Retro consoles and memories.

Discussion in 'Offtopic Discussions' started by Wrath Of Khan, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    What memories have you as regards your earliest gaming consoles or computers.

    Any strange or funny stories?

    Remember being able to eat your entire dinner while waiting for the C-64 to load a single game?

    I played my a500 so much that it broke down several times and I had it repaired each time, at some cost.

    I remember visiting a friends house once and he was playing Daley Thompson's decathlon on his zx spectrum. There was a bunch of sellotape holding the machine together. You had to pound the keys fast to play the mini games in this game and the machine had suffered as a result.
     
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  2. gadgetoid

    gadgetoid Moderator Staff Member

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    I remember the magazine I used to get for my Commodore 64 that had a mix of demos and homebrew games on it. It also had whole cheat codes which you had to manually type into the BASIC interpreter before running the game. Lots of really amazing games I can remember vaguely in my mind, but really struggle to track down the names/roms of. ( I gave my C64 away decades ago )

    I don't really buy or keep up with magazines anymore, so I don't know if the "demo disc" is still a thing, but I also remember having them on the PS1 and those classic Shareware discs on the PC- usually full of boring tat, but by god I'd install anything just to see what it was... that was before you could look up the name of the software on the internet and view a dozen pictures/videos about it and make up your mind that way.


    In Windows I very dimly remember a replacement desktop environment that was basically an awesome mind-mapping style system, where you mapped out these trees of circles to create your own associative UI. You could add whole folders to be mapped in the same way - I loved the look and feel, but have never found it since.

    My other Retro love are the PSION 5 which I only saw once or twice and have never really used, any classic "hand-held" PC ( I bought a Sony VAIO P series from a friend just to try and relive those days ), and stuff that I still keep handy like the Tapwave Zodiac, the PALM M500, The Nokia N810... and so on and so forth. Not necessarily all that retro anymore, but damn I love that stuff.

    Oh and Commander Keen, Jazz Jackrabbit and Duke Nukem back when it was 2D. Fun times!
     
  3. Gruntfuggly

    Gruntfuggly Mostly Harmless

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    Typing in games from magazines. Then spending hours debugging to make them work. Then getting the tape or disc a few months (years sometimes) later and realising what you had typed in and debugged was seriously different from what it was supposed to be like!

    Spending hours typing in a game on a ZX81 (god that was painful on those keyboards) only to have the thing reset because the external ram pack wobbled...

    Being absolutely blown away by Space Invaders on the Atari VCS... I mean - Space Invaders on your TV in your own house!? Those original Atari joysticks were bulletproof too... 
     
  4. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    Well the ZX81 I had when I was still pretty young, I was pretty much just "typing" in garbage and seeing it pop on the screen. 
    Later I had a TRS-80 Model I and then Color Computer 2 for early 80's computers. As my parents were pretty much against gaming, My first true gaming console was a well used Atari 2600 in 1987. While they didn't like video games, they felt that I should be free to spend my money on what I wanted. The Atari was shortly replaced in a few months by a NES that I bought after a lucrative amount of Christmas money came my way. That NES still works great to this day, I guess maybe buying things with my own money made me appreciate what I spent my money on. 
     
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  5. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I have two Psion 5MXes, both with broken LCD cables.  I guess my Pandora with its broken LCD port kind of completes the set ;)
     
  6. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Since different people have different ideas about what is retro, and I never tried to be a retrogamer, I just kept playing what I liked, I am going to just go with some of my experiences from the past.

    NES- I loved many of the games, and was happy that I could play them at home and didn't need a pocketful of quarters.  It sucked when we rented really bad games.  Luckily I don't think we owned too many of the bad ones, however there were many that we rented that I really wanted to own (Duck Tales, SMB3)  When the NES belonging to the family across the street occasionally had the problem that the frontloaders became known for we tried a bunch of stuff to fix it.  We never thought it would get as bad as it eventually did, or that we were making it worse (in addition to blowing in carts, someone in the neighborhood had an NES Game Genie).  It would be interesting to experience all that again with my current knowledge.  Many years later I had a friend (or maybe a friend of a friend) that at least sometimes lugged around an NES in her bag.  We were a bit different than the others in our social circle, and while others would be drinking and partying and being social, we would sit and talk about things that would bore the others, if they could even make sense of our off the wall view of the topic.  When she pulled out the NES we went and hooked it up to a TV and had fun our own way.

