Friday, November 27, 2015

Ep. 10: Stuck in a Dungeon

Josh and Emily thought they could get some sweet deals on dungeon loot for Black Friday, but all they got was lost! With no keys or bombs to help them get back to the usual jukebox meetup on time, they decide to set up camp and play some tunes of their own instead. Settle in for this special super-long episode -- and maybe some surprises -- while Josh and Emily try to uncover a way back to the overworld.

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We'll be back to the usual listener-suggested tracks in a fortnight. Add your stuff to the stash!

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This episode was made possible by:
Game Track Title Composer(s)
Tecmo Bowl Title Theme Keiji Yamagishi
After Burner Final Take Off Tokuhiko Uwabo
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Ending Theme Masato Nakamura
Altered Beast Altered Beast Tohru Nakabayashi, Kazuhiko Nagai
Final Fantasy Legend III Underwater Theme Ryuji Sasai, Chihiro Fujioka
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Snake Eater Harry Gregson-Williams, Norihiko Hibino
Phantasy Star III Wren Transforms Izuho Takeuchi
Wagyan Paradise Kum Kum's Theme Eriko Imura


  1. Just what I needed heading in to sbux to do some work on Black Friday. Tecmo Bowl is jam

    1. Aw man, Mega Matt, that's rough. I hope we helped you survive the day!

  2. Wow, guys! Loved the episode, and the Karaoke tracks were both Bonk! I loved how you kept it thematically consistent with the episode. Emily, amazing lyrics and speed. Josh, loved the lyrics and you sang your guts out. Top notch! I also loved how you guys introduced the karaoke to the episode. It reminds me: I forgot to mention this earlier, but kudos for the Moonwalker motif. I remember the night I got that game; my dad took us to Fred Meyer(One-stop shopping; you can get groceries, electronics, clothes and landscaping all at the same place), and I got the game for $54.99. I looked through the booklet as we finished our grocery shopping.

    Back to the episode. Emily, thank you for sharing your PSIII memories. It's a bummer about the illness; my mom has fibromyalgia so I understand a little what it's like to deal with chronic pain. It was cool to hear how playing PSIII helped you during that time.

    I bought PSIII when it came out and it has a completely different meaning to me. I owned the original Phantasy Star for the Master System and I loved it. My friend had the game before me, and I remember talking to him on the phone about it. My eyes bulged and my imagination ran wild as he told me about a game where you could just walk into a store and buy burgers and cola. The original game represented the wild frontier of gaming at the time; there were so many completely original experiences in that game for me, from walking around to multiple towns and having multiple characters on my journey, to walking through 3D dungeons that I had not imagined possible(Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic, was responsible for getting those dungeons to run as smoothly as they did). Phantasy Star was one of the first RPGs ever, and so much about it was so completely novel that I had no idea what to expect, no concept of how these games were supposed to operate. Anything was possible.

    Phantasy Star II represented the future for me; it was more complicated, more grown up, more beautiful, and more realistic than the first in every way. And the dungeons were so freaking difficult that it was still hard even with the included 100+ page hint book! I don't think I could complete it today due to the fact that I can't stand grinding, but it still represented a sort of candle in a massive dark room. What I mean by that is that it showed just a little more what games were capable of, and expanded my horizons about what to expect in RPGs, and games in general.

    I first saw pics of PSIII in Mega Play, a Sega-only spinoff publication by the writers of EGM. They were early Japanese pics, but they got me beyond excited. The graphics seemed better and more realistic than those of PSII, and they talked a little about the concept of generations in the game. When the game came out here, I bought it immediately.

    Unfortunately, PSIII had the opposite effect on me as I and II did. Maybe it was because I knew a little bit more about what to expect from RPGs, but the game felt really simplistic and basic. There was very little awe about the game(other than how amazing Dark Force looked). Whereas I had no idea what to expect with the earlier games, I could easily discern the patterns, formulae, and framework that made PSIII tick. I lost a bit of wonder about games when I played PSIII.

    I didn't get PSIV when it came out, and I regret that. I was overly cautious because of my experience with III, but my short jaunts of playing the ROM of IV makes me really want to pick it up and complete it. It seems to have all of the magic that made PSI and PSII great.

    Josh, I second all your comments about the SMS, and I loved hearing your comments about the Genesis. I also bought the Altered Beast Genesis, way before Sonic was even an idea. Anyway,

    1. Hey Nathan! I'm sorry to hear about your mom's health struggles. We wish her the best!

      And yeah, when I told my friends I was playing Phantasy Star III, almost everyone said something like, "I hope it doesn't ruin the franchise for you," or "You need to play Phantasy Star IV!" But I found the generational mechanic to be very compelling, even though it's not that technically complicated.

      I was also able to feel that sense of awe, because this was the first RPG I've ever played on the Genesis/Mega Drive, and I loved that my decisions dictated which areas of the map would open up or go dark. I can see how could be disappointing for you, though.

      Oh, but I had the gall to complain about one of the PSIII dungeons at some point, and a friend sent me a screenshot of a dungeon from PSII. HOLY MOLY. I learned my lesson.

  3. For a second I thought you were playing the Sonic 2 track too slow and then I remembered it was the ending theme (which I've never heard, having never beaten Sonic 2!) not the air theme. I think I love the flying theme a little more, it's soooooo pretty

    1. Oh yeah, Sky Chase is fabulous. Ugh, it is so hard to pick favorite tunes from that soundtrack!

      You can beat Sonic 2, Kenny. If you've been to Sky Chase, you are so close! We believe in you!

  4. Absolutely adored this episode. I am with Emily in that I love to hear nostalgic stories about games and life experiences that are tied to them. Lots of heart in this episode and I salute you both for sharing!