Countdown to a full year of DANK

Dank Zine Updates

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Issue 12 of Dank Zine cover by CyRaptor

I can’t believe I have been making Dank Zines for almost a year! Thank you so much to my backers and readers for a crazy year of dankness. I’ve come from a little  one person operation making a little 30 paged Zine to expanding it to over 44 pages with a team of editions, writers and contributors. I couldn’t have done it without my team and my Patreon Backers so thank you all for making this project a huge success in its first year.

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The lovely Bouphe with her Cat Crew

This month’s featured streamer is Bouphe who just recently was partnered! Congratulations, Bouphe as I know you have been working very hard to get partnership. For those who don’t know, Bouphe is an amazing girl who streams classic retro PC games for the Amiga, DOS and PS1 to list a few. She’s a delight to hang out with and has a solid backup team of kitties to help her along her quests and achievements in games. Bouphe was incredibly charming to interview and she really opened up about herself, the retro community and how streaming has had a positive influence on her life. If you are a Bouphe fan make sure to back the Zine before the end of the month.

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Zallard1 at AGDQ2018 where he played both Punch Out & Super Punch Out at the same time

Also featured for this issue is an interview with Zallard1. We sit down and take a closer look at his run at AGDQ where he played Punch Out and Super Punch Out at the same time using a cool controller rigged up by Omnigamer. It’s an interesting way to play a game and different then just playing a game blind for exhibition. Get a bit of a closer look at how Zallard1 came up with the idea to run both games at once.

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“Oooour its a bloody GUTS monster!”

Macaw45 is alsocreating a new written feature in the Zine called Obscure Games where he takes a closer look at some of the games you never heard about from back in the day in Japan. If you follow Macaw45 then you know he’s an endless source of information when it comes to classic games for old Japanese computers and he also frequently talks about the lore behind the games and the people who made them. For a while people have been asking if he could share those stories and I kept thinking they would make a great addition to the zine.

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As always each Zine comes with all the art and articles as well as an included sticker pack. Since Bouphe is our featured streamer I made these custom retro PC Gamer stickers so you can dial-up to the Sexy BBS anytime! Put stickers of old computers on your new computer for added fun or stick them up around your community and feel a little dangerous for possibly vandalizing. Just remember to not blame us if you get hit with a hefty fine sticking these where you shouldn’t.

If you want to get your hands on the 12th issue of my Dank Zine make sure you are backing my Patreon at www.patreon.com/DankArt 

Dank Art

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Lrock– I met up with this Speedrunner at AGDQ2018 and we ended up hanging out a whole bunch on the Sunday. When I got home I promptly followed and got banned seconds after posting this Dank Art. It was all good, it was totally my fault for not making my link-posting shenanigans more up front. Most of my friends and followers know its me when I’m posting a link, but there have been a lot of bots over Twitch. I’m not upset or anything. We all had a good laugh about it and I got un-banned really quick. Lrock was working on some cute NES Disney themed games but also is working on other Speedrun attempts so do try to check out his stuff and give him a follow.

LordBBH had his Hard drive go down recently which means he’s trying his best to recover anything that might be left on it. That meant that he had a Monday without Mame Roulette but he managed to get things pulled together and was back up and streaming. The super big downer about all of this is BBH lost all his copies of Dank, Jank & fan art as well as his other files so he’ll have to start from scratch collecting them back. BBH was also working on a feature article for my Dank Zine for February but it’s going to be pushed back until he can see if it’s recovered or if he needs to start the story all over again from scratch. I hope BBH get’s his computer sorted out sooner than later but it is good that he’s still finding a way to stream.

It was also BBH’s birthday last Sunday and I just wanted to say Happy Birthday BBH! I made a quick Dank Art to help celebrate the occasion.

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I featured ex-mortis in my most recent issue of my Dank Zine and he started streaming Popful Mail again after trying out a new game & kinda hating it. I’ve realized I haven’t played thru this game myself and I should make more of an effort to do so as its one of the better Sega CD games out there. Yes I am aware that this game first came out on the home Japanese PC’s before being ported to other systems, but the English voice dub is actually very well done for a Sega CD game and because it’s such a good game it fetches a huge amount on eBay. I’ll look into this and maybe you’ll see me Popin’ it like it’s hot on my stream soon.

