[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Dad's Halloween Card

October 26th, 2015 by Benj Edwards

Personalized custom homemade Print Shop Halloween greeting card - circa 1984-85Happy Halloween from 1984

My family has this way of saving everything. Not through conscious, organized preservation, but by virtue of never throwing anything away.

In that vein, I was digging through some old papers at my mom's house after my father passed away in 2013, and I came across this homemade Halloween greeting card.

From the looks of it, my dad made the card for me and my brother using Broderbund's Print Shop on the family's Apple IIc. It is printed on a single sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper; one is supposed to fold it in half twice to achieve a gatefold design with a front, inside, and back. Click the image above to see the whole thing unfolded — the other side is blank.

As for who colored it with crayons, I'm guessing I did (perhaps my dad or brother did it neatly, then I gave it a once-over with a brown squiggly line). What a great momento from the home PC era. Happy Halloween!

[ From Personal scan of homemade Halloween card, ca.1984-85]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever made a personalized greeting card using your computer? Tell us about it.

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Heretic

October 28th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

Raven Software Id Software Heretic Advertisement Ad - 1995Killing the DEAD has never been so much FUN!

The Gothic fantasy atmosphere of Heretic excited me when id Software first published it as shareware episode in 1994. Either someone uploaded the game to my BBS or I downloaded it from another, but either way, I quickly found myself enveloped in a modem-to-modem online co-op Heretic session with a friend.

Fast forward 18 years later, and I played Heretic again — this time, the entire game (and again, co-op). The first episode is OK, but the level design for the others is incredibly tedious and disappointing. I can see now that it is a very mediocre game. But when first released, following hot on the heels of Doom, people loved it.

[ From Computer Gaming World, September 1995, p.61 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite Doom engine game?

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VC&G Anthology Interview: Nick Newhard on Monolith's Blood (2008)

October 30th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Monolith Blood Screenshot

Back in 2007, I intended to write an article about the 10th anniversary of Monolith's Blood, one of my personal favorite computer games. Accordingly, I contacted Nick Newhard, the designer and lead programmer of Blood, and arranged for an interview.

VC&G Anthology BadgeFor whatever reason, my interview with Newhard didn't take place until April 2008 via email. (That's probably why I shelved the project.) Since it's almost Halloween — and it's the 15th anniversary of Blood this year — I thought I'd share this little gem from my archives. It should be a treat for any Blood fans that might be out there.

I'm presenting this interview a little more sparsely laid-out than I usually do just for the sake of expediency. Some day I will write more about Blood, but until then, I hope this nugget of history will tide you over.

Get Blood

By the way, you can buy Blood on GOG.com these days for $5.99 (price at present). It runs great in DOSBox on a fast machine — make sure you crank up the in-game display resolution for greatest effect. The game is amazing in 1440×900 VESA mode on a widescreen monitor.

I heartily endorse the thorough and frequent playing of Blood, as it is one of the greatest PC games of all time — in my opinion, at least.

[ Continue reading VC&G Anthology Interview: Nick Newhard on Monolith's Blood (2008) » ]

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Dr. Chaos

October 29th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Dr. Chaos for NES Nintendo Ad - 1991That purple monster skipped out mid-treatment and he's angry!

Happy Halloween from VC&G

[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, Jan 1991, p.163 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the scariest video or computer game you've ever played?

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12 Last-Minute Tech Halloween Costume Ideas (PCMag)

October 29th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

12 Last-Minute Tech Halloween Costume Ideas (PCMag)

If you like my regular VC&G series of Halloween costume ideas, then you might enjoy this piece I just whipped up for PCMag, titled "12 Last-Minute Tech Halloween Costume Ideas." Readers seeking practical costume ideas may be disappointed, but readers expecting boatloads of Benj-style Halloween humor will hit the jackpot. Or at least I hope so.

Happy Halloween!

Here's a list of the VC&G Halloween Costume Ideas articles:

2010 Video Game Edition
2009 Video Game Edition
2008 Video Game Edition
2007 Video Game Edition
2006 Video Game Edition
2006 Computer Edition

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VC&G's Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2010)

October 27th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

VC&G's Video Game Last-Minute Costume Ideas 2010Halloween is only four days away, and if you haven't chosen your costume already, you're screwed. Luckily, VC&G is here to help (once again) with 13 fresh last-minute costume ideas.

Through this article, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past. Old friends long gone.* Regardless of the vintage, each of these costumes is guaranteed to get you candy or your money back. Did I mention this is the fifth entry of this longstanding VC&G tradition? Most excellent.**

* Modified Yoda quote.
** Unmodified Bill & Ted quote.

[ Continue reading VC&G's Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2010) » ]

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Witchaven

October 25th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

Witchaven PC Ad - 1995"The spell is cast this Halloween!" *GASP!!!*

That spooky, spooky holiday is just around the corner, so I figured you guys might enjoy something in theme. I think I've played Witchaven once or once before — even if only because it used the Build engine — but I don't remember it well. What did you guys think of it?

[ From Computer Gaming World, September 1995, p.29 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite scary/creepy computer or video game? Any platform, any era.

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Splatterhouse 3

October 26th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Sega Genesis - Splatterhouse 3 Ad - 1993"The kind of game rating systems were invented for."

Splatterhouse 3 is by far my favorite entry in the Splatterhouse series. The other two just don't cut it for some reason. I prefer Splatterhouse 3′s room-based approach to the game, and its controls are pretty good. It incorporates an on-screen map too, which makes it feel more like an adventure game.

Happy Halloween, by the way!

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 1993 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the goriest video game you've ever played?

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VC&G's Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2009)

October 19th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

VC&G's Video Game Last-Minute Costume Ideas 2009Yep, it's that time of year again: time for VC&G's famous Video Game Halloween Costume Ideas — 2009 edition.

This article series is almost an institution now, as we enter our fourth year of providing last-minute costume suggestions to desperate video game nerds everywhere. Each of these costumes is guaranteed to get you candy, or your money back. After you're done reading, feel free to post your own costume suggestions in the comments below.

[ Continue reading VC&G's Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2009) » ]

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[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Satanic Printing Rites

October 27th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Qantex - Interface Age 1983(click for full advertisement)

Since Friday is Halloween, I've pulled out this scary, 25 year-old ad from Interface Age. The Devil doesn't look too happy with Qantex's latest offering — the joke being that Qantex's new model is compatible with Diablo printers. If any of you attend a costume party this Halloween, feel free to dress as the Qantex Devil. Be sure to take pictures.

[ From Interface Age, November 1983 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Remember dot-matrix, impact, and daisy-wheel printers? How about thermal, bubble-jet, ink-jet, and laser? Tell us about your earliest printer experiences, good and bad.

If you use this image on your site, please support "Retro Scan of the Week" by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.

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