Pixelated wizard fight fire breathing dragon!

Well today has certainly been a day for nostalgia! I loved console games in the late 80s early 90s and some of them were of great influence in our gaming.  A friend ran a campaign heavily inspire by both the original Zelda and Phatasy Star games. And while I rarely play console or computer games now, I fondly remember the games of the past.

Today while watching a video on how Starcraft would have looked if it was made in 1984 (thank you Michael for the link!), I commented “That would be a game I would have played”, and immediately remembered the first console RPG game I ever played, Quest for the Rings in the Magnavox Odyssey 2! Here it is in all its pixelated glory:


I received the console and the game as a gift in 1981 and while I never quiet understood the game I remember spending hours examining the art on the box, the components, and above all the map. Long after the console had broken down and the game no longer existed, I kept the map, I carried it around with me, making up stories set in the places depicted there.

This all was before I even knew what role-playing games were. I remember using the map while playing with my D&D action figures, of which I wrote about on a previous post. Sadly I no longer have the map; I can’t recall what happened to it. But looking at the map online I just realized how certain parts of my homebrewed gaming world feel inspired by the map’s contours and topography.

While I usually list literary pieces, such as Tolkien, Dragonlance and The Odyssey, among the formative influences on my gaming style, I must admit that games such as Quest for the Rings and board games like Dark Tower were equally influential.

What influenced your early gaming? Inquiring minds what to know!

PS – In case you want to know, this is the Starcraft if it had been made in 1984 video that inspired this post:


And the TV commercial for the Quest for the Rings game:



Welcome reader, thanks for taking the time to find out just who I am! My name is Roberto, although in the Internet I usually go by the name of Sunglar. Long time pen & paper RPG player, mostly a GM for the better part of that time; some will say that’s because of my love of telling a good story, others because I’m a control freak, but that’s debatable… I was born, raised, and still live in Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean, with a small but active gaming community.

I’ve played RPGs for 30 years, and for most of that time I played D&D in all its various permutations, including Pathfinder and I'm currently playing D&D 5th edition. Other games my regular gaming group has played over the last few years include Mutants & Masterminds and Savage Worlds, but I have played many other games through the years, and plan to play many more. I am a compulsive homebrewer and rarely play a campaign I have not created myself.

You can follow me on Twitter as @Sunglar, and find me in Google+ also as Sunglar. I'm very active in Facebook where you can find me posting regularly in the Puerto Rico Role Players group. Looking forward to hearing from you!

2 thoughts on “Pixelated wizard fight fire breathing dragon!”

  1. I never had a console as a kid, and in fact never bought one until the PS2 came out. That said, I was in love with some of the old Atari games. Pitfall, Pitfall 2, Dragonfire… those were games that fired my imagination. I loved the idea of Atari's Adventure! game, even if the game itself was incomprehensible to me.

    I played quite a bit of Ultima IV on the school computers (Apple IIes as I recall), and was never very good at it, but it was fun to wander around and get in way over your head. Wander into the wrong dungeon and get strong-armed by some horrible beast… reminded me of old-school tabletop gaming. I liked Wizardry for the same reasons, even though it led to many of the same frustrations.

    And I'm so glad you mentioned the box art; I LOVED the box art on so many of those old games. There's still plenty of good art being put on game boxes now, but it's not quite the same… the old stuff had a lot of imagination and uniqueness to it, something that went beyond a mere screenshot of the game.
    .-= Daniel Swensen´s last blog ..Collaborative Campaigning: When Player Input Attacks =-.

  2. Daniel, thanks for the reply! In the age before the internet, when you can just go online and see virtual galleries of excellent art, I loved art books and would spend hours just admiring the Tolkien calendars my mother would get for me every year. I can recall the stories I made up in my mind looking at the Quest for the Rings art.

    And you are right; those old computer games did have an old school dungeon of death feel!

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