Macaw45 is playing a whole bunch of what I call “Sooooour many tiny big dudes” Strategy games for the PC88 and PC98. That’s when all your little warriors and fighters fill up the screen doing the actual battling in real-time while you sit back and watch or actively control your main character around the playing board. There was also this crazy PC game that was a lot like Space Harrier but with an insane difficulty level to it as well as melee boss battles to switch things up. Yeah, it was hard as hell and had a very weird saving system where you could only save after every 2 levels? The big story behind this game is that it was so crazy hard that Macaw just figured no one was that stupid enough to actually finish it and set off to actually do so.

AGDQ2018 or How I stopped worrying and learned to love Speedrunning

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Zerst going for that high score

After not getting tickets to SGDQ in 2017 I made a point of doing my best to give it all I got and put my bid in to get a ticket to the January event. When I actually got tickets, I kind of sat there in my chair and thought, “OK, I got in. Now what?” I thought that because I had no real idea what games were going to be played or if any of my friends’ runs would be accepted. I had to give it time and wait. I waited too long and missed out on a chance to get a hotel room on site so I was forced to book an Air BnB a bit off-site just to sleep.

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The Cool Club at AGDQ 2018

I keep hearing people say “GDQ’s were better before 2013” or something to the effect. I can’t speak to that as I was only watching those at home and not at the event itself. I would safely say being there has its own set of advantages as well as negatives. However, GDQ’s are events that are designed to celebrate Speedrunning and working towards raising money for a selected charity. They really don’t have anything else behind the scenes that you would find at a regular convention because the event is the main draw. So there were really no artist alley or merch booths that you would expect at other cons. There was a booth set up that focused on the charity itself so you could learn more about where your donations were going and if you wanted to keep supporting the charity they could give you more information. Nice.

A wild Omnigamer and PJ appeared!
Pho time with Omnigamer and PJ

I checked into the event on early Sunday morning and since I was travelling alone I asked PJ very nicely to meet up with me at the event so I wouldn’t feel as awkward waiting for my Air BnB to be ready later on in the afternoon. He totally didn’t have to, but he said yes and because he & Omnigamer were kind enough to let me tag along with them for a few hours I gave out a bunch of PJ stickers I had lying around from when I made him the Feature Streamer in my Dank Zine. I had no run in for this event and besides seeing a few choice runs I was mainly there to find people to write about. I had my own agenda and it involved Zines, burgers, beer and watching a lot of games.

One of the important things I wanted to do that week was to catch Aquas’ run as I always try to watch his stuff when I am at home watching this event and seeing it in person would be a great kick. His run was around 8 am on Monday and Mr B & I both woke up early to go to the event with him. We met up with one of Aquas’ streaming friends Figbird and to our excitement Aquas said it was alright for all of us to sit on the couch for his run. First GDQ & already on the couch. I was glad I was as Aquas made a very touching speech before his run about his dad who passed away because of Cancer and he wanted to dedicate his run to him. I kept getting so many alerts on my Apple Watch during this that I just switched it to Do Not Disturb for an hour so I could focus better on his Contra III run. Lots of you were all tweeting “I see you on the couch!” Which was very nice, but since I had one of the best views in the house I didn’t want to comment till it was over. Aquas had a very good run, it wasn’t deathless, but it was still something to watch as this guy plays like a beast when he needs to bring it. Check out the video from the event:

My time was spent hanging with people, being social, and playing games in the set up arcade that was on site. There was no pinball this year which was kind of depressing, but there was a Neo Geo multi-cart in the room which I sat on most of the time with my pal Zerst and together we clocked in a lot of hours on Money Exchanger. Zerst also got the Donkey Kong 3 machine to its max score which was fun to watch as I love that game myself and it is always exciting to see someone master a game you like. I also met up with a few of my friends from Macaw45’s chat to play a bunch of dank games in the practice room and this C64 that my buddy Dana had going with an everdrive. Let’s say that when we had the C64 going we put a few good hours playing around with the games on that.

It was really exciting to see my friends up on stage playing games when it came too their runs. PJ managed to break an arcade button in the middle of his Battletoads run which could only be described as “PJ’s dumb luck”. He had a backup planned and it only took him a few moments to switch over to a backup (what a backup? Yes if you know PJ….). It was also really fun to watch The Mexican Runner play the rocket ship part in Battletoads for NES blindfolded. There’s always going to be a few blindfolded donation incentives and I didn’t want to miss this one as it’s known for being extremely frustrating even without a blindfold. I have huge respect for TMR as he played every NES game as part of a challenge and that meant playing all the Powerpad games. If you know me I love the powerpad and try to stream it as often as I can and knowing someone else actually beat Street Cop gives me hope that I can do it too. I also saw Zallard1 do his amazing Two-Punchout One Controller challenge. Fellow streamer Omnigamer helped out and rigged up this splitter that would help him use one controller to beat both games at once.

