Category Archives: Video Games

Quote of the Day: The Legend of Zelda

It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this

Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda for sale in the U.S. on this day 31 years ago (August 22, 1987)

If you’d like to buy this game, click on the image below:

Tweet of the Day: Gaming

Today’s Tweet of the Day is from an awesome site called Flashback Daily – @FlashbackDaily. This account is a “must follow” for any fans of the ’80s. It is appropriately named too, because as soon as I saw this pic, I immediately flash backed to my video gaming days. I had to use this switch when I wanted to play on my Intellivision.

tweet

Man Crates: Old School Memories (Part 1)

Now that I’m 5 years into this blog, I am being contacted by some cool companies more and more often. I am excited about this new company, that has contacted me, called Man Crates. They ship awesome gifts which come in a wooden crate that needs to be opened with a crowbar. There are many different packages available. For example, there is a Personalized Barware crate, Exotic Meats crate, Grill Master crate, Outdoor Survivor crate, a Retro Gamer crate, and…wait for it…an Old School crate. This Old School crate contains a Slinky, a Rubick’s Cube, a Yomega Yo-Yo, a Pez dispenser, and a ton of old school candy.

I was challenged to share my memories, and share what items would be in my crate. So, let’s have some fun, and take a trip down memory lane!

I was born in 1970, so I have almost as many memories of the ’70s as I do of the ’80s. So, we’ll begin there, and work our way through the ’80s.

The Early Years: 1970-1974

I don’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago. But I do remember that before I was old enough to go to school, I would need to take an afternoon nap. I’m sure toddlers and little kids do need to take naps. However, I think I had to take naps so I would be out of my mother’s hair while she watched her “stories” (a.k.a., Days of Our Lives, Another World, and The Doctors). But, at 3:30, it was time for me to watch my “stories”. This would consist of reruns of Batman (the Adam West version, obviously), then the grandaddy of all kids shows – Sesame Street (Who else here remembers Mr. Blooper…I mean Mr. Hooper?), Mr. Rogers, and The Electric Company (my favorite). I think Zoom was on after that, but I don’t ever remember watching it. The Electric Company was my introduction to Spiderman and Morgan Freeman.

Crate items:

Here are some items from that time period that I would include in my crate:
The Official Sesame Street 2 Book-and-Record Album and The Year of Roosevelt Franklin

I have mentioned several times on this site that my first cassettes I ever owned were Kiss Unmasked and AC/DC Back in Black. But The Official Sesame Street 2 Book-and-Record Album and The Year of Roosevelt Franklin were my very first albums. They were both released in 1971. The Sesame Street album had classics such as the Sesame Street theme song, “Play Along“, “Everyone Makes Mistakes“, and “Sing“. “Sing” was one of my favorites. And I just found out fairly recently that this song was so popular that The Carpenters actually covered this.
The Year of Roosevelt Franklin also has some great songs. “Roosevelt Franklin Counts“, “Just Because“, and “Mobity Mosely’s Months“. OK, I’m going to be 45 next month, and I’m over here jammin’ out to some Roosevelt Franklin! I don’t know anything about children’s programming these days, but I seriously doubt there is any that has music as good as this! These albums are going in to the crate!
And, one more thing related to this period that is going in the crate is the first toys I remember having – Sesame Street finger puppets.


The Early Years: 1974-1976

A great part of many kids’ childhoods were Saturday mornings. The earliest cartoon I remember watching was The Jackson 5ive. Not long after that, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids took over as my favorite cartoon…until I discovered Superfriends. Some other cartoons I remember from this time were Scooby Doo (until that dratted Scrappy Doo came along), Speedy Buggy, Josie and the Pussycats, and all the other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. They weren’t all cartoons on Saturday mornings, though. I loved all the Sid and Marty Krofft shows. I always hear about H.R. Pufnstuf, but I have never seen that one. My favorites were Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters,
Far Out Space Nuts (Gilligan in Space), The Lost Saucer (Gomer Pyle in space), and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (starring a pre-Marlena Deidre Hall). I also loved the Star Trek animated series.

It was during this time period that I began watching the original Star Trek with my dad. I loved fire trucks, so I loved Emergency!, which is always on the Me channel these days. Of course, that went hand-in-hand with Adam-12. Another favorite show of mine was The Six Million Dollar Man. It was also during this period when The Muppet Show began. So, I graduated from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show.

I didn’t just sit around and watch TV. It was during this time that I learned how to read. I learned with Fun With Phonics. There were books, and records that went with them. The soothing voice of the lady on the record would talk me through the books. By the time I reached kindergarten, I was reading books.

OK, that’s enough yapping. Time to throw some stuff in my crate.

Crate Items:
I used to love my Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids action figures.

 

Some other action figures I had that can go in the crate are my Star Trek action figures, Six Million Dollar Man action figures, and the original G.I. Joe.

