Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Goonies

So you don't recognise this? You don't remember this pivotal scene from the movie? The one where the ghost pirate is chasing Mikey in the caverns after they go underground from that restaurant where the Fratellis were hiding out? Don't worry, neither do I.

So while I was traveling this fall I just had to visit Astoria, Oregon, home of some enjoyable movie locales. And since I don't believe they made a Kindergarten Cop video game, my mind immediately went back to the NES Goonies 2 game. I never understood why it was called Goonies 2, even though no earlier version that I knew of existed. That is, until the internets enlightened me....

So there WAS a Goonies 1 video game, but it only came out in Japan. Wait! That's not true! It actually did come out in the US, but only on one of those arcade "Vs." cabinets. When capturing the above picture, the memory of trying out this Goonies game flared up. I certainly didn't get far enough to find a ghost pirate, but he's only really a few levels beyond the beginning. I should know, I made this cool screen capture on the emulator. Oh, and Mikey wears a jacket in this version, whilst wearing short sleeves in the sequel. There are similarities in graphics and enemies between the two games, but Goonies 2 goes way off on another tangent and is more of an adventure game.

I was a little too ambitious attempting to make a full scene, and ran into a few problems, but overall it looks alright to me. Next time I'll try to actually recreate a scene most people would be familiar with. You should try out this game, or the NES sequel, if only to hear 8-bit Cyndi Lauper over and over again. I wish I could figure out how to make it a ringtone....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Goomba (SMB)

Ah, I didn't think I was going to get to post this month, ruining my streak. But I found one that I took a picture of ages ago and never posted, so here you go...

I just purchased the new Super Mario Bros. game for the Wii, and haven't even had a chance to play it yet. When I get home we will partake in multi-player goodness, but in the meantime I give you the very first enemy you see in the very first game. Unless you count regular Mario Bros. as the first game. Which I don't since I can't even climb into the pipes in that one (and I'm a so-called plumber).

Did you know this enemy is named Kuribo in Japan? I thought I mentioned that before, but apparently not. That would explain why you jump into Kuribo's Shoe in Super Mario Bros. 3. I wonder why they didn't change the name to Goomba's Shoe? This earlier version looks a bit angrier than his counterpart in SMB3, but maybe it's just a more pronounced unibrow...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Zombie (Ghosts 'n Goblins - NES)

Spooky! Now, with a zombie movie atop the box office, I can finally post my creation for all to enjoy this Halloween season. Usually I would stick with the arcade version of a character (if I had a choice), but in this instance, the arcade one had all these shades of blue and grey that I couldn't quite pull off, so you get the NES version instead. That certainly didn't make the game any easier, because Ghosts 'n Goblins is one of the hardest ever. Even with the code it takes forever to get through. And the warp code isn't even that easy to input, nor remember (unlike the good old Konami code). Apparently you would have to play through the whole game once, and then it would tell you that the final level was an illusion devised by Satan and return to starting point again!! I think those exclamation points were included in the original screen. EDIT: OK, so my memory is mixing those words up with some other game, but I was close.

I actually don't care for zombie movies. Not because I'm scared of zombies, but because I find them extremely repetitive. I do like comparing the original Night of the Living Dead to The Birds, as was mentioned in one of my film classes, but how many times can we remake the same scenario of people barricading themselves in a protected space while waiting for the ever increasing horde of undead to come bashing in? I do like Shaun of the Dead, as it pokes fun at the whole genre, and everyone seems to like Zombieland, so maybe I'll catch it on Blu-ray for next year's Halloween season. In the meantime, I'm surprised I never considered doing Ghosts and Goblins characters for this blog. There's a whole bunch of cool ones that actually sort of look like the monsters they represent. Hell, The Devil and Satan are actually two different bosses! I originally typed "heck," but then I realised I was talking about The Devil and Satan...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Space Invader (2)

Or really, Space Invader 1, since he's the one on the lowest row....

