Adam's games are old, old, unreasonably old school.
By Adam Conover
INT. OFFICE BY THE COUCHES - NIGHT
OWEN and KEVIN sit on the couches, controllers in hand.
They're playing Balloon Fight. Adam plops down next to them.
What are you guys doing?
Just playing some retro games.
Yeah, kind of an All Nighter
This is retro to you? I guess I'm a
little older than you guys. Check
He goes to grab a box.
What's that, an Atari 2600?
Pfft, no way man, we're going
He lifts a huge cube out of the box, and drops it onto the
coffee table with a heavy CLANG. It looks like a Pong
machine made out of cast iron.
This is my original Skaris One-Bit.
I picked it up last time I was at
my parents house. This thing is a
Okay, well, fire it up.
Adam pours gasoline from a mini-gas can into a spout on top
of the Skaris, and pulls a rip-cord like it's a lawnmower.
The Skaris sputters but the engine doesn't turn over.
Uh, Adam, when is this thing from?
You were born in 1983.
Yeah, but my grandpa found it in a
dumpster and fixed it up for me. I
used to play this thing for hours.
THERE we go!
The engine finally growls to life. BRUM-RUM-RUM-RUM-RUM!
Adam takes two giant alligator clamps and plugs them into
the TV. Sparks fly and the lights in the room flicker and
As Kevin and Owen look around with concern, Adam tosses two
heavy jagged metal controllers -- just slabs of metal with
huge joysticks projecting from them -- into their laps,
knocking the wind out of them.
(catching his breath)
UGH! These are enormous!
Yeah, and so responsive, right?
Okay, this game is epic. It's
called The Rime of God-King
Gilgamesh. You voyage across the
land of Uruk on the back of the
Bull of Heaven, searching for the
your love, the fallen goddess
They turn to look at the game. On screen, two huge WHITE
SQUARES sit next to each other as BLARING ONE-BIT MUSIC
Owen covers his ears.
Okay, what do I do now?
It's up to you. This game is
Kevin pushes the joystick up. The left square, which was in
the middle, is now at the top of the screen. Nothing else
What's the framerate -- two?
Impressive for the time, right?
This game was actually banned for
how violent it is.
On screen, a dot moves slowly from the right square to the
left square. The left square turns red. BREEEEEEEEP.
This game sucks.
Okay, well it also has text
Adam pops open the front of the Skaris. Inside is a black
waxy tube that looks like an Edison phonograph cylinder. He
slots a new tube in and turns the machine back on.
The screen is filled with just the word "CAVE" in giant,
Man, the descriptions are so lush.
They really put you there.
Just enter a compass direction.
Owen pushes up on the joystick. Giant letters cycle through
on the screen in alphabetical order. It takes a long time.
When he finally gets to "N" he presses the button. After a
long moment, the screen is filled with the word "HOUSE."
Okay, now we need to vent the steam
Which button is that?
Not in the game. On the Skaris. If
we don't vent the steam valves
Adam pops up some flaps on the valves on the Skaris and
piping hot steam escapes, burning Adam's hand.
Yeah, I don't think these games
really hold up dude.
Okay, you like Goldeneye, right?
He starts replacing the Edison cylinder with a new game.
There's a Skaris game based on the
movie? Even better. The book.
He flips the game on. A WHITE SQUARE appears, and starts
flashing, to another BLARING one-bit chip beat. Adam pulls
out a paperback copy of Goldeneye.
You count the number of flashes,
then you read that page of the
(reading the book)
Oh, man, proximity mine!
Can we at least turn the music
No way, the soundtrack is the best
part! This awesome ska-punk band in
Cleveland covered it.
He holds up a CD by "SKAris" - "One-Bit Symphonies"
In the background, the Skaris is getting hotter and hotter
and starting to shake.
We gotta go man. See you later.
Adam is wearing an enormously heavy metal visor that
threatens to pull his head to the ground.
But I haven't even showed you the
Behind him the Skaris shudders and starts beeping.
Oh shi --
The Skaris EXPLODES.