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The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins

March 26, 2014

So all you know about Gary Coleman is Diff’rent Strokes and “What you talking about, Willis”? That’s too bad, because at the height of his Diff’rent Strokes fame, Coleman starred in several TV movies. These included The Kid From Left Field, The Kid With The Broken Halo, The Kid With The 200 I.Q., and, my favorite, The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins.

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D.C. Collins was a 1984 TV movie which starred Coleman as a kid with a hyperactive imagination. As he goes through daily life, he encounters things that spark this imagination. The end result is a bunch of bits in which Coleman steps into the shows of Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, a M*A*S*H doctor, and several others.

My clearest memory of this film is when Coleman, near the climax, has to work his way down a fire escape ladder. As he does so, he starts to imagine, then tells himself something to the effect of, “Sorry Spider-Man, it will have to wait.” I thought that was hilarious, but I also felt cheated out of whatever Spider-Man segment he could imagine.

If you like this post, you will want to check out my book TV In My Time. It is full of more of my memories about 80s television. You can get it at Amazon.com, Smashwords, and most other ebook retailers. Please give it a look!

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TV In My Time is out!

March 24, 2014

My new book, TV In My Time, is now available on Amazon.com and Smashwords. Christopher Tupa once again did the excellent cover. Please give it a look and leave it a good review!

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Game Pro TV

February 18, 2014

I’m finalizing my latest book, TV In My Time. It is about all the TV I watched in the 80s. As I was finalizing it, I remembered a show that times into my video game books: Game Pro TV.

Actually a show from the early 90s, Game Pro TV featured J.D. Roth (who would appear in a host of other youth-oriented shows) and Bren-nan (a Bill and Ted clone) talking about video games. The only clear memories of this show is a preview of Act Raiser for SNES and a clip that ran that was submitted by a viewer. This viewed explained that if you left one creature alive on any board of The Legend Of Zelda, the creatures would not be respawned. So if you left one creature on each board, you would easily be able to navigate Hyrule. I thought it was a lame tip, especially considering that The Legend of Zelda was an old game by that time. Still, I liked the show and am glad I remembered it.

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Seaquest for Android

February 12, 2014

Activision’s Seaquest was one of my favorite Atari 2600 games. Activision games were always great, and I thought Seaquest was one of their greatest. I played it excessively. I even got a high enough score to get the mail-in patch (though, to my eternal regret, I never mailed-in for it).

Seaquest is featured on the Android Activision app from Google Play, but even after sideloading that on my Kindle Fire HD, I couldn’t get it to function. Fortunately, there is another way to play Seaquest on the Kindle. There is a Seaquest app on the Kindle store.
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This app does not look like an official release, which makes me worry for its future a little bit, and it doesn’t come as part of a collection of games like the Google Play offering did. But it looks like it is a fairly faithful reproduction of the original (though it does have some additional navigation buttons).
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Besides this version of Seaquest, there is another app called Seaquest. It looks a lot different, with a scrolling screen and updated graphics. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be a remake of the original, but it looks like it plays the same.

If you’d like to get the reproduction Seaquest, you can find it here for $1.99. You can get the updated version here.

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Kee VCS

February 10, 2014

I’m reading AtariInc: Business Is Fun. I haven’t finished it yet, but I came across this great prototype of a VCS that was produced by Atari shell company Kee games. It looks a lot better than the Woody to me! Screenshot_2014-02-09-21-14-26

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Alligator Game

January 23, 2014

In Playthings of the Past, I mentioned a large toy alligator I used to “eat” my action figures. I never knew what this alligator was, but now, thanks to plcary’s Found Stuff, Fun Stuff blog, I have identified it. It was the alligator from Ideal’s Alligator Game.

I never knew the alligator came from a game, and I never had any of the other game pieces. I also think the alligator was broke. I don’t remember him being able to snap as he does in the commercial. But I could fit an entire action figure in its mouth. I could actually close his mouth over an action figure, so that the figure was complete “consumed”, contained inside, and I thought that was fantastic.

According to some folks, this game is based on the 1980 movie Alligator. As proof, there is this box image which is pretty close to the movie poster image. You can hear my podcast on Alligator here.

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Read Playthings of the Past for more of my toy-related memories, and please give me a good review on Amazon.com!

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Dragon’s Lair on Android

January 21, 2014

My wife has become addicted to Candy Crush on her Kindle Fire. Seeing her indulging her addiction made me wonder if I should look for a game to play on my Kindle Fire. I don’t game much on the Kindle as I don’t find the controls that accessible (I have the Atari collection, for example, but I can’t really do any serious gaming on it because the controls are so unwieldy). Still, I decided to look and I found something I’ve always wanted: Dragon’s Lair.

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I have always wanted a home version of Dragon’s Lair. I’ve wanted it for a couple of reasons. One is that I like the game. The other is that I’m no good at it and I need a home version that doesn’t require quarters so I can learn to last more than five seconds. I’ve never been able to find this home version. Even the PC versions I bought didn’t work. I think this was because they were always a system behind whatever system I was using and I was no good at hacking them. But that is now moot, because the Android Dragon’s Lair is the port I have been waiting for. It is even better, actually. Not only does the Dragon’s Lair app have the arcade version, an exact translation of what you found in the arcade, but it also has a home version, which includes deleted scenes.

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I was quite pleased with those options. I was also quite pleased with the controls. Dragon’s Lair doesn’t really require aggressive controlling, so controlling wasn’t a problem. I got much further through the game my first time through than I ever did in the arcade. It looks pretty good as well.

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Now this Dragon’s Lair will put a hurting on your Kindle storage. After it originally installed, it had to download additional data, and I think that data was 5 gig, more than half my 8 gig Fire HD. That aside, it is the best version of the game I have personally had, and I’m quite happy with it. You can get it for a reasonable $4.99 in the Kindle App store. There is also a Space Ace app as well. I did not see Dragon’s Lair 2, but hopefully that will be coming soon. Until it does, I highly recommend the original.

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And don’t forget to check out my book Arcadian, which describes my original experiences with Dragon’s Lair in the arcades!

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