So, after posting a fish, I ended up last week in the ocean floating amongst fishes in a wonderful setting for the first time in many years. I hope posting a Space Invader does not mean I will soon be abducted by aliens, or shot at by them with flimsy barriers protecting me. I have a terrible xenophobia, especially from those big black-eyed grey aliens that are always abucting people. Don't even get me started on those "friendly" aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind; anyone who abducts you for decades and then just dumps you home with no preparation is just cruel. I still have trouble watching the end of that movie without wanting to run away from their creepy alien kids with their creepy fingers.

Sorry you get another boring simple design this month, but I've been busy once again and traveling a lot and well, I think Space Invaders are pretty iconic and look cool and I'll probably even do the boring tank at one point. Don't worry, I've already completed next month's design, and I think you'll enjoy it. One hint: it's spooky!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cheep Cheep (SMB3)

Ah, Cheep Cheep. Has there ever been a more appropriately named character such as yourself? You're fine in the water leisurely floating around and swimming back and forth, but the moment you start flying through the air you become the biggest pain ever. I'll just be walking around with Mario or Luigi and you'll miraculously gain powers of flight and oxygen-breathing, or maybe you're just holding your breath as you lunge out of the water and smack into me while I'm trying to perform a well-timed jump onto some sort of spinning or collapsing platform. You are truly evil. Why must you torment me so? Stay in your element and I can handle you, even without the frog suit...

What's weird about the Super Mario Bros. 3 version of the Cheep Cheep is that it's actually less detailed than the original version. Which is fine by me since I don't have the colour to make it look right anyways. He also comes in green, but I think I was hallucinating when I thought I saw him in orange. I even played the game on my NES for a few hours just to see if I could find one. There were a lot less water levels than I remember, even on the so-called Water Land. And here I was, all ready to call it Water World and make a Kevin Costner joke....

Sunday, July 19, 2009


So I was in the desert for a week, and let me tell you, it's hot. Especially in the summer. But the weird thing was the enormous variety of insects out there. I saw enormous Palo Verde Beetles and heard loud cicadas and some weird true bug I'm still trying to identify. Fortunately I avoided any scorpions or tarantulas, although one giant spider was spotted. I was far, far away from the area when it happened.

While I guess these aren't spiders, Tektites sure are big, and apparently they have fangs. Never noticed that before. Also, when you image search Tektite, you get this. Who knew tektites were real? The Zelda versions are way better....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I wish I could be writing about how I came back from an awesome Medi-terranean cruise this week, but instead events conspired against me. Instead I shall write about my childhood adventures....

When I went on my first cruise way back in 1983, I was amazed to find an arcade on board. But it was my second cruise in 1985 that really wowed me. You see, the arcade in this ship wasn't big or anything; it actually only had 3 or 4 games. BUT THEY WERE FREE! Do you know what this means to a 10 year old who has to survive on quarters meted out by his parents in small doses? It doesn't matter how lame the games are (well, luckily it didn't have Moon Patrol; I hate that game - I'll rant about that another time, pink moon buggy), I got to play them over and over and get good at them.

I only remember Time Pilot '84 and Pengo. Only I never really got very good at Pengo. I don't think I grasped the awesome ability to squash the Sno-Bees with ice blocks really well. I could stumble around and avoid them half the time, but the game is kind of clunky and it's hard to get away from them and smash while on the run. Nevertheless, I like the cheesy electronic attempts at classical music, and Pengo just looks cool. He also trips a lot and has some weird friends that never help him out, but they sure like to dance and wiggle their rear ends.

I don't think I'm ever going to get to a Time Pilot '84 ship, there's too much grey going on. And I did so much better on that game. Maybe because missiles are way easier to destroy your enemies with than ice....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bubble Man (portrait)

When I first conceived of these video game recreations, I thought I would stick to the oldest games because they were simple to put together, and I could do them fast. Unfortunately, some of the games that I've always liked don't always translate so well when you just make one character at a time (see Legend of Zelda for what I'm talking about).

I've wanted to tackle most of the Mega Man villains, but they're big and take a long time to map out correctly. So how did I end up with this, my largest portrait to date? I have no idea. I just got inspired one day to make the actual portrait on the menu selection screen, instead of the guy himself. I'll get to him someday. I almost ran out of those light green bricks. Sadly, he'll probably be the only portrait I do because all the others ones have colours I cannot replicate in Lego form.