 

I also had Scooby Doo Colorforms:

 

I failed to mention how big Fisher Price items were in the ’70s. I had a ton of Fisher Price toys. My favorite was probably the garage. You put the car in the elevator, and when it reaches the top, it rides down the ramp.

 

I cannot find a picture of the Fun With Phonics set I had. But, I would include that in the crate. I will also throw in my first two books: Silly Billy and The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party

 

The Early Years: 1977-1979

1977 was a transitional year for me. In May of that year, we moved from our apartment in Providence to a house in Warwick. I finished up my last month of 1st grade with my parents driving me to school. Previously, I had walked to school.

I made new friends and went to a new school in the fall. 1977 is a very important year for people of our generation. It was the year Star Wars came out. Star Wars actually made it easier for me to make new friends. We all had an instant connection, talking all about Star Wars, and what happened in the movie – before any of us had actually seen the movie. I still don’t know how we were able to do that, but we did. In those days before the internet, word of mouth was literally word of mouth. Not only was the movie incredible, but the merchandising was a dream come true for kids our age. Action figures came into prominence. I also got all kinds of Star Wars books, and had a Star Wars lunch box. Star Wars also created a seismic shift in entertainment. There were many space shows and movies that were created. There was Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica, and even Star Trek made a comeback, as a result of the success of Star Wars.
People of our generation are now making movies and television shows, and I think it’s pretty obvious. Not only is Star Wars returning to the big screen this year, but Star Trek has made a comeback, and the super hero movement is stronger than ever. There was a lot of super hero shows and movies in the late ’70s. I remember watching Spiderman, Captain America, and a show I loved – The Incredible Hulk. And of course, Superman was a huge success.

Now, let’s put some stuff in the crate.

Crate Items:

Duh. How about some Star Wars action figures!?

May as well include my old lunch box too.

 

I also had this Star Wars book…

star wars

I would also like to include my Incredible Hulk trading cards

 

 

The late ’70s was also the beginning of the video game movement. We will really delve into this next time. But, in the late ’70s, I remember playing pong a lot. I’m not into video games at all anymore. But, if I had a Pong system in front of me, I could play this thing for hours!

 

 

One thing I never owned, but wanted, was the Evel Knievel Stunt Set. So, we’ll throw this in the crate.

The late ’70s was also a time when I learned how to ride a bike. My bike was ok. But, I would have much preferred a Huffy. So, I’ll throw a Huffy in my crate.

 

 

Well, that will wrap things up for now. I will continue this series next week. And don’t forget, be sure to visit Man Crates in the following places:

mancrates.com

Man Crates on Facebook

Man Crates on Twitter

Did any of these things bring back memories for you? What would you include in your crate? I will continue this series next week as we get into the ’80s.

Daily Trivia: 12/18/12

Question: In Raging Bull, who played Jake La Motta’s brother and manager?


Last Question: What video game in Russia became a phenomenon with its release for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989?

Answer: Tetris

Great job Rachel (@StarLady82) and Leviathan (@80sunleashed)!!

OK, how many of you could see the Tetris pieces in your sleep? The Nintendo Game Boy was a huge fad when it came out. I bought mine from our ship’s store when we were in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield. I don’t think I owned any other games for it other than Tetris. Did you really need anything else though? Did anybody else have any other favorite games for the Game Boy system?

Daily Trivia: 12/17/12

Question: What video game in Russia became a phenomenon with its release for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989?


Last Question: What was the full name of the 18-month-old baby whose rescue received national media attention in 1987 after falling down a well?

Answer: Jessica McClure

“Baby Jessica” became famous after falling into a well in Midland, Texas. It took rescue workers 58 hours to free her.

CNN, which was a fledgling cable news outlet, was on the scene with around-the-clock coverage of the rescue effort. This massive media saturation of the ordeal prompted then-President Ronald Reagan to state that “everybody in America became godmothers and godfathers of Jessica while this was going on.”

The next child America needs to rescue from disaster (if it’s not too late already) – Honey Boo Boo!

Daily Trivia: 1/10/12

Question: In 1986, what new candy bar, with wafers, chocolate and chocolate cream, did Hershey’s claim was “better than anything else”?


Last Question: In 1980, which new home video game system came with a free copy of the Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack game cartridge?

Answer: Intellivision

Less than a year after the Atari 2600 was released, it’s main competitor, Intellivision was released. The Intellivision controller was more complex than Atari’s joystick and button. Intellivision’s controler had a keypad, and a disc, with little buttons on the sides.
I never had an Atari, but did have Intellivision, and loved it. There were a lot of great games, such as Skiing, Elevator Action, Astrosmash, Burgertime, and Lock ‘n’ Chase. Even the game that came with the system, Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack could provide hours of entertainment, after only having Pong as a game system. The graphics at the time were great. You really wanted to punch the dealer in the face when he had a good hand, and gives you a cocky smile. Here is a flashback for us Intellivision users:

Then in the mid-80s, Intellivision was a victim of the video game market crash, just before Nintendo hit it big. But it was great while it lasted!

