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Varginha Incident 2 Announced, Sounds Like Vagina 1999-03-20 Erik
This is getting more coverage than Tomb Raider 3.
Brazilian developer Perceptum, makers of the much talked about, little seen (not unlike an actual vagina incident among most game enthusiasts), Varginha Incident 1, have announced that they are developing a sequel.  Many naughty webmasters are reporting this with sly winks.  Oddly, Blues seems to be confounded by the source of the randy humor here, and reports that the title is not to be confused with "the Viagra Incident", completely eliminating the funny part - the word that sounds  so intriguingly like vagina.  
This is a good strategy for third-rate or third-world developers: put a slightly camouflaged sex word in the title, get lots of free press.  I'm going to give this one to Todd Porter:  Dominion 2: Storm Over Uranus.   
While researching this story, I visted the offices of Conitec Datensysteme, maker of the Acknex game engine used in The Varginha Incident, in Frankfurt, Germany.  I asked them whether Brazil's acceptance of Acknex as the de facto standard for domestically made first person shooters was a direct result of technology subsidies granted by the German government to reward Brazil for harboring so many Nazi war criminals.  That caused some tension between myself and the meister of marketing, so I quickly followed up by saying "Varginha Incident" and rolling my eyes.  Everyone thought that was a real riot, so I pressed my prone, straightened finger to my upper lip like a moustache and cried "Heil Titler!"   Then I was in trouble again.

Maybe I Am Just Not That Smart 1999-03-18 Chet
Erik wants me to mention that he was not involved in this story in any way and is completely over his Romero obsession, but still hopes that John may call him.
I saw this in an mgon interview 03/12/99
John Romero:" What you're looking at right now has no content from the original team whatsoever. We completely started over. I don't think we would have been able to accomplish nearly as much as we have without the new team. It's going to be really kick-ass."

John Romero:
"Yes, there's lots of AI left to go, but remember we have lots of monsters in this game. We are working on finishing the first episode by the end of the month and that includes all the monster AI for that episode."

: The "new team" was hired for Daikatana.

But I saw this on the ionstorm web site after the walkouts 11/20/98:
John Romero: "Thankfully, the Daikatana team members that decided to leave and start their own company left at an opportune time. Most of the levels are in a final state, much of the coding has been completed for most of the game, and almost all the music has been done. Everyone that left made significant contributions to the project and I am thankful to have had them on my team. But it is time for them to move on and I wish them good luck on their journey. Thanks for everything, guys!"

No wonder Romero is happy about losing the old guys.  The new guys are producing 10X as fast as they were.  Hell, Daikatana will be done in June, Daikatana 2 will be done in December, and the moon will be pushed back into orbit by Jan 12th 2000.  What a team!  Can I just ask one question?  Why do we still see the same old screen shots?

Fifth Grader Hired By Sega Thinks Dreamcast Likely To Succeed 1999-03-18 Erik
Thanks to Sega-Otaku.

Stolar can almost see down the boy's shirt
This is the kid

"knows nothink" about emotion synthesis
Bernie Stolar




Bernie Stolar, COO of Sega of America, chaired a Dreamcast pep rally at the GDC yesterday.  He told the assembled GDs that they should "go big or go home" but that they should play their game and informed them that   they could only beat themselves but warned that any of them were beatable on any given day.  He also had some kind words for the injury plagued Ritual team.
He then dragged out a fifth grader, and, to the obvious bafflement of the Japanese developers and press, proceeded to not pull the small boy's butt hugging shorts down and leer at his underpants, but simply let him speak.
``The coolest thing about Dreamcast games is that they learn how you play and can use that against you so the games never get boring.'' said the youngster.  At press time, it is unclear whether this was a lie told to him by Stolar or simply something the boy experienced in a dream.  He later told an AP reporter that the other cool thing about the Dreamcast is the human head that lives in the basement and has spider legs.

Starseige Tribes Review Officially Changed 1999-03-16 Erik
It took some work, but we changed it.
Only once before in the history of the Old Man have we changed a review after it's gone to press (Sid Meier's Gettysburg), so it is with great pride and embarrassment that we officially amend our Starseige Tribes review.  We have changed it from a bad review to a good review.   We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone except Roberta Williams.  Although it is nice to see that Sierra is finally utilizing her pact with the Devil to actually release some good games.  Did we mention she's in league with Satan?  Oh yeah, just in the previous sentence.  Speaking of that, did you know the end times as prophesized in the bible are coming?  It's true.   This week's Sun is running a bible end times survival guide and I'm transcribing it right now as a service for our loyal readers, who, our informal polls show, all want to survive the end times.  We should have it up in a couple of days, but here's a quick tip to get you started: pray faster.

