane - Did anything happen before this that was different than in the past?
DigDug - I had a few rocks dropped on my head, but that is par for the course in my game.
Dr. Sane - Did any rocks hit your hose?
DigDug - Not that I remember, but then I don't remember much.
Dr. Sane - Any other traumas in your game?
DigDug - I have been burned numerous times by Fygar.
Dr. Sane - Burned?
DigDug - Yeah, he's a dragon that breathes fire.
Dr. Sane - That may be the problem. Your hose may have been damaged by the fire.
DigDug - I never thought of that. Guess, I will have to get it checked out.
Dr. Sane - Come back and let me know if this is the problem.
Tom Zjaba (This issue was written while listening to Goo Goo Dolls, Beatles and the Doors.)
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