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Episode 439: Grapple Dem Tears

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - August 9, 2015, 4:31 pm EDT
Total comments: 36

The sun may set in the west, but the hover tank rises in the east.

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Last week, Jonny announced his plan to retire from Radio Free Nintendo after over seven years as the show's producer and host. While certainly it weighs on the show, the crew pulls together to put out one last show for the road, including the Retroactive Jr. for Blaster Master.

As its his last episode as host, Jonny kicks off a history-focused New Business. He starts with impressions of the recently released for download Kirby's Return to Dreamland. He follows up with the retro collection, Rare Replay, now available on Xbox One. Guillaume roots through his the property of his girlfriend's parents to find their copy of Mario Kart: Double Dash. He then puts his new thiefing skills to use in the retro RPG Dragon Fantasy. James continues the hits during the Nintendo of America: Too Hot for Summer Tour 2015 with import impressions of banana-giant god game Doshin the Giant (you can see more of that here). Lastly, not to be left out of this exploration of gaming's past, Jon has impressions of Journey, recently re-released on PS4.

After the break its time for the first ever Retroactive Jr. Nintendo may have selected Blaster Master but the crew has a lot to say about this tank platforming, isometric on-foot shooting, frog rescuing NES game. Highlights include: discussion of gameplay mechanics, the weird localized plot, your posts and emails, comments on Blaster Master from Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games, and a dramatic reading. Thanks to all those that participated and played along with us.

After one final break comes the moment the entire show is building towards: the Doctor gives his "15 minute" farewell address to the RFN community. In true RFN form, it takes 45 minutes. If you needed a reminder, we're always going to be RFN. And, we'll always owe Jonny a huge debt of gratitude for his role in making RFN what it is.

We'll be back next week with a new host, a new old friend in chair 4 (and climbing, unless Jon gets his act together), and the same RFN that we thank you for listening to every week. Send us your emails with any questions or comments you have, and we may use them in the show! And as always, thanks for listening. Its our listeners that have made it possible for us to do this for the better part of the decade.

This episode was edited by Guillaume Veillette. The "Men of Leisure" theme song was produced exclusively for Radio Free Nintendo by Perry Burkum. Hear more at Bluffs Custom Music.



TOPHATANT123August 09, 2015

Ahh yes, that time when Jonny tried to murder a woman on the streets of Boston using a grapple, good times.
My favourite #Jonny moment are his E3 2001 audio diaries, like the upcoming Star Fox it's neither a prequel nor a precursor to RFN but an important part of it's history, Radio Free Nintendo Episode Zero if you will, well worth a listen.


Ty Shughart plays Killer Instinct religiously, he was number 6 in the world at one point.

Double Dash is amazing in 4 person local multiplayer, shame it hasn't come back yet at least as an option.

Doshin the Giant sounds like a game Peter Molydeux would make.

Blaster Master the book! Better or worse than Gex?

Well here we go again...
A Nintendo World Report book!? Certainly didn't see that coming, well sign me up, you've already sold at least one copy. 2 years is nothing compared to how long we wait for and still wait for certain Square Enix games. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQUN7QAnMp0

Darkurai the Oracle PonyAugust 09, 2015

I started listening to this show in 2010. Now for the first time in five years, I don't know when the next time I get to hear Dr. Metts' voice will be.

I started listening to you in high school, and now I've been through four years of college, and though we never spoke outside of a handful of remarks on Twitter and three Skype chats during telethons, you've been a monumental influence on me. I eagerly look forward to your upcoming book, and hope that you have a great and successful life post-RFN. God knows you've earned it.

"I argued from the start that we should not murder people, but I was not the chief murderer at the time." - Jonny Metts, Radio Free Nintendo Episode 79.

ClexYoshiAugust 10, 2015

I... I don't know if I'm ready to listen to this yet.

Evan_BAugust 10, 2015

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who made a COP reference.

Love you guys, love the show, and I can't wait to see what comes next.

InvaderRENAugust 10, 2015

Thanks for the wonderful show, many hours of laughs and entertainment. I have no doubt it will continue on and pick up its own rhythm. Best wishes Jonny!


If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh!

ClexYoshiAugust 10, 2015

Well, i'm gonna try.

Gui explains in the double dash new business why I screamed my head off in every outlet possible about why Baby Park is awful and that it effectively would taint the entirety of DLC pack 2 for mario kart 8... which I still haven't played because that's how much I do NOT want to play Baby Park. Also, Double Dash had such weighty, top heavy cars that I feel are going to roll every time I take a corner. it doesn't feel good.

Johnny's interjection with the area 3 music of blaster master is interesting. that area 3 music sounds like it sould be played in some sort of Pokemon Professor's lab or something. Still, it's good to hear you all talk about this because yeah, Blaster Master is one of the few games I really don't have any NEStalgia. I do recognise the love the game has put into it, which is why I was excited to hear folks who love this game right back.

Moreover.. thank you for the perscription unlike the snake oil Shia Labeouf  is peddling, the lack of over-the-top dosage will be something that will cure what ails me.

and one more time, Thank You, Johnathan Metts. I'm excited for the book and will want to own it. I still hope to hear your voice at leaast semi-frequently between here, the interviews, and other places. I'll miss you, and this era of this podcast... It's been an honor having you in my ears for so long, and I cried hearing Johnny bawl over the air... but the winds of change are a'blowin'! Onward to the future!

I'm also going to listen to real folk blues now, Donald. thanks. :/

That being said, who's ready for 40 minutes of Jason Ricci next week?

Jon Lindemann gets the award for best stinger.  I don't care if it was intentional or not, but you provided the perfect moment of laughter after a very heavy back-end of podcasting.

