In fact, I’m lying right now

I know I said we wouldn’t do anymore Castlevania-oriented Retronauts creations for a while, and at first glance you’ll probably think the new episode of Bonus Stage makes me a liar. But it doesn’t! Castlevania is simply a jumping-off point for our usual destructive tendencies.

See? It’s all good. Except Sharkey’s language, which is as naughty as ever. So, uh, Mom: Don’t click the play button. Especially if you don’t want to know about our mad scheme to create free-form platform-based porn games.

The episode finale is dedicated to the forum kids. It also means that anyone caught spouting Symphony of the Night dialogue from now on will be ruthlessly culled from the herd.

41 thoughts on “In fact, I’m lying right now

  1. God I love these Bonus Stages, I don’t even care that it’s Castlevania again. I agree with Eddie that three is the sweet spot, specifically the three of you in this episode (sorry Ray).

  2. Sharkey was kinda quiet in part 1 but god bless ‘im, he came through all right in the end.

  3. I have no problem with the general theme of nerds brutally fine-combing the gameplay minutia of games that weren’t popular even when they were new. That’s cool. But this episode needed more footage and less shots of guys talking while people walk by behind them on the street.

  4. (Sees the post)
    I’m interested in this…
    (clicks, waits for it to load)
    (Watches…as usual, Gamevideos won’t let me watch it all.)
    (Goes to the site and downloads it)
    (Tries to play it…it fails with error -39)

  5. What’s the game that’s mentioned during while talking about “Cave Story” and “Within a Deep Forest”. I could barely hear what was said, was it Knytt?

  6. I liked the pacing to this episode. But I don’t care for the color of Retronauts banners. I know you’re going for a retro vibe with the choices, but it’s like the late 70s and early 80s are trying to poke out my eyes.

  7. Next Week: Final Fantasy I through VI! Shock!

    (Notice how I didn’t know how much sarcasm to use to get the idea across.)

  8. Are you sure Blaster Master doesn’t count as a porn-metrovania? One of the powerups does give your tank an errection

    also minus points for not using ‘A MISERABLE LITTLE PILE OF SECRETS!’ as the post credit stinger.

  9. As much as I’d like to have a signed Sharkey poster in my room, I can hardly understand what he’s saying half the time. Damn his nimble tongue.

  10. I think metroidvania is too specific for a genre to be used as a generalization for those types of games.

    Why not include MegaMan as Metroidvania. It has distinct levels but you could do them in any order and in the later MegaMan’s there was some back tracking to gain extra powerups or a hidden capsule to enhance Megaman’s ability. I think I recall in megaman X that beating a certain level would alter the gameworld of other levels.

  11. I like how effortless and comfortable the whole back and forth seemed. Especially Sharkey’s last line there before the credits. Hum, but got me thinking about Blaster Master… Blaster… again. The top down parts DID suck, but the bosses were always cool. They weren’t fun to fight in any way, but they were cool.

  12. Is it just me, or am I having problems streaming the entire thing through gamevideos?

  13. “Is it just me, or am I having problems streaming the entire thing through gamevideos?”

    It’s not you; GameVideos sucks hard.

    I suggest dumping your cache and trying to load it up while leaving the computer idle. Do *nothing* else at all, close any other open programs. Then maybe, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe, it will work.

  14. Bastard!

    I’ve been waiting for you to actually get around to defining Metroidvania somewhere so that the Wikipedia article can go back up! I fought tooth and nail for the bloody article to be transfered from “Castleroid” until it hit “Metroidvania” and then did all I could to keep it up (though the article, in all it’s glory, remains up at Egamia

    Though seriously, I admit it’s a bit of a silly term… But it’s come into use and it SHOULD be propogated. “Metroidvania” may be silly, but “2D video games with an emphasis on a side-scrolling, exploratory action-adventure structure based on powerups” isn’t really any better. 2D is what makes the whole deal, really.

  15. Oh god please don’t use that horrible word again! I’m a bit sick of the whole symphony of the bloody night thing anyway and you’re quite right to do what you can to bury this ridiculous concept. Why does it even matter? why not just say ‘castlevania-esque’ or ‘with exploring elements’? And I really don’t appreciate you bad-mouthing codemasters and the dizzy series. Those games were fantastic (yes yes I know you atone for this in a small way in the show). And could you please, please get over the f***ing nes. There are other consoles in the world (some of which I know you own) but we would hardly know they exist if we went purely on the retronauts podcasts. How about having shows on the Neo-Geo, Vectrex, Atari Jaguar (actually, you could do that in three minutes) or ST.

    Sorry, rant over.

  16. Dear retard, this site automatically dumps comments by people without the common sense to enter their name. This post will overwrite yours!

  17. Whatever the feedback, keep doing these Mr. Parish. Very enjoyable.

    When I read your written articles about “Metroidvania,” the distinctions came through stronger and I actually thought you were on to something. I think getting put on the spot by two of your peers might have decreased the strength of your arguments because you weren’t given much time to formulate your thoughts. But then again I guess all theories get pummeled as a means of seeing how well they stand. Oh well, best of luck for the next one.

  18. “Oh god please don’t use that horrible word again!”

    The word is a little clunky, but it succeeds in giving a perfect description of a particular style of game. Plus the term “adventure” is so vague that most people will go on to describe what KIND of adventure elements a game has, wasting time that could be spent microwaving things.

