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Retronauts

Retronauts

The original classic gaming podcasts continues its endless quest to explore the history of video games, one game at a time. Join hosts Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey each week as they team up with a host of expert guests to chronicle the creations that have paved the way for today's hits. From forgotten black-and-white arcade machines to modern-day remakes, Retronauts spans more than four decades of vintage gaming greatness!

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Retronauts Episode 226: Aladdin Games

Now that Disney's live-action Aladdin movie is out, we finally have a great excuse to jump back in time 25 years to examine the animated version of that property?one that was oddly important to the 16-bit console wars. Virgin Interactive's Genesis game mostly overshadowed Capcom's SNES interpretation thanks to some still-impressive technical tricks, but the conventional wisdom about the Sega version being superior might not hold together 2.5 decades later. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert as they explore the Aladdin games of the past to find out which one is the true diamond in the rough.

2019-06-14
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Retronauts Episode 225: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 has quietly been one of the most influential games of the past 20 years, and now that a shiny new port is available on the Nintendo Switch, there's never been a better time to dig into the game that redefined the third-person shooter genre. Capcom took an incredible risk by throwing out nearly everything that defined the series for its fourth iteration, and even though it took four attempts to get things right, Resident Evil 4 remains an intensely playable experience nearly 15 years later. On this episode, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, and Zachary Ryan as the crew dives into the action game that reshaped "survival horror."

2019-06-10
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Retronauts Episode 224: Virtual Boy Revisited

Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, Caitlin Oliver, and Brian Clark convene to discuss Nintendo's least-successful console ever: The benighted Virtual Boy. And it's not as dire a discussion as you might expect?in fact, you might even call us fans.

2019-06-03
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Retronauts Episode 223: Epoch's Game Pocket Computer

Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey consult with handheld connoisseur Alex "kraeman" Forsyth about the impressive portable system that beat Game Boy to the punch by five years: The Epoch Game Pocket Computer.

2019-05-31
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Retronauts Episode 222: Sonic Mania's Classic Roots

Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, Ray Barnholt, and Caty McCarthy look to the present to talk about a game that succeeds by looking to the past: Sega's 2017 hit Sonic Mania. See, we CAN say nice things about Sonic.

2019-05-27
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Retronauts Episode 221: Alien

The last survivors of the Nostromo?Jeremy Parish, Benj Edwards, Chris Sims, and Ben Elgin?transmit from deep space to pay tribute to Ridley Scott's film Alien and its influence on pop culture and video games.

2019-05-20
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Retronauts Episode 220: A Podcast About Podcasting

This time on Retronauts, we're talking about something that's rarely a featured topic on the show: ourselves! On this special Friday installment, Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross of the Duckfeed.tv network join us in our Midwest Gaming Classic hotel room to discuss the wild and woolly world of being a self-employed podcaster. Is it exciting and exotic, with danger around every corner? Or fairly straightforward, with a lot of staring at a computer screen while concocting elaborate excuses to leave the house? We think you'll find the answer is somewhere in the middle.

2019-05-17
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Retronauts Episode 219: Classic console hardware design, Pt. 1

Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, and Flip Grip design engineer Mike Choi talk about the most beautiful and memorable game console designs through the years. Even though podcasts, uh, aren't exactly a visual medium.

2019-05-13
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Retronauts Episode 218: Rental stores

Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, and James Eldred reminisce about the halcyon days before digital distribution and demo discs... back when we had bike over to the video store so we could rent games we wanted to try out.

2019-05-06
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Retronauts Episode 217: Game Boy at Midwest Gaming Classic

Live! Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, Chris Kohler, and Caitlin Oliver discuss the Game Boy's 30-year legacy. Then Jeremy and Bob talk up the magic of Mindware's Heiankyo Alien in an impromptu chat recorded bootleg-style. [Art: Cassie Hart Kelly]

2019-05-03
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Retronauts Episode 216: Stardew Valley

This time around, we're shining the spotlight on another newer game that, like Shovel Knight, feels like the platonic ideal of a specific retro experience. If you ever liked Harvest Moon, still like Harvest Moon, or fell off the series years ago, Stardew Valley is the game for you: it takes the fundamentals of Natsume's storied farming sim, sands off its many rough edges, and expands on the important parts in a meaningful way, all while having a personality of its own. This week on Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Kat Bailey, and Kallie Plagge as the crew explores the cute and highly addictive world of Stardew Valley.

2019-04-29
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Retronauts Episode 215: Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicäa

By patron request, Wes Fenlon and Henry Gilbert join Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey go a little buggy as they explore the history and influence of Hayao Miyazaki's manga and anime classic Nausicäa of the Valley of Wind

2019-04-22
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Retronauts Episode 214: The Many Voices of Sonic the Hedgehog

With the Sonic the Hedgehog live-action movie just around the corner, there's never been a better time to look back on all the actors who once brought life to Sega's little blue speed rat. Though improv master Ben Schwartz will play Sonic in the sure-to-be-great film, he's just the latest in a long line of actors?in both America and Japan?who convinced all of us that a hedgehog could speak. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert as they trace the surprisingly deep history of Sonic thespians. Plus: Larry King in the role he was born to play!

2019-04-19
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Retronauts Episode 213: Game Boy

Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, Ray Barnholt, and Jared Petty look back at 30 years of Game Boy. The memories! The classics! The music! The inevitable eyestrain from trying to play games in the dark in the backseat of a car!

2019-04-15
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Retronauts Episode 212: Namco's Arcade History, Pt. 3

The Retronauts East crew continues their ongoing survey of Namco's legendary arcade output through the ?80s, tackling classics like Rolling Thunder and Pac-Mania as well as obscurities like Marchen Maze.

2019-04-08
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Retronauts Episode 211: A Conversation with Rebecca Heineman

Legendary game programmer Rebecca Heineman discusses her journey to becoming a game developer, her most interesting projects through the years, and what comes next.

2019-04-05
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Retronauts Episode 210: Kingdom Hearts 3

Have we really never done an episode on Kingdom Hearts? Well, it's surprisingly old, and now that the long-awaited third game finally exists, there's never been a better time. This long-running Square franchise has a history as long and complicated as its plot, and we dedicate the first half of this episode to discussing the origins of Kingdom Hearts and just where it's been going for nearly two decades.

Then, on the other side, we take on Kingdom Hearts 3: a very new game that still feels remarkably old in good and bad ways, and one that refuses to be anything but itself. This week, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, Henry Gilbert, and USgamer's Caty McCarthy as the crew straps into their gummi ships to fly the friendly skies of Kingdom Hearts. This is one episode where we're not a-hyuckin' around.

2019-04-01
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Retronauts Episode 209: Final Fantasy VII, Pt. 2

Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey finally leave Midgar to explore the remainder of Final Fantasy VII with the help of their fellow party members, Chris Kohler and Kat Bailey.

2019-03-25
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Retronauts Episode 208: Goodbye, Reggie Fils-Aime

On April 15, 2019, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime will step down from his role, bringing about an end to an era. But who was Reggie, and why was his tenure at Nintendo so unique? On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, and Henry Gilbert as the crew examines the life and times of Reggie Fils-Aime during Nintendo's highest highs and lowest lows.

2019-03-22
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Retronauts Episode 207: Capcom's Disney Afternoon

East meets West, and then some! Jeremy Parish and Chris Sims (east) meet with Bob Mackey and Nina M. (west) to talk about the franchise that brings people of all coasts together: Capcom's Disney games for NES.

2019-03-18
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Retronauts Episode 206: Final Fantasy VII, Pt. 1

Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey once again meet with Chris Kohler and Kat Bailey to deep-dive their way through the history of Final Fantasy. This time they've hit the Big One: Final Fantasy VII, a game SO monumental in impact it's a two-episode discussion.

2019-03-11
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Retronauts Episode 205: Katamari Damacy

Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey roll up Benj Edwards and Ben Elgin into an ever-growing ball of garba?errr, that is, an ever-growing podcast retrospective about Namco's delightful trash-gathering simulation Katamari Damacy.

2019-03-08
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Retronauts Episode 204: Spider-Man Games Part 2

We left you hanging for over a year after our first exploration of Spider-Man games (episode 135), and now we're back to see what the world of polygons held for Marvel's arachnid hero. Spidey had quite a bit of video game history between his 2000 self-titled game and his... 2018 self-titled game, and we're here to comb through the webs of the past to see if there's anything worth salvaging. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Henry Gilbert, and Jeremy Parish as the crew activates their Spider-Sense to figure out which of Spidey's past interactive adventures should be gently shooed out the front door, and which should be swatted with a rolled-up newspaper.

2019-03-04
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Retronauts Episode 203: A Tale of Two Tribes

Jeremy Parish talks to Martijn Reuvers and Collin van Ginckel about the history of their development studio, Two Tribes, a company that bluffed its way into existence in the sunset days of Game Boy and became indie game pioneers with Toki Tori and Rive.

2019-03-01
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Retronauts Episode 202: Listener Comments Catch-Up

It's been six months since Bob's last listener comments episode, and plenty of feedback has built up since then, practically screaming to be read live on the air! And in this episode, Bob and guest Henry Gilbert will be doing just that: reading and responding to various questions and comments (left on the Patreon and Retronauts dot com) on topics as varied as BioShock, Pokemon, Wario Ware, the PlayStation 2, and more! Plus: A song about Lou Albano that may surprise you.