19 Somethin’ – Pac Man

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the first article, you can get caught up here. Here is the next line in the song:

Had the Pac Man pattern memorized

Before home video games, you used to have to go to the arcade to play video games. And it would cost a quarter a game. So, in order to spend less money, and more time on the game, you learned the patterns to the games pretty quickly. Most, if not all, video games had a pattern. And you either spent a lot of quarters learning them, or you watched your friends spend a lot of their quarters on the game, and learn the patterns that way.

Here is the full article about Pac-man that was posted on May 25, 2010 in case you missed it:

Pac-Man, the most successful coin-operated video game in history, was released in Japan on May 22,1980. Pac-Man is an icon of ’80s pop culture. Not only did it boost the popularity of video games, it generated spin-off games, merchandise, a television show, and even a cereal!

When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders and Asteroids.

Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., (along with Pong and Dragon’s Lair).

The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning ‘chomp.’ But in America, arcade operators were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, ‘Pac’ was suggested as an alternate name.

To play the game, you would insert your quarter, then use the joystick to move Pac-Man through a maze and eat dots, and avoid the four ghosts – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the monsters. The monsters turn deep blue, reverse direction, and usually move more slowly. When a monster is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the monster box where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue monsters flash white before they become dangerous again How many of you would become greedy and try to get all the ghosts? But then just when you try to get one of the last ghosts, they would flash white, and they would get you before you could get them.

In addition to dots and power pellets, bonus items, usually referred to as fruits (though not all items are fruit) appear near the center of the maze. These items score extra bonus points when eaten. The items change and bonus values increase throughout the game. Also, a series of intermissions play after certain levels toward the beginning of the game, showing a humorous set of interactions (the first being after level 2) between Pac-Man and Blinky.

In 1982, Pac-Man was released for Atari. For people how had Intellivision instead of Atari, you had to settle for Lock & Chase.

Pac-Man spawned numerous sequels, the most significant of which is Ms. Pac-Man, released in the United States in 1981. The game features several changes from the original Pac-Man, including faster gameplay, more mazes, new intermissions, and moving bonus items. Some consider Ms. Pac-Man to be superior to the original, and even the best in the entire series.

In 1982, Milton Bradley released a board game based on Pac-Man.
9192b8ymoxnl-_sx355_

An animated TV series was produced by Hanna–Barbera and aired on ABC from 1982 to 1984:

The song “Pac-Man Fever,” by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop chart in early 1982:

And you know you’ve made it when “Weird Al” Yankovic does a parody song about you. Here is “Weird Al”‘s Pac-Man song, done to the music of The Beatles’ “Taxman”:

If it wasn’t for Pac-Man (the game, not those songs!), there may never have been a Mario, Lara Croft, or Call of Duty video games.

Pac-Man fever began 30 years ago this week

Pac-Man, the most successful coin-operated video game in history, was released in Japan on May 22,1980. Pac-Man is an icon of ’80s pop culture. Not only did it boost the popularity of video games, it generated spin-off games, merchandise, a television show, and even a cereal!

When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders and Asteroids.

Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., (along with Pong and Dragon’s Lair).

The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning ‘chomp.’ But in America, arcade operators were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, ‘Pac’ was suggested as an alternate name.

To play the game, you would insert your quarter, then use the joystick to move Pac-Man through a maze and eat dots, and avoid the four ghosts – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the monsters. The monsters turn deep blue, reverse direction, and usually move more slowly. When a monster is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the monster box where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue monsters flash white before they become dangerous again How many of you would become greedy and try to get all the ghosts? But then just when you try to get one of the last ghosts, they would flash white, and they would get you before you could get them.

In addition to dots and power pellets, bonus items, usually referred to as fruits (though not all items are fruit) appear near the center of the maze. These items score extra bonus points when eaten. The items change and bonus values increase throughout the game. Also, a series of intermissions play after certain levels toward the beginning of the game, showing a humorous set of interactions (the first being after level 2) between Pac-Man and Blinky.

In 1982, Pac-Man was released for Atari. For people how had Intellivision instead of Atari, you had to settle for Lock & Chase.

Pac-Man spawned numerous sequels, the most significant of which is Ms. Pac-Man, released in the United States in 1981. The game features several changes from the original Pac-Man, including faster gameplay, more mazes, new intermissions, and moving bonus items. Some consider Ms. Pac-Man to be superior to the original, and even the best in the entire series.

In 1982, Milton Bradley released a board game based on Pac-Man.

An animated TV series was produced by Hanna–Barbera and aired on ABC from 1982 to 1984:

The song “Pac-Man Fever,” by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop chart in early 1982:

And you know you’ve made it when “Weird Al” Yankovic does a parody song about you. Here is “Weird Al”‘s Pac-Man song, done to the music of The Beatles’ “Taxman”:

If it wasn’t for Pac-Man (the game, not those songs!), there may never have been a Mario, Lara Croft, or Call of Duty video games.