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Zallard1 who played Starfox2 and Punch Out & Super Punch Out at the same time

Please when you share these runs don’t use click-bait tactics like “Some Dude just killed Contra” but share links properly as in “Watch The Mexican Runner play Battletoads blindfolded” as its more about the player and less about the game itself at these events. I was also reading a lot of game devs upset with people who were using words such as “this game is broken” to describe certain manipulations and taking offence to it. I can’t say that for all games, but having see some of the codes from some of my most favourite games I would be safe in saying that not all games are broken, but having broken mechanics and code in a game does make the game more easy to be manipulated hence why they can use glitches to a speedrun advantage. I can think of many fan translations projects my friends worked on where they had to clean up the original source code and fix game ending bugs left in the code itself simply because a game was rushed into development to make a sales date. I’m not saying all games are like that, but I also don’t put any game up on a pedestal of perfect coding either. Even great paintings have mistakes in them and it is those mistakes that we as players love/hate to our advantage.

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The Dank Zine core staff: Aquas, AnnK, Lady Te and trap15 (as JJ Squawkers)

The BEST thing about the entire trip was finally meeting up again with Lady Te who I hired to edit my Dank Zine. We’ve known each other before the Dankness set in, but this was the first time we have met up face to face since she’s been staff. I was able to get a very rare staff photo of Aquas, myself and Lady Te and hopefully one day we will be able to get trap15 in there as well. That’s pretty much the core Dank Zine staff right there and I am lucky to have these wonderful people in my life. My little zine has really grown in just under a year and now I have people who contribute to it all over the globe so it makes me getting a photo with everyone harder. I hope that in the future when my zine gets bigger I can start actually traveling to these places and meet everyone.

Overall it was a great time and I was happy to meet up with a bunch of people I have only known thru Twitch, chats and over the internet. Maybe when I get things figured out I’ll work on my fishing game and see if it’s something I want to submit and if its something people would like to see at an event such as this. In the meantime I’ll be hard at work making Dank Art, Dank Zines and trying to give back as much as I can to the retro gaming community.

 

Updates & AGDQ Fun

I am at AGDQ this week to help support Aquas and all my other friends as they raise money for Cancer Prevention! Stay tuned for a HUGE post about what I have been up to at the event and also what I have planed for my Dank Zine in 2018. I have been very busy here on my trip to America and one of the best part of this event is finally meeting friend from streams & chats face to face. Stay tuned for a HUGE AGDQ Dank Art dump and few other surprises :3

Patreon Announcement

As many of you already know, Patreon is making a bunch of changes to its services as of recently. These changes might affect how some people are backing my Zine and because of the concern of the most recent changes to Patreon I have decided to give people more options on how to get a copy of my Zine and how they can be part if it.

Currently I rely on Subscriptions/Pre-Orders for my Zine to offset the cost of printing and shipping for each issue. I am looking into having online subscriptions via Paypal as well as making huge changes to my online shop to make getting back issues quicker.

It will take me a few weeks to implement the new changes to my blog to accept this new way to subscribe so I ask my Patreon backers to be patient while I make these adjustments. I will state that I am not leaving Patreon as of yet, but merely giving my backers a choice to use the platform or to start supporting me 100% directly thru another option.

These are changes I knew I would need to make as my Zine grew over time. However, with the recent changes to Patreon I feel that I owe my subscribers a choice since many of them signed up to Patreon only to back this project. I want to make it clear that I am thankful for everyone’s support and often when things happen that we all don’t agree with that you can either accept it or change.

Change doesn’t happen overnight and making a huge jump to direct subscriptions will take me some time so I do ask that my backers are patient while I take these needed steps to being fully independent.

As soon as I have the new subscription services up I will post it on my blog so everyone can choose how to back me going forwards. Patreon was an amazing service when I first started up and I am thankful that services like it are around to help artists and makers everywhere support their projects. If you choose to use my direct service or stay with Patreon that is up to individual choice, all I ask is that you keep supporting me and the Zine.

Thank you,

AnnK

End of the Month Wrap Up

Christmas stickers are IN!