    Atari VCS/2600- I went to my uncle's house at some point after we got our NES and saw my cousin playing something.  I don't know if she got bored, or just wanted to let me try it out.  It looked bad, but it was a video game.  Even the console looked odd, and not as sleek as our NES.  I think I tried to play something but couldn't tell what was going on.  I wouldn't appreciate this until much later.

    SNES- The spoiled "rich" kid down the street that always got everything he wanted and had a huge NES game collection got a Super Nintendo right after they were released.  The rest of the neighborhood kids were pretty jealous, but those of us that he hung out with got to play some games.  Later, after moving, I remember being upset with the Mortal Kombat ports after having spent hours (days?) playing the arcade version, but some people I knew had a way to fix that.

    Genesis- I had a friend that got caught up in the Sega Vs. Nintendo console wars around the time it was released.  He felt that even Mario, as a mascot, was far inferior to Sonic only because of the Sonic games, and ignored the fact that we had played SMB games for years and had loved them.  There was that little thing (red pixels) that I felt added to the experience of my Mortal Kombat experience, however I eventually decided that none of the console versions were as good as the arcade version, and I returned to pumping quarters into the machines at the laundry place near my school to play the "real thing" when I could.  

    Game Boy- At some point shortly after it was released I got a GB as a present.  I didn't have many games, but Tetris was awesome, so it didn't matter.  I had one of the black and pink fanny packs, and found that it was not really suitable for keeping my GB and carts safe, but I used it when I had to.  As my game collection grew I started trying to keep it with me all the time, and every spare moment when there was light and batteries I was playing something.  I found out that my father had one as well.  His was in much nicer shape (screen cover still present) not due to him taking better care of it, but because he barely played it.  His games were ok.  The real treat was that he had one of those things you would slide over the top half that lit up and magnified the screen.  Sure, it also had better (and stereo) speakers, but I could play in the dark!  (Too bad I couldn't use the light nd my Game Genie at the same time.)  Batteries obviously remained a problem.

    Game Gear- I never owned one myself.  It was cool that my friend that had one (I think it was the one I mentioned in the Genesis memories above) could play nicer looking stuff, however he never took it with him when he left the house because of the battery issue.  That seemed completely useless to me, so I grew to love my GB even more.  It pretty much faded from my life until a little over 10 years later when I found out someone else I knew had one.  I am not sure why she kept it since I don't remember ever seeing her play it.  During that time I had picked up newer versions of my own preferred handheld.

    Game Boy Color- Color!  I can even add color to the old games!  I got the clear purple one, and it did everything I thought it would.  It used less batteries, which was great, but it didn't matter since the screen was even harder to see than the original.  There was a roadtrip that I went on and had both my GB and GBC.  The color was nice when I had good light on my side of the car, which was really hard to get since it seemed the screen did this weird reflection thing making it hard to see even with direct sunlight...so I was still playing on my old GB sometimes. By this point I could play Mortal Kombat on my handhelds, but the games were even worse than the SNES and Genesis ones.  It was cool that I could change the colors to make Link's Awakening look more like I think it should have, however due to the display issues the colors that worked best for me were not the ones I thought looked "right".  Sure, I could have picked up the DX version, but it lacked the glitch I liked to play with, and I already owned the original.  That screen, though.  A blessing and a curse.  The friend that carried around the NES was also fond of the GBC.  I found this out a couple years before I started modding Game Boys, and it inspired me to start collecting them, and led to me making music (for myself) with them.

    N64- I don't remember when I was first exposed to the N64, however the first time I really wanted to play was when I was visiting family and saw GoldenEye 007.  I wasn't really into James Bond, but I was into FPSs.  I didn't get to play much at that time, but I decided I would try to get a N64.  I did, and eventually found Perfect Dark, which was much more my type of FPS, even if it wasn't all that different from GoldenEye.  Someone acquired the expansion pak for me, probably around when Ocarina of Time was released.  That game was good, but I still prefered the older Zelda stuff.  Perfect Dark was the real reason for me to have that expansion pak.  I rented the game once and told them I lost it.  I still have that cart, and all of my original save files backed up in 3 different places.  I love that game.

