Posts

Showing posts from 2012

#13 Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist

Image
I don’t have a standout memory to share about Sierra’s classic adventure game Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist, but yet the game sticks out in my memory of one of my favorite games from my childhood. I’ve played many other adventure games that are arguably better, but few others left the lasting impression that this game did.

By the time this game was made Sierra had polished their adventure game craft to the point where they were at the pinnacle of not only the genre, but also the computer gaming world. Although it was overshadowed by games like King’s Quest VI (which up until Warcraft II came along was the best-selling computer game of all time), Freddy Pharkas is one of Sierra’s finest games,  an example of their wonderful hand-painted landscapes, engaging storytelling, unique characters, streamlined interface and exceptional voice acting coming together to form a undeniably fun game. Even the frequent deaths that required obsessive saving indicative of Sierra’s adventure games …

#14 Sid & Al's Incredible Toons

Image
Back in 1994 or 1995, the hard drive of our 386 started making weird buzzing noises one morning while I was playing Quest for Glory III. I walked in to speak to the oracle atop of Tarna and within a few seconds the computer shut down and would not power on again. While it was tough being without a newer computer for a few months, the best thing that came out of this crash was that we got a new computer: the Compact Presario 586. For months, I had be reading Sierra Interaction magazines and longing for a variety of CD ROM adventure games, like King’s Quest VI or Quest for Glory IV, that I could play if only we had a CD ROM drive. The adventure games would all have voice acting and even videos. It would open up a whole new world of gaming that would not be constrained by the handful of megabytes that would fit onto a few (or sometimes more than a few) floppy disks.

The first few times booting up the Compact Presario was like opening up a window to a whole world you didn’t know existed.…

#15 Subspace

Image
I first saw Justin in the hallway when one of the guidance counselors was showing him around our high school on his first day there in the winter of our junior year. A few minutes later he came into my chemistry class and ended up sitting next to me. Justin and I were also in world history together and over the first couple of days working on chemistry problems and answering questions about the Ancient Greeks, we became friends and started sitting together at lunch.
One of the first things I found out about Justin was that he was not entirely happy with moving to Raleigh away from all his friends in Texas, so his parents had agreed to buy him upgrades for his computer. When I would go over to his house, we would usually partake of a selection of the Mr. Reed stash of Doritos and Cokes and then head upstairs to Justin’s room in the attic. The first games he showed me on one of my first visits over to his house was Fallout II (which almost made the list, but, after many days of intens…

#16 Warning Forever

Image
Around the same time I was working on “Cutting Leaves of Grass,” I was had a job at Quiznos. As a “sandwich artist” at Quiznos, we would be hit with intense RTP lunch rushes from about 11:30am to 2pm where time would fly by as I made one sandwich after another only breaking to grab more ingredients out of the cooler.  During these moments my muscles would take over without much conscious effort from my brain. My arms knew how to cut the bread without looking, the right amount of meat without weighting it, the right order to stack the tomatoes and cheese and the way to slide the sandwich into the oven.  My muscles worked like a computer: customers would say their order to me and my muscles would output the sandwich within a few seconds over and over and over.
After nights of closing the store at Quiznos, I would come home and play Warning Forever, still dressed in my black collard Quiznos shirt and think about Chris’s racist theories on black customers or which evening station was the…

#17 Photopia

Image
Our house in Jefferson, Maryland had an enormous quartz rock sitting in the corner of the front yard. My best friend Wes Rowh and I used to play on that rock while waiting for the school bus. Going over the Wes’s house that year was my first exposure to video games where we would play Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers on his NES for hours and it was a frequent topic for imaginary play during our bus stop time. We touched the tulips in the flower beds like they were fire flowers and then pretended to shoot fireballs at the cats like they were goombas.

