Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brad Fuller & Hal Canon - Marble Madness

Brad Fuller & Hal Canon - "Marble Madness"

I always thought of Marble Madness as a classic NES game, but its origins date back years earlier to arcades as well as various computer platforms (Amiga, ZX Spectrum,etc.). I played it a few times as a young child and never got far, but imagined that once you got the hang of it that it would reveal itself as a lengthy, deep and immensely replayable game. It wasn't until this year that I had a chance to play it again and finally find out for myself. Turns out there are only five levels, all of which can be passed in less than five minutes. Then that's it. No more levels, no hidden stages. That's just the end.

Most people who initially bought Marble Madness unaware of its brevity were probably justified in whatever sense of disappointment they may have felt. Playing it in 2009 on a (probably) illegal disc full of classic Nintendo titles (none of which I paid a cent for), it's hard to justifiably feel cheated by the experience, no matter how unexpectedly short it is. Maybe that's partly because of the instantly addictive and unforgettable music. When you have a game with simple courses to run and few enemies to dodge, your attention will inevitably drift to other parts that would normally be filtered into the background of your experience, like the themes for the different stages. Fortunately the music is so original, fun, and befitting to the strange and wonderful polygonal world within the game.

I recorded all of these clips off of Youtube. They're of varying quality and perhaps from different ports of the game, but at least now you can enjoy them in the car, on the bus, or during your afternoon workout. Can't get enough? Go buy the game!

No comments: