(WILL-ert) | Asexual, neurodivergent, 🏳️‍⚧️ (she/her) | Creator of Video Dames, researcher of forgotten geek history | Contact: kate@acriticalhit.com
Sep 5, 2021 18 tweets 8 min read
This image isn't from a Nintend-related cartoon. It's from Galactic Patrol, a Lensman animated series released two years before The Legend Of Zelda.

This is a continuation of an epic thread started last night. Link below if you missed part one.
Just to be clear, Nintendo's Zelda wasn't blonde until a few games into the series. And Miyamoto says her name was proposed by some PR person who was thinking of F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife Zelda.

Still, it makes you wonder about her later looks.
Sep 5, 2021 17 tweets 8 min read
Streamline Pictures was founded by two animation-fans-turned-pros who wanted anime to be mainstream in America. Their first U.S. theatrical release was Castle In The Sky.

In 1989, they distributed Akira and Lensman. One is considered a classic, the other mostly forgotten. In Japan, Lensman was extremely influential. A quick search of shmuplations.com reveals that Gradius' aesthetic was heavily inspired by Lensman, and Capcom's Akiman was "obsessed."

But in America, people who saw Lensman right after seeing Akira were not as impressed.
Sep 4, 2021 8 tweets 2 min read
The only thing I don't like about the word "Metroidvania" is that it falsely gives appearance that Castlevania contributed as much to the genre as Metroid, if only "Metroidvania" didn't sound so much cooler than "Metroid-like."

But I think I've figured out a solution... What if we just called everything a "-vania"? Okay, maybe not literally everything, but if we could popularize just two other "-vania" genres, the suffix "-vania" would essentially shift to just mean "-like"!

Would you rather play a Roguelike, or a Roguevania?
Sep 3, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
So I guess Shang-Chi is going to be the movie that breaks my 10-year stretch of seeing every MCU movie in the theater. FOMO isn't enough to outweigh the possibility of a breakthrough infection. I don't even like theaters, I only go to the theater to see these out of FOMO.

When I went to see Black Widow, Cinemark had multiple "trailers" that were like "aren't you glad the movie theater experience back??" and I was like "NOPE! (But this was cheaper than digital!)"
May 24, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read
Last month I told you about the first Easter Eggs in video games, but even earlier Eggs existed in other software.

Who created the first software Easter Egg? I thought this mystery was unsolvable, until a team-up with Ed Fries.
acriticalhit.com/make-love-not-… This is a two-parter, and you get to pick which order you read them in! Here's Ed Fries' side of the adventure:

edfries.wordpress.com/2021/05/23/who…
Apr 29, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Last year I did a thread about Metroid's likely connection to Baraduke, a Namco game released a year earlier. If you missed it, here's a link.

But I've also got an update for you.
Did you know you can vote on what @shmuplations translates next if you donate to his Patreon (patreon.com/shmuplations)? I got some friends to vote with me (thanks @kelslewin!) to get this Baraduke article translated!:
shmuplations.com/yukiotakahashi/
Apr 29, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
If you grew up in the late '80s or early '90s, you probably remember playing The Oregon Trail on an Apple II. But why were Apple IIs so popular with schools? I've seen a lot of explanations, but they always seem like they're missing...something? I set out in search of sources that confirmed Apple IIs were the most frequently bought, hoping they'd tell me why. Apple set up a permenent "Education Purchase Program" in 1987, but Apple IIs were already the most popular with K-8 in 1986. Why?
macmothership.com/timeline.html#…
Apr 8, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
A weird accidental thing that happened in my first three videos is that each one connects via a shared reference to some game. "This would be funny to continue," I thought, "but there's no way my next vid connects to the Easter Eggs!"

Until it did. o_o If you're not sure what I'm talking about, I'll walk you through it. My first video was about Nintendo's Wild Gunman, which was originally going to share its name with Sega's Gun Fight.

My next one touched on Taito's Western Gun, which was directly inspired by Sega's Gun Fight.
Apr 7, 2021 17 tweets 8 min read
I had a really hard time cutting one particular tangent. I was confiding in friends "I really don't want to cut this, but I can't figure out how to work it in seamlessly!"

So today's thread is about how each of these Easter Eggs were discovered. Atari Adventure was released in March 1980. Within months people were already finding the hidden message. The first person to write to Atari about it was Adam Clayton of Salt Lake City in August 1980, who even drew screenshots.

"I just thought I'd tell you because I want to."
Apr 5, 2021 21 tweets 9 min read
For those who missed it, I launched a video over the weekend. It’s about the Easter Eggs that predate Atari Adventure, but it’s also about an extremely important but largely forgotten game called Moonlander.