    PlayStation- While I was still mostly into what was available for Nintendo consoles, I had a friend that was really into the PS.  I never really played it except when he was looking for someone to play with.  Sometimes I played a bit of FF7, but I didn't get into it too much.  I liked some of the games, but I wasn't going to go out and buy one, especially since my friend was telling me all about the PS2 when I decided there were some games I wanted.  The big problem was that Sega, which was no longer a company I gave much attention to, had something to offer.

    Dreamcast- My first time seeing this thing was at work.  A guy and his girlfriend brought it in.  Even before they hooked it up to the TV I was a bit turned off by it.  By this time (1999 or 2000) I was not willing to give Microsoft my money, or support them indirectly.  I really liked the games, although the controllers seemd liked they were designed by a moron.  Things didn't seem like they would work out, so the Dreamcast would not be the first Sega console I would own.  What?  You say I can burn copies of the games? Hmmm, maybe...

    PS2- The friend that was super excited about the PS2 was following all the rumors and news, and he would tell me every little bit of information he found out.  He showed me specs and stuff.  All that was nice, but I think the reason I bought one was the backward compatibility, so I could play older titles I liked, and because I could watch DVDs on a TV instead of my laptop.  While it was/is an important and impressive console I did not have the same feelings for it as I did with all of the others on this list.  I think I looked at it as less of a console, and more of a media presenting device.  It just didn't do it for me.  While I was traveling around the world someone brought their PS2, which really confirms this for me, since we used it for evrything.

    GBA SP- At the beginning of my period of bouncing around the globe I wanted a way to have entertainment.  Sure, we would have access to generators sometimes, but there were so many unknowns that I had to think about my choice.  I didn't want to destroy my PS2, plus it wasn't very small, and adding a TV or other way to use it on the go...actually, you couldn't use it on the go, but even when trying to make it portable it was too big.  Obviously a handheld was the way to go.  My Game Boys in the past had served me well, so I looked at the GBA.  It looked like it had the same problems as the GBC with the screen, and I knew I would want to play in the dark.  The GBA SP had a frontlit screen, but I couldn't pick up batteries everywhere.  My decision was based on the clamshell design, that it was much smaller when not in use, and I didn't have to have a bunch of other stuff (like a light) to use it.  I got some spare batteries, and with everything I had it still took up less space than an original GBA in a case with everything to use the GBA.  I owned an mp3 player, however I would want a way to watch movies since most people didn't like what I was into, so I got a portable DVD player that could handle everything I wanted to throw at it, including mp3 CDs (this choice was made so that I could lose the DVD player and not have any major losses, such as if I took a laptop...plus I worked with computers all day, so I didn't need my own).  Everything combined was still smaller than a PS2.  The first time I was playing a game and saw someone else playing on a GBA I knew my choice was the best one for me.  He was fine until it started to get dark, and I could close my SP and easily shove it in my pocket.  A handful of us would play 4 player games since there wasn't a need for more than 1 cart to do this for some games.  The only multiplayer handheld games I had played prior to this was Tetris and a bit of Pokemon, and those were nothing compared to what we were playing.  Warioware was really fun, too.  I eventually bought my first flash cart for my GBA SP.  While I think the SP was sold to help buy a DS for someone, I used my flashcart during the early days of DS homebrew.  That flashcart sits with my other stuff, having been replaced by a more modern one (although some titles, like my Metroid games, I will only play with the original cart).  I have picked up an original GBA since it feels better to me, and if I really want to play a GBA game in the dark I use my DS.  The DS and DS Lite accompanied me on later trips, and I did start taking a laptop. 

    I am skipping some stuff since they aren't as retro, but I wanted to mention one little special one that follows in the footsteps of my other handhelds, even if it is still alive and seems to be selling well when it is available:

    Pandora- I don't remember exactly how I first found out about the Pandora.  It was still not close to being released.  It seemed like the perfect combination to me, a little Linux computer that I could play a bunch of games and emulators on.  I knew someone else that had picked up one of the earlier open source handhelds, but my Nintendo stuff was enough for me back then.  Most of you know what happened with the Pandora.  I would check in from time to time, and took forever to buy one.  When I did I was surprised that it looked and felt a lot rougher than things from big companies.  This made me happy, since it told the story of how it came to be, and it was made to be used, not to look pretty.  It does a lot more than I expected, and unfortunately I use it more for work and web browsing than games.  It fit in perfectly with my family of old consoles, handhelds and computers, and resembles to me some of the stuff I have from the 80s.  While sitting around I could play a massive library of games, and if I got bored I could find trouble to get into on wireless networks around me, or be productive.  If I know I am going to be out for the day and possibly sitting around my Pandora is the most likely device to accompany me (it does more than all the others combined, with the exception of a few methods of communication).  My Pandora will be staying with me, and I am really looking forward to the Pyra.

