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Episode 137: The Darkness Comes

by Jonathan Metts - March 15, 2009, 3:39 pm PDT
Total comments: 42

Karl Castaneda sits in the guest chair for this action-packed show! We finally kick off the RetroActive discussion of Eternal Darkness, too.

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May the slugs dissolve your eyes!






Mr. Lindemann is still swamped with work, but your old RFN host, Karl Castaneda, was happy to fill in this week. In addition to having some interesting perspective on Eternal Darkness (no Suda, no buy), he gives us first impressions on Mad World. Also in New Business: Jonny vigorously defends Galactrix, and Greg less vigorously defends Link's Crossbow Training.

The large second segment is devoted entirely to Eternal Darkness, the third game in our RetroActive feature. The regulars all love it, with some caveats, and we cover everything from Resident Evil comparisons to our favorite insanity effects. Is the dynamic camera really that good? Can you enjoy a game where the characters keep dying? The listeners share their own thoughts on these questions and many more.

The closing Listener Mail segment leads the gang into a few thoughts on the Resident Evil news, WiiWare demos, our moral gaming qualms, and a follow-up on whether games can seriously deal with death. It's a great batch of questions, and we'll have even more next week, along with the conclusion of our Eternal Darkness revisit.

Credits:

This podcast was edited by Greg Leahy.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their new album, Rocket Number 9, directly from the record label, or download it from iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Talkback

TJ SpykeMarch 15, 2009

I am listening to the episode now. I don't remember Karl, maybe because I just started listening about a month ago.

broodwarsMarch 15, 2009

Quote from: TJ

I am listening to the episode now. I don't remember Karl, maybe because I just started listening about a month ago.

Go listen to episode 103, as that's the last episode I remember him being in.  Hell, listening to episode 103 is mandatory in any case.

TJ SpykeMarch 15, 2009

I will eventually, I am listening to them in reverse order (I am now at episode 125).

StratosMarch 16, 2009

Don't forget that Pichu Bros. game that never came out may have been the last vestige of Meowth's Party.

I enjoyed the podcast, great once as per usual. And YAY! for getting a comment read on RetroActie again! Though I was a bit sad that it got cut off, but I'm not offended, I know that one was a bit long winded. I was just happy that you touched on the hero death matter at all whether or not you even mentioned my comment.

Also, thanks for the sensitivity that you dealt with the matter of suicide. I have had that matter hit close to home a few years ago in regards to a friend and only recently can I say I am able to deal with the general  matter of suicide.

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: TJ

I am listening to the episode now. I don't remember Karl, maybe because I just started listening about a month ago.

Go listen to episode 103, as that's the last episode I remember him being in.  Hell, listening to episode 103 is mandatory in any case.

Was that the Imfamous one where Jonny was absent, Greg hosted and everything went to Hell? I LOVED that one.

Yes.

Another great episode. You're on a roll!

YoshidiousGreg Leahy, Staff AlumnusMarch 16, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

Quote from: broodwars

Go listen to episode 103, as that's the last episode I remember him being in.  Hell, listening to episode 103 is mandatory in any case.

Was that the infamous one where Jonny was absent, James hosted and everything went to Hell, and he never hosted the show again? I LOVED that one.

Fixed in the interest of accountability :)

Karl last joined us on Episode 120 for a feature discussion on hype and expectations in gaming - it's not 103 (what is?) but it's still well worth a listen.

I hope y'all don't get upset when we trim down letters and forum posts to be read on the show.  There's an inherent awkwardness to reading someone else's words out loud, and I try to make things flow better by making the quotes concise.  There's also the issue of time; we're just not going to read a 1000-word email on the show.

ShyGuyMarch 16, 2009

I liked the insanity effects, they got me at first. ;)

broodwarsMarch 16, 2009

My big problem with Eternal Darkness is the Sanity Meter, as it allows you to know instantly if anything you see on-screen is a Sanity effect.  That takes any surprise out of anything the game can do to you the entire game, and completely nullifies the point of the Sanity effects.  Also, let's say you play through the game with the Sanity Meter intentionally left empty (the most enjoyable way to play the game).  Then you have to deal with an endless barrage of women and babies crying, which is just too obnoxious to deal with the entire game.

StratosMarch 16, 2009

Quote from: Yoshidious

Quote from: Stratos

Quote from: broodwars

Go listen to episode 103, as that's the last episode I remember him being in.  Hell, listening to episode 103 is mandatory in any case.