My interested in designing computer and video games started one day when we decided we were going to make our own video game system called Nintari (a combination of Nintendo and Atari). We brought papers and crayons out to the rock and scribbled tons of game designs. I don’t remember any of the games we invented except for one: Fire Against Water, where one person played fire and the other play water and then you fought against each oth…

Come On Eileen: #18 Carax’95

Image
Doing something simple over and over and over again can cause frustration in attaining the same undesirable results, like a bullying victim who repeatedly does nothing but ignore the insults and the swirlies. Doing something over and over and over again can cause boredom with an overly familiar task like searching out every line of code in a program to prevent the Y2K bug. However, with the right kind of task that has the right balance of challenge, hand-eye coordination and the that wonderful release of dopamine that video games provide, such repetition can be a comforting and even spiritual experience.
I discovered Carax’95, a Japanese freeware space shooter developed by BIO 100%, while in a freeware downloading phase during my senior year in high school and quickly became engrossed. A few hours after walking across the stage at my high school graduation, I arrived back home and wondered why I didn't feel any different. I was now a high school graduate and would be heading off …

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle: #19 Rockstar

Image
In my 8th grade math and language arts classes, I stood on top of chairs and sang silly songs about imitation mayonnaise and Inky the Cat. One day in social studies we watched a video about Africa in which, for some reason, they played the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” My friends Ben and Danny were amused at the long and high part of the song and we starting singing it for the rest of the period. On my turns, I decided to go all out and sung with a squealing, high pitched voice, holding out all the notes for as long as possible for dramatic effect (aweeeeeaeeeeeeeeuu!). My friends found my rendition hilarious and encouraged me to sing it repeatedly throughout the rest of the week.
With my new found stardom, the next logical step was to go to the recording studio and lay down a full length album. So, I spent the night at Ben’s house, he left me listen to his Green Day cassette, we played NBA Jam on Sega Genesis in his basement, we wrote out a track list and recorded every goofy 20 se…

#20 Oregon Trail

Image
The last week of summer vacation before 5th grade, Lynn Swanson told me that I was going to enjoy Mr. Nykerk’s class next year. I was dreading coming back to school after summer vacation, attempting and failing to slow down time in my mind and I certainly wasn't sure how any teacher was going to make me feel any better about it. Sure, I had had good teachers in the past, but how could any teacher make me excited about leaving behind the freedom and fun of summer vacation? I looked at Lynn skeptically and thought that Mr. Nykerk better give us ice cream and let us play video games every day to make me change my mind.
Fifth grade with Mr. Nykerk ended up being one of the best years of my life. Every day I was excited to come to school. I developed lifelong passions for creative writing and fantasy baseball. I blossomed socially from a quiet kid into a classroom leader. My grades improved and my confidence soared. If I had had a terrible teacher in 5th grade, I might be passed out d…

This Year's List

Even though I skipped it last year (damn that Egyptian Rat Snake that enslaved me and forced me to polish his porcelain pig collection in an underground cavern all last winter!), this post marks the triumphant return of my year-end top ten lists. Except this time, I’m doing twenty instead of just ten! Partially this is to make up for the ten all of you, my adoring readers, missed out on last year, but mostly it is because I had so much trouble getting my list narrowed down so I decided I should just do 20. Therefore, without further ado, I present to you my list for this year: My Top 20 Favorite Computer Games!!!

So, I know before I attempted to make a list of the top twenty best computer games of all time, but I abandoned it for a few reasons:

1. Lists like that are so subjective. It is often leans more towards a list of games that the author liked most or is most familiar with, not so much the best ones. Also, it’s not like I have any hard data on number of sales/size of the compute…

So Christmas...

So I'm not really sure what my plans will be for Christmas break, aside from the fact that I will be spending at least part of it in Tennessee with my parents. Depending on how we are traveling we might be able to stop in Raleigh, or we could split the difference and meet at Phil's place (assuming this is alright with him), since it is more of a middle ground between Cookeville and Raleigh. If we decide to meet at Phil's, it will probably have to be sometime after Christmas but before he would have to go back to work. Having said all of this, I am taking orders for Cuneiform Commanders. Just let me know what general you want in clay form. The first versions I translated into Ugaritic, a West Semitic language used around the 14th cent BCE in northern Syria. These next ones I will translate into the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, which was used ca. 2000-1500 BCE. So let me know what you want, although commanders with less text will probably be easier space-wise. …
Image

