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28.11.16

Ghosts of Internet Past

Posted 28th November 2016

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Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a little bit of internet archaeology. Whether it’s pointing out dodgy updates to sites about murder, tracing what happened to Twitter favourites aggregator Favrd, figuring out what the deal is with an extremely weird abandoned website, or looking at good archivists and bad archivists, all of these investigations relied on one thing: the Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive, taking us back in time to examine websites at a different point in their existence. Or in some cases, to websites which have disappeared entirely. (Don’t forget my plea to think about giving the Internet Archive a donation.)

Today I want to use the Wayback Machine to talk about a couple of sites which meant a lot to me, but which are no longer online in their original form. One is more serious, and the other is a ridiculous amount of fun. Both of them, in one way or another, changed the way I think about things.

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23.02.14

Obscure Videogame Music

Posted 23rd February 2014

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asysYears ago, I created – along with Jeffrey Lee – a website about two of my favourite RISC OS games, Asylum and Oddball. (I did the design and some of the writing for the site, and Jeffrey did all the ACTUAL WORK involving the software.) Both games were loads of fun – but to get them running these days, you either have to have a RISC OS machine, get a RISC OS emulator up and running, or mess around with an SDL version. One thing that doesn’t need any setting up however, is listening to the fantastic music from Asylum.

From the relatively calm music for the easy levels, through to my favourite track for the medium levels, and this absolute insanity for the hardest levels – and that’s only three of the eight pieces – any lover of videogame music should give it a listen. They aren’t very well known, but I think the tracks are absolutely gorgeous. Aching for a remix of some kind.

So: do you have any favourite lesser-known music from games – from obscure tracks from famous releases, right through to something which once sold four copies in 1982? I’d love to put together a mix of them, similar to my BBC Micro TV themes mix from last year. Add ’em below, or send a tweet across. Any platform, any genre, any year. GO.

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19.01.14

Unused Song 2.

Posted 19th January 2014

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Take a spin-off of a spin-off: a 1995 SNES game, based on The Flintstones live action film, based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

Take a music track found in the cartridge, which isn’t even used in the game1.

And from this obscure origin, find one of the most gorgeous chiptunes you’re ever likely to hear.

Funny how life turns out.


  1. For the reason why it was unused, see the description attached to the YouTube video – uploaded by the writer of the track, Dean Edwards. 

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20.11.13

Mom.

Posted 20th November 2013

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Player character identification in video games is one of those topics which academia seemingly loves. There are reams and reams of papers dedicated to the subject. I’m never scared to dumb things down here at Dirty Feed, however, so let’s ludicrously simplify things. How I identify with a player character comes in two forms: they’re either not me… or they are me.

In Final Fantasy IX, I am Zidane, a cheeky chappy with a ludicrous tail who discovers he is an Angel of Death. In I-0, I am Tracy Valencia, with all the added anatomy and latent lesbian tendencies that part requires. On the other hand, in a game like Angband, I’m creating a character from scratch, not taking the role of a pre-existing character with their own story – and I tend to think of that character as an extension of myself.

With a life simulation game like Animal Crossing, it’s even more clear-cut. Sure, the world is absolute fantasy, full of talking animals: but I’m still called John. I can wear the kind of clothes I wear in real life, furnish my house like I would if I had endless money and wasn’t a lazy bastard. I’m not playing a part: that character running around on the screen is me.

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30.04.13

Four Channels

Posted 30th April 2013

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Here’s something rather silly I’ve put together. Anyone up for a bunch of 8-bit versions of popular TV and film themes, taken from a load of BBC Micro games? I CAN TELL YOU ARE, HELLO YOU.

Some of the pieces are really well done – I especially love the opening version of the Match of the Day theme – and some… aren’t. What the bloody hell is that interpretation of Play Your Cards Right?

Download “Four Channels” (13MB MP3, 11:06)

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13.11.11

Gratuitous

Posted 13th November 2011

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From the June 1987 edition of A&B Computing:

Scan of Dunjunz advert

And here was me thinking it was just ports which used such tactics, and homegrown BBC Micro games were a paragon of virtue…

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19.01.10

hello hacker fucker

Posted 19th January 2010

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Whilst we’re on the subject of hidden messages in games, here’s a one from another great game – Mad Professor Mariarti.

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16.01.10

Brilliant Game Easter Eggs #2846482

Posted 16th January 2010

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I love easter eggs in games. This Gamespot article mentions some great ones – and I’m a sucker for this one in San Andreas – but I’m still a BBC Master man at heart. With that in mind, here’s one of my favourites – from 1989’s Repton Infinity.

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