St1ka’s Youtube Channel

St1ka is a Portugese Youtube creator who has retro gaming as his stomping grounds.

St1ka’s “INCREDIBLE” series. You might notice something(s) these thumbnails all have in common.

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.

St1ka’s Channel (Youtube) – 29 Incredible Modern NES Games (45 minutes) – Incredible 16-bit Hidden Gems You Never Played (44 minutes) – Forgotten 8-bit Games You Never Played (41 minutes)

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.

  1. 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).
  2. Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure – While made for the NES, it’s sold on Steam, Xbox, and Switch ($5). Limited Run Games sells it on physical cart ($60).
  3. Eyra: The Crow Maiden – Sold for $10 for a computer-playable version, $30 for a cart (either NES or Famicom), or $50 for a cart and a box. It was the subject of a Kickstarter campaign.
  4. F-Theta – Sold for $60.
  5. 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 While the original is made in a retro style, the actual NES version is on Steam, GoG and, also typically for $10.
  6. Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril – Can’t yet be bought for emulation, it’s available as a standalone game on Switch and Xbox.
  7. Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment – Appears to be out of print everywhere.
  8. Blade Buster: Available for free at
  9. Chumlee’s Adventure: The Quest For Pinky – A reference to Pawn Stars, it’s for sale at for $10.
  10. Jay & Silent Bob: Mall Brawl – $15 on Switch and Steam.
  11. Astro Ninja Man – out of print, not legally available anywhere currently.
  12. Astro Ninja Man DX – for sale on physical cart for 5,490 yen. Also, an arcade version is currently available, if you have $523 to spare for a kit and an exA-Arcadia system to run it on.
  13. Fire And Rescue – $5 on
  14. Steins Gate – Was released as an extra along with the Switch version of Stein’s Gate Elite, which is $60.*
  15. 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 and make a few extra bucks! You could make it pay what you want! There is no shame in that.
  16. 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.
  17. L’abbaye Des Morts – Please don’t ask me to pronounce it. Made, and remade, for a variety of platforms. A NES port is name-your-price on
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Project Blue – Available for $10 on, or $40 physically.
  21. Micro Mages – Physical for $40, on Steam or for $10.
  22. Mystic Origins – A prototype for an in-development successor, also for the NES, called Mystic Searches. Available on physical media for $50.
  23. 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? is easy! Sell for $5 and let people emulate it. Who’s going to warez a cheap thing?
  24. City Trouble – Currently available free on their charmingly old-style website.
  25. Full Quiet – Fairly recent, first out in February of this year. This is how to release a retro game: it’s out soon on Switch, Xbox and Steam. They should consider, though….
  26. Rollie – Home page. Available on physical media ($60) and ($9).
  27. What Remains – Name-your-price at Bespoke physical carts are for sale for $80 on their site, but through email contact.
  28. Reknum Souls Adventure is available on physical media only, on NES (50 Euro) and Dreamcast (20 Euro).
  29. 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.

Editorial: Where Are Retro Games Going?

This editorial doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of this blog. However, blogs don’t have views anyway, so what would that even mean?

I was sitting and watching some Zelda: Breath of the Wild videos in a Metafilter post by Fizz, from streamer PointCrow. I was going through the usual generation shock–I the hyper-frenetic editing, zooming visuals with added sound effects, slow zooms, constant cues telling me how they want me to feel, combined with his constant state of hype and excitement, they were wearing on me. But that’s probably just my age? As much as it pains me to admit it I’m not young anymore, having just turned fifty last month. Maybe it’s just the style of popular youth media now Somehow I don’t think it is, I don’t see everyone doing that. I suspect it’s really Youtube’s algorithm that prioritizes engagement really really hard, that pushes some people to those lengths. Anyway, I don’t intend to make this into a screed against PointCrow, who obviously works very hard to succeed, and does have some interesting videos. By all means watch a few if you want. That’s not the point of this post anyway.

Movie notwithstanding, does anyone care about Super Mario Bros. anymore, for its own sake?

It was while watching it that I started to realize how insular these kinds of video can be? If you don’t know anything about Breath of the Wild, a lot of it will be impenetrable to you. That may be why there’s so many videos about this game in particular. There’s like a while little genre of BotW videos that show off tricks, odd corners of the game, and amazing feats in it. I post about them here sometimes even.

