Ep. 293 - Catch a Wheat! with Felipe Pepe

# Ep. 293 - Catch a Wheat! with Felipe Pepe

Author of [The CRPG Book](https://crpgbook.wordpress.com/) Felipe Pepe joins the panel to determine what CRPGs are, how to play them, and what happened with the Gollum game. Hosted by Alex Jaffe, with Frank Cifaldi, Tim Rogers, Brandon Sheffield, and Felipe Pepe. Edited by Esper Quinn, original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. What are the top ten video game submarines? (08:07)
  • 2. What the hell is going on with Lord of the Rings games? (14:36)
  • 3. What are we going to do about the name CRPG? (20:02)
  • 4. How do you delineate PC game history? (25:39)
  • 5. What’s a book about video games you wish existed but you don’t have eight years to write? (32:21)
  • 6. [Mel Stone](https://melstone.bandcamp.com/) asks: Using only video game characters that have never appeared in an RPG, create the quintessential four-person RPG party (43:47)
  • 7. How do you design a video game magic system that doesn’t just rip off Dungeons & Dragons? (51:26)
  • 8. What’s the best way to get ancient computer games to run on modern PCs? (58:21)
  • Recommendations and Outro (01:03:28)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - [Tales of Game’s Studios Presents Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa](https://www.talesofgames.com/related_game/barkley-shut-up-jam-gaiden/)
  • - [Space Funeral](https://thecatamites.itch.io/space-funeral)
  • - [Undertale](https://www.mobygames.com/game/74938/undertale/)
  • - [Ramble Planet](https://willyelektrix.itch.io/ramble-planet)
  • - [Void Pyramid](https://store.steampowered.com/app/563430/Void_Pyramid/)
  • - [The CRPG Book](https://crpgbook.wordpress.com/)
  • - [Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup](http://crawl.develz.org/)
  • - [RPG Maker](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_Maker)
  • - [Pokémon fangames](https://www.mobygames.com/group/11417/pokemon-fangames/)
  • - [Pokemon Xenoverse](https://www.weedleteam.com/wp/)
  • - [Dragon Ball: Xenoverse](https://www.mobygames.com/game/83379/dragon-ball-xenoverse/)
  • - [Dragon Quest series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/436/dragon-warrior-dragon-quest-series/)
  • - [Nintendo Direct 6.21.2023](https://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct/6-21-2023/)
  • - [In the Hunt](https://www.mobygames.com/game/24351/in-the-hunt/)
  • - [Metal Slug series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/1854/metal-slug-series/)
  • - [Steel Diver](https://www.mobygames.com/game/50994/steel-diver/)
  • - [The Hunt for Red October](https://www.mobygames.com/game/15103/the-hunt-for-red-october/)
  • - [Sub Rebellion](https://www.mobygames.com/game/57847/sub-rebellion/)
  • - [Prisoner of Ice](https://www.mobygames.com/game/376/prisoner-of-ice/)
  • - [Banjo-Tooie](https://www.mobygames.com/game/3993/banjo-tooie/)
  • - [Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts](https://www.mobygames.com/game/37770/banjo-kazooie-nuts-bolts/)
  • - [Final Fantasy VII](https://www.mobygames.com/game/858/final-fantasy-vii/)
  • - [Super Mario Land](https://www.mobygames.com/game/4275/super-mario-land/)
  • - [The missing Titanic tour sub is steered with a simple Logitech gamepad](https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/the-missing-titanic-tour-sub-is-steered-with-a-simple-logitech-gamepad/ar-AA1cNyuy)
  • - [California Extreme](https://caextreme.org/)
  • - [Theme: Submarine](https://www.mobygames.com/group/6224/theme-submarine/)
  • - [Titanic: A Mysterious Undersea Adventure](https://www.mobygames.com/game/5998/titanic-a-mysterious-undersea-adventure/)
  • - [Periscope](https://sega.fandom.com/wiki/Periscope)
  • - [Silent Hunter series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/495/silent-hunter-series/)
  • - [Das Boot: German U-Boat Simulation](https://www.mobygames.com/game/419/das-boot-german-u-boat-simulation/)
  • - [Hunt for Red October adaptations](https://www.mobygames.com/group/282/hunt-for-red-october-adaptations/)
  • - [Cthulhu](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu)