Getting footage was tough. Today’s thread will be about how I did it. None of this would’ve been possible if not for Eric Smith, who created a page about the GT40 in the late ‘90s and continues to host it to this day.

brouhaha.com/~eric/retrocom…

It’s here that you can find the most important artifact in this journey: the Moonlander source code! Image
Apr 4, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Alright, I've set it to start at 7pm PST / 10pm EST! Join the chat room right now and let's see what happens. Here's the link:



It's a premiere for the night owls.
Apr 3, 2021 16 tweets 3 min read
I might try out the Youtube video premiere feature within the next 30 minutes. Who's up for joining chat and seeing what happens? It's uploading...
Feb 14, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Y'know what obscure Mario question will always nag at me?

In Super Mario 64, NOA established that Princess Toadstool would now be called Peach (like she is in Japan)...but Bowser (Koopa in Japan) would still be called Bowser. Why? Here's what's even stranger. If you weren't a child of the '90s, you might not remember, but Bowser was almost universally known by kids as "King Koopa" thanks to the cartoon (and kids not reading the manual).

But with SM64, NOA doubled down on Bowser. Why...?
Feb 2, 2021 12 tweets 6 min read
Does decade nostalgia happen at 20 year intervals, or 30 year?

If you really sit down and try to figure it out, it all falls apart. It can be as little as 10 years, after which you can cover that or any earlier decade you want. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Image There's a long history of coming-of-age period pieces, but maybe the first to feel "nostalgic" was George Lucas' American Graffiti, which was set only 10 years previous (1962, filmed 1972).

It got Happy Days greenlit, which was set about 20 years previous (~1954, filmed 1974). ImageImage
Dec 1, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
You don't erase by leaving it out of the subtext of a movie genre that most aren't going to realize is subtext in the first place.

You erase by just not teaching it. Never teach it, and generations will, by default, "forget."

Here's some examples from this week "OMG, how do kids not know Catherine O'Hara was in older movies they're just now seeing?"

Kids don't inherit the memories of past generations. Any knowledge you don't pass on gets forgotten by default. It's easy to take for granted.

Nov 30, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Years ago I had this nightmare I’ll never forget.

I was part of a small crew on the moon. While we’re doing moon stuff, I see movement out of the corner of my eye. As soon as I focus enough to realize it’s a meteor, it hits us from the side. Suddenly I look at the Earth, and I can see it’s slowly getting smaller. The meteor has knocked the moon out of orbit, with us on it. There’s no time to prep a ship for takeoff...we’re doomed. Betrayed by the ground beneath our feet.
Nov 29, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
When a brand new mall opened with a brand new arcade in 1991, their two showpieces were Galaxy Force II (technically an old game by that point, but it still wowed) and Time Traveler.

Time Traveler disappeared after less than a year, but Galaxy Force II stuck around much longer. The biggest problem with Time Traveler is that it just wasn't fun to play. It didn't feel like you got enough bang for your buck. And I mean that literally: it cost nearly a buck per play!

It was more fun to wait for someone else to play and try to watch.
Nov 25, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
Metroid famously reveals in a twist ending that protagonist Samus Aran is a woman.

But this might not be the first time Nintendo did this twist. Image Nintendo's Mach Rider opens with this shot of the protagonist. Each time you beat a level in the arcade version (titled VS. Mach Rider) you see the shot of the bike again, but the protagonist is gone...and a few more squares of a new image is slowly revealed. ImageImage
Nov 22, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
The Apple bite logo was designed by Rob Janoff at Regis McKenna's firm. McKenna says the out-of-order rainbow was inspired by the work of Bay Area commercial illustrator Tom Kamifuji.

Was this 7up illo by Kamifuji what Janoff and McKenna were looking at when picking the colors? Image The same year the Apple logo was being designed, Kamifuji was doing properly-in-order rainbows on the box art for Fairchild's Channel F, who Atari was preparing to go head-to-head with. Image
Nov 17, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
This is how I always felt about games until they became so long (and I had so many adult responsibilities) that I couldn't.

It actually becomes an obstacle. I've heard from people who didn't want to play a game until they could complete it, so they just never started. And of course, there's numerous game stats about how few people who do start games ever finish them, which is especially sad for narrative games.

The way to fix it seems obvious (says the wannabe game maker who will never make a game), so let me tell you how...
Nov 15, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
I’ve seen so many people talk about how magical and Tetris Effect is, but trying it out just now, all it did was make me feel bad and stressed and angry. Am I just unusually bad at Tetris?

It doesn’t help that the visuals and rumble seem to be trying to distract me into failing. Did they change something in the new version of Tetris Effect that makes it less magical? Is there something about the Xbox One controller’s rumble that makes it more annoying than other platforms?