Darn, I just noticed that I screwed up a bit right before posting it. I fixed it. This one actually didn't take too long because the different colour lines make it easy to avoid (major) screw ups.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ice Hockey (Poland)

Finally, the NHL playoffs are among us. I've been excited all season for this, and I can't wait! Oh wait, I don't follow hockey. Although I did go to a regular season game for the first time ever this year, so I guess that counts for something. It had a bunch of guys skating around that sort of looked like this.

In the meantime, in honor of this momentous Canadian occasion, I give you the Nintendo Ice Hockey player that represents Poland. I chose Poland because when I first met my friend Alex, she brought this cartridge over. Playing it for the first time in many years was also reminded me why this game was not very fun in comparison to Blades of Steel. The players are clunky and the controls seem all over the place.

There is an interesting bit of strategy in that you can choose to set up your team with as many skinny/medium/fat players as you choose. So if you like to play fast, you can load it up with a bunch of skinny guys, but watch out if the opposing player makes a bunch of fat guys flatten your lithe team. This particular character is the medium guy. I'm sure someday I'll get to the skinny Swede and the fat Czech. Or maybe the skinny Russian and the fat Canadian? The possibilities are endless! Or as many you can come up with using six countries....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kuribo's Shoe (Goomba)

So I was finally inspired last week to come up with something green for St. Patrick's Day, and Kuribo's Shoe popped into my head. Normally my inspiration comes from replaying a game, and not a holiday, but I quickly slapped the shoe together and was about to post it when I realised it was just a big green boot. It looked kind of sad all by itself. And here I was so happy that I put something together in record time.

Now, I've seen people put Mario in there, and he does look good when he's stomping all over the place, but I wanted to be different. I looked at my ever-expanding array of colours, and there was good old orange-y brown. I had never used orange-y brown before. It was perfect for a Super Mario Bros. 3 Goomba, so I started piecing him together. Whoops. I only had a few squares, and still didn't want to post this boring green blob with no context.

I found a place out there that can give me access to a few more colours. So I placed an order, and a few days later, he's done for all of you to see. Doesn't he look swell? Oh, by the way, it's actually referred to as dark orange, so I shall have to retire the name orange-y brown or apply it to some other muddled colour out there if I stumble upon something comparable. And so there you have it: your green-inspired post, only one week later....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Space Invader

The original Space Invaders game was (mostly) in black and white. It's boring to make any of these pixels in just white, so I went with this creative pink. I seem to recall there was some green in the game, but that wasn't for the space invaders themselves (at least until they got to the bottom, and by then it was too late). I also bought a lot of pink bricks so one day I could make that one Pac Man ghost. What else would I use them for? This is the first true 1x1 pixel design I've made; it looks decent when it's a small character like this, but I find that you need bigger bricks for big chunks of colour for it to look good on the big sprites. It doesn't look as crooked when you've got all those little bricks that can end up slightly rotated in funny ways.

There's a street artist out there that takes this particular character and places him in locations around the world. I've seen them in Los Angeles, of course, but was pleased to find one in London, and I took a picture. I think it was on the bridge across from the Houses of Parliament. Wow, there are a lot of them; go here to pick a city and see where he (or his imitators) have been. His name is Invader, strangely enough....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I didn't want to have to do this. I've been so busy lately that I haven't had any free time to make more of these, so I'm down to my last one from the stockpile. And he's not even that exciting.

Octoroks. Probably the easiest name to remember of the random enemies Link faced. Don't remember the rest? Maybe this will refresh your mind: The Legend of Zelda NES commercial. Without that ad flashing their name quickly and repeatedly into our adolescent heads, we would never have learned that the random tree-shaped things that came in blue and red actually were land molluscs that shot small boulders out of their snouts. Just like snails do in our world.

I really wanted to start out with Link, but as I've mentioned previously, he just doesn't look good in the two versions I've made him in. The first used yellow for skin and it was alright, but the tan bricks I used for the second one were just too light for this weird elf-looking guy with a shield that can protect him from rocks if he just doesn't swing his sword at the same time. Besides, I'm here to talk about Octoroks. Um, I'm really going to have trouble stretching the entry out when I get to a Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Octorok....