    Since computers were mentioned in the OP, so I will talk about one old model:

    Apple IIe- This model of computer was present with me from elementary school, through high school, and beyond.  I did play some educational games on it in school.  It was not alone at my schools, and there were often IBM compatibles and Macs.  The Apple IIes stood out for me because they reminded me of my earliest interaction with computers.  I felt like I could get them to do what I wanted, unlike the others in my schools that offered me a handful of options.  Even as late as 2000, when I last saw a IIe in the wild, I more often saw them with monochrome monitors, so even that is a big part of the experience to me.  With them, although it is a part of it (and I have some odd stories of it), my memories and what I used to do are less important than the idea and the freedom they represent to me.  When I learned that Apple used to support users doing what they wanted with their computers by giving them a information, it fit with the direction I was already going in.  I did come across some Atari computers at the homes of friends, and I am sure some people had C64s that I never saw.  The Apple IIe was how computers should be, for me.  Maybe I couldn't get all the games and software that I wanted to use for them, and perhaps things weren't as flashy and nice sounding, but that was ok.  If I wanted to make it better I could.  I have no doubt that I would feel and think differently about all of this if I had a computer at home when I was growing up that I was actually allowed to use.  Schools and libraries were where I went to learn and do what I wanted, so even if I am a terrible student, I probably learned much more in school than most other students.  It may not have been what I was supposed to learn, but it helped me become as I am.  There was almost always an Apple IIe present, so they played a big role in that.
     
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  7. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Methinks you're maybe not so different.  Different strokes for different folks.
     
  8. fusion_power

    fusion_power Advanced Member

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    I remember I've played through a couple of Nintendo games without even owning a Nintendo Console ever. :D Borrowed by friends etc. I was able to beat Super Mario Land on the Gameboy after many tries, I was very proud, hard game. It was in school afaik during History lesson. Luxury to sit in the last row I guess. :D

    I only had an SEGA Master System II and I somehow was jealous about the MegaDrive, soo much better graphics. However, I spent alot time with the MS, even borrowed games from the Video Store back then. After countless tries I was able to beat Alex Kidd in Miracle World, no clue how. It's insane hard for todays standards, no savegames, no passwords, maybe 3-6 lives in the entire game, no energy bar, you die instantly and when it's game over you start from the beginning. I'm not be able to do that today, no patience or skill for that kind of games.

    However, Consoles were not that popular here at that time (early 90's) in germany. Most kids had an PC, Amiga/C64 etc. I remember during some School projects where we were grouped and mostly without Teachers around, one Friend had his PC around and instead of using it for the project, we mostly played Wolfenstein 3D. XD

    Later, I've went through Lylat Wars on the N64, also not the most easy game imho. Fun thing is I did this at the german Army, during boring guard duty times. :D We also had an SEGA Saturn around, It was really fun to play Saturn Bomberman with so many people.
     
  9. elwing

    elwing Rabbit Addict

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    my earliest computer memory was from a second hand commodore PET (no not the phone!...)
     
  10. Saber

    Saber Advanced Member

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    Not much of an interesting story or anything but I remember how friends and I would spend an exorbitant amount of time blowing the dust off the contacts of those bulky and particle magnet NES cartridges so they loaded up the game we wanted to play. Always a high five moment and a big thank you to the sky when we got them working.  :)
     
  11. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    If less people would blow on the cartridges they may work slightly better. The poorly designed loading mechanism on the NES was what the issue with the US model of the NES. blowing on the cartridges just over time corroded the contacts of the cartridge and deposited oxidized crud on the contact pins inside the NES. My Dad beat some sense into me when he heard about the blowing trick. I discovered that the best way of inserting the NES cartridge was to load it and push it in slightly forward.
     
