Sundry Sunday: Duelin’ Firemen Trailer

Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.

If you haven’t seen it before (it made a trip around the blogs and such back in 2001), you really aren’t prepared for Duelin’ Firemen. The version that people saw then was really low quality though; a few years back, as part of a documentary about its making that seems like it never really got off the ground, a somewhat better quality version appeared on Youtube. It is, um, really something.

Duelin’ Firemen was a cancelled FMV game, probably a music game, for the 3DO console. Right off the bat it shows you it means business: not one but two planes, one of them in fact the space shuttle Columbia, the other Air Force One, collide with the top of the Sears Tower. The trailer was made in 1996 so you can’t blame it for being inappropriate due to either of those things. You might still consider it inappropriate due to other things, but it’s not too much offensive, unless you consider its childish innuendo or gleeful appraisal of a city in flames offensive. It might just be waiting for a massive citywide conflagration to hit the media for people to tsk at it for that. Which, well, would probably be fair.

Let me not keep you waiting any longer! Here is Duelin’ Firemen, the video game intro trailer that got submitted to freaking Sundance in 1996. You won’t be the same person afterward that you were before. Because we’re all changed by our experiences, be they great or small. But it really is an experience. 7 1/2 minutes’ worth of one:

Recognizable people in it, behind all the poorly composited flames, include blacksploitation star Rudy Ray “Dolemite” Moore, DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh, Dr. Timothy Leary, Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the Subgenius, Steve Albini, David Yow, and no doubt others I’m leaving out or don’t myself recognize. I’ve never been great with pop culture figures, or music figures either. But you don’t have to know who any of them are to enjoy it, probably with the aid of the mind-altering substance of your choice.

If you want to find out more, there’s this promotional interview (4 1/2 minutes) from around the time, and other clips on the documentary’s Youtube page. Or you could leave yourself blissfully unaware. That’s fine too.

And hey! The website has recently been revived, and promises an upcoming interactive comic!


Hardcore Gaming 101 Covers Snake’s Revenge

Hardcore Gaming 101 is one of the most important game history sites on the internet, and site creator Kurt Kalata writes on a wide variety of games for consoles and computers alike. Recently they’ve been on a Metal Gear kick, and that means covering the black sheep of the series, Snake’s Revenge.

Snake’s Revenge is the forgotten Metal Gear game, an NES sequel made without Hideo Kojima input, to the NES port of Metal Gear that he also had nothing to do with. It has a reputation for being terrible, but that’s really unmerited. As Kurt Kalata notes, while it has its flaws, is ignored by later Metal Gear games, and it has a story based on the manual scenario for Metal Gear written by Konami’s crazy American writing staff*, it’s technically proficient and has good music.

Yep, it’s the Metal Gear with side-view segments.

You can, and should read it for yourself, here.

* The American manual for NES Life Force says that the evil planet-eating monster Zelos was the proud progeny of “Ma and Pa Deltoid.” In the description of Dracula’s Heart in the manual for Castlevania II, it warns: “Careful! The heart attacks.” These were not means isolated occurrences from Konami’s US staff.

2 Great Indie Platformers

This is a double review of Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara and Super Catboy, both played with press keys provided by the developers.

0:00 Intro
00:18 Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara Review
4:36 Super Catboy Review

A Stay At Nintendo’s Original Headquarters

The site. Image from beforemario.

When I say original headquarters it’s really original: the building they started out of in the late 1800s as a maker of playing cards! I like to mix up the content here and include some history when I can amidst all the gaming geekery. The building has been restored and is now a fairly small and cozy hotel! The stay is recorded on the blog beforemario, with many many photographs.

Nintendo has still been a playing card company for quite a while longer than it’s been a video game company, and while there are some artifacts contributed by the founding Yamauchi family recognizing their game products, mostly it’s a pretty chill hotel, haunted no doubt by friendly and playful ghosts. And they serve food! Have a look.

An early product of Nintendo was a set of playing cards with a Napoleon theme. beforemario wrote about those too!

Sharopolis Looks Into NES Technical Feats

Youtuber Sharopolis has a 20-minute video up examining several specific NES games and how some unexpected tricks were pulled off in each: Rescue: The Embassy Mission, Crash and the Boys Street Challenge, Castlevania III and Jurassic Park. I love learning about how developers overcame hardware limitations, and if you’re reading this, I’d wager there’s a good chance you do too!

Indie Showcase For 4/2/24

The indie showcases highlight the many indie games we play here on the channel. All games shown are either press key submissions or demos.

0:00 Intro
00:14 Tater Spud
1:50 Zor: Pilgrimage of the Slorfs
5:09 Recursive Ruin
7:31 Backpack Hero
9:58 Incision
11:55 Elementallis

Shiren 6: What Happens When You Finish The Final Dungeon

I’ve been playing a lot of Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island lately. Partly in preparation to add a chapter on it to my Mystery Dungeon book, partly because I like Mystery Dungeon games. I streamed my playthrough of finishing the main dungeon (on my first attempt!) here.

Here is the title screen (which is a spoiler for after finishing the main dungeon, although that is really only a short way into the game):

After you finish every other task in the game, including finishing the final 99 Floor “megadungeon” where most items are unidentified, the title screen changes to add a nice rainbow:

I forgot to get a picture with the title in place. I can’t go back and get it now because of what followed….

There is one more thing to do at that point though. That is to play through the megadungeon again, but finding 12 “Celestial Stones” that severely restrict your inventory by the end.

Well, I’m not sure if they really counted on anyone doing that? There doesn’t seem to be much reward for it. It doesn’t go remarked upon by anyone in the game. But it does change one thing: the title screen. Here it is:

I like the red “IN SPACE” stamp! Sadly, all the graphics in the actual game still show an island floating in the atmosphere, and not in orbit. I wonder if they plan on doing something with this in an update? That seems like a lot of extra work for the benefit of not a lot of people.

Looking through my screenshots, I found this illustration that can be unlocked for behind the main menu, showing Shiren stumbling upon a Monster House:

There’s a lot more to say about Shiren 6, after I gather up my thoughts about it….