2019-02-22
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Retronauts Episode 201: First Encounters

Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, Nadia Oxford, and Kallie Plagge look back at some the greatest publishers of all time and the games that helped define them in our eyes. From Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. to The Sims and Halo, it's an episode chock-full of meet-cutes!

2019-02-18
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Retronauts Episode 200: The 2019 Years-in-Review Revue, Pt. II

Continued from episode 191! The whole Retronauts East gang gathers once again to complete their look back at the years that have come before?the most notable gaming (and pop culture) events of 1989 and 1999.

2019-02-11
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Retronauts Episode 199: Nintendo's Stairway to Rhythm Heaven

Live from MAGfest 2019! Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, and Chris Sims explore the musical legacy of Nintendo R&D1 from Donkey Kong to the grand culmination of the studio's love for brilliant music and sound design: Rhythm Heaven. Special thanks to Trey Johnson for an assist with the audio!

2019-02-08
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Retronauts Episode 198: Dragon Quest XI

Every once in a while, we like to focus our attention on (gasp!) modern games to see how well they've stuck to tradition over the passing decades. And there's no series more traditional than Dragon Quest, which still plays pretty close to how it did 30-some years ago. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, and Henry Gilbert as the crew takes a look at how Dragon Quest XI--the newest entry in the series--thoroughly modernizes its many old-school qualities for one of the best installments of the series to date.
2019-02-04
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Retronauts Episode 197: Konami on MSX

Kurt Kalata and Rob Russo of Hardcore Gaming 101 join Jeremy Parish to explore the alternate reality version of Konami's legendary run of NES games: Their extensive MSX home computer library. From Metal Gear to Nemesis, it's all familiar, and yet... not.

2019-01-28
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Retronauts Episode 196: Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom

You've heard of Hudson's Adventure Island, but how about Hudson's adventure games? Though the developer was mostly known for platforming and bomber men, in their pre-console-development years, Hudson cashed in on the adventure game craze. And one remnant from this era managed to sneak over to American shores: the NES port of Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, Nina Matsumoto, and Chris Sims as the crew ponders this clunky-but-charming vegetarian adventure.
2019-01-25
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Retronauts Episode 195: A History of Game Piracy

Chris Kohler joins Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey to tackle the topic of piracy. It's not the same thing as emulation! But it's closely related? And it's bad! But it's important, good, and essential to game preservation!? There's a lot to unpack this week!

2019-01-21
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Retronauts Episode 194: Brian Fargo on Wasteland, Fallout, and The Bard's Tale

Interplay and InXile boss Brian Fargo offers fresh insights into his pioneering work with role-playing games like The Bard's Tale, Wasteland, and Fallout.

2019-01-14
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Retronauts Episode 193: Mark Turmell on NBA Jam & NEMO

In an episode that's nearly retro itself, we go back to GDC 2018 for an interview with Zynga's Mark Turmell on his historic work, including NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, Hasbro's failed NEMO console, and the spiritual connection between arcade and mobile gaming.

2019-01-11
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Retronauts Episode 192: WarioWare

Wario started out as literally the anti-Mario, and his platforming series did a great job of playing with the tropes of the genre. But in 2003, Wario would have a much bigger task: subverting the ongoing trend of bloated game design with sheer minimalism and absurdism. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, Ray Barnholt, and Henry Gilbert as the crew examines the subversive brilliance of WarioWare series on its 15th birthday.
2019-01-08
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Retronauts Episode 191: The 2019 Years-in-Review Revue, Pt. I

The whole East gang's here: Ben, Benj, AND Chris join Jeremy for the traditional New Year's look back at 10/20/30/40 and even 50 (!) years ago. Naturally, the usual Retronauts East banter and digressions take the whole thing so far off track we only get halfway through our planned discussion this time through. See you for the follow-up in 2019!

2018-12-31
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Retronauts Episode 190: Holiday Special 2018 - Pokemon's "Holiday Hi-Jynx"

It's that time of the year again: when listeners brave the harsh climates, territorial wolves, and malfunctioning home security devices for a chance to visit the Retronauts Holiday Cabin in parts unknown. And, just like in past years, we'll be using this holiday getaway as a good excuse to discuss a video game-related Christmas cartoon. For 2018, we set our sights on the long-running Pokemon cartoon's first Xmas adventure: "Holiday Hi-Jynx." Along with featuring perhaps the most controversial Pokemon, this episode carries a pretty interesting history--one that goes back to the anime series' lowest moment ever. So grab yourself a warm cup of whatever, find a corner to hide away from your family, and join us for this very Japanese tour of the holiday season.
2018-12-28
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Retronauts Episode 189: Neon Genesis Evangelion

You mustn't run away? from this episode! Classic sci-fi anime Neon Genesis Evangelion is coming to Netflix soon, and Wes Fenlon and Henry Gilbert join Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey to explore the show, its legacy, and (of course) its video game tie-ins.