  • - [Subnautica](https://www.mobygames.com/game/77259/subnautica/)
  • - [Shinsekai: Into the Depths](https://www.mobygames.com/game/135306/shinsekai-into-the-depths/)
  • - [Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds](https://www.mobygames.com/game/53752/marvel-vs-capcom-3-fate-of-two-worlds/)
  • - [Silent Service](https://www.mobygames.com/game/1812/silent-service/)
  • - [Radar Mission](https://www.mobygames.com/game/31596/radar-mission/)
  • - [The Lord of the Rings: Gollum](https://www.mobygames.com/game/203614/the-lord-of-the-rings-gollum/)
  • - [The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings:_Return_to_Moria)
  • - [The Walking Dead](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_(franchise))
  • - [Embracer Group Paid $395 Million for 'Lord of the Rings' Rights](https://variety.com/2023/film/global/embracer-group-paid-395-million-for-lord-of-the-rings-rights-1235650495/)
  • - [Gollum developers apologize for the game's 'underwhelming experience'](https://www.theverge.com/2023/5/26/23738863/gollum-developers-apology-negative-reviews-lotr)
  • - [J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: Volume One](https://www.mobygames.com/game/17911/jrr-tolkiens-lord-of-the-rings-volume-one/)
  • - [Melbourne House](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_House)
  • - [Australia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia)
  • - [Dave's Killer Bread](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave%27s_Killer_Bread)
  • - [Alvarado Street Bakery](https://www.alvaradostreetbakery.com/)
  • - [Call of Duty series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/12946/call-of-duty-series/)
  • - [Planescape: Torment](https://www.mobygames.com/game/648/planescape-torment/)
  • - [Final Fantasy series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/4847/final-fantasy-series/)
  • - [Fallout games](https://www.mobygames.com/group/557/fallout-games/)
  • - [Dungeons & Dragons](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_%26_Dragons)
  • - [Baldur's Gate series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/287/baldurs-gate-series/)
  • - [Dragon Slayer](https://www.mobygames.com/game/18618/dragon-slayer/)
  • - [Wizardry games](https://www.mobygames.com/group/114/wizardry-games/)
  • - [Etrian Odyssey](https://www.mobygames.com/game/28892/etrian-odyssey/)
  • - [Dragon Master Silk](https://www.mobygames.com/game/42740/dragon-master-silk/)
  • - [Shining the Holy Ark](https://www.mobygames.com/game/7652/shining-the-holy-ark/)
  • - [Disco Elysium](https://www.mobygames.com/game/136046/disco-elysium/)
  • - [Pillars of Eternity](https://www.mobygames.com/game/71924/pillars-of-eternity/)
  • - [Divinity: Original Sin](https://www.mobygames.com/game/66558/divinity-original-sin/)
  • - [Street Fighter series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/379/street-fighter-series/)
  • - [DirectX](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX)
  • - [Microsoft Windows](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows)
  • - [Windows 95](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_95)
  • - [FM Towns](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_Towns)
  • - [PC-8800 series](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC-8800_series)
  • - [PC-98](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC-98)
  • - [Touhou series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/9152/toho-touhou-series/)
  • - [Apple II](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II)
  • - [Commodore 64](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64)
  • - [Amiga](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga)
  • - [ZX Spectrum](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum)
  • - [Color Graphics Adapter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Graphics_Adapter)
  • - [DOS](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS)
  • - [Xbox 360](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360)
  • - [CD-ROM](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-ROM)
  • - [Cyberpunk 2077](https://www.mobygames.com/game/153627/cyberpunk-2077-collectors-edition/)