Game Developer Conference Begins 1999-03-16 Erik
I think.  Maybe it starts tomorrow.
All the game developers who regularly visit our site and then hot-key over to porn when their bosses walk by screaming at their head mechanic on a cell phone as he patiently explains to them why you can't install those $2000 rims on that type of BMW are away at the annual game developers conference.   That means us game consumers have the site to ourselves and can really let loose.   You know what game actually sucks?  Half-Life.  No, I'm kidding.   I'm just trying to make a point: a lot of games truly suck.  These developers and their fan boy minions usually counter that statement with "well why don't you make a game?"  You know, when an engine falls off a Boeing 727, do these people tell the grieving, angry families that they should try designing their own passenger jet?   My ability to design a game is irrelevant.  That should be the theme of this year's GDC: how to make your game work right out of the fucking box.  Maybe this is more of a rant - but, you know what, it's like a holiday with the developers gone.   For the next couple of days, anything goes - I'll rant right here in the news page.   I will pee in your pool, and then I'll swim in your toilet.  It's gonna be a wild ride, and there's nobody here to stop me.  Except chet, who's looking over my shoulder and is, in fact, telling me to stop.  He says I should tell you the news will continue as per usual and that I'm gay.  He also says that we will not be publishing a bible end times survival guide and will instead be reviewing EverQuest and he's wondering what the hell's wrong with me.  This bible end times thing has me all fucked up.  One half of my head feels tingly like when your hand falls asleep and I'm scared.

Daikatana - Towards A New Methodology For Clinical Evaluation 1999-03-14 Erik
A Daikatana two level demo has been released.  MPlayer is involved.
You know what? I can't even tell whether Daikatana is good or bad.  You can't either.  We're too close to it; too close to the scandals and the in-fighting and the Todd Porter alleged ass grabbing, you and I.
Where can we turn when we can't trust our own senses?  Blue?  Redwood?  I don't think so.  Blue posted as a news update a .plan entry from Romero where Romero talks about playing Daikatana with Blue; Redwood too. Romero could take a Thanksgiving after-dinner crap right into Blues mouth and he'd tell you it tasted like pumpkin pie.  Redwood'd quote it two days later and add a smiley face.  Evil Avatar had some unkind words for the demo.  I can't trust him though - his very name means the embodiment of evil.  So who?
I thought maybe I'd let some non-gamers try out Daikatana and report their results.   That wouldn't work, though, because they're stupid by definition - what the hell do they know about anything?  I'm left with a game that I suspect, but can't actually prove, is pure crap.  If  I could only find a group of people who don't play video games but who spend a lot of time inhabiting a video game like fantasy world -   people like the volunteers at those Renaissance fairs or schizophrenics. 


My girlfriend is in nursing school and is currently doing some kind of psych rotation for IHS.  She's got access to a literal army of high functioning schizophrenics - just the people I need to conduct my Daikatana experiments.  She was extremely reluctant at first - it's her instinctual reaction to any plan of mine that involves exploiting the weak and infirm, which is every plan of mine - but a little money and some love talk goes a long way with her and, to make a long story short, I'd like to introduce you to our four test subjects (I've used pseudonyms because I wasn't actually interested enough to find out their real names):

Rico: No friends, no leisure activities.  Has general feelings of anxiety and a stong, recurring sense of unreality.  In an ironic twist, he's Mexican and speaks little english.

Expresses the opinion that I am the Devil and, furthermore, that the Devil needs to be punished for the benefit of mankind.  I take this to mean that Pins will most likely be targeting me in particular as we commence the deathmatching proper.  I start the smack talk early and badger her whenever no one's looking with this whispered refrain: "that's right baby, I'm the Devil and I'm comin after you first."

:  My girlfriend's promise to provide me with high functioning schizophrenics may have been as trustworthy as my promise to let her mother live with us in the future.  I'm not sure if Dead-Eye is over-medicated or under-medicated (his chart says 800mg D-cycloserine twice a day), but he's completely non-responsive. Maybe he's just trying to psyche me out.  Anyway, I'm pegging this one for a camper.   "I got my eye on you buddy!" I tell him trying to get him more into the proceedings.  No response.  He's either desperately ill or a real competitor.

