Digital Pictures 1994 Brochure

Tonight’s museum post features a 1994 brochure from Digital Pictures, featuring 3 games: Corpse Killer, Slam City, and Supreme Warrior.

That the brochure features a sarcastic “Parents Beware!” message is fascinating, because Digital Pictures, with their game Night Trap, helped to usher in a new era of age-based video game ratings. Since there are no ratings for the games on this brochure, I would surmise that it was created just before the fervor over video game violence.

I could go on and on about how I feel about opportunistic politicians, but I’d rather not aggravate myself, so I’ll end this post as I usually do: as always, I hope you enjoy this museum post!

Digital Pictures 1994 Brochure

Digital Pictures 1994 Brochure

Digital Pictures 1994 Brochure

Digital Pictures 1994 Brochure

Digital Pictures 1994 Brochure

Electronic Arts 1990-1991 Catalog

Electronic Arts 1990-1991 Catalog

Tonight’s museum post features an earlier catalog from Electronic Arts, circa 1990. As I mentioned in the previous EA post, I was a more of a fan of their earlier releases, and this catalog was one of my favorites, featuring not only Sega Genesis games, but computer and Nintendo ones as well, and also productivity software.

As life continues forward and I accumulate new experiences and memories, some things become forgotten regardless of how much I like them. This catalog is an example. It’s something that I’m not even aware of as it is happening. One moment the catalog occupies a large space in my consciousness, and the next it’s in a blue storage basket under my bed. I don’t even remember how it got there. Over the years, I would occasionally pull things out to see what kind of goodies I could find, and this catalog would be in that basket along with a bunch of other games-related material. Later, I cleared out the basket, only to store the docs in a clear IKEA storage box. It’s so strange how we “clean” our rooms by moving things from one corner to another.

Now, in 2017, I’ve finally scanned and disposed of the catalog. The IKEA box is empty. It’s hard to accept that life is about endings just as much as it is about beginnings, that nothing lasts forever, that all good things must come to an end. I’m still working on accepting this indisputable fact, but in the meantime I’ll share this catalog with the world. It is a fascinating look into the history of EA, before it became the behemoth that it is today. As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Electronic Arts 1990-1991 Software Catalog (PDF, 12 MB)

Nokia 5100 Xpress-On Covers, 1999

Here’s a change of pace from all the recent video-game-related museum posts: an insert for Nokia 5100 Xpress-On covers.

Hard to believe that it’s been 17 years since we got our first cell phones (and we were somewhat late to the party). The receipt found with this insert shows March 4, 2000. I remember walking around and having a conversation using the headset, and people looking at me like I was crazy. Nowadays, it’s normal to see people seemingly talking to thin air. One time, I forgot to silence the ringer, and Jingle Bells played in the middle of a lecture. Luckily, cell phones were still a novelty at that time, and people (including the professor) just laughed.

I wonder what kind of cell phones we’ll be using in 2034? As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post. 🙂

Advertisement: Nokia 5100 Xpress-On Covers

Advertisement: Nokia 5100 Xpress-On Covers

Right Now, #2

I couldn’t sleep tonight so I came outside to type some stuff on my laptop. Earlier, when I was waiting outside for the dog to finish his business, I looked up at the moon hanging low near the southern horizon. In the distance, I could hear a bird doing a whistling routine, a mix of chirps and whistles. For a moment, it seemed like I was in a jungle. Now, a few hours later, I can still hear the bird occasionally, but the moon is up much higher in the sky, and further west.

It’s been a while since I’ve been up at this hour. Ever since we attended a wedding in January, our sleeping schedules have reverted back to a more normal time. Prior to that, we would still be up at this time, playing Skyrim, surfing the internet, or enjoying a late meal. I haven’t thought about it, but it’s been two months since then.

When I was in bed earlier, I thought about the Right Now post from when we first started living in Hong Kong. Being outside with the moon and the chirping bird, it felt like another “right now” moment, so I got out of bed to type this. I wondered if it would be like the Coincidence post, but it’s actually a couple of weeks away before it will be exactly four years. Close enough.

When I was in bed, I listened to the bird and thought of the moon, and thought about how different the world is here compared to Hong Kong. Here, it’s actually quiet enough to hear a bird that’s chirping a couple of blocks away. The light pollution is low enough that you can look up in the sky and not only see the moon and its craters clearly, but also see the surrounding stars and planets. On many nights I’ve looked up at Orion’s Belt, amazed that I can actually see it, that the sky is so dark. Before moving to Hong Kong, I used to look up and see it too, but I never appreciated it as much as I do now.

Another thing that I appreciate more now is mortality. Tomorrow (or today), we are taking our niece to the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. It is one of many activities that we have been doing with our niece since moving back to America. Being around her, I am ever more aware of life being a queue: that those who come first, go first.

When I was in bed, I thought about the trip tomorrow. I thought about the car booster seat, and how to install it in my car, which led to my thinking of what I would do if the worst should occur. In a situation where I could choose between losing my own life or hers, I would choose to lose mine, because as I said above, life is a queue. I’ve lived nearly 40 years and had a pretty good life up to this point; she’s barely had 4 and still has so much to experience. As I’ve probably mentioned on here before, everyone gets a turn.

I also thought about what I would say to JC if the worst should occur and I had a last chance to say something to her. I would tell her that she is the best thing that ever happened to me in my life, that I became a different person because I met her. I would thank her for being my JC, and my partner in life. As I’ve said so many times before, life is fragile and can end at any moment. Being around my niece has only reinforced this notion. We would be wise, while we can, to tell our loved ones how we feel about them if we have not yet done so.

