Is Nintendo Planning to Release a Tablet with Gameboy Emulator?

gbNintendo recently filed for a patent for an emulator for the Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance. What does that mean exactly? Well, it’s no secret emulators exist in an unofficial capacity. But officially, Nintendo has never made their products available outside of their official platforms and devices. This, coupled with a recent slew of unofficial tweets about a possible Nintendo tablet makes us wonder if we’ll be popping open classic games on a tablet or an un-jailbroken phone in the future.

Nintendo is not the only company to realize their legacy products are still getting heavy use. Most of the classic SquareSoft RPGs are already available on the iOS as well as some classic Sega games (Sonic CD plays great on an iPhone). It’s still all rumors at this point, but it would stand to reason that Nintendo wants to make the most out of something most of us are already doing without their consent or help; playing our favorite games through an emulator.

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Giant NES Controller

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Shirt Monday: Guardians of the Galaxy T-Shirt

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Target has some surprisingly awesome shirts. Including one for this surprisingly awesome movie. I was really just expecting standard Marvel-action fare that has become almost formulaic. Instead we got something Star Wars-level awesome.

[get it]

Shirt Monday: Millenium Falcon Spec

I didn’t go to Target for clothes, but when I saw this , I just had to buy it. Get it.Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 7.53.01 AM

Coca Cola Brings Back SURGE via Amazon

surgeFor the first time ever, Coke has brought back a discontinued product. In the 90’s, when you needed some Soda that would keep you up all night but didn’t want Cola flavor, there was SURGE. It was a caffeine-filled Mountain-Dew type citrus soda that quickly gained a cult following.

This is also the first time Coke has exclusively distributed a drink via eCommerce. Amazon is the only place to get it right now. For me drinking SURGE was always related to my early days learning to programming and playing SNES. I had to order at least one 16oz can, and it lived up to the nostalgia in my head. I embarked on a crazy programming marathon immediately after followed by a 2 hours workout, so, yeah, it has caffeine.

I must sleep now.

Awesome Chiptune + Post Rock Fusion Bands

What happens when you use guitars and drums to make music that isn’t mean to rock ? You get post rock. You’ve probably heard post rock whether you realize it or not. It’s often features in the background of TV show and movies. Think of it as rock music you can listen to while studying for a test or writing code. Some of the bands at the forefront of this genre (although not all of them like the label) are Explosions in the Sky, The Backward Step, El Ten Eleven, Six Parts Seven, Sigur Ros and Mogwai. I’ve been saying for about two years, “there needs to be more chiptune+post rock!” And lately, there is finally a lot of it appearing, or at least I’m getting better at finding it.

Revengineers

The Revengineers rock a bit more than their counterparts. They use an NES to provide melodic lines over their amazing guitars and stand-out drums. They’re great live and have never relased a bad track in my opinion.

Noisewaves

 Noisewaves are a bit softer and explore the more shoegaze-ish side of post rock. They have very emotionally resonant songs that are great for a rainy day or evening.

The Bronzed Chorus


These guys remind me a bit more of groups like El Ten Eleven and Six Parts Seven. They have a great energy level and some sweet guitar effects.

KANAGAWA


Kanagawa needs to make more stuff. We hope they’ll release more soon because it’s excellent. Some Gameboy sounds used here backed by feedback soaked walls of guitar and excellent compositions. Perfect for a late night drive.

Infinity Shred


Infinity Shred has a little bit more of an electronic edge than the other bands here. Reminding me at times of M83. They have some wonderful retro-tones in every song and great drums and backing guitars. The Sanctuary album may be a bit pricey by chiptune/bandcamp standards, but I assure you; you will not be disappointed. Check out the trippy retro cosmonaut Space Odyssey video for Mapper too!

When Glitches Create New Worlds

The Farlands - Some of the most enigmatic glitchy weirdness ever.

The Farlands – Some of the most enigmatic glitchy weirdness ever.

Programming a video game is a huge task. You are essentially creating rules of a controlled slice of reality. If you want to draw your users in, it has to feel like a real world and behave like one. This applies even to the oldest, simplest video games.