 

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My gift to all my backers of my Dank Zine will get one of these limited print Milky Christmas stickers as my gift to them. Make sure you are backing by the end of November to get one of these stickers as thats the only way to get them. These will not be in the shop afterwards & are strictly just for the backers!

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On American Thanksgiving, LordBBH decided he was going to leap headfirst into playing Willow for NES which happens to be one of my fave RPG’s for the system as well as one game on my “to finish” list. Though I am not the biggest fan of Willow the movie (I was far too young to really appreciate the movie as a kid) I am a huge fan of the game and made amusing Dank Art along BBH’s frustrations and trials with the game. BBH got halfway thru before realizing it was going to take much longer to get thru it, so he shut it off and gave everyone the THANK they were waiting for and played a 1CC Credit of Willow for Arcade.

Macaw45 is going thru his collection of DOS Shareware games which range from palaces from Russia, Spain, Italy and Japan. For those who don’t know, back in the days of DOS people would dial into BBS’s and download shareware to “try it” before buying it or stores would have compilation disks of these programs to help sell more parts of the game. This was one way new or indie game devs would get their games out into the market and hopefully be their big break into the world of game development. You gotta think that there’s probably hundreds of thousands of games that are like this just floating around in some archival space on the internet and it’s part of Macaw’s ongoing project to discover and preserve the best of these games. Often these games seem too simple or even silly when you first start them up but often if you play them a little bit longer there’s something that sticks out about them that’s attractive or interesting. That’s a typical Macaw stream these days so check out some of the real ripe stuff he’s been unearthing from the dankest depths of the shareware market.

Next month it’s going to be all about PJ in my Dank Zine so I have been going by his Dragon View & FF9 streams to see what he’s been up to. For me, its the Final Fantsy 9 playthru he’s doing right now because when that game came out I didn’t give it the attention or credit it needed. I think everyone has an opinion about which Final Fantasy is the best and which are not, but I think this Final Fantasy was a true gem and the last of its kind. It’s charming and it has all the signature fantasy elements that made the series what it is from black mages to airships to special abilities like “EAT” it’s there. Often you don’t know how good you got it till its years later and someone shows you what you’ve been missing out on and I feel like I missed out hard with Final Fantasy 9.

PJ Stickers are in!

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Hot off the presses are all the backer reward stickers featuring PJ’s sub emotes! Make sure you are subscribed to the Dank Zine before November 30th to get yourself a copy of the Zine featuring his interview as well as a free set of these stickers. Also, backers will get a special bonus sticker for just being awesome and backing my Patreon. Thank you always gu

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I also have a sneak peek of what next month’s cover will look like! This months cover is done my Anthony Brennan who was actually featured in the first ever Dank Zine for his papercrafts and his passion for dressing up as Pro Wrestlers at conventions. Anthony is also a skilled illustrator and has had his work featured almost everywhere. I asked him to draw up something nice that reflected who PJ was without it catching on fire or glitching out. Thank you, Anthony!

 

New changes in November

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I made a LOT of Dank Art on the weekend watching the 1CC Marathon. I missed a lot of Friday because I was working, but I did my best to try to catch most of it between IRL stuff and eating. It was a lot of fun and I always love watching skilled players do their thing in events such as this. I hope more fun events like this pop up on twitch that will help to encourage more people to go for their gaming goals, meet new friends and find new streamers to follow. Most of friends on twitch I met thru the 1CC Marathon, so don’t be shy when it comes to signing yourself up for events like these.

I caught some of Ultimoice’s Final Fantasy 7 runs over the weekend as well as more Mother 2 runs in between of the 1CC Marathon as I was cooped up around the house most of the time. A lot of people are going to say that FF7 was the game that changed everything back in the day and they are right. I remember seeing the commercials for Final Fantasy 7 on the TV and freaking out that it was being called Final Fantasy 7 and not FF4 AND it was coming out for the PlayStation and not the N64 as what was expected. The biggest thing was when suddenly EVERYONE wanted to play Final Fantsy 7 and almost overnight people who were never into video games suddenly wanted to be. I’m not joking, everyone was so blown away at the graphics and the sheer size and complexity of this game that you had everyone dropping serious coin on PS1’s to just play this game (minus the nerds who bought the PC release of the game and who had to suffer thru playing that hahaha).
Though Final Fantasy 7 isn’t my favourite game (it’s not even my favourite Final Fantasy)  it does hold a special place in my heart just because of that experience and what direction video games started to go after it came out. The fact that Ulti speedruns this game is absolute insanity to me, but he pulls it off and it is a run you have to catch at least once if you have played the game. FYI the first time I saw him run though the game was at the last SGDQ and I stayed up to catch most of it.

