Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

ChronCD Episode 3

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The high quality version can be downloaded at:

ChronCD is the comprehensive coverage of all CD-based console games in chronological order.  Episode 3 collects the first half of 1990 with a whopping 13 games on the PC-Engine CD.

00:00 – 00:42: Opening Credits
00:43 – 02:10: Introduction to 1990
02:11 – 04:43: Nishimura Kyotaro Mystery: Hokutosei no Onna (Woman of the Great Bear)
04:44 – 12:32: Super Darius
12:33 – 16:42: Golden Axe
16:43 – 21:02: Final Zone II
21:03 – 25:57: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
25:58 – 27:35: Cosmic Fantasy: Boken Shonen Yu
27:36 – 30:10: Shanghai II
30:11 – 32:32: Death Bringer: The Knight of Darkness
32:33 – 34:43: Super Daisenryaku
34:44 – 36:52: Ultrabox
36:53 – 39:00: Sol Bianca
39:01 – 42:01: Urusai Yatsura: Stay With You
42:02 – 44:02: Meikyu no Elfine: Faerie Dust Story
44:03 – 45:20: Closing
45:21 – 45:46: Credits

Podcast: I Got Nothing or New Beginnings

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There comes a time when self reflection begs the needs to switch things up.  This episode is Fred and Jam looking into just that.  For the opening portion of the show they talk about ideas and format changes for the Gaming History 101 podcast (and of course want your feedback).  The back half is dedicated to all the retro gaming news as we begin prep for the new format.  All of this makes more sense if you listen.  Feedback is welcome at

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

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Let’s Play Metal Wolf Chaos

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Released only in Japan, From Software (best known for Dark Souls) made a ridiculous game for the original Xbox. The president of the United States uses a mech to battle those that have invaded his country alongside the Vice President.  This was originally part of a livestream on YouTube and contains the levels Washington D.C. (Tutorial), Los Angeles, and The Grand Canyon.  Future videos will feature other US landmarks as this game is played in any order you wish.

This video is part of a series, although currently there’s only a part 1.  As more videos go live this post will expand to the entire series.  You could also simply subscribe to Fred’s YouTube to get updates on when he’s live streaming and when new videos go live. 

Written by Fred Rojas

July 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

Documentaries: The Making of Resident Evil 4 and 5

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Two documentaries, mostly promotional, delve into the development and production of Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.


Written by Fred Rojas

July 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Nintendo Announced the NES Mini and Here’s the Important Details

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Update 07/14/2016 at 12:45 pm: A reader (TeenNick) has mentioned that Nintendo Life has reported the device will not support additional games, either in cart form or other alternative forms.  This better explains the list being so strong and varied.  Not sure if this is still going to be of value to me, but for most fans of the NES as a child this is a quick and dirty solution for your favorite classics.

Original Story:

First of all, Nintendo, 5 am?  Really?  Clearly Reggie and the gang are up much earlier than I am – and for the record I work in healthcare so I have a bit earlier of a schedule than the typical games media writer.  Either way, the great news came down with this announcement from Nintendo of America (NOA) that this November we will be getting the NES mini.  I have an NES and I have a lot of games for it, not to mention the 100+ titles I also have on the Virtual Console, and lets not forget that a dozen or so clone consoles are just a used game store away, so why care?  Well, on the surface of this announcement, you don’t.  It’s not until you get the details, which I do have below, that suddenly this is an intriguing endeavor.

Thanks to Gamespot’s Eddie Makuch, who appeared to be equally inquisitive with Nintendo as opposed to most other sites who merely said “mini NES with games, isn’t that cool?” we have some important details.  It will cost $60 in the US, releases November 11, and includes 30 games (the list is below).  From what it sounds like the cart slot will support any NES game you put in there, but I have yet to see that actually stated, however you would hope.  That will also be significant in the next paragraph.  Nintendo confirmed that the console has HDMI out and uses a USB power adapter for AC, which is free and included in the US but not in Europe (and probably not in Japan as we traditionally see).  The controller is a classic NES style and one is included in the box, but more can be purchased for $10 apiece.  These use the classic controller port like we see on the Wiimote.  Also Nintendo confirmed that “suspend points” will be available.  This means a lot of things, so lets break down what this information seems to indicate and why you may want to purchase this, even if you own an NES.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 14, 2016 at 10:24 am

Posted in NES, News

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The Podcast Archive Is Live!

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You asked for it, you got it: we have an official podcast archive with every episode, topic descriptions, searchable guests, numbering of episodes, and stream/download links.  It’s not quite complete, we’ve got everything up to June 2015 and the only missing episodes can be found in the official feed.  You’ll also notice the link to the archive is in the toolbar at the upper right in place of what used to be simply labeled “podcast.”

We hope this makes finding episodes to be a quicker and easier endeavor.  The entire season bundle pack downloads are coming soon, as are the two missing episodes that don’t have links.  Enjoy, share, listen.  Thanks from GH101!