I’ve talked about life being a cruel joke before. Our parents dote on us, we fly away only to realize how much they mean to us, they die, and the same thing happens with our children. Yes, it seems cruel and unfair, but that’s the way it is, and there’s nothing we can do to change it. That is life, the nature of our existence. It would be better to embrace this fact, our mortality, so that we don’t take life for granted.

Tomorrow, I will forward this post to JC and let her know (again) how I feel about her. I hope you will do the same with your loved ones. Four years ago, I sat on my bed in our little flat in Hong Kong, looking out the window, sipping a Laguvulin, contemplating life. Right now, I sit at the dining table of the inlaws, savoring a Laphroaig, our family dog sleeping on a cushion with a blanket over his head, the clock ticking loudly with each passing second, the moon shining outside. Life has gone on for four years, and will keep on going. Time to go to bed. Good night.

Atari Lynx – Grey Matters, Volume 3 – 1992

Atari Lynx Grey Matters Magazine, Vol-3 (1992)

Tonight’s museum post features another EGM supplement, an Atari Lynx Grey Matters magazine, volume 3, circa 1992. Unfortunately, I separated this supplement from its main magazine years ago and have no idea which issue of EGM it came with.

My memory of the Atari Lynx is playing California Games on it at FAO Schwarz in downtown San Francisco. We’d stop by there pretty often since it was on the way home from Chinatown on Stockton Street. I still remember the song that played on repeat that must have driven the staff crazy (“Welcome to our world, welcome to our world, welcome to our world of toys.”). The video games department was on one of the upper floors (if not the top one) and I’d always rush up there to get my hands on all the games. They pretty much had all the games on the market, which was why I was able to actually play a Lynx there. I don’t remember the Lynx actually being on display anywhere else.

In terms of handhelds, I had a Game Boy, and my sister had a Game Gear. The Lynx, as pricey as it was when it first came out, was off the radar. It was new and cool and I would have loved to have one, but my parents weren’t interested. By the time the price on it fell, the newness was gone and there was no longer any compelling reason to get one.

Looking back at the system now, it looks like it would have been cool to have one, especially once the price fell to $99, but of course I’m looking at it now as an adult who has (or, to be more accurate, once had) disposable income. For a kid getting ready to start high school, it’s a totally different story.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Atari Lynx Grey Matters, Volume 3 (PDF, 47.8 MB)

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet – Multiple Games

Tonight’s Sega helpful hints sheet features five different games: Space Harrier, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Enduro Racer, Global Defense, and Zaxxon 3-D.

It seems likely that I requested this sheet for Global Defense, since that is the only game in this list that I owned in the early 90s. It wasn’t until that one time in college that I acquired Enduro Racer and F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Global Defense was a super hard game, and I don’t think I was ever able to use both control pads successfully. It would have probably been best to enlist the help of a friend, so that one person could focus on flying the satellite, and one person could focus on firing the gun. I’m sure someone has already beaten this game on YouTube, so the ending is available to me if I want to “spoil” it (well, maybe if I haven’t beaten the game in 30 years, it’s time to take a shortcut).

As always, hope you enjoy this museum post!

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Multiple Games

GamePro Starfox Flight Manual, August 1993

GamePro Starfox Flight Manual, August 1993

For this daytime museum post we have a GamePro strategy guide for Starfox, included with the August 1993 issue (Street Fighter II Turbo cover). If I remember correctly, this issue came inside a plastic bag, along with the Starfox guide. There might have been a bunch of artwork or graphics on the plastic bag as well, but sadly I can’t find a photo of it. With all the sorting, decision-making, and trashing these past few months, it was probably one of those times when I was too exhausted to take a photo and just trashed it. 🙁 It’s sad but I can’t hold on to every little piece of the past, no matter how much I might feel like I want to.

Even so, this strategy guide is a nice big piece, and now it is up on the internet. A cursory google search suggests that this might be the first PDF’d guide. If so, I’m glad to be able to contribute to video-game-magazine history. Enjoy!

GamePro Starfox Flight Manual, August 1993 (PDF, 19.5 MB)

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet – Wonder Boy III

Since we did a Genesis helpful hints sheet last time, I thought we’d do a Master System one tonight. The game is Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, one of the best games for the system. Unfortunately, this helpful hints sheet was not one of the best, being instead one of those that I would receive and groan upon opening the envelope, because it didn’t really provide any new information. This particular sheet provided mostly gameplay tips and no real easter eggs. Anyone who had actually spent time with the game would have discovered most of the “helpful hints” already (i.e. hitting the dragons in the nose). Interestingly, the one easter egg that I know of for this game is displayed in plain sight in the manual.

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 1

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 2

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 3

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 4

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 5

Video Games, June 1994 Issue

Video Games Magazine - June 1994

Another magazine with missing pages, this time pages 47 to 50. These pages appear to be from the middle sheet of the magazine, which either fell out or was torn out. Unlike last time, I didn’t see any bits of pages, and the staples looked normal.

As you can see from the ripped address label on the cover, these magazines were mailed with no protection, subject to whatever punishment would occur during transport. A lot of times, I would come home to find a magazine literally stuffed into the mailbox along with all our other mail.

Of course, a couple of other possibilities could be that I lost these pages myself, or that the magazines were sent defective from the press. Either way, there is enough nostalgic value for me to scan and post it here. As always, hope you enjoy this museum post.

Video Games, June 1994 (PDF, 145 MB)