Was that the infamous one where Jonny was absent, James hosted and everything went to Hell, and he never hosted the show again? I LOVED that one.

Fixed in the interest of accountability :)

Karl last joined us on Episode 120 for a feature discussion on hype and expectations in gaming - it's not 103 (what is?) but it's still well worth a listen.

Oops, I think I just remembered you incorrectly as host because there were a recent couple where you hosted during the holidays. I'm going to listen to that episode again for fun.

Quote from: broodwars

My big problem with Eternal Darkness is the Sanity Meter, as it allows you to know instantly if anything you see on-screen is a Sanity effect.  That takes any surprise out of anything the game can do to you the entire game, and completely nullifies the point of the Sanity effects.  Also, let's say you play through the game with the Sanity Meter intentionally left empty (the most enjoyable way to play the game).  Then you have to deal with an endless barrage of women and babies crying, which is just too obnoxious to deal with the entire game.

I actually didn't have that issue with the meter. I typically was so engrossed with the games events that I didn't know where my meter was. Now I'm too good and rarely does my sanity go too far down so I have to purposely not finish zombies to see more effects.

PlugabugzMarch 16, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I hope y'all don't get upset when we trim down letters and forum posts to be read on the show.  There's an inherent awkwardness to reading someone else's words out loud, and I try to make things flow better by making the quotes concise.  There's also the issue of time; we're just not going to read a 1000-word email on the show.

I sent in a question that kinda fits that "1000 word" description. It's just hard to explain!

*hopes it gets read out*

StratosMarch 16, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I hope y'all don't get upset when we trim down letters and forum posts to be read on the show.  There's an inherent awkwardness to reading someone else's words out loud, and I try to make things flow better by making the quotes concise.  There's also the issue of time; we're just not going to read a 1000-word email on the show.

I do understand. Doesn't mean I can't wish that you did read the whole thing, but I trust you to convey the points accurately.

TofuFuryMarch 16, 2009

I have to say, I've never been interested in survival horror. Your discussion on Eternal Darkness makes it sound like it might be worth checking out. Oh, and the editing in this episode was top notch.

Also, wasn't Karl in 120: Hype Man? I've recommended that one to a few of my friends.

Greg really did a fantastic job with the editing on this episode.  I think maybe James helped with some of the special tricks, too.

StratosMarch 17, 2009

Speaking of the editing, I have always been struck by your level of professionalism in editing the podcast, Greg. The way you do the chapter breaks and changing images to how well the actual cleaning of the recording is performed. It was one of the major things that caught my eye   ear to the RFN podcast and did lead to my return and eventual active participation on the site. I am an aspiring podcast creator and am only a dabbling newbie, but I ascribe to reaching anything remotely close to your level of skill.

I really love the sanity effects on this episode. I was listening to it on my iPod in my car and I have to use one of those radio receiver/transmitters and pick it up on my cars radio (heh, Radio Free Nintendo on the radio). Since I was making a 160+ mile trip the open bands I can listen to it on changes over the course of the trip. I know when I have to change the transmitting band when another station starts to walk over your show and I hear bits of both at the same time. The effects occured and I kept switching bands thinking it was such an issue. It wasn't until around the third time you did it that I realized what you were doing. I literally yelled in my car "THIS...ISN'T...REALLY...HAPPENING!"
Good job and good show.

PlugabugzMarch 17, 2009

Greg automatically wins for "Karl sucks" :D

When i heard the sanity effects i was thinking each time if my hearing was packing up again (i got fluid in my left ear hence the concern) and took my headphones out to see if everything else sounded the same.

StratosMarch 17, 2009

Quote from: Plugabugz

Greg automatically wins for "Karl sucks" :D

When i heard the sanity effects i was thinking each time if my hearing was packing up again (i got fluid in my left ear hence the concern) and took my headphones out to see if everything else sounded the same.

But did you think "THIS...ISN'T...REALLY...HAPPENING!"?

SarailMarch 17, 2009

Great episode, guys.  Keep up the amazing work.  And Karl, I'm sorry Nintendo has frustrated you to the point of leaving the site... I never understood the reason why.  I've got plenty of reasons why sitting underneath my TV next to the Wii -- all core titles, too.

