Looking backwards and forwards: Good-bye, 2010 – Happy New Year, 2011

2010 is rapidly coming to a close, and with its passing comes the introspective ritual of analyzing all we’ve done over the past year, and the excitement of planning and committing to the next.  This year has been filled with much to be grateful for: I’ve seen a dramatic up-tick in both traffic and content at this blog, as well as at my retail website, magisterrex.com.  I’ve been able to partner with some great retrogaming websites, such as oldschooljunkie.com, gamesniped.com, and warriorlabs.net, and have met many wonderful people through my Twitter account.  Looking back at 2010 I see many opportunities that were grasped (and a few that were squandered), and some measure of accomplishment in both my personal and professional lives.

Thank-you to all who helped make 2010 a net success, and may 2011 be even better for both old and new friends alike! (and what New Year’s Eve blog post would be complete without Auld Lang Syne?)


From 1992: Sierra’s VGA Christmas Card “Season’s Greetings”

Yesterday we traveled back in time to 1986 to watch Sierra’s Christmas Card showcase of animation and music (From 1986 – Sierra’s “A Computer Christmas”).  Today it’s time to see what 6 years of technological advancement has wrought, as we arrive in 1992 to view Sierra On-Line’s “Season’s Greetings” electronic Christmas Card, complete with 256-color VGA graphics. Enjoy!

From 1986 – Sierra’s “A Computer Christmas”

Back in 1986, Sierra On-Line, the company that brought us all the King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry series, produced an electronic Christmas card to be used by retailers who carried their products as a demonstration of the advanced graphics and sound available in their games. Over two decades later, A Computer Christmas still has magic.  Enjoy this retro memory…and Merry Christmas!

Yesterday’s Copy Protection Schemes: The Colonel’s Bequest

Roberta Williams was responsible for many classic Sierra PC games, with the King’s Quest series being the most famous.  In 1989 she created The Colonel’s Bequest, a mystery adventure game set in a plantation in the 1920’s.  The copy protection used was an image of a fingerprint shown on the monitor that had to be matched up by using a special red-lensed magnifying glass while examining the game map for partially hidden fingerprints.  Later versions simply included a “Fingerprint Sheet” that didn’t require this level of effort just to start the game.  For those who have either lost the magnifying lens or the “Fingerprint Sheet”, and are desperate to solve this classic Laura Bow mystery, below is a reproduction. Enjoy!

Colonel's Bequest fingerprint copy protection sheet

Colonel's Bequest fingerprint copy protection sheet



ReBlog: Super Mario Bros. X is a Retrogamer’s Dream!

From the supermariobros.org website:

Super Mario Bros. X 1.3 is a massive Mario fan game that blends elements from Super Mario 1, 2, 3 and World. It has many power ups, such as the Ice Flower, Hammer Suit,Tanooki Suit, Kuribo’s shoe, The Billy Gun, and Yoshi. You can also play the game with a friend in the 2 player co-op mode, were the screen seamlessly splits and combines as the players separate and rejoin.

This fangame is most notable for it’s extensive level editor that allows you to create almost any kind of level that you can imagine. The real time editor lets you edit the level while playing it! You can also create your own episode using either the SMB3 or SMW styled world map, or you can create a Mario 64 style hub level and have the players collect stars to advance.

Check it out here! http://www.supermariobrothers.org/smbx/