1. I am...
.. "a little bit of loneliness, a little bit of disregard/handful of complaints but I can't help the fact that everybody can see these scars"
I hover around the 30+ age range, depending on the eye of the beholder, and the current choice of form for the day. I *do* cast a shadow, but only when it occurs to me to do so.
I joined my employer whilst they were moving into new premesis; the basement area of the new building - affectionately dubbed "the Dungeon" - was reserved as the server & comms room. Staff introduced me to visitors by the title of "Dungeon Dave" and the name stuck when my boss got a namebadge of that title made up. Unfortunately the implications of the name means that I occasionally get targeted by oddballs on ICQ, but after a few well-chosen words they soon withdraw to recover their own sanity.
I prefered to keep the room dark, soothed by the soft hum of machinery and gentle strains of "Dead Can Dance". The photo is actually taken in the Dungeon, on Halloween's day.
2. I got into MAME...
... when I played Jeff Minter's LlamaTron and went searching on the net for more games like the classics I used to play. MAME suggested that I could play the original RoboTron2084, but I had difficulty getting it to work initially and once I tried MAME32, I never looked back.
The next few months had me racking my brains trying to remember all the old games I used to play, getting frustrated with The Vault, until I discovered mame.dk (who's bright idea was it to run ClassicGaming off NT? Power to Apache, people!)
3. I love playing...
... "classic games", generally pre-90s. There was a time when coders took what was available and pushed it to the limits, creating great gameplay and truly innovative sound and graphics for that era. I find most modern games combine tried, tested and tired scenarios with too much stunning graphics (easily created using today's technology). My favourites are:
Xevious - played it a lot as a student (when I fiddled videogames). I never tire of it, even today.
Defender - still the toughest game around. Fast and furious action, it will never be beaten.
Shinobi/Shadow Dancer - good platformer which requires fair degree of skill and timing; I've still yet to complete them!
Final Fight - enjoyable aggressive action; there are others on a similar theme, but I still return to this one.
Shadow Warriors - used to play this in my teen years; finally completed it on MAME (with unlimited credits!)
Star Wars - but the lack of yoke still prevents me from enjoying it in MAME. Must get around to building one.
Xybots - I liked this in the arcades, and have spent many a night running around darkened mazes...
4. I would like to say to Nicola and the MAME team...
... that sights, sounds, and smells all remind us of days past; but nothing came anywhere near that shiver I felt when I fired up MAME and heard the sinister speech of Berzerk, reminding me of my childhood in dark arcades...
There are those who ask what the MAME team could possibly gain from releasing such a fine piece of programming into the wild, completely free of charge. If you need to ask that question, then you'll never understand the priceless gift that Nicola has unleashed into this world.
Thank you so very much, Nicola and the team, for bringing a piece of the past back to the future.
Machine specs: 450MHz (Intel P-III) | 128MB (SD-RAM) | 9GB (SCSI) H/D
Graphics: ELSE Gladiac (4MB AGP) |
Sound: SoundBlaster 128PCI
Controllers: Sidewinder 3D-Pro joystick & mouse
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