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60EF2D97-E932-4721-99C4-2C05DF6CBE43Backers for my Dank Zine who back before the end of the month will be getting this amazing limited print run sticker featuring Milky from Shock Troopers! This design was created last Christmas during one of BBH’s streams when Twitch had a bunch of cute holiday emoticons that you could play with. I made a Dank Art from it and decided to clean it up this year to give it make it my gift to my backers.

Make sure you back my Dank Zine before November 30th as this month’s feature streamer is none other than PJ. I got a chance to chat with PJ just over Halloween about his experience speedrunning, streaming and Gin! I also have a special interview with Cathodedaze who works at a special Arcade Museum in Florida where they have over 50 arcade and pinball machines and what its like to have a cool dream job. Fantastic Planet returns with a great Christmas feature as well as a bunch of cool art and extras for the holidays. The other neat thing is this issue will have featured PJ Sub Stickers so if you’ve been following PJ and want these stickers then you better back before the 30th of the month together yours. 8AF1A8A2-3493-4A90-B6E5-D4821B8BE5E4.jpeg

The BIG BIG BIG news for me is that my little zine has grown so much in the last few months that to meet the demands of my printing fulfilment I will be changing printers. Subscribers should instantly notice a HUGE upgrade to the quality and look of the Zine as now I am big enough to move away from print-on-demand orders. This means a lot more control on my part when it comes to the look and feel of each issue so I am very excited to be moving up with these new changes.

This means a huge change for Dank Zine because each issue now will be limited to the one production run and once all back issues are sold THAT’S IT. This means if you are backing my Zine you will get an issue with all the fun stickers each month and there will only be a few back issues in the store for those who were sitting on the fence. Even more reason to back the Zine so you never miss out. This also means starting in January my current Dank Shop will come down to make way for the new shop, so if you were thinking of grabbing any back issues that are in my Dank Shop right now do it soon before they are gone forever!

 

 

1CC Marathon this Weekend

This weekend make sure you tune in to catch some of the action with the 1CC Marathon where a selected group of top players will challenge themselves to get 1 credit clears in their selected arcade game. I’ve been tuning into this event for the past 3 years and discovered a lot of my favourite Twitch streamers from it.

The posted schedule is here

 

B3556D6F-DAD4-4263-8D5D-03D561A53E0DI sat down with players Pasky, zuq_, Neo_Antwon, and Chuboh who are participating in the event this weekend for an article in my Eighth Issue of my Dank Zine. You can check it out here:

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AnnK: How long have you been running the 1CCMarathon?

Pasky: I’ve been running the ‘1CCMarathon’ for roughly two years now. The first one took place in November 2015 and the second event occurred in October 2016. The upcoming event will be happening on November 10th through the 12th of this year.

AnnK: Do you organize this event on your own or do get help from other people? If yes, who else makes up your 1CC crew?

Pasky: I handle the administration of the entire event myself. This includes creating the game submission form, processing the submissions, scheduling the event, communicating with the participants to get them set up, preparing the format of the stream (stream layout, wait screens, etc…), and, of course, streaming the event itself. I’ve always been a believer in the saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

AnnK: Why do you put on a big event like this?

Pasky: Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it big, but it’s truly a labour of love for me. There’s no monetization involved, it’s not advertised everywhere I go, and I’m not looking to get any sort of recognition out of it. I enjoy holding this event because I’m a huge fan of watching high-level gameplay and it’s extremely exciting to me to see top players complete their respective games in a live setting.

When you watch the completion of a difficult game on Youtube, for example, it’s pretty cool but that player basically has an infinite amount of chances to get it correct; he can simply reset the game and restart the recording. Now give that player a live audience, put a spotlight on them, increase the pressure, and allow them to show off all the skill they have accumulated, giving them only one chance to complete the game to receive that recognition and you have a recipe for excitement.

There are a lot of players that are relatively unknown on Twitch but are extremely good at the games they play, or perhaps they don’t normally do them in live settings. This event allows these players to exhibit their skill to a broader audience, so more people can appreciate it. It is for these reasons that I enjoy putting this event on.

AnnK: What are some of the challenges you face when planning an event like this?

