Retroist Defender Podcast
Welcome to Episode 2 of the 13th season of the Retroist Podcast. In this episode of the Retroist Podcast, I discuss the 1981 blockbuster video game, Defender. Defender is a legendary game that does not get the attention befitting its true status, not just as a playable game, but one that was so influential, and wildly successful.
My experience with the game started in the arcade. Where I was terrible like most people. Then I got my copy for the Atari 2600 and played for hours. I thought those skills would translate into the arcade version, it did not. This was an oddly common occurence back in the day and a memory I have for many home ports on the Atari 2600.
After the story, I talk about the game itself. I discuss the company and the people who made it. This leads to summarizing not only the development of the game but the innovations that would make the game so influential.
Some other things I touch on? The name of the game, technical overview, game design, the wonderful Atari 5200 version of the game, and much more.
Despite having some solid sequels, Defender has not gotten any of the treatment that other video games in its class have received in modern times. Why no one has built a big modern title off of this idea escapes me now. I hope by talking about it, I can get you to try it again or for the first time.
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The second episode of Season 13. Edited in that order.
After this episode, I will start releasing shows every other week. I like getting started with an extra episode. It helped get me back into the groove of editing.
Getting up to 30 minutes still. I will not have that for all episodes this season, but a few get up there.
In the opening story, I had some discussion of arcade experiences while watching people play the game. I use a bit of that at the end of the show and will turn one or two of them into extras for Patreon Supporters. I might even turn it into a Retro Minisode of some sort.
I recorded myself playing Defender on my Atari for the first time in two years or so. I didn’t use it in the show, but I will upload it to Patreon today as bonus content.
Music changes this episode. Peachy had supplied me with some standardized audio bumpers. I finally use them. I like how they turned out.
Two audio pieces from Peachy used in the show are Happy Peppy Walk under the story and then a new piece, Space Race, that I used under the Atari 2600 description of the show.
I edited out stuff from the section about Williams. Maybe 90 seconds.
I removed about a minute about how arcade and pinball makers starting making casino amusements.
I removed two minutes about the people who made the game. Mostly what are they doing now?
My section on the strategy for playing was mediocre. I shortened it just to give an overview.
I did talk about 30 seconds longer about the Atari 5200 port of the games. It was very fanboy-ish, so I cut it out.
I had some of The Defender by Buckner & Garcia. Only 20 seconds, but decided to remove it. Adding other people’s music always feels iffy.
I reference the book, The Ultimate History of Video Games: from Pong to Pokemon and beyond…the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world by Steven L. Kent. It is from 2001 and has been read multiple times by me. It is very inspiring.
Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.