:  We're in an Indian Health Service clinic, but, surprisingly, Geronimo is the only native of the group.  On their best days, these Indians seem to have one foot planted in some other dimension - but Geronimo has added to this cultural spaciness a history of familial targeted aggression and a preoccupation with stuffing his shoes with hair.  He's a rail-thin, old looking thirty two, and, from what I can tell, the overburdened staff is treating him with a regimen of seclusion and resraints.   My girlfriend tells me he often hallucinates about time travel.  "That's great! Daikatana spans four different time periods." I say; then directly to him, "Daikatana spans four time periods!"  He bares his teeth at me.   "Save it for Storm Sector Seven, Tonto," I hiss.  This one unnerves me.

We're in the offices, by the way.  Patients don't have access to computers in their rooms.  The test systems are all Celeron 333s with TNT cards and, thanks to some large government grants, a T1 connection.  I start our little tournament by describing the game: "We are going to enter Future-Hell, and we're going to have to kill each other.  Use the mouse."  I start the install on five computers while my girlfriend passes around a picture of John Romero.  "Here is a photo of the creator," she tells our test subjects.  This seems to send a real shock of terror through them.  Within minutes, they're all agreed that the man in the picture is the Devil.  "El Diablo! El Diablo!" screams a hysterical Rico.   He's inconsolable.  Pins is convinced that both myself and Romero are the Devil.  It becomes apparent that she also thinks she is the Devil.   Geronimo, slowly tearing bloody chunks of hair from his head, cannot dispute the overwhelming evidence his broken mind is manufacturing: "This man - he is the devil," he says.  Dead-Eye alone remains unmoved.  He hasn't seen the photo.  I've put each of his limp hands on the return key of two different keyboards so he can help me get through the dialog boxes as MPlayer downloads about forty different patches.  The chair he's sitting on is stuck on some cables, so I've had to kind of lean it backwards so that he's almost prone with his arms outstretched.  I have a funny thought, and decide to share it with the test subjects.  "Look everyone," I say, "Dead-Eye looks just like Jesus on the cross!"  Chaos ensues. 

Some security guards came and helped us but my girlfriend's in some trouble apparently.   We never did get to play Daikatana.  Both the acute psychotic episodes I may have triggered in our test subjects and my acute inability to install MPlayer are to blame.

My conclusion:  Daikatana deathmatch tournaments are containdicated for the treatment of affective schizophrenia.  I will be submitting this article to both GamePro and The New England Journal Of Medicine.

That's Marvin there on the left

Emotion Synthesis Quantified

Here is the picture of Romero we used.

I haven't prepared a chart for my Daikatana clinical trials, so I'm reusing the Playstation 2 chart.

I Apologize For Interrupting The Humor.   The Following Is In No Way Funny, Ironic Maybe, But Not Funny 1999-03-13 Chet
Saw this on Wired and at Linkexchange.
Microsoft, the owner of Linkexchange, is offering a new service with etrust.org.  The Privacy statement wizard says "The Privacy Wizard will help guide you through the process of creating a privacy statement for your site and the first steps toward being privacy-compliant."  And who would know better than Microsoft?  Check out this wired article detailing Microsoft's privacy practices. "Microsoft passed data collected during Windows registration onto its Web site Microsoft.com."  There is more, lots more, click on the related links at the end of the wired article. 
So the deal is, we have etrust a supposed independent outside auditing company making deals and becoming partners with a company that has shattered any and all privacy concerns.  No normal website could perform such a privacy breach.  But, we are supposed to accept, "They stopped it, and won't do it again?"  Fuck that.  Motherfuck that. This is like having your kid's teacher also be their crack dealer.  "Drugs are bad if you buy them from anyone but me..."

We here at oldmanmurray.com are going to take down all linkexchange banners (give me a day to get them all.)  I've had it.  What information do the LE cookies hook up to when passed back to MS?  F' all these kids...  How many times can companies screw us, lie to us, and then promise not to do it again?  F' Etrust if they don't drop MS, oh and wanna take bets on this?

Goddamn am I pissed.  Game sites looking like frigging angels compared to these hardcore whores....

Wanna have some fun?  Are you good and high on crank?

Linkexchange Email :  admin@linkexchange.com or phone 415-543-4435
Truste Email :      President of truste  or phone 650-856-1520
Microsoft:  Speak out loud... they have ears everywhere....