My worry has to do with the phenomenon of retro (from our perspective) gaming in general. We often hear people talk about games like Super Mario Bros. and the original Legend of Zelda as if there were some kind of timeless classics, which is a bold statement to make even approaching 40 years out from the Famicom’s launch. Timeless is timeless, and in centuries will anyone know or even care about it? The jury is still out of course on whether humans will still be around in that time, but let’s presume they will be.

It’s a tricky and devious game for people not prepare for it, but the original Legend of Zelda is surprisingly playable now.

In fact, let’s restrict out scope to the relatively near future, maybe 20 years from now. Will people still care about the 8-bit era of games around that time?

We have some reason to believe that they aren’t played as much now as they used to be. NES-era games, on the Switch, are no longer sold individually, like they were on the Wii and Wii-U, but in bulk, as part of a subscription. That seems to indicate, I think, that they haven’t turned out to be as much of a selling point individually as before.

My hope is that they will, and I think games like Super Mario Bros. do have some qualities that don’t just expire like the milk left in the fridge for a month. But they don’t exist in a vacuum, and what gives me cause for concern is the ways in which these games are experienced now.

I think that retro games still fill a useful niche, in that they’re solidly-made and challenging games, with a distinctive look and sound, that don’t have gigantic playtimes. Super Mario Bros. will not claim weeks of your life. Even the longer ones don’t demand as much of your attention and times as a AAA-title Square Bethesda WA Microsoft Co Inc. And indie games, while often worthy, are often a risk to spend money on. Many NES-era games are well known to be playable and interesting, which is how they got to be popular in the first place.

My concern, though, is that as the people who grew up with these games age, their original context is being increasingly lost. Less and less often, the people who play and think about these games didn’t come to them from mostly personal, pre-internet perspectives, but as something brought to them by other people, meaning, not just hearing about them, but being pre-spoiled regarding their gameplay, and especially from watching streamers and speedrunners.

What, I wonder, is the ratio between people playing games as intended, and those purposely trying to break them in a variety of ways, and do superplays? Are new game players inundated by streaming culture? Do they get the sense that 8-bit games are only interesting if one tries to blow them up? And in the future, will people continue to find their way to games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, and appreciate them for what they are?

Is there perhaps space out there for people just doing normal runs of retro games? I wonder if I should give it a shot.

Vision BASIC for the Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 was, for its time, quite a wonder, an inexpensive home computer with 64K of RAM and excellent for its time graphics and sound capabilities. Sadly, it came with one of the more limited versions of Microsoft BASIC out there.

Microsoft BASIC had its strengths, but many of them were not a good match for its hardware. The C64 had no commands to take advantage of any of its terrific features. To do nearly anything on the machine besides PRINTing and manipulating data, you had to refer to a small number of cryptic-yet-essential commands: POKE for putting values into arbitrary memory addresses, PEEK for reading values out of them, READ and DATA to read in lists of numbers representing machine language routines, and SYS to activate them.

And getting the values to do those things required obtaining and poring over manuals and the venerable C64 Programmer’s Reference Guide. Even then, Microsoft BASIC was notably slow, especially when doing work with numbers, due to its dogged insistence of converting all values, including integers, into floating point before doing any math on them. So while BASIC supported integers, which required less memory to store, actually slowed the machine down due to the need to convert to and from floating point whenever an operation needed to be performed on them. This doesn’t even begin to get into the many inefficiencies of being an interpreted language.

Vision BASIC, an upcoming commercial compiled language for the Commodore 64, looks to remedy many of these faults. The above video is a nearly 40-minute explainer and demonstration of the system. It requires the purchase of a memory expansion unit in order to be used on a physical machine, but it can produce executable code that can be run on a stock C64 as it came out of the box.

It’s not free, and at $59 for the basic package it may seem a little high for a system for developing software on a 40-year-old computer, but that price includes the software on floppy disk and a USB drive. It’s certainly capable, and runs much faster than many other compiled languages on the system. It’s definitely something to look into for people looking to make games on the system without digging deep into assembly, and if you have a desire to do that it has a built-in assembler for producing in-line machine code too! It is an intriguing new option for Commodore development.