Pasky: Where do I begin? I’d say the first challenge is to determine what games to accept in the marathon. There are many factors when considering this, such as if a game was played in a prior year, if it is entertaining, and things of that nature. Another challenge is scheduling players, as there are so many time zones and scheduling constraints to work with and there are people on entirely different continents that I need to work around. There’s also the issue of streaming the marathon itself, making sure everything is properly functioning while making sure the next player is set up while keeping tabs on the current run. You’d think an online event would be an easy gig, but it can be quite stressful ensuring everything runs smoothly for the players and the audience, especially when you’re dealing with factors out of your own control such as Twitch server errors and things of that nature.

AnnK: Why focus on 1CCs?

Pasky: Well, arcade games in particular are known for being much more difficult on average than your home console released games. The odds are usually against the player and unfair situations are placed upon them because these games were designed to make money for arcade operators, so to generate revenue, ending credits forced players to pay if they wanted to play again. Particularly in the United States, arcade companies usually pushed regional differences to make the game even more difficult than the original Japanese release to encourage credit feeding, and for that reason, a lot of the United States arcade culture was akin to credit feeding through games. This leads many people to be surprised that these games can be beaten in a single credit, and opening their eyes to this sort of high–level play is always refreshing. It’s extremely impressive watching someone show off all the content of a game by completing it without continuing.

AnnK: Who do you look for when selecting someone to be in the event?

Pasky: All of my scrutiny goes towards the game being played. Is it entertaining? How impressive is the run? Has it been played in the marathon before? There are other factors such as character choice because using some characters over others can be far more impressive and difficult. With that being said, I sometimes put my own personal taste aside when selecting games to accept. There have been plenty of games I don’t personally like that have been in the event because there is a community that enjoys them or someone is passionate about it and wants to share their fondness for it.

AnnK: Can you describe in your own words what the best thing about 1CC’ing a game is?

Pasky: I’d have to say the best thing about 1CC’ing an arcade game is triumphing over a game designed to be outright difficult and unfair to complete and mitigating these obstacles with your own skill.

AnnK: Can you tell me what game you first 1CC’d and what that feeling was like?

Pasky: The first game I ever learned to clear on one credit was Double Dragon. I believe I was 11 years old. It was pretty cool, but at the same time, I didn’t feel that accomplished because I just back elbowed everything, haha. It’s an extremely easy arcade game because of that exploit.

AnnK: What do you hope to share with the people in your community with this event?

Pasky: All of the great games and players exhibiting them. This year there’s going to be a mix of relatively unknown games, popular games, and a lot of difficult games. With such a huge variety of games this year, it’s going to be really exciting. I’m happy to be able to put this on and share this with a broad audience, while at the same time giving the players an audience and a moment to shine themselves.

AnnK: Can you tell me which runs you are most excited about?

Pasky: This is such a difficult question for me to answer because I’m actually excited for everything, but if I had to narrow it down I would say P.O.W. which I have fond memories of playing as a kid.  Scoop will be playing it and he normally cannot stream his playthroughs, but he will be at Zuq’s home for the marathon so I’m super excited to watch him in action, live! I’m also looking forward to both Dodonpachi games, as they are incredibly difficult games in my opinion. Really exciting to see these done in a live setting.

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AnnK: Tell me who you are, where you are from and what sort of games do you play

Zuq_: I’m just some dude from a small town in Poland. My nickname is basically unpronounceable to English speaking folk, so everyone calls me zook or zuck but I got used to it to such an extent that the original pronunciation sounds foreign to me now.  I enjoy playing arcade beat ‘em ups the most but I do play some run ‘n guns (Metal Slug series) and traditional shmups (Toaplan, NMK and early Raizing) from time to time.

Neo_Antwon …I primarily play arcade shooting games such as Mahou Daisakusen and Game Tengoku. I also play a lot of older 2d fighting games, my favourite is Project Justice, that game is super fun.  I’ve always gravitated towards faster paced arcadey type games, long RPGs and stuff tend to put me to sleep.

Chuboh: My name is Michael Gilroy, and live in a small town in northern Michigan. I play classic games of all kinds, ranging from arcade games to computer games and console games, with a special focus on games that could be considered “hidden gems” and, of course, everyone’s favourite, jank.

AnnK: What is the most challenging thing about the game you are playing in the 1CC Marathon?

Zuq_: The most challenging part of “Knights of the Round” is the boss of stage 6 – Muramasa. You need to be on top of your block game, not over-commit to heavy attacks and be patient enough not to go all in when he keeps juking you once low on health. Though, the entire run is pretty demanding as you can die in 2-3 hits from certain enemy types.

