Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Archive for October 2013

Podcast: Silent Evil

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This week Fred is joined by listeners Allen and Jamalais to discuss the Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises. They do not get as far as planned, but the initial iterations of each series is thoroughly covered and a sequel is promised.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

Podcast: Gaming History X – Steam Machines

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This week Fred steps away from retro to discuss the topic of the Steam Machine, one that many console gamers hope will bridge the gap between the PC and the console. Along with guest Ben from Platform Junkies podcast, they dissect the challenges facing a console gamer wanting a Steam Machine and what compromises need to be made on both a consumer and producer perspective.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

Posted in PC/Mac, podcast

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Podcast: Devil’s Castle Dracula

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This week Fred is joined by Allen (@tearsofafeather) to discuss the Castlevania franchise.  As a fan of both this show and Castlevania, Allen assisted in talking about the vast adventures of the first six titles for the Belmont clan (Castlevania I-IV along with Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines).  Join us in one of the most technologically advanced and entertaining horror action platformers ever released.


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Podcast: Square’s Swan Song

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If you are going to talk significant JRPGs in America, one of the most influential series is Final Fantasy.  Whether you believe that it was the last game Square may have ever made or that it was simply the last game designer Sakaguchi would be a part of, the massive success of this digital Dungeons & Dragons title started a strong fan base that continues today.  In part one of our coverage, Fred and Eli “Sodoom” team up to discuss Final Fantasy I-VI including development, design, gameplay, and of course Cid.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Podcast: Ready (Blinking Cursor)

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This week Fred is joined by two special guests: EZ Mode Unlocked hostess Dana (@canadiandana) and listener Xenocore to discuss the illustrious Commodore 64, the only microcomputer to truly catch on the United States. After a few stories of everyone’s introduction to the C64 they go on to discuss the development, history, and of course mountain of innovative and unique titles available for computer/console hybrid.


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Written by Fred Rojas

October 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

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Hardware Profile: Commodore 64

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c64Release Date: August 1982
Manufacturer: Commodore
Retail Price: $595.00 (approx $1400 with inflation rates today)
Units Sold: Over 12 million (conflicting reports of 12-17 million)

Not So Humble Beginnings

Before personalized computers were called “PCs” (or MACs for all you Apple people), they were better known as “microcomputers”.  The name derives from the relatively small size and price of a computer with a microprocessor as the CPU and the same basic input/output structure for data and information.  Much like PCs of today, this allowed software and game programmers to design a title all around one basic data flow and configuration and then optimize each specific microcomputer release for the specifications of that computer.  American consumers even today are used to much lower prices than other countries and were slow to embrace the cost and concept of a microcomputer. That is, until the Commodore 64.  At the time of its release the only major competitors in the US were the Apple II and Atari 800, boasting hefty price tags of $1200 and $900 respectively.  With most game consoles priced at the time around $200 and some, like the ColecoVision, having computer add-ons for $400, the price endured for a microcomputer was restricted to certain households of higher income (and this doesn’t even include the cost for a monitor and desk to put it all in).  Commodore had a different plan and thanks to vertical manufacturing and two strong chips to handle graphics and audio, the company went about making a microcomputer that could compete with the Apple II and less than half the price.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Hardware Profile, Lessons

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