The Golden Olden Days: How game intros have changed

Castlevania-nes-intro

Uphill In the Snow, Both Ways, With Game Intros

An interesting thought occurred to me the other day. (By “interesting” I mean an idea that is ultimately of no consequence and possibly of little interest to anybody but me, but which nonetheless stuck in my brain for a good two to three weeks, causing me to write this article; and by “thought” I really mean a baseless gripe rooted in nostalgia common to the elusive subspecies known as ‘the aging gamer’.) I think that, if you’re like me, you’ll agree that here is a phenomenon which has quietly slipped right by most of us during the natural evolution of games. Let me explain.

Several weeks ago, I was starting in on my newest 3DS title, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, which takes the characters of Simon, Trevor, and Gabriel Belmont, and connects the dots of their disparate stories into one big family tree. While the Lords of Shadow sub-series of games does not tie directly into the main Castlevania timeline (it uses the same characters, but relates them in new ways that just don’t jibe with the original), it’s impossible not to correlate its characters to their earlier, retro iterations.

So, Mirror of Fate gets underway, and soon Simon’s story begins. As I’m watching the first minute of this…

…my mind flashes back to the first few seconds of this…

…and I just can’t help but wonder, “Now that’s just a whole lotta shoutin’ and nonsense! Whatever happened to that nice young man who didn’t have to scream and holler to get me to care about him? It was just him, a creaking gate, and a lurking fortress. ‘Nuff said.”

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