Friday, September 11, 2015

5 Obscure Things I Only Vaguely Remember

Today I wanted to talk about some things that are so obscure, I don't even remember what they were called. I've made a video, but I wanted to give you a sort of Cliff's Notes version here as well for those who don't want to listen to my terrible audio and hear me clearing my throat a dozen times. (EDIT: I've figured out three of them now. One is still bugging me, and the other I'm starting to not care as much anymore.)

1. Those Toy Phones I was Hinting At a While Back

For those who have been reading this blog for a long time, you may recall that I was hinting at making a post about some toy phones. I ultimately decided not to, because A) I don't have any of them anymore, and B) I don't have pictures of any of them.

But I wanted to talk about them anyway. There were three that I knew of: one that was space-themed and said "Star Patrol" on the label, one that was police-themed, and one that was ambulance-themed. Now, what do I mean by "themed"? Well... it's kind of hard to describe.

See, each phone had three rows of three buttons. On the Star Patrol one at least, the buttons were blue, yellow, and orange, I believe in that order. The blue row would play one sound, the yellow row another, and the orange row a third.

Example: The Star Patrol one said "Alien ship! Warp speed!" when you pressed a blue button, and then played this awesome sound that I can't describe, so you'll have to watch the video to hear me imitate it. The yellow row said "Alien ship! Shields up!" and played a different sound. The orange row just said "Warp speed!" and played the first sound then the second sound. For the ambulance one, the blue row would play an ambulance siren, then a guy would say "Emergency! 911!" then it would play the ambulance siren again. I don't remember the other rows. For the police one, the blow row played a police siren, followed by a police officer saying "Slow down car!", followed by... something that I swear sounded like gunshots or something. The yellow row played the siren, then had the police officer say "Slow down car! Emergency!" than played the banging or whatever sound again.

2. An Orange Arcade Game with a Row of Numbered Buttons

I know, kind of a specific (and weird) description, but hear me out. I remember next to nothing about this game. I remember how it looked--it was orange and had a row of numbered buttons, like I said--and that when you put in a token, it would say "Get ready to play!" followed by a group of different people saying what I think was the name of the game, except how I heard it as a kid makes no sense (to me it sounded like "The Claaaaaaaaw Batter!!"). (EDIT: It's actually called Jungle Joggers. Time to forget I completely misheard it.)

That's... really all I have to say about that game. Let's move on to the next one, shall we?

3. An Arcade Game Themed Around Space

So, this one I have very fond memories of. I would play it all the time at Chuck E Cheese's. Unfortunately, what I don't remember is the name. I do remember this: you had a joystick, kind of like the kinds used in crane games, but instead of moving a crane, you were moving this electromagnet. You would use it to pick up metal discs (silver in the center and blue around the edges) and put them in the center.

Every time you picked up a disc, or dropped one, or put one back in its place, a guy would say "Mission Control, we [something I was never able to hear because it was too loud in there all the time!!]" So not only is it frustrating that I can only remember part of what someone said in the game, it's also frustrating that I can't remember what it was freaking called! Honestly, does anyone remember this other than me? Argh, I can hardly stand it! (EDIT: This one is called Total Eclipse, not to be confused with a video arcade game of the same name.)

4. A Computer Game I Played in Kindergarten

I was in Kindergarten in 1999 and 2000. Our teacher had a few computer games that she would let us play. Some of them were on the Apple II, and some of them were on the Mac. I remember playing Reader Rabbit's Kindergarten and JumpStart 1st Grade Math for the first time in that Kindergarten classroom.

But I also remember playing a few more... obscure computer games. Like this one! I distinctly remember these things about this game:

* You started out in some space station type hub world thing. When you clicked on some switch or something somewhere, the gravity would turn off, and things would start floating around, all while "Beautiful Blue Danube" played in the background.
* There was some sort of frog guide who accompanied you (it was not Thaddeus Pole or that frog from the JumpStart games, that much is for certain).
* One scene that you could go to had a radio tower or something which, when clicked on, would play a clip of a guy saying "This is Bag Bad Joe (?) reporting live from Springtown!" followed by giving a report of... something. I would click on that all the time because I thought it was the funniest thing, for some reason.

With the frog and the space station, some of you may be thinking it was Explorapedia. But it wasn't. Remember, this was a Mac game. Explorapedia was a Microsoft product, and was only made for Windows. Though the hub (and Thaddeus Pole) made me think that was it as well. (EDIT: I've finally figured this one out: it was called "Let's Pretend! Volume 2: Space is Our Playground!" At least, I'm 99% positive it was this one. Now I just need a copy or video footage to confirm for certain.)

5. Another Computer Game I Played in Kindergarten

Man, I played a lot of obscure computer games in Kindergarten! This one was also on the Mac, and again, I remember very little about it. The only thing I remember is that there were these multi-colored aliens (I think red, blue, and purple), and you had to put them back in their places. After you did, they flew away. They would say things like "Good. Bye. Earth. Ling." and "I'm going now..." and whatever they said had a weird, funny audio effect on it.

Now, this one I kind of have a bit of hope for. I went to TV Tropes' "You Know That Show" about this one and... at least I got someone who knew what I was talking about. And like me, that person apparently used to have nightmares about this game. So I'm optimistic.

And that ends the main topic of this blog post. My question for this week is: Does anyone other than me remember any of these things? I sure hope so, because I don't want these to drive me insane like Learning Voyage almost did.

But onto another topic: as I said in my last post, I'm hoping to post more regularly here, and my next topic is going to be--guess what?--a computer game I played in Kindergarten, specifically one of the aforementioned Apple II games: a little-known game called Mathosaurus. So it's the Return of the Computer Games! Games! Games... Okay, there's no way I can save that joke.

Anyway, see ya next week! I'm going now...


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