Let’s Kinda, Sorta (Not Really) Play #4: Hydrosub 2021

But, before we “play” Hydrosub 2021…this ultra important clip show! Previously, on…these videos of me commentating over Action Max games!

Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

Quadruple The Action Max, Quadruple Your “Fun”…

Four of these. I’ve sat through four mind-numbing, bad special effects-laden, disasters of video game attempts that would go down in infamous history, if it were not for the fact that no one remembers this system.

Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Five people watching this remember Action Max, and all its glory!

So, what exactly is Hydrosub 2021?

Hydrosub 2021: Darling It’s Not Always Better, Down Where It’s Wetter…

It’s like Sonic Fury, but without Trucker and Chief, stupid nicknames, and it happens under the sea.

You know what? Hydrosub 2021 is nothing like Sonic Fury. I just thought it sounded good.

It’s actually a submarine OF THE FUTURE adventure. You’re a crewman on Captain Jason’s vessel, and he’s like a cross between Third Rate Scotty from Stark Trek: TOS and Third Rate Leslie Nielsen. Which is actually an insult to Leslie Nielsen.

I mean, I guess he sorta looks like Leslie Nielsen, just with a goofy accent and a salad bowl on his head.

And what’s with that outfit? Oh, and there’s the crewman whose face we never see except for a “barely there” shot of the side of his face. I could make a joke about that, but there’s about eighteen minutes’ worth that doesn’t necessarily need commentary (but was fun to do anyway!).

We’re tackling the dangers of the sea, complete with robot sea creatures.

I guess fish were either not available, not high tech enough, or demanded an unreasonable salary, resulting in their removal from the finished product.

Consider them lucky.

Let’s Dive Into the Dangerous Seas of Hydrosub 2021!

Of course, seeing is believing. And since I’m huge on “if I have to suffer, so do you,” as well as mutual torture. So come, join me. Click play. We’ll watch together. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll realize this was a ridiculous idea.

I’m just referring to the scene with the submarine re-enters the depths of the bathtub…I mean Not A Bathtub!

Phew, saved that one!

Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

We’re getting one step closer to the grand finale of Action Max “gameplay” commentary videos. Next time, we’ll revisit my first Retroist article, and provide commentary on (arguably) the best Action Max video of the bunch.

Only because it lifted footage from an actual movie.

Did I mention that fifth one is a rare gem in terms of quantity? For every twenty copies of The Rescue of Pops Ghostly, there’s one (possibly half of one) copy of this elusive Action Max game.

That’s a story for another time, friends, so until then…

Stay prepared for ACTION!

I have nothing else, folks.

Related Readings/Viewings

Because this isn’t new or novel, folks.

The Halloween I Spent Rescuing Pops Ghostly

Let’s Kinda Sorta Play “Sonic Fury”

Let’s (Kinda Sorta) Play #3 “.38 Ambush Alley”

The Rarest of the Rare Video Game System – Exploring Action Max’s Blue Thunder VHS Game


Compressorhead - Title

Bow Down To The Robotic Rock Of Compressorhead!

Ever since Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis debuted in 1927, there has been fear of the robotic. Of course some might even say that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein played with that fear. Bringing life to the lifeless, although obviously in that case it was with human parts. From Asimov’s I, Robot to 1980’s The Terminator. We have seen numerous examples of the fear of robots in popular culture. But what we’ve failed to see until fairly recently is robotic rock…such as with Compressorhead!

Begun in 2007, Compressorhead is the brainchild of Frank Barnes, an artist from Berlin. Along with Stock Plum and Markus Kolb, they’ve crafted a truly heavy metal band. Using recycled parts to construct the robot band members that play on actual electric and acoustic instruments. Starting with Stickboy, Fingers, Bones, and Junior – the band was finally put together by 2012. Compressorhead had it’s first live concert in 2013 at the Australian Big Day Out festival. Covering the likes of the Ramones, Motorhead, and AC/DC!

[Via] Sergey Kanatyev

I think it is time for you to meet the members of the band. First up we have Stickboy, the drummer. Possessing four arms and two legs, it is helped by Junior, to manage that hi-hat cymbal.
Compressorhead - Stickboy and Junior

Then there is Fingers, playing lead guitar. His two hands are indeed better than ours since it has 78 fingers to play sweet, sweet music!
Compressorhead - Fingers

Bones acts as the bassist for Compressorhead. Besides it’s two hands with four individual fingers it certainly gets around. Thanks to Bones’ platform that happens to be attached to caterpillar tracks!
Compressorhead - Bones

Now you might be thinking, that is definitely awesome to see Compressorhead covering such awesome bands. But…doesn’t it feel like something is missing? To truly move an audience of meatbags, er, I mean Humans. One needs a singer, right? Thankfully that is why Mega-Wattson came into being, voiced by John Wright of The Hanson Brothers and Nomeansno.
Compressorhead - Mega-Wattson

In addition they added a female robot to the group, a second guitarist named Hellga Tarr! Who besides shredding during numbers provides backing vocals.
Compressorhead - Helga Tarr

All right, meatbags. Enough talking as it’s time to bow down before the robotic rock of Compressorhead!