  • - [Hardcore Gaming 101: A History of Korean Gaming](http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/korea/korea.htm)
  • - [Ragnarök Online](https://www.mobygames.com/game/13711/ragnarok-online/)
  • - [Legend of the Red Dragon](https://www.mobygames.com/game/21738/legend-of-the-red-dragon/)
  • - [Dungeon Fighter Online](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_Fighter_Online)
  • - [Ultima Online](https://www.mobygames.com/game/1762/ultima-online/)
  • - [EverQuest](https://www.mobygames.com/game/275/everquest/)
  • - [World of WarCraft](https://www.mobygames.com/game/15620/world-of-warcraft/)
  • - [The Conclusion of the Amico](https://twitter.com/rtsoft/status/1668954352361549825?s=20)
  • - [Project X Zone series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/11866/project-x-zone-series/)
  • - [Advance Wars](https://www.mobygames.com/game/4990/advance-wars/)
  • - [Tom Johnson](https://shenmue.fandom.com/wiki/Tom_Johnson)
  • - [Shenmue](https://www.mobygames.com/game/3558/shenmue/)
  • - [Wild Woody](https://sega.fandom.com/wiki/Wild_Woody_(character))
  • - [Clive Rosfield](https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Clive_Rosfield)
  • - [Clive Barker](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Barker)
  • - [David Cage](https://kotaku.com/report-quantic-dream-executives-cry-ask-if-they-can-l-1847036252)
  • - [Blanka](https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/Blanka)
  • - [Brazil](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil)
  • - [Tectoy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tectoy)
  • - [Playtronic](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playtronic)
  • - [Zeebo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeebo)
  • - [Monkey D. Luffy](https://onepiece.fandom.com/wiki/Monkey_D._Luffy)
  • - [Iñaki Godoy](https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%C3%B1aki_Godoy)
  • - [Katy Perry - Dark Horse ft. Juicy J](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KSOMA3QBU0)
  • - [Shin Megami Tensei series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/1709/shin-megami-tensei-series/)
  • - [Octopath Traveler](https://www.mobygames.com/game/104997/octopath-traveler/)
  • - [Bravely Default](https://www.mobygames.com/game/65078/bravely-default/)
  • - [Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light](https://www.mobygames.com/game/48590/final-fantasy-the-4-heroes-of-light/)
  • - [Final Fantasy XVI](https://www.mobygames.com/game/204724/final-fantasy-xvi/)
  • - [Devil May Cry series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/1104/devil-may-cry-series/)
  • - [Immortals of Aveum](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortals_of_Aveum)
  • - [Ghostwire: Tokyo](https://www.mobygames.com/game/181888/ghostwire-tokyo/)
  • - [Phantom Dust](https://www.mobygames.com/game/19055/phantom-dust/)
  • - [Earthsea](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthsea)
  • - [The Maimed God's Saga](https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/maimed-gods-saga)
  • - [DOSBox](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOSBox)
  • - [MiSTer](https://misteraddons.com/)
  • - [Project EGG](https://www.amusement-center.com/project/egg/)
  • - [Ys series](https://www.mobygames.com/group/1497/ys-series/)
  • - [C64Dreams](https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=c64dreams&atb=v362-1&ia=web)
  • - [Total Replay](https://duckduckgo.com/?q=total+replay+apple+ii&t=ffab&atb=v362-1&ia=web)
  • - [AmigaVision](https://amiga.vision/)
  • - [eXoDOS](https://www.retro-exo.com/exodos.html)
  • - [Exodos On Fire Cutz](https://exodos-on-fire-cutz.ueniweb.com/)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Frank**: [The Video Game History Hour](https://gamehistory.org/the-video-game-history-hour/) with Frank Cifaldi and Kelsey Lewin
    **Brandon:** [Il Balletto di Bronzo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Balletto_di_Bronzo), [purchase a physical copy of Hyper Gunsport](https://limitedrungames.com/collections/hyper-gunsport)
    **Felipe**: [The CRPG Book](https://crpgbook.wordpress.com/)

