I had a sudden urge to play Zillion yesterday. This was one of my favorite games on the Sega Master System, and I would spend hours exploring the rooms trying to find secret passages. When I played the game yesterday, I was reminded of those long hours in my room in our old house here in Hong Kong. It’s amazing the kind of stuff you can remember when you start re-doing something that you did a long time ago.

My sister and I made up names for the symbols in the game that were used for opening doors (see the video thumbnail below). Later in life I finally realized that the symbols were just mirrored numbers (except 4, 8, and 10), but when we were kids we saw other things. So, 1 was “M”, 2 was “heart”, 4 was “basket”, 6 was “whale” (because it looked like a whale, I guess), and 5 was “whale the second” (because 6 was already and looked more like a whale). For 8, we gave it the term we used as kids for breasts (not posting it here), which I guess an 8 rotated on its side does look like. As a result, 3 became “breast the second”. 9 was “ear” and 7 was “ear the second”, and finally, 10 was “Q”. Imagine being an adult in the room and listening to these kids trying to memorize the symbols as they appeared: “breast the second-basket-whale-Q!”

When I was younger, I wanted to play the game perfectly – avoid every mine, shoot every soldier, stay in perfect health. It’s kind of funny to see that I don’t give a shit anymore, as exemplified with all the walking over exploding mines. I guess that’s what they call maturity.

It’s been many years since I last played it, but in the playthrough you can see that I still kind of know my way around, visiting every room (I still possess some anal retentive tendencies) before beating the game. I took advantage of a glitch in the game to gain invincibility, which saves some time (I can beat the game without the glitch, really, I can).

The video was recorded with Kega Fusion 3.64, encoded to Xvid (using anything else caused the audio to be out of sync), then re-encoded to MP4 with HandBrake. There was a weird issue in Kega that caused my controller inputs to slow down after logging video for a period of time. You can see this around the 32-minute mark when I tried to shoot open a tunnel, and couldn’t. Stopping and restarting the logging fixes the problem, but obviously that causes a slight skip in the video. Lastly, I joined all the different parts and did the Xvid encoding with VirtualDub.

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