[ Retro Scan ] A TurboGrafx Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2016

TTI TurboGrafx-16 Turbografx TurboExpress TurboDuo Dead Moon Ghost Manor advertisement scan - 1992Ghost Manor and Dead Moon on a Zombie Console

[ From VG&CE, November 1992, p.47 ]

Discussion Topic: What’s the scariest 16-bit era game you’ve ever played?

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

Monday, October 26th, 2015

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.

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

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Monolith Blood Screenshot

Back in 2007, I intended to write an article about the 10th anniversary of 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) » ]

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Dr. Chaos

Monday, October 29th, 2012

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?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Witchaven

Monday, October 25th, 2010

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.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Splatterhouse 3

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Satanic Printing Rites

Monday, October 27th, 2008

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.

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Halloween Caption Contest

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

VCG Halloween Caption Contest Image

Halloween will soon be upon us, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for VC&G’s 5th caption contest.

Your task? Simply write the funniest caption you can think of for the image above. Anyone out there may enter the contest as many times as they want by writing a comment on this post. I will select the winning caption a week from today and post the result. The winner will receive an autographed*, heavily used copy of Pac-Man for the Atari 2600, which I will mail to him/her if he/she lives in the United States.

But of course, it’s not really about winning; it’s about the self-satisfaction you’ll gain by entertaining your peers and the joy of participating in a community event.

So join in the fun. Let’s see what you guys can come up with for this one.

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.

* Autographed by Ulaf Silchov.

VC&G’s Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2007)

Monday, October 8th, 2007

VC&G's Video Game Costume Ideas 2007You don’t have to check your calendar; you know, instinctively, what time of year it is. You get that warm tingling feeling in your gut that grows stronger as the big day approaches — the greatest day of the year. You’re a Halloween freak.

Some video game fans have a tough time figuring out what costume to wear on All Hallows’ Eve, so as per tradition, I figured I’d help them out and provide some detailed suggestions geared towards the gaming enthusiast. Any of the ten costumes listed below is guaranteed to make you popular at the office Halloween party, on the street begging for candy, or anywhere in between.

[ Continue reading VC&G’s Halloween Video Game Costume Ideas (2007) » ]

The Horror of Spam: A Halloween Poem

Monday, October 30th, 2006

The Spam Raven[ Editor’s Note: Eric Lambert recently sent me this creepy computer-related poem which he wrote a few years ago. While not exclusively “vintage” in nature, I thought you guys might enjoy it in the spirit of Halloween. ]

The Spam
by Eric Lambert
With apologies to E.A. Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious inbox of forgotten mail,
While I nodded, nearly sleeping, suddenly there came a beeping,
As of new mail, quietly creeping, creeping straight across my LAN.
” ‘Tis some friendly greeting,” I hoped, “creeping straight across my LAN;
Only this, and not more spam.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
With each separate link light blinking as the somber night began
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books a way to block, to block, I say, the flow of spam,
And let the rare and useful message enter through the flow of spam
Creeping straight across my LAN.

And the strident blinking beeping of this email message creeping
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt by man;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
” ”Tis some valid email creeping, seeking solace on my LAN,
Some late message creeping, seeking solace softly on my LAN.
This it is, and not more spam.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“So,” said I, “let’s just see what missive comes across my LAN”;
But the fact is, I was sleeping, and so softly it came creeping
Into my inbox, that I didn’t notice how the words of subject ran,
I did not see, I tell you true, that the subject words were not of man;
Random words, they were — of spam.

Long into the message peering, long I sat there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams that never should be dreamt by man:
“Grow it longer! Grow it straighter! Don’t be afraid! Don’t be a hater!”;
And the only words there spoken were the tortured ‘Not more spam!’
This I whispered, and in echo murmured back ‘Yes, it’s spam,
Creeping straight across my LAN.’

Back into the aether turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I mailed the spammer, saying ‘Send me no more spam.’
“Surely,” said I, “surely, this will keep my email inbox clear.
Let me see, then, what this mail is, creeping now onto my LAN.
Let my heart be still and see, just what’s this new mail on my LAN?
What the freak!? It’s just more spam.”

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an old condenser
Run by demons whose packets thudded on the network floor.
“Filth,” I cried, “may God have mercy on your soul for this!”
“But I will not!” I yelled. “And I will curse the name of all who spam!
And I will not rest until my inbox has been cleared of all this spam!”
I swore as I watched my LAN.

And the spam-mail, never ceasing, still is creeping, slowly creeping
To my email box, on my server, on my LAN;
And their words have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming.
And the link lights slowly blinking shine their light upon my floor;
And my inbox from out that shadow that comes creeping on my network
Shall be lifted—nevermore!