2018-12-24
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Retronauts Episode 188: Netflix's Castlevania with Adi Shankar & Zillion with Funimation

An animated feature double feature! First, Funimation walks us through the decades-overdue English version of Sega tie-in anime Zillion. Then, Netflix's Castlevania creator Adi Shankar talks about indie games and preserving Belmont lore for television.

2018-12-17
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Retronauts Episode 187: Drill Dozer

After Pokemon took off in a huge way, developer Game Freak didn't exactly have the time or incentive to dabble outside of their cash cow. But all that changed in 2006, when they created Drill Dozer: a fun, compact little game built entirely around the concept of drilling. Unfortunately, Drill Dozer's release on the Game Boy Advance well into the DS's lifespan means very few people got a chance to experience Game Freak's inventive platformer. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Henry Gilbert, Nick Daniel, and Chris Daniel as the crew explores Drill Dozer and ponders whether or not drilling truly is horizontal digging.
2018-12-14
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Retronauts Episode 186: Inside SNK's Archives

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection producer Frank Cifaldi walks us through the process of creating a definitive playable historic record of SNK's decades-old pre-Neo?Geo catalog.

2018-12-10
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Retronauts Episode 185: The Music of PlayStation 1

Shane Bettenhausen joins Jeremy Parish, Bob Mackey, and a plethora of Retronauts listeners to enthuse about the games that took advantage of Sony PlayStation's groundbreaking audio capabilities by including bangin' soundtracks.

2018-12-03
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Retronauts Episode 184: PC Roguelikes

By patron request, we delve into the cryptic history of what might be the world's most complex genre: PC roguelikes. Genre aficionado Steve Tramer walks Bob and Jeremy through the unforeseen consequences of Rogue, Nethack, Dwarf Fortress, and more!

2018-11-26
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Retronauts Episode 183: SNK's 40th, Pt. 1

Retronauts contributor and SNK ultra-fan D. Feit joins Jeremy Parish for a casual conversation about the games of SNK's 40th Anniversary Collection for Switch?the first in a two-part exploration of this landmark anthology!

2018-11-19
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Retronauts Episode 182: SEGA Genesis 30th - Expert Mode

Ken Horowitz from Sega-16.com joins Jeremy to offer some perspective on SEGA's 30-year-old console from someone who's been on the front lines with it nearly from the beginning, in this side story to our recent Genesis anniversary tribute.
2018-11-16
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Retronauts Episode 181 - Dragon Ball/Sailor Moon Games

Ah, Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon: The twin jewels of '90s anime. Though many series have surpassed these two in longevity and popularity, these anime titans hold sole responsibility for getting so many Americans into anime during the late 90s, when Japanese animation wasn't so commonplace in our country. And, of course, when you have two properties so huge and influential, you're gonna see a whole bunch of video game adaptations. On this episode of Retronauts, GameSpot's Sam Leichtamer and Kallie Plagge join Bob and Jeremy to explore these anime mega-hits and the many games they spawned. Listen now, or in the name of the moon, we'll send you to another dimension!
2018-11-12
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Retronauts Episode 180: SEGA Genesis Turns 30

Jeremy Parish, Benj Edwards, Chris Sims, and a host of Retronauts listeners recount the best moments and memories of SEGA's 16-bit Genesis on the occasion of the console's 30th birthday.
2018-11-05
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Retronauts Episode 179: Luigi's Mansion

Hey, this game really SUCKS! But only because it's supposed to. This week on Retronauts, we jump back to the ancient year of 2001 to dig deep into Luigi's Mansion: the GameCube launch title that underwhelmed at the time, but really holds up today. And, thanks to a new 3DS port, it's more playable than ever before! On this episode, join Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert as they shine their flashlights all over Luigi's first adventures in the paranormal.
2018-11-02
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Retronauts Episode 178: Remakes, Reboots, and Reinventions

Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey talk to USgamer's Caty McCarthy and Polygon's Matt Leone about modern-day takes on classic series--their history, the best and worst of them, and whether or not they're even necessary.
2018-10-29
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Retronauts Episode 177: Double Dragon

Jeremy Parish teams up with HG101's Kurt Kalata and Rob Russo to take on the violent, deadly history of the Double Dragon franchise (and hopefully save Marion in the process).
2018-10-22
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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