Ep. 197 - Myst Opportunities, with Chris Remo and Mathew Kumar

### Ep. 197 - Myst Opportunities, with Chris Remo and Mathew Kumar

Game designer, composer, and co-creator of Idle Thumbs [Chris Remo](https://twitter.com/chrisremo) joins the panel along with [Mathew “Agent of Chaos” Kumar](https://twitter.com/mathewkumar) to cover the Honda Prelude, Crossword of the Dead, and live on-air cat noises. Original music by Kurt Feldman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i7EZn6lasc

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. [Jeff Gerstmann](https://twitter.com/jeffgerstmann) asks: What’s the coolest vehicle to ever appear in a video game? (04:54)
  • 2. Are the Myst games still good? What should people play instead? (10:55)
  • 3. What kind of feeling does acoustic guitar give to a game? (16:41)
  • 4. What’s better in a video game, an elevator or stairs? (22:45)
  • 5. What six C-list video game villains would you recruit for a government black ops team? (28:20)
  • 6. Dirtbag Gaagaagiins asks: What’s the best autoscrolling section in video games? (33:08)
  • 7. When and how do games successfully recontextualize frustrating tropes? (40:28)
  • 8. Review the concept of crossword puzzles based on their graphics and mechanics. (44:57)
  • 9. What are some of your favorite harmless video game hoaxes? (50:41)
  • 10. What is the Waiting for Godot of video games? (56:48)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Name Design – Jodi Picoult (01:01:44)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [Dennis Miller action figure](https://www.ebay.com/itm/401779070507)
  • - [Musee Mechanique](https://museemecanique.com/)
  • - [Warthog](https://www.halopedia.org/M12_Warthog)
  • - [Pale Wing](https://theearthdefenseforce.fandom.com/wiki/Pale_Wing)
  • - [Vic Viper](https://gradius.fandom.com/wiki/Vic_Viper)
  • - [R-90 Ragnarok](https://rtype.fandom.com/wiki/R-90_Ragnarok)
  • - [Sonic mine cart](https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Minecart)
  • - [Honda Prelude](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Prelude)
  • - [Tokyo Highway Battle](https://www.mobygames.com/game/tokyo-highway-battle)
  • - [Fortnite Vehicles](https://fortnite.fandom.com/wiki/Vehicles_(Battle_Royale))
  • - [Kung Fu Rider](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_Rider)
  • - [Dolphin Blue](https://www.mobygames.com/game/arcade/dolphin-blue)
  • - [Nier Boar](https://nierreplicant.wiki.fextralife.com/Wild+Boar)
  • - [OutRun](https://www.mobygames.com/game/outrun)
  • - [Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge](https://www.mobygames.com/game/lotus-esprit-turbo-challenge)
  • - [Myst](https://www.mobygames.com/game/myst)
  • - [Riven: The Sequel To Myst](https://www.mobygames.com/game/riven-the-sequel-to-myst)
  • - [The Witness](https://www.mobygames.com/game/witness_)
  • - [Michael Brough](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Brough_(game_designer))
  • - [Stephen's Sausage Roll](https://www.mobygames.com/game/stephens-sausage-roll)
  • - [Habitat](https://www.mobygames.com/game/habitat)
  • - [Firewatch](https://www.mobygames.com/game/firewatch)
  • - [Elevator Action](https://www.mobygames.com/game/elevator-action)
  • - [Snake's ladder climb](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgaYe4ZYYyY)
  • - [Mickey Mania](https://www.mobygames.com/game/mickey-mania)
  • - [Ys: Book I & II](https://www.mobygames.com/game/ys-book-i-ii)
  • - [Batman: The Telltale Series](https://www.mobygames.com/game/batman-the-telltale-series)
  • - [The Suicide Squad](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6334354/)
  • - [Rez](https://gex.fandom.com/wiki/Rez)
  • - [Peter Molyneux](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Molyneux)
  • - [Zool](https://www.mobygames.com/game/zool)
  • - [Battletoads](https://www.mobygames.com/game/gameboy/battletoads_)
  • - [The Adventures of Batman and Robin](https://www.mobygames.com/game/genesis/adventures-of-batman-robin_)
  • - [WTF: work time fun](https://www.mobygames.com/game/psp/wtf-work-time-fun)
  • - [I Wanna Be The Guy](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/i-wanna-be-the-guy-the-movie-the-game)
  • - [Chris Remo's YouTube channel](https://www.youtube.com/user/chrisremomusic)
  • - [The Bobby Kotick image](https://imgur.com/FdDP99E)
  • - [Ermac](https://mortalkombat.fandom.com/wiki/Ermac)
  • - [Missingno](https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/MissingNo)
  • - [The Blue Box Studios thing](https://cogconnected.com/2021/07/blue-box-studios-conspiracy-deepens-abandoneds-release-draws-near/)
  • - [Waiting For Godot](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot)
  • - [SNK VS. CAPCOM Card Fighters DS](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nintendo-ds/snk-vs-capcom-card-fighters-ds)
  • - [P.T.](https://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation-4/pt)
  • - [Jodi Picoult](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodi_Picoult)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Brandon:** [To Kill With Intrigue](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076227/) (1977), [Walker](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096409/) (1987)
    **Mathew**: [Gold Ninja Video fundraiser](https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gold-ninja-video#/)
    **Chris**: [Police Story](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089374/) (1985)

