Monday, October 06, 2008

bounty and your wealth in hand, terror in a best laid plan

there was a time, believe it or not, when the world did not have this interwebnetthingie business. i was then unable to spread word of The King living in China, my good friend Mike was unable to send pictures of branches of KFC that The King might have visited in China, and my equally good friend Norman was unable to visit that kind of site.

how did we fill the time, then? well, the Atari post earlier on may have given you some clues. here are some more insights!

when it comes to Atari quality, you cannot go far wrong with the class of Phoenix. Mike & I used to rent this cartridge from the video store that was in the local petrol station, next to our primary school. i think it cost 99p to rent overnight, and boy did we get every penny's worth out of it.

on the last trip over to home, i noted that the petrol station had gone; the rental store with it. i recall that the ladies in the store were very polite in not allowing me to rent a tape called The Pleasuredome, assuring me that it had nothing whatsoever to do with my beloved Frankie Goes To Hollywood or the album / single of that name. i found out many years later exactly what it did have to do with, and i think all of us would have been in a great deal of bother if we had taken that sort of thing home.

the Atari was all well and good, but we eventually got around to the pinnacle of home computer systems, the Commodore 64. Mike has sent me this link, and i suggest you go and have a gander at what quality PC was all about back then.

there were many, many fine things for the good old C64, but few could capture the imagination in the way that Kik Start 2 so convincingly did. not only, in the best 2D scrolling action known to man, could you ride along like the similar sounding TV show of the time, you could actually build your own track and challenge all your friends to get the best time on it!!

i would love to tell you that we spent ages constructing works of art for each other, but that would be a lie. oh no, we just built courses that featured in the region of one hundred flame throwers as it was class to see the fella on the bike go up in flames.

here's a shot of some Kik Start action, sadly not featuring the flame throwers but rather smart all the same. as you will observe, it features split-screen action. that's right folks, with a track made up of nothing but flame throwers, we were able to have synchronized dude on bike entertainment!

there are any number of quality C64 titles i could bang on about (the impossible Frankie Goes To Hollywood game, for instance), but Norman would not forgive me if i did not mention his beloved ACE.

a rather classy flight simulation thing, which required two people; one to handle the joystick and flying bits, one to man the flight controls, aka the C64 keyboard. Norman, ever the flyboy, always wanted to fly it, which rather unwisely left me at the controls for the missiles, flares, etc. Norman used to get very upset with the fact that i jettisoned all the missiles and flares once we were but a handful of centimetres off the runway, but what was i supposed to do? there's only so much fun to be hand watching Norman deftly navigate trees and a field. anyway, when i did let him fly for a bit, all he ever did was crash us into the mid-air refuelling thingie.

what a great shame that the similar kind of thing produced these days doesn't inspire a single calorie of the inspiration and innovation these things did for us. oh well.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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