  19. Sharkey is right — porn games lend themselves best to the stealth action genre. Solid Snake indeed, lol, etc.

    Someone should capitalize on that idea.

  20. “also minus points for not using ‘A MISERABLE LITTLE PILE OF SECRETS!’ as the post credit stinger.” – Moran
    Perhaps instead of saying “Today I am a man” Jeremy should have said “Today I am a miserable little pile of secrets.”

  21. Would “Raiders of the Lost Ark” for the Atari 2600 be considered proto-Metroidvania? It isn’t side-scrolling, but items must be collected to explore other areas, and one of those items is a whip.

  22. One guy in the video makes the claim that all games have become Metroidvanias, they’re just 3D. This is bollocks. Most 3D arcade games are still utterly linear in their progression: you run forward in a tube and that’s it. A key part of Metroidvania is extremely heavy reliance on backtracking. Basically, if you don’t find yourself returning to the beginning of the game from the end of it, it’s not a Metroidvania – and the only 3D games I can name off the top of my head that do that are Metroid Primes.

    He does have a point about the Zelda series being basically an overhead Metroidvania though.

  23. A Metroidvania’s advantage is that it’s 2D, it’s what makes the whole genre. When you compare any typical Metroidvania game to a 3D game with a similar organization and layout (item-based progression with a lot of backtracking), the pace of a Metroidvania is faster by far. This is because the game only features two dimensions of exploration, which means that the player doesn’t have to worry about exploring as much in an individual environment.

    By the end of Symphony of the Night, you could move from the sub-basements of the castle to Dracula’s tower in ten to fifteen minutes, encountering (but not necessarily having to fight) over a hundred foes. All in a short span of time, which makes it a viable gameplay option. It’s not a big deal to realize you forgot to check a hallway which might have the item you need to progress, because unless it’s all the way at the other end of the castle it’s probably going to be a ten minute round trip (and again, this assumes you don’t have access to teleportation gates which allow quicker movement). It’s a minor setback, at best. Compare that to forgetting to snag an item in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Moving around takes a lot longer because you’ve got to deal with three dimensions.

    As a result of the above-mentioned mobility, it makes totally open-ended design much more viable. It’s not a huge pain in the ass for the player to give them the ability to double-jump and then require them to backtrack through half of the game’s environment to advance. It’s not all that daunting for a player to see five or six different routes they have to explore throughout the game’s environment because going through most of the game’s environments searching for new routes you can take isn’t an hours-long timesink. Most 3D games grant you the ability to do something new, and then utilize it from then on. Previously explored areas are rarely worth visiting when you get a new ability. In a Metroidvania, where progress in an individual area can be more easily compared to peeling an onion. Each new ability just allows you to scrape on layer off and see what’s underneath.

    Okay, that was really long-winded. Apologies for the rantish thing.

  24. Effacing Metacommentary:
    I liked this video because it didn’t feel like a bunch of nerdlingers sitting in their mom’s basement talking about dorkenheimer crap. Not that you’re a nerdlinger, Jeremy. You’re a hero. Olskool Edge, Parrish, Simon Poole on a good day. There’s yer trinity.

    The Part With Heart, or, In Defence Of Tiny Little Genrefications Stretching As Far As The Eye Can See:
    I don’t want to get into comparisons with the other big popular mass narrative art form of our age, because I think that as discussions of pretty much any aspect of game design and appreciation continue, the possibility of someone making a cineaste comparison approaches one, and at that point you might as well chuck the whole sorry thing in.
    At the height of his popularity, Norman Cook gave an interview where he said that Fatboy Slim and Big Beat style music would be remembered as being about the same importance, influence and longevity as Skiffle. At the time, people laughed and thought that this was Mr. Number One So Why Try Harder having a nice British self-deprecating laugh, but as it happened, he was about right.
    It could be that the “Metroidvania” genre has about as much real importance to the story of videogames as did Skiffle and Big Beat to the story of pop music in the c20th; that’s not to say it isn’t a vital component in thinking and talking about videogames, particularly for certain people, viz. the ones whose boats continue to be floated by games that feature elements peculiar to the Metroid and Castlevania games.

    I’m sure there’d be those who would argue that the last thing a nascent art form needs is to be genrefied and subdivided to the extent that, say, dance music was in the late 1990s. But for people who live for a very particular subgenre (Metroidvania games) of a wider branch of design (ie, Platform Games), the thing that makes, say, The Goonies different from, say, The Goonies 2 becomes a vital distinction. And the quickest and most economical way of getting that distinction across is by saying, “well, The Goonies wasn’t a Metroidvania game”.

    I think the only thing not helping your case, Senor Parrish, is that if you don’t open it up and admit that there were many games that were inarguably Metroidvania games and also inarguably eminently forgettable pieces of shit, then this particular subgenre-recognition thing will just become People Who Loved Metroid Enough To Play Goonies 2 versus People Who Don’t Give A Shit.

  25. I know I’m gonna revive
    When I am…on the road.
    I’ve got nowhere to hide
    When I am…on the road.
    And there’s no use in wondering what
    Made you feel like parting from me then, girl.
    How many more tears must I shed
    So as to melt the frigid wall of time?

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