    Support on [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/insertcredit)

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    {“sticky”:true}

    as a heads up: I got the wrong god darn settings on the youtube export!! it's gonna take an overnight render to fix, sorry. youtube version should be available tomorrow.

    I love this flattened pound I got from Tim Hunkin's Under the Pier Show in Southwold, UK.

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/bU2WKSz.png]


    For reference, these are the Bobby Kotick header images Chris mentions

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/CEh4qTY.jpeg]

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/G0l7qMx.jpeg]

    [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/3ZxYvzd.jpeg]


    I don't remember what issue it was, but I remember an issue of Nintendo Power in the year leading up to the release of Ocarina of Time reporting on the rumor that Link would be able to ride some kind of vehicle in the game. They joked that maybe he would get to drive a “Linkoln.” Anyway, I submit this as evidence that horses, and, by extension, other animals, are vehicles.

    But the coolest vehicle is the ride armor in Mega Man X, because the game's intro level ends in an unwinnable battle against a character riding one. So it's cool that you get your ass kicked by one and then they give you a couple to play around with later.

    I felt so ill prepared for coolest vehicles for whatever reason. why didn't I talk about the cool bad cars in deadly premonition? why not the horse in red dead redemption? the mech thingie in solatorobo or bumpy trot? all the ships in zaxxon motherbase 2000?

    OH WELL

    Becoming one of the vaunted few dirtbags on an episode featuring one of my favourite recurring guests, Matthew “Dirtbag Destroyer” Kumar, only for him to admit I'd got his number, and then skillfully used the word frisson, means I can die happy.

    "Escape from the big dramatic screenfilling danger coming from the left side of the screen" is an interesting choice for mention of a good autoscroller, not necessarily because I hadn't thought of it as some clever use of the trope before, but because for whatever reason I hadn't really thought of those as autoscrolling sections at all. One of those situations where a good execution of something is, I guess, good because you don't really notice it is what it is. The imminent sense of danger takes you have something to be preoccupied with besides waiting around for the game to happen, and maybe in the best executions the autoscrolling allows you to focus on maneuvering through smaller scale obstacles without having to worry about larger scale navigation, you don't need to worry about going the wrong way because the only wrong way is into the mouth of a giant werewolf and that's pretty obvious.

    Another good autoscroller enhancer that Matthew Kumar brought up is ones that give you a real sense of speed, and makes you forget that your movement is in actuality being restricted. Inspired by the results of our recent Video and Game Poll and from listening to the old Genesis GOAT episode, I treated myself to a quick and extremely gratifying playthrough of _Gunstar Heroes._ The autoscrolling mine level with the cool weird gravity cart and the cool weird morphing boss with all sorts of different forms is as boring as it gets environmentally, but it's exciting anyway, because of the sense of speed you get from the Genesis' mindblowing Blast Processing™.

    I can't think of too many applications of auto-scrollers in 3D games, but one application or at least a closely related trope is the elevator gauntlet. _God of War (2018)_ has a really excellent and exciting one with a lot of exhilarating cinematic twists.

