NeverRemember Nights

Sorry that is post is covering a few hours late. I recently started a throwback 2nd edition AD&D campaign and the nostagia feels it’s been giving inspired me to find and play Neverwinter Nights again, which is why I didn’t remember that I needed to do a blog post until I was too tired to think straight.

It’s weird how things get left behind in popular culture’s wake. Once upon a time most PC gamers I knew as well as pretty much every gaming magazine was salivating for NWN (as well as others, in one of the earliest examples of compensated endorsements from internet personalities). Now, despite it being a pretty awesome game, doesn’t make anyone’s PC RPG top ten lists, and has been basically forgotten. Easy come, easy go, I suppose.

There are all sorts of things that were huge but never stood the test of time. Anyone remember the Zoop craze of the late 16-bit era? There was a version of Zoop on every available platform at the time, and was subtitled on the Playstation as “America’s Largest Waster of Time”.

Or ask yourself, when was the last time you heard about Myst? Hard to believe these days that a point-and-click puzzle game with virtually no dialogue or character interaction was the best selling computer game for nine fucking years.

This extends to more than just video games, too. Younger anime fans would be shocked to learn that before Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z popularized anime in the West, the biggest anime around starred a gender-bending martial artist and his unlikely number of fiancees.

If you know of any other weird blind spots in pop culture, please share them in the comments. I’d love to heard/be reminded about some of the detritus on pop culture’s roadside.

(Psst! Just so you know, Nekochan and I are running a poll this year to see who will be a Halloween pin-up on the blog! Check it out here!)

12 Replies to “NeverRemember Nights”

  1. I can’t speak for most of the other games on here, but NWN is still around and has a strong, active community, due mostly to the powerful modding tools they created for it. People are still building (and playing) content on it. (Which is a good lesson for game designers everywhere: if you want to make something that will last this long, make it as moddable as possible!)

    1. This is why Blizzard does it in most of their games.

      And yes, I’m playing HOTS at the moment, and it’s a blast. The best part? I didn’t have to pay a cent. If you’re careful and patient, you can play for free.

  2. Ah yes, Ranma, Akane (who hated to show feelings for Ranma but at the same time hated all his other fiancées even more…) Shampoo (who had another fiancé BESIDES Ranma), Ryoga (rival for Akane’s affection), so many others…dang I need to watch that again! (Or Tenchi Muyo)

    One thing on the music for HC – you’ve made it so there’s more music to be spread around, like that a lot! 😀

  3. I’ve been trying to find a title to post here for a few days but apparently, I can’t find a suitable one. Either I got “lucky” and never had to deal with this or I, too forgot about them, which would be quite sad. Most of my all-time classics eventually turned into a franchise : Final Fantasy I, Civilization I, Masters of Orion (and later Galactic Civilizations) X-Com, etc… The one thing I keep desperately hoping for even to this day would be Final Fantasy Tactics 2. Don’t you dare mention FFT Advanced I and II. those were aberrations with poorly designed mechanics and disappointing stories, to say the least. I have to say that the 2nd one wasn’t quite as bad as the first though. I’m talking about a game as good with a scenario as involving and intricate as the original thing. Admittedly, I do have a thing for religious conspiracies as they seem to be the only accurate way of telling a story about a religious organization. At the time, we didn’t have internet (that seems like ages ago now…) so I do not know how big the fan-base was. I’m not even sure this game even qualifies for what you had in mind but I figured there was no loss. Anyone one here played it?

  4. Amusingly enough, I come from the Baldurs Gate boards
    to this page and you are talking about such a young game
    as NWN =P

    But your list made me wonder..
    Is the media more internationalized? The first anime that
    was in my parts was in fact Sailor moon iirc (Ranma came 2002) and the first “mainstream” manga was.. a football manga
    (Captain Tsubasa).
    But nowadays it seems that the stuff that is popular/available
    is much more similiar (at least in EU and USA)

    1. Well, I could go into my undying love of the Quest for Glory series… but I mostly mean stuff that made a big splash and then quickly vanished. Pogs, anyone?

      The first anime that appeared in my region was Sailor Moon and o.g. Dragonball, but among those of use who quickly became otaku the old standbys were Slayers, Fushigi Yugi, Fist of the North Star, and Tenchi Muyo, but Ranma 1/2 was the one that everybody watched. This was back in the day when NGE and Samurai X were new.

  5. Oddly enough about Tenchi… I learned too late they finished that story, went on 2 spinoffs, one starring his younger half brother, the other, much better one his cousin (directed by Nabeshin no less).

  6. Spent many an happy hour playing NWN, and even more playing the GOG version of NWN2, but nowadays focus my rpg experiences on playing Pillars of Eternity, which I think does justice (to a degree) the original Planetscape Torment (still just about my all time favorite crpg).
    Got to admit, never really got into the anime thing, I love animated stuff, but my personal favorites Aeon Flux and Samurai Jack, would not count as anime. Have seen Elfen Lied , which was interesting if a little bit dark for my tastes, and like the look of HighSchool of the Dead, but Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon just don’t work for me.
    Mostly here to say how much i am enjoying Harem Collector, it is a bit lighter than some rpg maker games, has humor and depth to gameplay, and am really excited about the October release.

  7. If you’re talking about forgotten games, don’t forget Slash (aka Super LotsA Stuff added netHack). It’s one of the first dungeoncrawlers, still in development (Version 0.7) and has the best humor I’ve ever seen in an RPG.
    Also, it’s the game that has spawned the saying “the devs think of everything” since almost every possible action will work (such as talking to a vampire that attacked you, destroying a mirror for bad luck or schroedingers cat experiment).
    Where else can you play a flying lycantrope shaolin monk transformed into a vampire lord, commanding a harem of nymphs and succubi while wielding excalibur and smiting demons, angels and everything inbetween?

    As for anime, I hate most popular series (Naruto, bleach, fairy tail, elfenlied, dbz, death note etc). There are few that are actually good, and for most of them the manga / novel / VN was better.
    I can’t stand it when they cut out vital parts of the story just to get pg rated. the worst example would be the Fate series, where the sex scenes actually had more plot and character development in them than the scenes they were replaced with in the anime.

    1. That’s a really interesting take on Fate, considering that even the studio considered the sex scenes extraneous. Type-Moon has this bizarre thing going on where they keep making really engaging story-driven VNs with incredibly complex bodies of lore and going “Well, we’re know for making porn, so I guess someone needs to get railed at some point.”

      1. Yeah, I know that most people feel that way.

        However when I first watched the anime a lot of things didn’t seem to add up, like Saber avoiding body contact during sparring or Rin getting flustered about the idea of transfering energy. Seeing as both of them are rather outspoken, I just couldn’t understand why showing their soul was so embarassing for them.

        Also, most FSN characters hide their feelings outside of sex scenes.
        For example, Saber always seems like a psychopath who’d do anything for her ideals without ever failing or faltering. The sex scenes and one flashback (and Fate Zero) reveal how hard it is for her to keep the facade of the faultless knight and do what she believes is right, knowing full well that it costs her her happiness.

        I could go on and on, but I guesss I’ll leave it at this example so I my rantings don’t fill the entire page.

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