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Live Blogs Let's Watch: Select Episodes of Cinematech (The Original Series)
BearyScary2014-10-02 02:22:45

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Half-Life Full Speed, or Beat Your Vegetables

Cinematech Episode 259: “Half-Run: Speed Life”

Featured throughout this ep is a condensed speedrun of Half-Life in 45:45. How did the speedrunner achieve such a time? Jumping around everywhere helped. They did not devote the whole ep to the speed run, but even when they played trailers and clips from other games, they put the speed run in the lower-left corner of the screen. The speed run begins as soon as the game does and ends when the speedrunner defeats the Final Boss, which is shown at the end of the ep.

I've never done a speedrun, but I do remember reading an article in a gaming magazine (probably Electronic Gaming Monthly) about it once. One of the speedrunners was well-known for speedrunning through Metroid Prime, and said that, while they sped through the game in record time, it probably took them over 100 hours of experimentation to figure out how to shave down the time it took for them to beat the game.

The current world record speedrun for Half-Life is 20 minutes and 41 seconds by speedrunner quadrazoid.

Timecode: 13:45: The Japanese broadcast ad for Mother on the Nintendo Famicom. This ad is interesting because it's in live-action, but is still true to the game, averting What Were They Selling Again?. The three main characters use their psychic powers to fighter a monster while a childrens' choir sings the theme song. Then, they spot something crash-land off in the distance. The ep used this clip to segue into the intro of EarthBound, the SNES sequel to Mother. Unlike Mother, EarthBound actually made it to the States, but went unappreciated in its time. It became a very sought-after game. Years later, it was finally made available for purchase on the Wii U eShop.

Cinematech Episode 262: “Apocryphal Settings in TeeVee Land”

In this ep, before every ad break, they showed a clip of someone speedrunning through a level from Goldeneye on 00 Agent difficulty, the highest in the game. It's pretty cool to watch. One of the clips shows how the speedrunner has to keep swaying back and forth to keep from getting in the way of an NPC, which is kind of funny. For some reason, they decided to superimpose the clips onto the screen of a TV so old it uses a dial.

14:57: Darkwatch, a supernatural FPS from Capcom set in the Wild West with vampires. When the main character, Jericho Cross, accidentally sets an old vampire free in a train robbery attempt gone awry, Cross becomes a vampire and joins the Darkwatch to try and stop the vampires from spreading chaos all across the West.

The game had two different endings, and Cinematech presented them in a way totally unique from any other clips that I saw on the show. They showed the good ending first, but then rewound it and showed the evil ending.

In the good ending, Cross kills Tala, his love interest in the evil path (voiced by Rose McGowan), a female Native American vampire, and lifts the vampire curse. His love interest in the good path, Cassidy (voiced by Jennifer Hale), who had become a ghost by that point in the game, tells him that it's time to go home. She kisses him before she sprouts wings and flies up into the sky, and tells him to remember her.

In the bad ending, Cross seems to embrace his evil love interest, only to betray her and suck her blood dry. When Cross is done sucking her blood, he throws his Darkwatch badge into the pool of blood before he rides off into the horizon on an evil horse with glowing red eyes. In the background, there is a blood-red moon...

The old West-style music in both clips is cool, but I prefer the good ending's music. This video shows both endings.

Cinematech Episode 266: “Zinwrath”

This ep features the humorous World of Warcraft machinima, “Zinwrath”. This was about Zinwrath, a high-level mage, and some of the wacky characters that he interacts with. One of his fellow mages needs help when he is kidnapped by orcs, but Zinwrath is too busy being interrupted by a little gnome noob that wants him to join his guild, The Knights of the Totally Awesome and Happy-Making Friendly Time. But Zinwrath is already in a pretty big guild: Illegal Danish, a reveal that garners gasps from other players nearby.

Later, Zinwrath and his friends screw up a teleportation attempt and accidentally bring in a heavily armored paladin named Basurei who was just about to get some from a fair maiden. Basurei then goes to seek revenge upon Zinwrath, but Zinwrath just fooled a different heavily armored paladin named Kiljoy into thinking that he killed him to avoid having to duel him, and so the two paladins fight each other instead. Fun times! The machinima ends with a strange theme song that is sort of half-rap, half-reggae.

12:25: Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance, a not-terribly popular 3D brawler developed by Cavia (Resident Evil: Dead Aim, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles), and published by Capcom, a tarnish on a generally stellar year for them. This game, man. This game featured Steve Blum as Raven, a gangster trying to expand the dominance of his crime family. The game also featured a number of other stellar voice actors, such as Beau Billingslea and Richard Epcar. One thing that this game has in common with a later, ore successful Capcom game, Dead Rising, is how you could make your male characters cross-dress in womens' clothes such as a camisole and denim skirt.

Cinematech Episode 267: “Saladron's Revenge”

Who, or what, is Saladron? Oh, you'll find out. You'll find out.

In general, this ep features some clips from Midway Arcade Treasures 3, which featured several of Midway's racing games, such as Hydro Thunder. The ep also features wacky clips from an NES game from Hudson Soft called Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, a graphic adventure game where every character is some kind of food or food-related critter. Saladron is one of the enemies that you can randomly encounter, and judging by how this ep shows Saladron in some capacity before every ad break, he made quite an impression on the Cinematech creators.

Saladron, as the game itself describes, “...has a body like a dressing bottle and a knife and fork for hands!” An example of the game's wacky sense of humor lets you Praise other characters. When you Praise Saladron, the game says, “You're such a sweet talker!” Thanks...?

6:25: Clips from the old side-scrolling action game, Rush'n Attack, which was made by Konami for arcades. They played dramatic, old-timey music over the clips.

9:40: Another break with Saladron, where they dramatically zoom in on his evil visage.

15:44: Yet another break with Saladron, where they zoom in and out on him while playing the sound of a guy breathing in and out. Truly, fear has a new name, and it... is... SALADRON!!!

20:35: An utterly juvenile clip of a vehicle mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, which is a four-wheeler with a toilet seat where a normal seat would be on a normal vehicle. They found some weird song that features burps and farts to play along with the clip.

The ep ends by zooming in slowly on Saladron from a tilted angle while playing some tense music. Truly, the shape of evil.

A review of PTitSK from Harcdore Gaming 101.


nomuru2d Since: Dec, 1969
Dec 16th 2014 at 4:09:49 PM
I actually own Beat Down. Its big gimmick was mainly figuring out how to recruit the hundreds of rival gangsters you'd come across, including secret fighters, and expanding your reputation by doing loads of different actions and sidequests. Very fun, but you're missing out on a LOT if you don't have a guide handy.