A Decade Of Icewind Dale: A Whale's Tale

Image
I had a bit of an epiphany this past week at the beach.  It was Friday, our last day at the Waalkes Cottage.  After spending 8 hours everyday, give or take an hour, playing only Icewind Dale II my back and leg hurt and I was getting pretty severe headaches.  On Friday around hour 5, I started thinking.  What is going on here?  Why am I still trying to beat this after 10 years?  What is it about this game that I love and hate all at once?  Is this worth it?  I then went outside and sat on the beach with my parents for a good hour.  It had a weird feel to it.  Icewind Dale II is a good game but as Tommy once said its my White Whale.

Icewind Dale II is by no means a bad game.  It runs on the same Infinity Engine as Icewind Dale I, Baldur's Gate I and II, and Planescape Torment.  All incredible old school RPGs following the D&D ruleset.  It was the last in the line of the Infinity Engine games. Therefore it was the most aesthetically pleasing and elegant of all the games.  BG I a…

True Life: I'm The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Image
Well, its time for the annual blog meeting.  You may recall last year's meeting ended with me winning Tommy's leather jacket in a knife fight so I'd like to keep things more civil this year.  Anyway, I've been thinking about making some form of new website.  My html skills are getting rusty and I feel like another site in my portfolio would be beneficial in finding a good job, gaining xp, etc.  I wanted to know if you guys had any ideas about what I should make.  I've been considering a brand new blog with it's own new address that we could use instead of this one.  Only problem with that is this blog works pretty well already and we'd have to tone it down if I wanted to show it to people, which is totally fucking retarded...

Other ideas:
A Cactus Care Website (Basically something with some cactus essays with the feel of  that Ninja website.)A Website For A Band (Probably SPD, but it would have to look legit though.  I think it could be really funny to make…

Making Magic Mayhaps?

So I just got kind of a cool idea. I think we should create a magic set together and run through most of the stages of development just for funsies. I think it would provide an interesting view into how magic works. I have a few ideas for what the setting and the mechanics would be, but, of course, I want to hear what's knocking around in your heads.
My favorite idea that I've had thus far is to do set based around a desert city. The desert city would be mana-rich thanks to a magical ever-flowing fountain of water. However, since that fountain would be the only large source of mana, all the factions in the city would be jostling for control of the fountain. Out in the desert you would get to meet all sorts of nomadic creatures that have to scavenge for even the smallest morsels of food, water, and mana. The nomads would have to contend with all sorts of tough and ferocious animals such as wurms, genies, and dragons. I suppose the set would have a lot of strong Arabic flavors, …

My Book Review on Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush

Image
Since I have now completed reading the world-wind thrilling romantic adventure with an Arabic twist that is Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush, I thought I would share my thoughts with all of you fine people on the internet. First off, I don't know how much I believe the part where Laura Bush wrested an alligator to the bottom of a resivoir in order to save one of the Bush twins at the San Diego zoo. Sure anyone with half a brain can tell that there is something malicious hidden behind Bush's lipsticked smile, but she is certainly no mama grizzly, probably more like a crazy aunt proquipine. Also, the part where Laura Bush infiltrated Area 51 to get information about alien space crafts that George kept seeing appear over the white house and threaten to shove pretzels down his throat was a captivating read, but I have to question how anyone wearing a collar that large would be able to slip passed security guards unseen. Finally, when Laura Bush says that George has a larger pe…

Nutbush City Limits!