Cadillacs & Dinosaurs is mostly about sticking to tried and tested strategies and not trying to be overly creative but it does have a gatekeeper, Slicesaurs. It’s a duo-boss fight which is a Capcom staple and personally, I think that this one is one of the most frustrating beat ‘em up bosses to deal with; they’re fast, aggressive and will try to stay on opposite sides of the player character but the frustration stems from their random wake-up timers, due to which you’re unable to crowd-control them with throws.

Thankfully, The Punisher co-op run I’ll be doing with Scoop is rather tame in comparison to the other two games I’ll be running in the marathon, even on hardest difficulty. Unfortunately, due to other obligations, we won’t have much time to practice prior and that fact alone can pose a challenge as our play styles vary a lot.

Neo_Antwon: For this 1CC Marathon I will be playing a trio of games. Labyrinth Runner by Konami, Kiki KaiKai by Taito and Plus Alpha by Jaleco. I feel that Kiki KaiKai may be the hardest. when you die, getting the power-ups you want again is really hard to do in some stages. Sometimes enemies just spawn so fast it’s hard to keep up and they will overwhelm you. Plus Alpha can be a blow up on the last 3 stages if you’re not careful.

Chuboh: Out of the three games I’m playing for the 1CCMarathon (Spelunker, Big Karnak and Bonanza Bros.), I would have to say Bonanza Bros. is by far the most challenging. For those who may not be familiar with it, Bonanza Bros. is a stealth-action game released by Sega in 1990. The Bonanza Bros., Mobo and Robo, have been hired to sneak into various buildings in the town of Badville to steal evidence that will allow some nebulous, undefined force of justice to clean up the town. It has a really neat graphical style that almost looks like early 80s CGI, kind of like the old Money For Nothing music video, where everything is made up of low-poly geometric shapes. The way the game is structured, the levels are almost like puzzles, where you have to figure out the best routes and tactics to collect all the loot and escape without getting clobbered or shot by the guards. You don’t get any 1-ups at all during the game, and the guards become faster and more aggressive as the game goes on, plus each level has a 3-minute time limit, so clearing all 12 levels on the three lives the game gives you by default is pretty tricky. Things can go terribly wrong very quickly!

AnnK: How long have you been playing the game you are playing in the 1CC Marathon?

Zuq_: Too long. Cadillacs & Dinosaurs used to be my favourite arcade game as a kid (why play anything else when you can get ~40 minutes out of a single token) and to be frank, I’ve been playing it on and off for about 20 years. I’m still working on getting No-Miss (deathless) runs on the hardest difficulty setting with characters other than Mustapha. I’ve played both, Knights of the Round and The Punisher for the first time around the same period as Cadillacs &  Dinosaurs, but my history with those two is rather different. The Punisher is one of the first games I cleared back in my arcade-going days, and despite it being a great one, I’ve grown a bit bored of it – Scoop, my co-op partner, simply loves The Punisher so fun will be had. Knights of the Round is probably my favourite beat ‘em up at this point, it plays vastly different than other Capcom developed brawlers and despite having played it in the arcade, most of my experience came from a half-year grind – when I was still aiming for deathless clears with all characters on the hardest difficulty. What captivates me the most about this one is the combat system, which has blocking, heavy attacks and other options which are just fun to execute. Plus, all characters are rather balanced so you never feel confined to a single, top-tier choice.

Neo_Antwon: I’ve had prior experience with Kiki Kaikai and Labyrinth Runner before, but I recently started Plus Alpha like maybe a month ago. Plus Alpha is a lot of fun, it has really good music and is easy to pick up and play.

Chuboh: I first encountered Bonanza Bros. when I rented the Sega Genesis version as a teenager around 1992 or so. The idea of a game where the object was to sneak around stealing things rather than shoot everything in sight was pretty unique, and the art style in the game really stuck in my mind. Then, about a year ago, on a whim, I started playing arcade games in MAME again, and one of the games I picked up was the arcade version of Bonanza Bros. Memories of the Genesis version came flooding back, and I’ve been fascinated with the game ever since.

AnnK: What sort of practice schedule or planning goes into a 1CC attempt?