But, oh well!  I own a PS3, too, and I still rock out more with the Wii...  the games are just a whole lot more fun.  :)

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorMarch 17, 2009

Oh, I didn't leave the site because I couldn't deal with Nintendo anymore. I just wanted to focus on being a student for a while. As for games on the Wii, I think it's actually got a pretty decent release schedule for the rest of the year (provided we get that new Punch Out, that Vanillaware game, etc etc), which is a welcome change.

NovaQMarch 17, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I hope y'all don't get upset when we trim down letters and forum posts to be read on the show.  There's an inherent awkwardness to reading someone else's words out loud, and I try to make things flow better by making the quotes concise.  There's also the issue of time; we're just not going to read a 1000-word email on the show.

Nuts. I sent in a longer one a week or two ago. I'll try to trim it down and send it again. Thanks for the heads-up!

PlugabugzMarch 17, 2009

Quote from: NovaQ

Nuts. I sent in a longer one a week or two ago. I'll try to trim it down and send it again. Thanks for the heads-up!

Me too! I tried to make mine more "palatable".

StratosMarch 17, 2009

Don't worry guys, look at it as a chance to develop your writing to convey ideas more concisely.

TJ SpykeMarch 17, 2009

You seemed to be pretty negative on Nintendo in general Karl. I'm not sure how much was joking, but it seemed to be mostly negative things only.

Could you guys maybe talk about what you think of the New Play Control! games? Ones that you have played of coarse.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorMarch 17, 2009

Without turning this into a completely different discussion, I'll just say that I don't mean to be completely negative - I'm just of the opinion that Nintendo could be doing more in certain areas without compromising their new market. It's something that often came up during my stint on the show. I'm just naturally critical of things I like (in this case, the Big N). If this was Radio Free Microsoft, I'd have an entirely different basket of complaints.

Still, I'd like to think that I'm not centered on pointing out flaws. Even as I slighted Eternal Darkness for not being what I was looking for, I pointed out that I knew exactly why people enjoyed it so much, and that I still respected the effort.

So yeah, in closing, I do like Nintendo. There are just things about the way they operate that I disagree with, is all.

I don't know if any of the crew are going to buy the NPC games.  I'm not interested in paying $30 for games I already own or intentionally passed up last time around.  It's a nice option for people who missed the GameCube era, I suppose.

Quote from: KarlCastaneda

So yeah, in closing, I do like Nintendo. There are just things about the way they operate that I disagree with, is all.

This....isn't....HAPPENING!....

**FLASH**

Quote from: KarlCastaneda

...in closing, Nintendo sucks. (*Head and arms fall off*)

StratosMarch 17, 2009

Quote from: KarlCastaneda

Without turning this into a completely different discussion, I'll just say that I don't mean to be completely negative - I'm just of the opinion that Nintendo could be doing more in certain areas without compromising their new market. It's something that often came up during my stint on the show. I'm just naturally critical of things I like (in this case, the Big N). If this was Radio Free Microsoft, I'd have an entirely different basket of complaints.

Still, I'd like to think that I'm not centered on pointing out flaws. Even as I slighted Eternal Darkness for not being what I was looking for, I pointed out that I knew exactly why people enjoyed it so much, and that I still respected the effort.

So yeah, in closing, I do like Nintendo. There are just things about the way they operate that I disagree with, is all.

I understand where you are coming from. You care about Nintendo enough to point out their flaws. I would be rather disappointed if those I valued as true friends never pointed out my flaws and offered ways I could improve for the better. How does the quote go; 'beware the compliments of an enemy, but you can trust a wound from a friend' ? I think a similar thing applies to you in this regard, Karl. You are a friend of Nintendo so criticisms from you can be trusted as you desire the company to succeed. Not everything Nintendo does is a bed of roses. They make a number of mistakes as well, as they have admitted on numerous occasions.

Mop it upMarch 17, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

They make a number of mistakes as well, as they have admitted on numerous occasions.

Really? They have? Where? I don’t recall ever hearing them say “Yeah, sorry about using cartridges with the Nintendo 64, that was a mistake. Boy, were we wrong on that one OMGLOLBBQ!!!”

Anyways, I myself have been fairly critical of Nintendo lately because they’ve made some decisions which I don’t agree with. However, I’ve been trying to change this about myself because all of this negatively towards Nintendo is destroying my enjoyment of their games.

It's too bad I don't have the time to listen to these podcasts because they seem like they would be very interesting.

StratosMarch 18, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: Stratos

They make a number of mistakes as well, as they have admitted on numerous occasions.