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    {“sticky”:true}

    “I don't want to sit here talking about this,”

    a quarter second later:

    "but this is the sort of thing I'm going to sit here talking about for the rest of my life."

    The Tim Rogers brand in a sentence!

    Octopodes cannot wield 8 daggers but they can wear 8 rings.


    my favorite submarine in a video game is the nuclear sub from civ 5. that thing wins battles.

    haha I think the mistakenly-placed review at the end might be for the cereal review podcast the empty bowl

    @“phylaxis”#p121526 that would be unfortunate!

    Holy smokes I haven’t set any up yet but all these eXo projects (they have a win3x version too!) look like treasure troves. Wowza. I know where I’ll be spending some time digging around.

    Oi mates,

    Australians tend to have a habit of claiming famous actors who are from New Zealand as our own. So with that logic I want to say that the Lord of the Rings is also an Australian film.

    And because we are descended from convicts we have a national holiday where we all torrent and watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Also that and The Castle.

    Thank you.

    popping in early to say barotrauma has good subs and xcom tftd has subs

    I played a fair bit of 688 Attack Sub for DOS. Good subs.

    https://cdn.mobygames.com/screenshots/2841563-688-attack-sub-dos-us-control-room.png

    @“MovingCastles”#p121542 how's the serenity

    Funny bit of kismet(maybe? Not exactly the right word) in this episode for me: During the intro I was thinking “My freeware RPG would be Dink Smallwood since it taught me how to find and use mods.” Then, later Seth Robinson is mentioned, I look him up and he's the creator of Dink Smallwood.

    Anyway, Dink Smallwood! A funny name for a game when you're 14 years old.

    Listening to this episode directly after hearing Frank‘s VGHF cohort Kelsey Lewin talk about Marie Kondo/hoarding on MinnMax makes me want a coffee table book about everything I ever owned that brought me joy. Each page is one or a few high quality photos and some blurbs about how those things brought me joy. I’m at that phase of my life where my kids are learning to read, play games, etc and I‘m constantly filled with nostalgia and a desire to share my childhood with them. It’s too late for me but I can probably help my kids make a book like that for their future selves.

    Also, make Frank write his damn book. Do we need a Patreon or some other sort of fundraiser? An old fashioned bake sale?

    Haven‘t listened yet but the book made me think of Gamasutra’s old CRPG history series. Is this still online? I just tried and failed to find it.

    On D&D and magic, I'm playing through Miracle Warriors for the Master System now and I like that the magic system is No Magic System™. There's a "spell" option on the combat menu just to tease you. Healing is done with herbs after battle and there are magic items you can use to attack but that's it. All "spells" are just phrases you learn in the game to solve puzzles like an old school text adventure.

    @“Jonks”#p121563 I got a story about this game.

    In the early 90s a friend lent me a CD packed to the brim with emulated games of a few consoles.
    for a kid with not much money and just a windows 3.1 it was hog heaven. Every day home from school, a new game to try. Desert strike, afterburner, speedball, MK2, crash test dummies, that one michael jackson game, and so on.
    The only downside is I couldn't save, so could never get that far into RPGs.
    I played the start of Miracle Warriors a bunch and it got the first RPG numbers-go-up hooks into me.
    Foolishly I never paid attention to the name of the game -- my sisters and I just called it "The Abba game" because of the title screen's resemblance to Abba cover art. I eventually returned the disc. To my great shame, I lost touch with the very good friend who lent it to me, for no reason better than we went to different schools afterwards.

    Years later I thought of that game and felt fully stumped as to how to locate it. I remembered an early enemy called "evil mercant" but searches of that yielded mostly links to the excellent tenchu 1. Any people I described my vague bits and pieces from couldn't help me, as the setting and mechanics are fully generic. It transformed into a bit of a grail for me, though I had no idea how to track it down as I knew very little about consoles before PS1, what console it was on, nothing.

    fast forwarding about 20 years, I hear of a wonder boy remake, and remember that on the same disc as this mysterious game I had also played a bunch of wonder boy in monster land. I narrowed it down to the master system and then a page of RPGs on that system, which was only about 10 items. I got a real cathartic rush recognising that cover.

    In retrospect I could have probably narrowed it down a lot sooner with a concerted effort and some good research, but at the time it felt insurmountable, and that period of my life almost felt like a dream.

    I watched a longplay of Miracle Warriors and it fully cured me of any desire to actually play it. I guess that's how all grail stories end.

    @“cheezopath”#p121567 now I'm not going to be able to unsee ABBA.

    Wish I had a cool story like that other than my dad had a Master System and 30ish games circa 1990 that he would never play except for Shanghai. But because of childhood ties, I'm biased to believe any story involving a Master System is a 'cool' story.

    I once spent about half a day trying to emulate the Amiga so I could play Bennet Foddy recommended Wiz Kid: The Story of Wiz Ball 2. I got the emulator to display the game but not run it. And then I vowed to never emulate the Amiga again.