Zuq_: I do not really have a schedule and I’m more of an ad-hoc guy so planning is not my thing. Once I focus on a game I’ll just keep playing it over, and over, and over again – credit feeding at first. I do, however,  make save states for stages and boss fights as the ability to practice bosses and route stages (especially later ones) is invaluable and speeds up the learning process immensely. Unfortunately, the scarcity of my leisure time forces me to chose between practice or streaming attempts, and I’ll opt for the latter any day of the week as I feel the former to be rather boring/mundane. I do admit I love loading boss save states and looking for new loops or strategies as it feels rewarding to turn an otherwise difficult boss fight into a punching bag through manipulation and AI abuse.

Neo_Antwon: A lot of stage routing goes into learning a game for 1CC.  I really like to have a planned route to get me through a stage if possible, it reduces the chance of running into a situation you can’t get out of or waste resources on you could use later in the game. I also watch a lot of super plays, high-level replays, for the games I play to pick up new strategies.

Chuboh: The first thing I do when I pick up a new game is just mess around with it, familiarizing myself with the controls, figuring out what the game will and won’t let me get away with, working on potential tricks and techniques that might help with tough situations, stuff like that. So, my first several times playing the game are more exploratory rather than trying to actually make progress. Then, I start working my way through the levels, planning out routes and making note of tricky spots I need to work on. Around this time, I try to string things together into a full 1CC attempt, and then just hit the grind, trying to improve and refine my routes, making things as safe and idiot-proof as possible. I try to practice a game at least two to three times a week when going for a new 1CC, or if a game is really demanding.

AnnK: Why do you enjoy playing arcade games?

Zuq_: Arcade games, when played with a one-credit clear mindset feel satisfying, there’s no hand-holding and the variety when compared to current releases is off the charts. But the steep learning curve is what truly turns it into a rewarding experience as in order to beat the game (credit feeding doesn’t count) you need to master its mechanics and familiarise yourself with patterns etc. You take baby steps, but once it all clicks, and each subsequent credit ends up lasting longer/you get further, you realise that “winning” is possible even when facing a game essentially rigged against the player.

Nostalgia also plays a big part as I’m quite susceptible to it myself and clearing games which made me fumble constantly back in my arcade days feels great.

Neo_Antwon: I really enjoy arcade games, STGs in particular, because you can continuously get better at them. Like I can clear a game but I always know I could do it better. Seeing the progression in my game play is very satisfying.

Chuboh: I enjoy difficult games in general, and classic arcade games are among the most difficult games out there. There’s something very satisfying about playing a game that was purposely designed to take as much money from you as possible, and beating it on a single credit. Also, and this is the real reason now that I think about it, I was REALLY BAD at video games as a kid. I loved playing them, but I rarely beat them, and I would get frustrated and ragequit all the time. So, playing and beating these hard old games is like conquering a childhood hobgoblin.

AnnK: What’s the best thing about participating in events such as the 1CC Marathon?

Zuq_:  It’s the showcase aspect of it; exposing people to my favourite games, whilst simultaneously sharing all my knowledge and applying it during a live play demonstration. Thus, dismissing the misguided claims of arcade games being just “coin munchers” as it just takes passion and practice to overcome the odds. Even if they’re stacked against the player.

Neo_Antwon: Participating in events such as the 1CC marathon and  Nintendon’t gives you an opportunity to show off games others may have never seen before. Its fun to show off the game and get people hype for them. Everyone should take a break from reading this and play some Battle Mania Daiginjou 😛

Chuboh: To me, the best thing is being able to show off games that some people may have never seen before. There are a TON of really great games out there that don’t get the recognition they deserve

AnnK: Do you think events like the 1CC Marathon encourage other players to get up and go for 1CC on their favourite games?

Zuq_: Absolutely, we’ve got a couple runners (Goati, CoolJay, perhaps others?) in this 1CC Marathon who were encouraged by the previous editions. Events such as Pasky’s show that arcade games (the Japanese developed ones at least) are fair, balanced and designed with one-credit play in mind. Furthermore, it’s especially beneficial to those viewers who are intimidated by arcade games, to the point of not following through with the 1CC attempts of their own as they see for themselves that success is not guaranteed and failure is a given, even if you mastered a game. This uncertainty is mesmerising as it creates this aura of excitement, which further encourages viewers to give it a go and maybe, participate the next time the 1CC marathon comes around.

Neo_Antwon:  I feel like events like these inspire other players to learn a game or two. They get a chance to see what’s possible in a type of game that was thought to be designed to completely stomp you and steal your coins.

Chuboh: I sure hope so! That’s how I got interested in streaming these old games in the first place. You don’t even have to go for the 1CC; just picking up a classic game you’ve never played before or going back to an old favourite you haven’t touched in years is great!