Sometimes, though, it’s impossible to test every scenario or know what strange unexpected action a user will take. This can lead to odd, confusing behavior or a total breakdown of reality. Sometimes, glitches misinterpret game data and create entire new worlds. Here’s a few examples of that and some explanations of why and how it happens. In most of these classic games, levels were just blocks of data stored sequentially, cross to the next room = load the next block of data. But sometimes bugs made it possible for these blocks to be misread or interpreted incorrectly. Check out some of this crazy stuff and explore these accidental worlds for yourself.

 

Super Mario Bros. – The Minus World

As a kid, the “minus world” was almost like an urban legend. There was no youtube so we only heard word of mouth stories of people finding this secret world in one of the most famous games of all time. Turns out, it is for real. It’s apparently in the game’s data as level 36, but since there is no graphic for 36, it just says [blank]-1 for 36-1. The level can’t be completed, but as you can see in this hack, there are even more levels created beyond it if you use an editor to add a completion flag.

 

Metroid – Secret Worlds Door Glitch

Metroid was always kind of glitchy. You’d get stuck in walls sometimes, or see a creepy flutter of color at the edge of the screen as you leave a room making you wonder if something was just off screen waiting for you. Another childhood urban legend was that there were entire worlds you could access by slowing jumping your way through the ceiling while stuck in a door. And it was true!

The story on this one, as some rom hackers discovered, is that once you leave a vertical area via the top of the screen (instead of through a door like normal), the game’s adjacent blocks of data (often the horizontal stages) gets interpreted as vertical stages, creating entire worlds filled with enemies, terrain and paths. It’s a super dangerous place, lava is everywhere and there are pits you can’t get out of, pitfalls that you can’t climb out of. Some journeys into the secret worlds only last a few screens before you by a dead end or die, others can go on for hours. There is of course, no goal, or way to return from them. There are similar bugs to be exploited with Metroid II and Super Metroid, but its amazing how substantial the secret worlds can be on the original.

 

Megaman II – Airman Glitch

 

This one actually happened to me and freaked me out. If you use Item-1 to climb back up to the door in Airman’s boss room, you somehow scroll to the right into a trippy version of Airman’s level. The story here is that the developers probably never thought anyone would try to go back out the “in” door when they fought airman. It’s normally out of Megaman’s jumping range, but with the Item-1 you can do that. Then you once again get data read with the wrong tiles, an all kinds of weirdness.

Minecraft – The Far Lands

 

Minecraft generates its world based on an algorithm. Notch never imagined anyone would end up 32 million blocks away from the game’s starting point. At this point, the integer rounding errors start to throw things off. The normally serene and simple terrain of Minecraft starts to distort into a densely packed and twisted world filled with crazy patterns, finally ending in a gigantic “swiss-cheese” wall, beyond which rocks stretch off into eternity. Why does it remind me of Inception?

Most people get here by using a hack or cheat to teleport out to this area. However, one man is walking there, in a surprisingly interesting youtube show. You can read more about it here, it will take him years to walk to the Far Lands, but he’s committed.There’s a bunch more glitches like these in classic games. Post some of your favorites.

Kickstarter: Brad Smith To Release NES Game on Actual Cartridge

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I am quite possibly one of Brad Smith’s biggest fans. His complete cover of The Dark Side of the Moon on a NES cart is always in regular rotation on my playlist. Brad is putting his chiptune and professional game development experience to work on a brand new game for the NES called Lizard. He’s running a Kickstarter here and it’s a project I’d really like to see succeed. The demo thus far reminds me of Legacy of the Wizard, Metroid and Little Nemo. The video also hints at some different play modes and of course, we can expect quality chip tunes. Pledge today!

Plogue Chipsounds Wave Table Tutorial

Plogue Chipsounds is one of the best tools for making retro-chiptune style sounds. However, the wave table configuration is sometimes a bit confusing to learn. Here’s a quick video to show you the basics on how to do it. It’s not very different from Famitracker or the LsDj table setup. This tutorial will show you how to make some Megaman-style sounds.

Shirt Monday: Metroid Do Not Feed

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Glows in the dark too. Get it!