Special Notes From erik

While I agree with chet wholeheartedly regarding this etrust thing, I feel obligated to offer up some prime entertainment in this, my little sidebar.   Without further ado, here is a picture of a squirrel monkey and Chet's social security number.

If Microsoft has their way, there will be no more monkey pictures


Sometimes I get worried when chet goes so nuts about privacy issues.  Why doesn't he want Microsoft or the government knowing his business?   Why does he feel the need to be able to disappear on a moment's notice?  Is he planning on killing me?  Jesus, I don't know.  It's something to think about.   Here's another monkey picture:

Well, that's just about it.  The Daikatana demo came out last night.  It's pretty bad.  You probably already know that.  Have a nice weekend.

Report From Japan 1999-03-13 Erik
Thanks to VideoGameNews, Euro-Asia GameBoy and Japan.
As Germany is to skinheads, Japan is to video game enthusiasts.  It is our fatherland, our inspiration, and the reason I can even imagine the following hysterical response to a Dress Barn employee asking if she can help me:  Suck the tit of Ms. Pac Man!  In an effort to keep our readers current on what's hot and what's not in the the land that child pornography laws forgot, we offer up the first of many reports from Japan.

When I was kid the only toys we had were micronauts made out of wood.  Some years later, the Japanese invented rubber and used it to build Pokemons and Pokemon's pretty lunch.  Needless to say, kids went absolutely apeshit and Japan became a superpower.  Pokemon is just now catching on here in the states, but in Japan it's already been supplanted by Class King Yamazaki.   Yamazaki is a naughty boy whose adventures consist of him shooting turds at his enemies.  The Japanese call these turds Unchis.  They give them personalities, numerical attributes, and funny names, then launch them at each other in simulated environments on their Game Boys.  It's now bigger than Pokemon.  It's bigger than the Dreamcast or denying the rape of Nanking.  Young master Yamazaki is now an accepted cultural icon - he is 'Class King'.  Why?  From what I gather, it's because of all the turd shooting.

poop1.gif (6651 bytes)
Yamazaki in action.

poop2.jpg (7213 bytes)
Yamazaki paraphernalia


Sony's next big Playstation title is Ape's Escape.   Here's a description direct from Japan: "your mission is to capture all the apes that have escaped out of the time travel machine."  I'm glad someone's finally addressing this seldom discussed problem regarding time travel - what to do about all the escaped apes.  Sony promises players will be able to drive vehicles "like tanks and rowboat."  Hopefully not in that order.  "If you think chasing those apes in a tank was rad, check out this rowboat."
This week's top food item in Japan is boiled eel.  No big surprise there.

Japanese Strongman Dead 1999-03-12 Erik
This is what it sounds like when Abdullah the Butcher cries.

Giant Baba
Giant Baba 1938-1999
Let's get ready to grieeeeeeve!




The competition to be the first game site publicly expressing grief over a dead or dying celebrity is getting fierce.  I've had to resort to poring over month old Asian press releases looking for second stringers to get weepy over.  We here at Old Man Murray are proud, and saddened, to report that Giant Baba, founder of the All Japan Pro Wrestling League, died February 1,1999 of liver failure.   The league he created and, I'm thinking, nurtured over many years was directly responsible for the playstation import titles All Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling 2.  It goes without saying that we're dedicating this update to his living memory and, obviously, if you're a friend, tag team partner, or family member of Giant Baba, if there's anything we can do from making a casserole to taking a table leg to those fucking Steiner brothers, just ask...
Will we ever see the day when celebrities don't have to die?  I don't know, man.   I don't know.  I'd to take this moment to thank God for making celebrities and the playstation and for having the foresight to design into my body a hole for expelling feces and for not making that hole my mouth.

Tom Hanks Hospitalized For Infected Blister 1999-03-10 Erik
Saw this on CNN but could have easily seen it on loonygames.
I'm going to be out of the office for a couple of days, so I'm dedicating the rest of this week's page updates to the living memory of Tom Hanks, in case God calls him home to join eighth US President Martin Van Buren in heaven.   These infected blisters can be a nasty business.  I'd also like to offer my condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Tom Hanks, one of the true good guys in a tough town.  If any of them would like to contact me for consolation or friendship possibly leading to something more, I'm a BiWM 6Ƈ" 190 lbs.  I like to work out and enjoy sunsets, sunrises, eclipses - pretty much anything the sun does.  No fats or femmes please.

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