Monday, June 17, 2013

"Neuromancer", 1988.

So many directions I could go here. Do I continue my parade of '80s franchises revisited? Maybe next post...

One of my latest blog finds (making me bemoan our imminently Google Reader-free future) is the astounding project mounted by The CRPG Addict, to document his playing through every MS-DOS CRPG in chronological order. Having just ascended in NetHack at long last, he's currently playing through a shareware game that I suspect never got any print advertising, so I can't actively cross-promote it yet. However, his quixotic quest has inspired another blogger, Trickster, to follow his lead, playing through significant PC graphical adventure games in chronological order over at The Adventure Gamer. At the moment he's playing through Interplay's Neuromancer, and -- what ho! -- I happen to have an awesome ad for it (admittedly a simple adaptation of awesome box art) sitting here in my slush pile, courtesy of World 1-1.

IN A HUNDRED YEARS, HACKING WILL GET YOU KILLED.

NEUROMANCER
A CYBERPUNK ROLE PLAYING ADVENTURE

Nowadays, hacking can get you into trouble. A hundred years from now, it can get you killed.

Actually, death isn't bad. It's better than being a "Wilson". Of course, any hacker in his right mind would rather be a Wilson than lose all his neurons.
So what have you got going for you? About 30 megs on line, several viruses, and a wise-cracking ROM construct tagging along. You're just a cowboy trying to stay a step ahead of the AI's in a world where paranoia's not an illusion, everyone IS trying to flatline you.

It's party time in Cyberspace.

  • Drawn from the pages of the smash cyberpunk novel "Neuromancer" by William Gibson
  • Skill-based role-playing game by the designers of "The Bard's Tale" and "Wasteland"
  • Original sound track by DEVO
  • Soon to be a major motion picture from Cabana Boy Productions
  • Multiple paths to a successful conclusion
Do I need to discuss William Gibson's 1984 novel here? Surely I do not, here of all places -- would blogs even exist were it not for this book? Unclear. (Do I need to discuss my two years in elementary school with his son? Surely it falls somewhat out of scope.) Do I need to go over the merits of the game? I don't know, Trickster is doing a pretty good job of that as he goes. OK, let's just pore over the ad:

"Wilson"? Ahh... "30 megs on line"? That is, two 2001-era free Geocities accounts? Just how did Gibson manage to anticipate the future of computing extrapolated from lousy 1988 tech? "A wise-cracking ROM construct tagging along" -- please, could we not? I don't know about the rest of Devo, but Mark Mothersbaugh has been making piles of music for games (and other sources -- hello, Swiffer) for yonks over at Mutato Muzika. "Soon to be a major motion picture" -- how's that going, Cabana Boy?

And for bonus points: Timothy Leary is thanked in the game's credits.

OK, so I didn't have that many tuppence to throw in -- but isn't that great box art?