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  12. Cerbera

    Cerbera Ecnes

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    I received a Game Boy for Christmas one year and ended up dropping it on the floor a few seconds after I'd unwrapped it. I was panicking thinking that I might have broken it, not realising of course that the Game Boy was likely more damage resistant than the house it was in.

    One day I was sat at my computer desk using my Amstrad CPC464+ when the desk suddenly collapsed, dumping everything onto the floor and half knocking a plug socket off the wall.
     
  13. Gruntfuggly

    Gruntfuggly Mostly Harmless

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    With a built in green screen and clanky keyboard? Solid bit of kit... did my first bit of animation by making repeatedly drawing "c" and "C" in the same place to try and make a pacman game. Could never figure out how to go left though. Should have taken inspiration from the LED handheld - that never went left either!
     
  14. SNESFAN

    SNESFAN Retro game fanatic

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    fondest memory, watching my mother learning to play super mario brothers on our new out of the box nintendo, watching her "jump" with the controller as if she had somehow time traveled into the future and got a wii. At the time (I was about 7) I thought it was the funniest thing ever.
     
  15. gunrock

    gunrock Active Member

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    I had one of those, sold it on Ebay to fund the buying of a new one, ended up getting a Ericsson MC-218 which had the lcd cable already fixed. Still use it from time to time. Love my Psion 5MX/MC-218, I wrote so many of my Open University assignments on the train/lunch table with them (transferred to PC into word for formatting and diagrams, etc). Compact Flash technology, FTW!
     
  16. canseco

    canseco Very Active Member

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    It only takes between 1 and 6 minuts to load a game on tape, unless you talk about multiload, but as a kid it was an eternity, ;)

    At that time, i didn't knew floppy drives, hard drivers or cartridges existed, but they were too expensive anyway.

    Today i'm glad for things like EasyFlash, so i can load in seconds games like Commando Arcade SE, Ghost and Goblins Arcade and Bruce Lee 2 on the same cartridge.

    One funny thing i remember was an MSX, and later Atari ST friend who didn't wanted us to touch his machine, because he was afraid we would break it, ;)
     
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  17. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    Something that springs to mind. I found a C64 in a friends house a few years ago; he was going to let me have it for free. I came back a few weeks later and his mother had either dumped it or given it to a charity shop, albeit minus the tape deck. So I got the tape deck.

    Anybody need a commodore tape deck? It's free.
     
  18. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    When 2 people go off and talk alone without some form of sex being the expected outcome, it was different.  Being social with each other because we could/would not (either through discomfort, or because we wanted to murder everyone, or both) be social with most of the others was also looked down upon, but our presence was accepted because we were expected to act like ourselves.

    You have to understand what is considered normal for a group before you can understand what is different.  Hell, the fact that I didn't get high already had me viewed as odd.  The things we discussed worked between each other, but not so much with the larger group.  As has always been the case, if I just say what is on my mind, or respond with what I really think people become very uncomfortable.  Since I didn't like most of these people there was no reason for me to restrict myself, so I either went off and did my own thing (digging through books, looking at things outside, playing games alone, thinking), or hung out with her.  In other words, I was not being social with the group.  We didn't gossip (not that I could, I didn't know or care about the people they mentioned).  So, yes, we were different from what was normal within this group.  I can't believe I still waste my time explaining such unimportant shit to people...  (not to mention it is off topic)
     
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  19. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    You suck.

    I remember people used to make fun of others for doing things like that.  When the Wii came out I laughed a bit inside because all those people saying "don't do that, loser" were finally being shown it was fine, and a good method of control.
     
  20. hitbyambulance

    hitbyambulance Active Member

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    got an Atari 2600 in 1982 (the Sears "Telegames" version that came with "Pac-Man" and "Target Fun"). put many, many hours into that system. got a few games and accessories for it super cheap from the Kay-Bee Toys cutout bins a couple years later. we seemed incapable of respecting the storage case accessory that the parents later bought for it - that thing got trashed quickly. some of the strongest memories are from when you'd flick the power switch rapidly and cause the system to glitch out in an interesting and different way for each game. (Stella actually emulates this with the Backspace key!) i'd never do that now, but you'd get some really weird things happening... 

    still have it and all the games to this day (and it all works great), tho the parents threw out the manuals and boxes when they moved in 2002 :(
     
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