The failings in this week’s episode of Retronauts can be pinned entirely upon me.

I was so occupied trying to quash Atari VCS cross-talk while wordlessly directing people to speak up (or pipe down, or wait their turn, or move their face closer to their mike) — all while half-asleep — that my role as a participant is downright disastrous. Especially since the topic is outside the purview of my own personal experience (through no fault of my own, but still.) So please forgive my aimless digressions, awkward interjections and frequent insertions of downright erroneous facts. I am a moron, but everyone else does a fine job.

In short: listen to them, ignore me. Thank you for your cooperation, citizen.

(Well, OK, it’s not my fault Jenn arrived late and didn’t have her own mike.)

26 thoughts on “Retronumbskull

  1. I had an Atari 2600 from 1982 until 1994 and had pretty much every game worth playing for it, my favorites being the little talked about masterpieces “Oink, Oink”, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Decathlon. I loved it and never felt the need for another console, I even played it more than my NES, and even got a 7800 a neighbour was selling for cheap and loved Donkey Kong Jr. and Pole Position II. It was a fantastic console that did what it had to do: Play great fun games. Oh, sure there was a lot of crap like E.T. but who was forcing anyone to buy that one? If I remember correctly most kids at my school thought the movie was retarded crap for faggots, so we were even less interested in a video game about it. We liked “Boxing” because we thought it was a game about Rocky Balboa, one of the true heroes for 80’s kids besides Han Solo.

    So, yeah, most of the jokes made about the VCS by NES generation people are quite stupid and baseless.

  2. OK, I don’t want to add to “the froth”, but how did you miss the Atari? We’re the same age, and it’s not like I had an older brother.

  3. I actually loved the defence of the original VCS Pac-Man. I want to apologize to Kohler because I have been a very stupid random internet stranger and have insulted him sometimes. But when he talks about stuff in a not Nintendo centered way, he shows he does know his stuff very well.

  4. Yeah, Kohler redeemed this episode. As for how I missed the 2600: no money. When you’re 10, you can’t really play games when your parents won’t buy them.

  5. “Mic” is the proper truncation there buddy.

    Sorry to be a sniveling, pushing-the-glasses-up-my-nose dork, but this is the internet.

  6. Someone might want to fix the description for the latest podcast, because it says y’all are talking about Mario.

  7. Any Retronauts is good Retronauts. You are entirely too hard on yourself about, well, everything sometimes.

  8. Yeah, Kohler nailed it, but really it was good all around. Atari carts were officially produced between 1977-1990, just falling short of the Neo-Geo record. Also I’m guessing the Colecovision was profitable from the get go, as it was built with “off the shelf” technology (which makes tracking down a working Colecovision tricky as they are fragile as hell.)

  9. If anyone wants to get their Atari on, check out 4jays ( They do mail order and eBay, but if you can make the drive, their store in Antioch is a sight to behold. It’s family owned and I’ve received nothing but good service from them over the years.

  10. I still have a 7800 and all its games (including E.T. and Mario Bros., which was my first exposure to Nintendo) stashed in a drawer, but damned if I know where I put my 2600. To put things in perspective: the latter was built so shoddily, I often had to press the cartridge with my wee little kiddy foot so that the console would actually make contact (and keep that position through the whole game,) and even breathing on the springy switches would trip them. Yet, I played it constantly and loved it.

    When the first RRoD hit my 360, I sent it off in a coffin immediately. Was I a stupid and/or forgiving kid, or did we simply give early, badly-built consoles more leeway back then?

  11. Man, my parents bought a 2600 when they were young. They later sold it and I regret not asking them to keep it because ever since the Commodore 64 episode of Retronauts I’ve been wanting to play some serious retro gaming.

    Also, I like the way the 2600 was built. It looks dated at first, but a second glance shows it really stood the test of time. Wood paneling on console, nice!

  12. I haven’t played the 2600 for 7 years, but as far as I can recall, the games simply don’t hold up compared to NES games. Or am I being a graphics whore? I do remember some of the 2-player games using the paddles being fun. And also Jungle Hunt, Slot Racer, and Pinball. Actually, playing the competitive paddle games is a lot like Wii Play, with the simple analog controls. Ok, to revise: The vast majority of games were terrible, and 10 or so were good.

  13. I resented the Atari 2600 even back in its heyday. Even at age 7, I could tell that those were really crappy versions of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong that I was playing. So despite the fact that it was the first home game console I ever owned, I have exactly zero nostalgia for it. I even hated the “iconic” joystick controllers that wore out after about a month. Crappy Pac-Man Port sessions tend to be short when your joystick decides that you can’t go left anymore.

  14. Why is it that Retronauts has the most cross-talk of all the 1up Podcasts? Unbridled Retro Enthusiasm, I guess…?

  15. One thing I always wondered about the Pac Man port is if it would be possible to make a good version given the systems limitations. I mean, the maze would be hard to fit given the resolution limits, and the number of dots would surely tax the system, unless there was some crazy programming trickery. I have heard that Ms Pac Man had a much better port, so maybe I am full of crap.

    Does anyone have any insight into the dot programming (display, collision). Let’s not even get into the 2600’s weird interrupt-based sprite drawing (if it is even sprite drawing).

  16. Looks like I spoke too soon, the 2600 Pac Man looks like things were changed for no reason, and, despite the flickering, Ms Pac Man was able to get a much more faithful maze. The dots aren’t sprites, but background elements, I guess that even though they can be turned on and off individually, the fact that they don’t move makes them easier to render.

  17. It was a great episode apart, perhaps, from the fact Jenn kept talking too far from the mic. I thought you were more vocal than Milky and you certainly didn’t let yourself down. It is a tiny shame the podcast didn’t cover everything that followed the 2600. I remember having an Atari machine with ‘Rescue on Fractulus’ that had a disk drive and cartridge slot. I don’t know the name of it but it may have been a 7800. There were so many bizarre games on that system including a game about a caveman riding a unicycle in a quest for tyres (‘BC’s Quest for Tyres’ I’m British so we spell it better). After that there was the ST, a really interesting machine, and then a gradual descent into insanity (the Jaguar controller a case in point). I have to stress how awesome Chris Kohler and Jenn Frank are. For completely different reasons but they are essential to a really great episode. Obviously, you’re not so bad either.

  18. I’m torn between feeling that Jenn adds a lot to the podcast in terms of personality and yet detracts a lot from the flow of it by suddenly derailing the topic into stories from her past.
    All that said, it’s a far better podcast than Jeremy’s worries may lead you to believe. I, personally, didn’t grow up with an Atari 2600 and have never played it, like EVER, but I was still kept in rapt attention.

  19. Jenn does tend to derail. A lot. You should probably stop that before it gets out of hand. Actually, what’s hilarious with Jenn is the number of times you can count per episode where she leaves everyone else speechless for ten seconds, and not in the good way. It’s the makings of an excellent drinking game.

    But yeah, she does actually have personality. For what that’s worth.

  20. Once again Jeremy, you’re too hard on yourself! It was a fun podcast, as always. I agree with the above postings, sometimes some people like Jenn can get off topic fairly easily, and it’s good to have someone making sure it doesn’t deviate too much. That being said, I thought everyone contributed to an enjoyable show.

  21. I babble when I’m nervous. Or I don’t say anything at all. Can I have it both ways?

    (It’s really tough to comment ’round here these days.)

Comments are closed.