    For an unorthodox interpretation of what an autoscrolling section is, I also thought of stuff where movement is restricted entirely in something like a JRPG and battles just get brought to you. _Chrono Trigger_ has a few that are kind of frustating, one is also an elevator gauntlet on an actual elevator, but I have to give a special shotout to the postgame area Geno Dome, which is a fantastic spot to powerlevel because it brings high XP and AP battles to you automatically and you can just spam Luminaire.

    @“esper”#p40212

    >

    Dennis Miller action figure

    Bless Esper for the show links

    >

    What is the Waiting for Godot of video games? (56:48)

    My waiting for Godot of videogames is when I bought an r4 for my ds last year but was too lazy to replace the old firmware it came with, so when I started playing Dragon Quest V, I talked to everyone in the ship like 5 times trying to figure out how to get out and advance the game, and then after like an hour of waiting for something to happen I remembered that a long time ago I had read somewhere in some wiki about anti-piracy measures that in that game when you aren't using an original copy you get stuck sailing on the ship forever!
    I later installed a newer version of the firmware and was able to play the game, but it was a fun first experience with the Dragon Quest franchise.

    I second the recommendation to throw in a few bucks to the gold ninja video funding campaign. I’ve really enjoyed the important cinema club show over the past couple years and Justin seems like a nice genuine fella. They did a recent episode on the history of guys who played gorillas in movies so he does good work is what I’m saying.

    I just remembered that a Wii theremin kind of does exist

    https://www.wired.com/2008/11/experience-the/

    https://youtu.be/DkZ1Or_D-g8

    >

    What’s the coolest vehicle to ever appear in a video game?

    For me it's the Halo mods which let you fly the Pelican. I love flying big huge vehicles. I used to load up empty BF1942 maps just to fly the bombers around. In most of the Just Cause games I look up where the big flying vehicles are and then fly em around. Also: Mega Man Legend's "Flutter" ship kinda rules [upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/sh9wlTa.png]

    RE: Myst. I bought a Myst CD and my computer screamed at me trying to install Quicktime 4 in order to run the game's cinematics. it was really janky, but I enjoyed experiencing what I could within the original context.

    For autoscrollers, the Carpet lava level in Aladdin is one I remember vividly as being stupid hard. it sped up to be nearly impossible to beat, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5GHi-Dx6Q0

    >

    What is the Waiting for Godot of video games?

    There is a game engine called the [Godot ](https://godotengine.org/) engine, which was named due to how long the wait was to become feature complete.

    I first played myst on the jaguar cd, surprising no-one.

    just wanted to note that in the season one episode with adam rippon jaffe specifically excluded jet packs from a vehicle discussion claiming that they were accessories rather than vehicles. also rideable-animals have always been a separate category from vehicles on the show.

    Best auto scrolling section in my book is the multi level shmup section of Dynamite Headdy that ends with good ol Baby Face

    https://youtu.be/WNOZRk_nn9k

    >

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p40237 I can’t think of too many applications of auto-scrollers in 3D games

    Wasn’t it [a long standing Naughty Dog tradition?](https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-03-14-crunch-once-again-in-the-spotlight-after-damning-report-on-the-last-of-us-2-developer-naughty-dog) Oops wrong link. I meant this:

    https://youtu.be/8q3c1TGniyY
    https://youtu.be/tr3Yj9jw-ug
    https://youtu.be/2MEpYiS2aOI

    Daytona USA is cool cos when you crash it, the hood looks like a crunched up piece of foil

    </s><e>

    Also, it will fight you!
    ![](https://i1.wp.com/operationrainfall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/41-Hornet-Fighters-Megamix.png?w=704)

    @“chazumaru”#p40280 Oh yeah, I loved the chase in Uncharted 4. It wraps you up in it, and feels so natural, that you totally forget that it's technically an auto-scroller.

    Good to hear Chris Remo again! I didn‘t know about his new crossword show but it is very fitting. He actually inspired me to start doing the NYT crossword about five years ago when I was listening to Idle Thumbs, and I still do it every day! It’s good fun. I found it funny that the show format does not really suit his way of thinking/podcasting but he rolled with it well.