Did I fail to mention you can totally buy the band’s first album?

If you like Compressorhead you can hop on over to Bandcamp and pick up Party Machine today!
Compressorhead - Party Machine

Imperials Strike Back - Title

The Imperials Strike Back Is An Epic 1978 Fan Film!

Friends, the other day, Tom Berges of I Grew Up Star Wars uploaded something very, very special. Perhaps mind-blowing could be considered just hyperbole until you realize the facts. In 1977 a group of ten-year-old’s got their hands on an 8mm camera, they decided to make a sequel to Star Wars. Which is how the Imperials Strike Back came into being in 1978.
Imperials Strike Back - Luke

The children featured in The Imperials Strike Back started making this short film in 1977. It took two years for them to complete. Driven with nothing more than the absolute love of the first Star Wars. Of course as with most children, they also had a heaping dose of can-do attitude. Which is certainly evident in the special effects on display!
Imperials Strike Back - Star Destroyer

When I contacted Tom, I offered him first crack at writing this post. While I was itching to make this post myself I didn’t want to take any thunder from I Grew Up Star Wars. I feel that his site’s overall point of being, to share and celebrate the love of Star Wars is being honored with this post however.
Imperials Strike Back - Darth Vader

It has been 35 years since the makers of The Imperials Strike Back have seen the short film. In addition to that it has been digitized and even has some familiar music in place. I do not know if it was originally silent, I assume so, but subtitles have been added.
Imperials Strike Back - Han

Seriously, the heart and love on display with this nearly 22 minute fan film is breathtaking. If you are anything like me you will not only have a big smile on your face by the end of it. But maybe a few tears in your eyes as well at how much love and work was put into the short film. The force is certainly with those who were responsible for this. Obviously as it is with Tom for being so kind to let us share this now. Now be sure to visit and join the fun of I Grew Up Star Wars when you get a chance.

Enough of my gushing. Sit back and enjoy The Imperials Strike Back!

[Via] 8mm Kid Epics

Diary of An Arcade Employee-Ep-27-Crystal-Castles

Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast 027 (Crystal Castles)

Welcome back, friends. To the latest episode of the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. This go around I discuss the 1983 classic arcade game, Crystal Castles. Produced of course by Atari, this maze game is certainly one of my favorites. In addition Crystal Castles as you will hear, happens to have been an arcade title that caused me physical pain!
Crysal Castles - Trakball

Crystal Castles - Arcade Marquee
In this episode I of course discuss the notable employees of Atari that created Crystal Castles. As well as giving you the general rundown on the gameplay and interesting tidbits of information about this classic maze game.

Of course I also share some vintage audio related to Crystal Castles for your enjoyment. Moreover I share an exciting bit of news in regards to a game that Atari was working on at the time. But sadly, never released – due to the Video Game crash of 1983. I am pretty sure that like myself you will be blown away by that lost arcade title.
Crystal Castles - Gremlins

Now I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to mention that Christopher Tupa has created some fantastic artwork for Crystal Castles. Make sure to follow that link provided to learn how you can obtain this piece of artwork for yourself!
Crystal Castles - Christopher Tupa

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook Page. If you need a daily fix you can check out the Official Diary of an Arcade Employee Facebook Page too.

Subscribe to the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes. (MP3)

Directly Download the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
Episode Mirror #2 (OGG)

Before you find out about 1983’s Crystal Castles – why not check out the game in action for yourself?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

California Typewriter - Title

California Typewriter The Documentary

I was browsing the documentary section of Hulu the other day and a title caught my eye: California Typewriter. The word “typewriter” brought back memories of my mother using her typewriter for medical transcription at both a doctor’s office and home. I remember her using an IBM Selectric and then a daisy wheel. She was using a typewriter up until the early 2000s. This isn’t to say she wasn’t using a word processor or a word processing program on Windows 3.1 as well, but the typewriter was still used.

Back to the documentary.

California Typewriter is named after a business in Berkeley, CA. As you can imagine, the business struggles to keep their doors open these days. This documentary looks into the day to day activities of the employees as well as looking into the patrons of this business. Folks bring in typewriters for repair and maintenance, others come in to buy.
California Typewriter - Maintenance

The documentary also shows us some famous collectors like Tom Hanks as well as typewriter advocates singer John Mayer and actor Sam Shepard. They explain why they choose to still use these mechanical devices and steer clear of computers for their writing.

Most of the typewriters featured California Typewriter are non-electric. We even get to see some of the earliest typewriters from the 1800s. Some didn’t even have a qwerty keyboard.

[Via] Zero Media

As someone who collects vintage computers, I appreciate their love of these devices even though some of the people on camera put down computers (it hurt a little). However, computers had their say at the end of the film. Halfway through the documentary, I was regretting giving my ex-girlfriend not one, but two mechanical typewriters (she’s a writer). The commentary in this film has convinced me that I need to type letters, ideas, and basically anything that needs to be on paper with a typewriter.

I have a spot for it in my home office. I just need to visualize…
California Typewriter - Justin's desk