Image
Dear Jesus H.W. Christ (AKA Buzz Lightyear AKA Noodle Caboodles AKA Tronfan99 AKA E. Honda Civic Esquire AKA Loyal AIR&RHCC Readers),

I made this: www.waalkescottage.com

Sincerely,

Tronfan99 (AKA Peiwei Hermans AKA PF Chang's AKA New Asia Buffet AKA Panda China Dragon Garden AKA Gimli The Comedic Relief Dwarf AKA Wait, do dwarves grant wishes? AKA Will you validate my parking? AKA Hoseph Whaalkes)


Heroes Two Retrospective

Image
Let me start by saying that this game is by far my favorite in the series. Due to the fact that I've played this game hardcore since middle school, I find very difficult to approach this review from an objective standpoint. Every time I've sat down to play it for the sake of reviewing, I quickly forget what I'm doing and get sucked right into the game. A big reason for this absorption is the fact that the art style and sound direction is so appealing to me. There's a few reasons why they are so damn polished and pristine. The art was developed by the same company that created the pixel art for Warcraft II. Note the similarities:



___________
Also, Heroes II sound was designed by the venerable composer, Paul Romero. His sound direction gave the game a lot more personality than the typical midi sound of the time. The big reason why there sufficient time to polish the hell out of the feel of the game was due to the fact that Heroes II was developed using Heroes I as a bas…

60 Minutes Fan Fiction

Image
“In conclusion this is why the scarcity of nation-wide church parking makes it hard for me to understand how to use today’s new microwaves” said 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney. “Thank you and have a good night. Andy Rooney satisfied with another adequate 60 Minutes commentary got up and left his office to go to the break room for his post-show yogurt. “It’s not easy complaining on national TV every week but someone needs to explain how they don’t make shower nozzles like they used to” thought Andy.  “Jerry Seinfeld hit the nail on the head when he said that today’s showers lack the water pressure that older ones had.” When Andy rounded the corner and entered the break room to his surprise there was no one there.  The break room, usually full of distinguished journalists, was only inhabited by an Edible Arrangements fruit bouquet with a note.  Andy opened the note.  The note read:             “Mr. Rooney, I have collected the 60 Minutes news team in my underground bunker.  They are wa…

BULBASAUR!

Image
PHIL WAALKES!

THERE ARE ONLY 3 LIGHTBULBS LEFT LIT IN THE ATTIC!!!  ME AND TOMMY HAVE EACH BET ON 1 LIGHTBULB.  IF NEITHER OF THESE LIGHTBULBS GO OUT AND THE 3RD ONE DOES, YOU MUST CHANGE ALL 6 LIGHTBULBS!!! YOU'RE WELCOME AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Young Adam

Image

My bad Experience at Food Lion

"Decided to be productive and go grocery shopping. The cashier took my coupons and one wouldn't ring up. His response? "This one doesn't work, here you go..." Well, why didn't it work? He didn't want to call the manager over, even though I had the right items and it had not expired. His reasoning was that it must only be select varieties. If it was only select varieties, why would the stupid coupon say "ALL varieties" in bold letters! Needless to say, the manager came over and rang it through! I wasn't leaving without my $1 off!!!"This woman taught me in high school....

Snarf Snarf!

Image

Archibald 2012!!!

Image
I've decided to back a horse in this wacky presidential race, his name Archibald Ironfist!
What are his platforms you ask?
The dwarves should be our slaves!
Every town should have a statue of great Archibald!
The budget should be balanced with magic!
The dragons should humanity's bitch!
The peasantry should shut up and become skeletons like good boys and girls! 

Still not convinced?
You'll change your tune once Archibald personally slaughters every dissident!

So when you go to the polls this year, remember one thing:
Archibald does not fuck around!
(paid for by the Dick Cheney Wants to See the World Burn Coalition)

Lame or Whatever

Image
I'm not sure if these cards would make our commander games less fun, so I'm putting it up to you guys. Are these cards pains in the ass or powerful, but fair? Should I include Breath of Fury in my kiki-jiki deck and make it start doing stupid infinite, yet fragile combos? Do Vorinclex and Jin-Gitaxias just bring the game to a screeching halt in my mimeoplasm deck? You decide before Batman comes to your house and makes you decide?

Fuck Your Couch!

Image
Okay, so all of these crazy ramblings I'm about to write are entirely truthful and not meant to be funny.  You guys don't have to respond or even read this if you wish.  I just feel like by posting this and letting my friends and family know, I might be more motivated to do all this.

