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Speedrunning Computer Games History with a 6yr Old - Part 4

Hand-drawn map of the Kingdom of Hyrule.
Figure 1. Our hand-drawn map of the Kingdom of Hyrule. I drew an 2x1 grid in Inkscape and printed it out, then we filled it in as we went along.

Well, it’s been about six months since the last update! We’ve mostly been camping, playing outside and generally enjoying the summer - although we have also squeezed in some gaming, here and there.

Favourite Games So Far

We spent almost all of our game time playing Legend of Zelda. I have to say, it’s a towering achievement – a truly great game. I’m amazed that this thing is from 1986 – it doesn’t feel like it.

It’s also a great example of a different kind of co-op game. One where you play together by collaborating: discussing what to do & where to go next, how to tackle things, etc…​ We also took turns with the controller, with me often doing the “hard bits”.

Original Blue Darknut sprite from Legend of Zelda.
Figure 2. Oh crap, Darknuts.

We got pretty stuck for a few weeks trying to get past the blue Darknuts in the 5th level dungeon. I almost caved and was considering editing the save game file, rather than having the kid lose interest – but it didn’t come to that.

We eventually completed it in the traditional, time-honoured way – sitting on the sofa in our underpants on Saturday morning, banging our heads against the level, until we eventually cracked it.

There was less reading in Zelda that I was hoping - but what little there was, the kid did, which was good practice. I did most of the cartography, but the kid did do some.

It was great fun and also, I think, the kid learnt something about being persistent and working towards longer term objectives.

Updates & Changes to the System

2021-09-04

I thought it was about time we started on some adventure games – partly to help with reading practice, partly because they’re great.

ScummVM

2021-09-18

We tentatively started having play-dates again - two so far. In preparation for this, I added some more co-op games. All of these games are 2 to 4 player co-op games, except for Gods & Populous, which I just wanted to play.

These are a little but of a leap in time from where we were, but I think we need to speed up anyway, so…​

NES

Amiga [1]

I’ll report back later…​

We’ve started on Maniac Mansion and that went OK, considering that it’s a new type of game that the kid hasn’t tried before - and I’m making him do all the reading 😉.

We’ve also played a few games of Bomberman, which is as ever, loads of fun. I’ll report back later on how we get on.


Footnotes & References


  1. The motherload of amiga games, in WHDL format.

This post is part 4 of the 4 part "Speedrunning Computer Games History" series:


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