Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter NEStalgia

I dunno how you are spending Easter, but I will be eating loads of fat, traditional food and listening to my grandfather lying to me about how he helped conquer communism.

I can't even play D&D because Julia went away to do the same thing as I am, just at different geographical coordinates.

So how to keep boredom at bay!?

Answer #1:

Yes! The ultimate gaming console of all, the one and almighty NES!

I must confess I have never seen it live, not to mention owning one. However I am very well acquainted with it's "polish equivalent" the infamous Pegasus Family Computer:

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this wonderful and obscure device:

In the early 1990s, the Pegasus system gained massive popularity in Poland, probably due to the fact that until late 1990s there was no official distributor of Nintendo products in Poland. The Pegasus consoles were mass-marketed by most of the major and smaller electronic stores, where buyers even received warranty cards for the product. Numerous VHS rentals offered an option to rent or exchange Pegasus cartridges, as well as entire systems. Pegasus and its revisions received a wide coverage in Polish video game press. This, along with the system's surprisingly high reliability led to a false claim that Pegasus was an "official" video game system manufactured by a "major" company, and as such was considered by many to be an official Nitendo product. To meet its growing popularity a number of obviously pirated NES games were reviewed on regular basis by, Top Secret a major Polish video games magazine. Pegasus was even officially advertised in press and on TV Nintendo took legal actions against system's importer and distributor, right after officially establishing sales of licensed Nintendo products on Polish market in 1996.
So basically it's a NES but with an eye patch and a hook for a hand. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I never owned one. Thus I had to relay on my friends, which, from today's perspective, might have been even more fun.

Right now you're probably asking yourselves: "why the fuck are you taking us on that sentimental journey!?"

The answer is simple: because I am bored and I found this site. It's basically a portal which let's you play all the 8 bit classics (even old gameboy and dos games) in your browser window. How awesome is that? And those aren't some crappy flash conversions, it's the real thing!

Answer #2:

Listen to the Advantage

The Advantage (yes, they're named after this) is a band founded by Spencer Seim, an awesome dude who usually plays syncopated, angular guitar riffs in Hella (here he plays drums). As you might might have noticed by now, they play covers of old NES tunes and they're pretty good at it.

Apparently there are more bands playing this type of stuff. Perhaps it's due to hipster and nerd culture mingling together over the last decade. There is even some Japanese heavy metal band which plays solely Final Fantasy tunes, but I never checked them out (for obvious reasons).

But let's not go so far. The Advantage is much more than just a band covering Nintendo music. They are really skilled and have a unique approach to interpreting those seemingly simple melodies. I recommend checking their second album - "Elf Titled". It might be hard to buy, but should be easily downloadable from the net.

How's that for Old School!


  1. I can't wait to follow that link and enjoy some 8 bit goodness!

  2. Very cool. I'm gonna have to download some of
    The Advantage's music. It'll be cool to play as BGM for games and see how long it takes before my players notice!

  3. The Japanese band has the actual composer of the Final Fantasy soundtracks as a member, so they're quasi-official. Some of their stuff is brilliant, including the metal/opera mashup version of the FFX theme! The Black Mages is their name.

    I'm also quite fond of Machinae Supremacy, who are Swedish, I think, a bit metal, but play versions of old Commodore 64 soundtracks.