Lords of Midnight & Doomdark’s Revenge

Watch this space…

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Jetpac

JetpacI was looking at the new version of Jetpac the other day; this is an update of the old Ultimate Spectrum game of the same name, running on XBOX360 Live Arcade – it looks fab, and almost worth buying a console for. Updating this game for the XBOX is, although a no brainer, an inspired move.


Jetpac Jetpac

Anyway, more to the point, I noticed while reading the RareWare site that Chris and Tim Stamper had left Rare. This was news that although not unexpected, heads of companies tend to leave 3 to 5 years after a buyout, however I hadn’t noticed it…

Ultimate and Rare were responsible for some of the best games ever made, and if it hadn’t been for setting up Smoking Gun, I would have joined them back in 97. They were and still are, the only games company that I would really like to work for. However, with the Stampers gone, I don’t think my feelings would be the same. That said, whatever the Stampers decide to persue in the future, the chance to work with them would be one of the few things to tempt me back into the games industry.

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Nivea for Men on the radio

Nivea for Men
Nivea have a range of adverts for their mens products running on the radio at the moment. I heard one this morning that tickled me so I thought I’d mention it here and give them a few minutes of free ad time on my blog!

In the background you can here the sound of a ZX Spectrum loading a game. The voice over says “Does the sound of Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy loading, tingle your skin… then you need Nivea for Men…” blah blah blah.

The real scarey thing is; I know it wasn’t Manic Miner or Jet Set Willy that was loading – it sounded wrong!

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Lords of Midnight

Just picked up on a Lords of Midnight Article that indirectly talks a little about the atmosphere of Midnight.

However, despite its strong sense of location, there was little impetus to idly explore the countryside. While the land of Midnight has a stark beauty, the limited range of elements leaves little room for any surprises. If you’ve seen one mountain you’ve literally seen them all, so the few times the game does surprise, the impact is all the more for it. One of the more spellbinding moments came late into the game, when I felt like I was further north than any other man had ever been, and I saw ahead of me distant tower. Except that it nestled safely behind the frozen wastes. Having become accustomed to the frozen waste’s role as the implacable edge of the game, this seems like a mirage. Or a bug. Any thought about the campaign at hand was put to one side as I explored this anomaly. And so it was: in one corner of the world it was possible pick a path through the wastes into a little oasis of land. It’s a small, unremarkable thing, but when I was there, surrounded by the claw-like peaks of the frozen wastes, it felt like a real discovery.

I gave it a little thought and wondered what it is about the game that has drawn me to it for 20 years. I think that the beauty of Midnight is in the atmosphere of the imagination. For some reason that game landscape just allowed the imagination to run free. Once I started playing the game I would just get lost in the story of it. I still do. Which is one of the reasons whyI set up the wiki to try an realise all the information that we know about, and create so much more that we don’t. I want the place to be real, I want the place to live. Yes, the story is full of typical fantasy cliches but there are so many oppurtunities to iron them out and create a very interesting place that more people could inhabit. I am closer to the characters of Midnight, than probably any book that I have ever read. Would I rather have Midnight or Lord of the Rings? Midnight every time!

Wayne Britcliffe caught the mood just about right in my Retro Gamer Article..

Even when actually playing the games your imagination takes you beyond, especially in the case of the original’s 8-bit limitations, what you are actually presented with. Swords clash, men scream, the plains fill with marauding enemy armies and smoke rises in the distance as snow begins to fall. Lord Blood dies surrounded by those he has slain in the gatehouse of his overrun Keep – a valiant defence against impossible odds. Shimeril escapes by the skin of his teeth only to have to turn and fight before his Citadels walls.

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Lords of Midnight

Dehumanizer has written a small write up of Lords of Midnight over on his site; Games of My Life.

He discusses the merits of the game when you consider it as a inspired epic.

See Also: Similarties to other Fantasy Stoires…

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