Friday, November 9, 2007

“Get a silk bag from the graveyard duck to live longer” - Castlevania 2 NES

As much as I love classic games, I sometimes wonder, if anyone ever proofread the translation in any of the games. There was so little text in many of the games; I cannot fathom how the publishers would not have at least dedicated some time to edit the translated text.

There are two prime examples of this that I can remember from playing the NES during my childhood. Metal Gear and Castlevania 2: Simons Quest. Even at 5 years old I knew the dialog made little sense.

Metal Gear was relatively the better of the two in the grammatical sense. I can only remember four errors in the dialog

The Guards saying: “I feel asleep"
Snake stating: “Uh – oh! The truck have started to move!”
And two of Big Boss's radio messages:
“First, attempt to contact missing our “Grey Fox,” then try to find the Metal Gear.”
“Now, locate the Grey Fox’s hidden cells, check the way! Over.”

Castlevania 2’s dialog made little or no sense. The game was very open ended and one of the few was to actually progress in the game without a strategy guide was to talk to Transylvanian villages whose English was obviously not their first language.

One clue a villager gave really stuck in my head:
“Get a silk bag from the graveyard duck to live longer”

I’ve always read this has if I needed to get a Silk Bag from a graveyard duck in order to live longer. But alas, there is no duck in Simons Quest, but there is a graveyard with a silk bag in it. That only leaves one explanation, the clue should read:

“Get a silk bag from the graveyard.” AND “Duck to live longer”

The second half of the clue should be interpreted as “Crouch to progress further.” This makes a reference to a part where you much crouch with a crystal to reveal a secret staircase to one of the many mansions in the game.

Then there’s always the “You now prossess Dracula’s rib.” Simons Quest doesn’t just have the wrong tense. It flat out just has the wrong words.

Speaking of errors:

Friday, October 26, 2007

I love the NES power glove… It's so bad

NES Power Glove is so hard to come by around here at eStarland. The second we get it in stock, it sells out. I’ve always wondered what people do with them. Do they keep it as a collectible item? Do they actually PLAY with something this bulky, uncomfortable and impossible to program? Or do they just want to be as awesome as this guy:

I’ve never understood why they sold out so quickly. Can you really experience ULTRA video game action-adventure with the power glove as it states in the box? Do “ultrasonic sensors” send wavy light ways to my TV to make game images move as my hand moves as it shows on the box?

I guess it doesn’t. But these questions where answered when I saw Shaun Phase from Temp Sound Solutions play live with a Power Glove on:

Then it hit me, the NES and its culture isn’t just in our memories. It’s all around us. There’s a huge community that embraces the old NES days and celebrate it. And I ask you, what do you think of the Power Glove? What do you use it for?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ninja Gaiden and the Death of a NES Controller

It’s mid 1990. There we are, three of us in our L.A. Gear shirts and parachute pants. My cousins had just brought over the NES and we were enjoying the frustrating bliss known as Ninja Gaiden. After a few hours of wearisome playing avoiding enemy ninjas and their annoying bats and hawks - that blindly hover near the top of the screen yet that cause the most damage – we made it to the Guardia de Mieux, the Jaquio himself.

“Jump off the walls, and hit him with your sword as you drop down” we yell to oldest cousin playing the game

“Man, don’t worry I got this… damn, my nose is starting to itch”

“WHAT!?” we yell as he does the one action that crushes our dreams of that night, the dream of finding out what happens at the end of Ninja Gaiden – he takes his hands off the controller and scratches his nose. Our Ninja, Ryu, after traversing through impossible tasks and even saving his father from the Masked Devil spell, dies thanks to a simple nose scratch.

So flash forward to the present day. I’m doing my shift for the eStarland Star-tacular Sale and I see it. Some one is buying Ninja Gaiden and the memory comes back, the dreaded nose scratch incident. I pickup the game and this time I’m taking on Jaquio my self, nothing will stop me now!

As soon as I get home I find my NES and Ninja Gaiden. I start to play, but what is this!? Ryu cannot stop moving left, as if he remembers the original incident and is attempting to avoid the start of his journey.

Looks like he wins this time. After years of no use my NES controller seems to be dead. Sticky buttons galore. Looks like I won’t be able to take on Jaquio this time.

So a few days late we at eStarland get this thing in called the “Controller Repair Kit,” it’s suppose to solve issues with the sticky or dead buttons on a controller. I pick one up and give it a shot.

I grab a small Philips head screwdriver and hastily remove the screws from the back of the NES controller. I grab the repair kit, and replace the now worn out rubber button pads on the controller, and put the controller back together. The old rectangle has come back from the dead. Now I know I’m playing with power. Who needs ergonomic controllers anyway?

I start Ninja Gaiden again and only get up to the extremely long fourth level. I get frustrated and give up. At this point getting to Jaquio seems to be an impossible mountain to climb and I give up.

So to all your classic gamers out there, don’t let a worn out controller crush your dreams of reliving the golden age of gaming. Don’t settle with 3rd party controllers and fix that original Nintendo controller, that old friend doesn’t deserve thrown away. It deserves to be fixed and be brought back to life.

The controller repair kit includes all the necessary parts to repair two(2) first party controllers and is available at for the following platforms:

Nintendo NES - $6.95

Nintendo SNES - $6.95

Sega Genesis - $5.95

Friday, May 18, 2007

Suikoden III (PlayStation 2)

Remember Suikoden III? That sleeper RPG hit by Konami that disappeared a while ago? Well, eStarland managed to get a hold of some BRAND NEW Original copies of Suikoden III. That's right, it's the original "black label" copy, not the re-released greatest hits version.

Running into original copies of a great RPG is not an every day occurrence, and our gut feeling is that these original Suikoden III copies won't last long. We're not saying this is your last opportunity to get this game, but we're sure it's the last time Brand New ORIGINAL black label copies will be available.