Written by Fred Rojas

July 13, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Posted in News

Podcast: The Tales of Lord British

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As Fortengard best puts it in the episode, Richard Garriott is one of the first (if not the first) writers as video game creators.  It’s for that reason that the Ultima series stands out, not to mention the drastic direction change of the middle three “avatar” games.  Jam can’t make it so Fred joins guest Fortengard to discuss the legacy of “Lord British” and the unique franchise he created.

***PLEASE NOTE: We are aware of the echo effect added to Fred in this episode.  It has been fixed and should not appear next episode.  Sorry.***

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Cross Talk: What You Should Know About Pokemon Go

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Cross Talk is a blog that Fred writes that appears at the same time on both Gaming History 101 and The B-Team Podcast.


Unless you’ve been under a rock, it’s hard to ignore the presence of a game called Pokemon Go that released about a week ago to most mobile devices (July 6, 2016 in Australia and the United States).  Those of you in Europe and Asia, don’t fret, it’ll be out in your neck of the woods hopefully by next week unless you’ve figured out the way to bypass iOS or Android region locks.  If you’ve ever played a Pokemon game, then you basically know what to expect.  The game uses your GPS and your phone camera to embed Pokemon in the real world, AR (augmented reality) style, and then have you go chase after them and capture them in your poke balls.  You can level them up, keep collecting, and of course battle them.  I cannot stress enough how ridiculously addicting and fun this is.  Much like we have seen with other crazes, this transcends “gamers” and moves into the universal world of all mobile users as potential (and eager) customers.  Pokemon Go manages to merge the popular concepts of Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, and even Tinder into one universal, easily used for free, app that has gotten it wide attention from games press and mainstream press.  It also resulted in a surge in Nintendo (and other) stocks adding a reported $7.5 billion in net value yesterday.  So it’s an essentially free social app – there are microtransactions but they can be easily avoided – that makes companies a ton of money and is a blast to play?  Too good to be true, right?  Yep, it totally is.

Now I’m going to go on record right now and say the point of this piece is to inform, nothing more.  If you’re going to let a lowly retro blogger decide whether or not to put an app on your phone, you’re going to have trouble with your security.  I’m merely pointing out what has been brought up as a point of concern and inform my readers of the potential ups and downs of this game.  It is up to you whether or not you want in, but at least you’ll be prepared for the decision.  If it sounds like I’m making a big deal out of downloading a simple app, you should probably read on.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Blog

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The Technomancer Review

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The Technomancer reminds me of one of those relationships before I got married.  It’s dynamic and I enjoyed it, but ultimately I got to this point where I knew our time would have to end.  Much like those relationships, it probably lasted a bit longer than it should have, but that doesn’t mean that it was a waste of time.  Far from it.  Regardless of your opinion of nitpicks like whether or not the faces compete with modern powerhouse franchises or exactly what genre it should be labeled as, The Technomancer is offering a throwback to the complete package of RPG we saw often last generation.  That wouldn’t have made it stand out were it not for the fact that a title like this is somewhat rare these days.  Sure, everything is going open world, but releases of RPGs that heavily integrate decision and story are somewhat scarce and especially if you’re looking for sci-fi or cyberpunk.  So despite its flaws and not necessarily being able to keep up with its more established peers, The Technomancer is a worthwhile experience.

technomancer_1I’m guessing not many played developer Spiders’ first title Mars: War Logs, which you may be surprised to know is now available on PC and even Xbox One thanks to 360 backward compatibility (also on PS3).  It really is the early version of what would eventually become this title and established the lore of human colonization on Mars and the core of what the technomancers are.  That title was short, the combat was harshly integrated (especially for gamepads), and while I liked what it was doing I couldn’t get too invested.  Having played Mars: War Logs did allow me to appreciate how far Spiders has come in its sophomore effort on the concept, but it’s in no way necessary as a buffer for this title.  Newcomers and veterans alike will be introduced to Zachariah, a graduating technomancer that is coming to terms with his newfound powers and prepared to utilize them in an effort to keep the peace and eventually find a way back to Earth.  He’s not unique, many technomancers work for Abundance, a mega-corp that provides security on Mars and all technomancers are to guard the order’s secrets in an attempt to discover a way back home to Earth.  Beyond that you are free to hit the ground running in an open-world chock full of icons that represent main and side quests.  Along the way you will inevitably face combat, both in and out of hub locations, where your action fighting skills will be tested from start to finish.  I’ll return to the combat in a minute, but it’s important to note that the separation between non-combat zones and combat zones is blurred here, which I don’t often see in the modern world of RPGs that includes MMOs.  It may not be much of a change, but it struck me as somewhat unique.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Playstation 2 Top 10

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40 games enter – 20 from each cohost – and only a fourth emerge in the coveted Top 10.  We have various debate mechanics, odd conversations, and personal bias to get this unique take on a traditional topic.  Don’t agree with us?  Of course not.  Please send us your own top 10 for the community episode in 2 weeks.

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