I have had somewhat of a realization over the past few weeks not unlike the first time I watched The Big Lebowski while high.  Only this time I'm totally clearheaded and I think it's time for me to make some major life changes.  It's some sort of fucking miracle that I'm alive and I need to do something with my life other than just get drunk all the time and avoid people.

I have to be healthier.  This means no more caffeine and actually eating the salads my mom makes.  I need to cut back on my alcohol consumption.  Only in moderation and on special occasions when there's people around.  Friday is not a special occasion.  I have got to exercise more as well.

I need to think mo…

Hey guys this Movie looks pretty awesome!

Image

What is an Auflauf?

Image
There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service.
There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service. There will be a beverage service.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6U1m4fI3e4&context=C4aeafe4ADvjVQa1PpcFPUSDlia17Enm1iJuqp8_Xdz_xuh2wEBw8=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8MB_3TieAA&context=C40fbaacADvjVQa1PpcFPUSDlia17EnrUO4VsMI_vSD2nnIZQ9THA=
Oh hi Mark. We seriously to remake another news report this summer. Tommy has the vidya equipment. I have a newspaper. Youtube Gold. That's smart.
Sincerely, Joey Waalkes Inventor of the Merry Christmas Deathray: For Cheery Holiday Destruction

Shaq Week Is Over

Image
Shaq Week is now over and it was a great success!  We raised 9 dollars, just one dollar short of our goal!  I have sent the money to Shaq who gratefully accepted it and then slam dunked right in my face.  REJECTED!  Any way, with all of your help we have done our part in raising awareness of the greatest practitioner of Shaq Fu on Earth!  Shaquille O'Neal.  Thank you and may Shaq always watch over you.

It's Shaq Week

Welcome to Shaq Week!  Since Chicken Week went so well 2 years ago and Tommy has expressed an interest in Shaq, I've decided to try another theme week.  Until next Monday April 9th, 2012 all posts and comments must be Shaq related in hopes to raise awareness and support for Shaq, the most underrated player in the NBA.  Feel free to discuss how Shaq only makes half his free throws or how he doesn't like Kobe.  Hopefully with your support Shaq will visit and endorse AIRARHCC.  Thank you and may Shaq always shine down on you from Mt. Olympics where he sits with Hashoop, Heesh, and Hexprak.

The most underrated compuer

Image

Postcard From 2002

How I spent my summer vacation, By Joey Waalkes

Joey Waalkes
English Fifth Period
March 23, 1992

How I spent my summer vacation

There are many different reasons that I hate electric leaf blowers. It is very stupid and it isn't easy to use. It makes me very angry when I use it to clean my driveway at my house.
The first reason I hate electric leaf blowers is that they have cords. The cord always unplugs when I try to walk at least five feet away. I sometimes trip on the cord and fall down which makes everyone laugh at me when they see me on the ground crying. Also the cord makes it so you can't blow the leaves because the leaves get stuck under the cord. The cord also always gets twisted up and you can't walk very far so you have to go back and untwist it before it unplugs. If my parents would buy the gasoline powered leaf blower I would use that but my parents are dumb.
Another reason I hate the electric leaf blower is that it makes my dogs bark at me. The electric leaf blower is noisy an…

This Post Was Filmed In Front of a Live Studio Ostrich

Image
Hah Haah! Apparently, the blog doesn't like how we're putting images in the posts. This is strange since we have been doing things the same ever since we started it but this year it just up and crapped out.

So from now on, (Gosh, I feel like a high school computer lab monitor.) So from now on, if you make a post with an image and it removes the previous posts from the page do this:

1. Go back and edit your post.
2. Save the image to your compy.
3. Upload the image to the post using the "Add Image " button.
4. Don't panic, eat some Spanish Flan.
5. Remove the original image from the post.

Greeting from 3:00am

Image
I can't sleep because this is sadly very true for me right now:

Fah Q Photobucket!

Image
http://www.mediafire.com/?ow7s3m73u3ah31e

Since this blog has been born-again, I figured I make a game about satanic fish that eat Mexican food.

Hint: I was too lazy to do the dialog correctly so just don't click whenever a character is speaking.

Hello Christ Kitty!

Image