Really? They have? Where? I don’t recall ever hearing them say “Yeah, sorry about using cartridges with the Nintendo 64, that was a mistake. Boy, were we wrong on that one OMGLOLBBQ!!!”

E3 2008, nuff said.

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusMarch 18, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: Stratos

It's too bad I don't have the time to listen to these podcasts because they seem like they would be very interesting.

You could always burn them to CD and listen to them to the car in your morning commute.  Granted, it might take you a few days to get through one, but that's probably my favorite place to listen to podcasts.

Mop it upMarch 18, 2009

Quote from: DrewMG

You could always burn them to CD and listen to them to the car in your morning commute.

Would that I could, but unfortunately I have neither a CD-burner nor a CD-player in my car.
Perhaps I could figure something else out though, involving multi-tasking at my PC...

StratosMarch 18, 2009

If you have an MP3 player you could get one of those FM transmitters that puts your music on an FM band so that your car radio could pick it up. I do that a lot when I'm driving and I have podcasts.

Mop it upMarch 18, 2009

Hm. I don't have a CD-burner or a CD player in my car, do you honestly expect me to own something like an MP3 player? Next you've going to ask me if I have one of them new-fangled shiny disc movie players...

StratosMarch 18, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Hm. I don't have a CD-burner or a CD player in my car, do you honestly expect me to own something like an MP3 player? Next you've going to ask me if I have one of them new-fangled shiny disc movie players...

You can get a cheap MP3 player at Wal-Mart. I don't own a DVD player either, unless you count my computer and my PS2 Slim.

TJ SpykeMarch 18, 2009

You can get a cheap MP3 player for less than $30 (when I bought Super Mario Galaxy on launch day from Toys R Us, I got a $25 gift card for free and used it to buy a cheap MP3 player they sold).

Johnny, I agree for most of the games. Of the currently announced NPC games, I am interested in the Pikmin games and the first Metroid Prime and might get those.

Mop it upMarch 18, 2009

I never listen to music because there's nothing I'm into, and having an MP3 player just for these podcasts probably wouldn't be worth it. Or would it? They do seem awesome...

Also I don't shop at Wal*Mart for various reasons, mostly their prices aren't as low as they say.

StratosMarch 18, 2009

Depending on how many podcasts you listen to and how much time you are on the road or at a boring job it could be a great investment. The only reason I retained a small amount of my sanity last Summer working 10-hour graveyard nights alone was my iPod and the host of podcasts I D/L'd. The RFN crew helped me through a dark time...get it? Dark? I worked nights?...I know, it was lame, I'll shut up now.  :-[

TJ SpykeMarch 18, 2009

I listen to over 30 different podcasts/vodcasts, so it's worth it to me. Here is a 4GB MP3 player for $22.88 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00134VVKU?tag=spyke-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B00134VVKU&adid=0ATSJ0847A6CACWKFSNM&

NWR_DrewMGAndy Goergen, AlmunusMarch 19, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Hm. I don't have a CD-burner or a CD player in my car, do you honestly expect me to own something like an MP3 player? Next you've going to ask me if I have one of them new-fangled shiny disc movie players...

No CD Player in your car?  Wowsers.

Well, do you have a tape deck?  If you have that, you can pick up one of those "tape adapters" (like such) to go along with your cheap MP3 player.  They work far better than FM Transmitters, in my opinion.

PlugabugzMarch 19, 2009

If you ask them nicely they will provide a transcript ;)

NovaQApril 05, 2009

I'm behind on podcasts, so forgive the late comments.

Eternal Darkness' environments made up one of my favorite parts of the game. Seeing how the recurring locales changed was really neat. It would be cool to see that worked into another game.

I agree with Jonny and co. about the game being on a "true" adult level. I'd love more "grown-up" games with stories and content that only an adult could appreciate. I used to enjoy gratuitous violence and gore in my games, but now it's almost a turn-off.

I didn't replay ED for this edition of RetroActive, but listening to the podcast has reminded me how much great stuff was in the game. (No wonder I bothered to play through it all three times when it came out...)

Oh, and the added insanity effects were an awesome touch - they really had me for a minute, there!

P.S. Holy shiz I remember Hercules in NY. I think it was on TV or something years ago. Terrible.

I've been listening to all the podcasts in reverse. Just got to this one. Damn--Johnny called my review OUT. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this game, brother. :-)

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