Legend of Zelda Retrospective Video & NES quiz

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Matt Barton's picture

Nintendo and particulary Zelda fanboys will want to check out this video retrospective on the legendary series. It's a fun trip down memory lane and makes some interesting if potentially inaccurate statements about the series. I am serious about the "fanboy" part, because less biased gamers will no doubt cringe at some of the over-the-top claims the commentator makes about the game. For instance, he claims it was the first RPG to allow the player to wander about an expansive map, the first RPG to "pioneer a complex combat system," and so on. You get the idea--sheer rubbish. The commentator also claims that Zelda was the first console game to offer saved games (can anyone confirm this?). While I find the video entertaining, I am a bit put off by the blatant inaccuracies, which unfortunately seem all-too-common with these otherwise well-produced viddies. On a positive note, see what you can score on this awesome NES screenshot quiz! I apparently "suck"...

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RyuHayabusa
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Fun Nintendo quiz

http://www.zipperfish.com/free/quizimages/nes-award1.jpg

I got a perfect score on the NES quiz, no cheating or hints. Also, while I do believe Zelda was the first battery-backed cartridge(in the US at least), it certainly wasn't the first with a map or complex combat system. It was the first to do it in the way it did, as far as I know.

Mark Vergeer
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I didn't get a perfect score, but was happy with my level

RyuHayabusa, I am not at all surprised you got a perfect score on the NES quiz! ;)

I got a

Nintendo Geek satus - I am wondering if I just got lucky and will look if the questions vary....If I am a true 'Geek' I must be able to score that twice with various questions....Alas, it's the same set of screenshots... Ah wel I like being a Nintendo NES Geek ;)

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Bill Loguidice
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The birth of the videogame happened with the NES...

...or so some would like us to believe. Great break-down of the biases and innacuracies in the review, Matt. While I don't have the stomach to watch it myself, indeed Zelda and Metroid are generally credited as the first pure videogames with a traditional battery backup, circa 1987. I believe these were required because they were originally disk-based games with save for the Famicom disk drive system that was never released in the US for the NES.

Sadly, the ColecoVision would have been home to the first videogame with battery backup if Probe 2000, which was a software development offshoot from the Magnavox/Philips/Odyssey2 group, hadn't had various technical and business issues around the time of the industry depression/crash. Probe 2000 made the superb War Room for the ColecoVision, and had several other games in development, including a sophisticated computer-like RPG called "Lord of the Dungeon", circa 1984! Unfortunately, the save game to battery backup caused occasional corruption and the problem wasn't resolved before Probe 2000 was disbanded. A select few prototypes exist, but few have actually been able to play a copy.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Matt Barton
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I've yet to see the mass media do it right

I know what you mean, Bill. I can forgive a mass media effort at videogame history for omitting mention of obscure systems, but when they're overlooking well-known machines like the Atari VCS or the Commodore 64, I put my foot down. My guess is that projects like this one are funded (however indirectly) by Nintendo, who has a definite interest in omitting information about rival systems (or even earlier systems that might take away some of their steam).

I mean, if I saw a show called "The History of Home Computers" advertised on G4 or even The History Channel, I'd be willing to bet anyone that such a program would probably fail to mention Commodore, Atari, Tandy, and TI-99 computers. The show would likely focus on IBM-compatibles and Apple and pretend like the rest never happened. The only explanation I can find for this is that there are no advertising budgets for the defunct computer companies, so why bother?

When I was younger, I even cringed at shows like "Tech TV" which hardly ever bothered to mention any other machine besides the PC--yet continue to make sweeping generalizations about "firsts" that were completely wrong. As an Amiga owner at the time, I was deeply offended by the lack of recognition of that machine's achievements. I was surprised a few years ago to see some earlier archives of Tech TV that did mention other computers--not sure what happened.

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Bill Loguidice
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Videogame and Computer History is not treated appropriately

That has always been a pet peeve of mine, Matt. It's simply lazy journalism and, to a degree, pandering. I'm hoping that our book can help to change some of that, as the targeted coverage, format and organization should be conducive to anyone being able to easily parse when, what and who. It's certainly impractical for generalist journalists to mentione every system, but certainly the notable ones should be mandatory. Even in the C-64's case it's all too easy for them to dismiss the best selling computer of all time, for instance. That would be like dismissing The Beatles when talking about popular music history.

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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RyuHayabusa
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A few corrections...

Having gone back and watched the video again, it never says that Zelda was the first to use an expansive map or complex combat system. It says it was different from other games in that you were dropped into the middle of a large expansive area, but also states it was only one of the first games that allowed the player to roam freely around the map. It also never says that it was the first with a complex combat system. However, it does say it was the first game with a battery back-up, which is wrong since the Colecovision had games that used the battery back up as well, as Bill said.

Bill Loguidice
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Battery Backup in Cartridge Videogames

The NES does get the nod for first, even though it was in 1987. Officially, "Lord of the Dungeon" was never released. If the crash never happened, we might very well have seen battery backup before 1987 on console in the US. In fact, we would have seen quite a few neat things if the videogame business had stayed on relative track. Let's remember that videogame stock was always available, right through the NES's introduction, so it wasn't a total collapse, but certainly the focus had shifted by 1984 through 1986 or so to personal computers. That didn't last either once the NES began to capture popular mindshare and the computer market was slowly shifting to 16-bit systems.

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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mrCustard (not verified)
Nintendo Geek...

..although to be honest, i'm not that much of a NES fan. That era completely passed my by. At the time, the ZX Spectrum had more than enough games to keep me occupied, and i do believe, although succesful, the NES wasn't a fenomenal hit in the Netherlands. Certainly none of my friends had one. I suppose the popularity of the C64, MSX and ZXSpectrum didn't leave much room for games consoles. The first console I bought was a Lynx.

ABout the quiz, I missed Rush'n Attack, which is called Green Beret bloody EVERYWHERE except in the US. I also missed a few in the "Impossible" category.

Gamertag: Custardo

Matt Barton
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Rush'n Attack vs. Green Beret

I actually got Rush'n Attack because I remembered how confused I was to see this game on an NES. I kept asking, "Are you SURE that game you're playing isn't Green Beret?" I've seen it as Green Beret in both the arcades and on the C-64, so as far as I know, it was only called Rush'n Attack on the NES.

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Bill Loguidice
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Konami's Rush'n Attack is the US name for Green Beret

I have this: http://www.amazon.com/Konami-83717500193-Arcade-Classic/dp/B0000631W0 for the GameBoy Advance and it does in fact play a great version of "Rush'n Attack". There's also this entry from KLOV: http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?letter=R&game_id=9382

So, indeed, for some reason everywhere but the US (North America?) is "Green Beret" known as "Rush'n Attack"...

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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