Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.
Did I post this one before? An archives search doesn’t turn it up. It’s been in my topic list for a long time, but it seems I never actually post it it. Here it is! It was created by Doctor Octoroc, who still has a website, for CollegeHumor, which doesn’t!
The video is 11 years old, and doesn’t present all of the events of the series, I think because it hadn’t concluded at that point. Still, it may be entertaining.
They generally do good work, although sometimes they include unexpected games in a series? As an example, their video on Forgotten 16-Bit games includes DOS and Amiga titles that are often not considered part of the bitness wars, PC Engine games that should rightfully be considered 8-bit, and even a couple of romhacks, which are a whole infested kettle. Once you start including romhacks your field has gotten large enough that you could likely never be done including things. And their monotonous vocal presentation grates quickly. Still though, they do their research, and the information is good.
Something else you’ve probably noticed from the thumbnails above is that St1ka’s not at all above focusing on female skin as clickbait, in such a way that it sometimes makes one feel vaguely creepy when loading his videos. It’s not a huge portion of the content, although the 16-bit compilation does feature as one of its subjects the Super Famicom title Princess Minerva which is a bit, as they say, sus. He admits to doing this in the Modern NES Games video, which, fair? Youtube is a content meat grinder and people try different things to be noticed. Also, the titles are a bit incendiary once in a while, in a style that many Youtubers use, and that often turns me away from a video.
Still, the amount of content that St1ka’s provides may overcome the negatives for you. He certainly cares about the subject. It’s a fun series, and it’s very likely to point you to some titles you’ve never heard of before. I leave the question of clicking through up to you.
The Modern NES Games video provides no information on where to get these titles! I believe strongly in accessible text, so here is where they can be found and what they are. If you choose to pore through this, or watch the video linked above, you’ll quickly discover that not all of these are actually “INCREDIBLE.” Blame St1ka for the discrepancy.
Gold Guardian Gun Girl – While there’s a free demo version (Pixiv registration required), the full version is only provided in physical form, where it’s fairly pricey (around $60, but currently out of stock everywhere I looked). It’s homepage is in Japanese, and has links to where they sell it (when it’s available).
Alwa’s Awakening – A highlight of the video, it’s available in many places. Its home page lists them all, usually for $10. Of particular note is Steam, Switch and itch.io. While the original is made in a retro style, the actual NES version is on Steam, GoG and itch.io, also typically for $10.
Steins Gate – Was released as an extra along with the Switch version of Stein’s Gate Elite, which is $60.*
Legends of Owlia – Home page. Was available physically, but not anymore. The rom could be downloaded officially for free, but the link’s now broken. It’s been officially delisted. There’s an unlisted demo on Steam. It’s implied that they are okay with downloading it, if you can find it. Hey makers, if you’re reading this! Throw it up on itch.io and make a few extra bucks! You could make it pay what you want! There is no shame in that.
Gaplus – St1ka misspells it as Galplus. This was included as an extra on Namco Museum Archives Volume 2, on Switch, Xbox, Playstation 5 and Steam. But the whole package is $20, which is a lot for a port of a semi-obscure arcade game. I suspect this is actually an unreleased game from the Famicom days. The Mermaid will probably cover the arcade version someday. Also, if you’re going to plunk $20 for a collection of basic NES games, get the one that contains Pac-Man Championship Edition, that one rocks.
L’abbaye Des Morts – Please don’t ask me to pronounce it. Made, andremade, for a variety of platforms. A NES port is name-your-price on itch.io.
Jim Power: The Lost Dimension – Another game with versions for several platforms. $20 on Steam will get you versions for PC, SNES and Genesis, and the NES version is coming to that eventually. It’s also on Switch, and they sell some of these versions on physical media on Limited Run Games.
Gotta Protectors: Amazon’s Running Diet – Did I post about this before? Looks like I haven’t, possibly due to the conspicuous T&A factor. (We have some pride.) This was a basic NES game released to promote the latest release (Switch) in the Gotta Protectors series, which are a fun mixture of Gauntlet and Tower Defense, made by venerable game development house Ancient. The rom for Amazon’s Running Diet is free, but the official download link is hard to spot on the Japanese page of its creator-look for the image that says “Download English Version.” They made an updated version, Amazon’s Training Road, but it was only as a physical cart, and it’s no longer for sale.
Micro Mages – Physical for $40, on Steam or itch.io for $10.
Mystic Origins – A prototype for an in-development successor, also for the NES, called Mystic Searches. Available on physical media for $50.
Almost Hero – $50 on physical media. Why are so many of these only available on cartridges? I feel like they’re severely limiting their reach. I’m sure there are warez versions out there somewhere, but I figure, if they’re going to release games for the NES in 2023 and choose to restrict their work to people with real systems, it’s up to them. But seriously, why? itch.io is easy! Sell for $5 and let people emulate it. Who’s going to warez a cheap thing?
What Remains – Name-your-price at itch.io. Bespoke physical carts are for sale for $80 on their site, but through email contact.
Reknum Souls Adventure is available on physical media only, on NES (50 Euro) and Dreamcast (20 Euro).
Larry and the Long Look for a Luscious Lover – A NES remake of the original Leisure Suit Larry. Was released on physical media, is not currently available.
* It has become my policy not to duplicate egregious stylization in the names of commercial products, on the grounds that no one has time for that shit. The official spelling of Steins Gate is Steins;Gate, yes with a semicolon, but I can’t even bring myself to camel-case Youtube, Playstation, or Nethack (despite not even being commercial) these days, so I toss that misuse right out of my grammatical window.