Jonny, if there's one thing you've shown, it's your dedication & love for the podcast, those you work with, the fans of the show, and Nintendo.  Nintendo especially should be thanking you and the rest of RFN for keeping a candle light of passion for the gaming company while they seem to sometimes be in the woods trying to find their path. 

I registered as a forum user September of 2010 because a co-worker at the time referred me to RFN as one of their favorite gaming podcasts as someone who was unfamiliar with podcasting prior to that, and I enjoyed listening so much that I wanted to participate in the conversation of Nintendo.  RFN also re-ignited my love for Nintendo games beyond the classics I had played as a child & both re-introduced me to a company that  still made great new games as well as brought me to the community at Nintendo World Report that has a varied but passionate community. 

Thank you Jonny for running such a tight podcasting ship over the time I've been an avid listener.  At nearly 30 years old & with two kids, RFN each week has strangely been one of the most reliable things I know I can plug headphones in and hear a great discussion on gaming, even if I don't necessarily agree with the opinions being expressed.  That's testament to the level of seriousness you and everyone else on the podcast give to a subject matter that is treated dismissively by many I encounter on a daily basis.  Enjoy your semi-retirement, although I hope to hear you from time to time as a guest on the show.  Additionally, a request for your project - e-book format, please!. 

To James, Jon, Gui, & Greg (welcome back!), I know the tone of the podcast will change due to the chair change alone, but as a devoted fan of RFN, I hope you largely stick to the tried-and-true format you currently have in place.  I generally don't have problem with change, and I expect James' leadership to bring some new slant to the show, but I'm hoping you move forward with a certain level of conservatism when determining what changes to the structure of the show will occur.  I trust the new team will be moving forward with respect both to their podcast history & fanbase, and am optimistic that the show will retain the same great listening it always has.

Thanks to all of you.  I'll be a fan for as long as you're willing to keep producing this great content.

KobeskillzAugust 10, 2015

Playing Double Dash now doesn’t compare with playing it when it came out.

Now it may seem barebones compared to recent games in the series but back then it was the 3rd title in the series and 2nd in 3D and with the added co op this game kept me and my friends playing for hours upon hours. Probably well over 100 hours for sure.

Then if you did Lan you could have 4 racers and 4 co op partners and man oh man tears from laughter followed.

When this game came out we were all mostly in our high teens to early 20’s either in high school or college so alone with Melee, M. Party and others these games were the stable of many multiplayers sessions.

Now most of us are older, full time jobs, kids, married, etc and playing the game just doesn’t have the same effect.

PS. IGN can shove their 7.9 right up the exhaust pipe.

Disco StuAugust 10, 2015


I don't think your absence is really gonna hit me until Super Mario Maker comes out next month and I won't hear your detailed, well-thought-out opinions on it.  I've gotten so used to having the pleasure of hearing your thoughts on every new Nintendo game over the years it's going to be so weird and very sad to go through the Fall/Winter release season this year without that in my life. I can't believe you left before Xenoblade Chronicles X comes out!!!

While I look forward to what RFN will be for years to come, your voice will be greatly missed.

TrueNerdAugust 10, 2015

Thank you, Jonny.

Quote from: Shaymin


You're gonna carry that weight...

EnnerAugust 10, 2015


Great show.

- NintendoFan -August 10, 2015

I think the hardest hit for me was the "full retirement" from the site. Basically ending the story on his journey on NWR. Having been a reader since the green PGC days, that's what hit home the most.

I played some Jet Force last year, I found it fun for awhile but was annoyed when I found out you must save every single tribal in the game, just to finish it. That is awful.

Mario Kart:

- Git Gud Gui ;)
- DD can be pretty great fun in multiplayer etc. Battle mode sucked in DD though (Super slow).
- Modifying the lap number and item frequency in DD can make it really insane and intense. 9 lap Yoshi Island!
- While there's only 16 tracks, playing the All-Star cup takes long enough! It makes you play every track in a row.
- Shortcuts while not as obvious do exist in DD, small but effective.
- GBA started the Retro Track thing, it really is too bad DD didn't do something similar.

Thanks again Jonny for your work on RFN.

ShyGuyAugust 10, 2015

Goodbye Jonny, you opinions were sometimes wrong, but they were always eloquent and well reasoned. ;)

yoshi1001August 10, 2015

I've observed footage of Blast Corps on Rare Replay, and noticed a few things:

1. The game has much less slowdown than on the original N64. The original game has quite a bit, which speedruners would mitigate by changing the camera angle during large explosions. This can be good or bad depending on your perspective.
2. Unlike some N64 emulation I've seen, the map icons are properly displayed (I figured they would probably get that right).
3. Speaking of incredibly useful glitches, I assume they used the revised 1.1 version of the game that fixes the "destroy building by exiting vehicle" glitch, though I haven't been able to confirm that.

LUIGI205August 10, 2015

I don't remember exactly when I started listening to the show. It must have been somewhere in the 100s way back when I was in high school. Throughout those countless number of hours, I always appreciated your insightful commentary, opinions, and criticisms of Nintendo and the video game industry as a whole. Knowing that this podcast would be there at the end of my week always gave me comfort. Thank you for all that you've contributed and I look forward to seeing success in your future projects. The show won't be the same without you but I'm secretly crossing my fingers for guest appearances on the telethons. X3 Best of luck Dr. Metts!

I've got like 12+ hours of airtime to fill during the telethon, his ass is here if he likes it or not.

I took Jon's talking about it on the podcast to propmt myself to install Journey on my PS4 and give it a run(it's still a "free" game if you got it as part of the PS3 instant game collection). 

I LOVED Flower when it came out, which flavored my experiences with Journey a little bit.  While Flower gave you freedom to flow around the levels without abandon, Journey's control inputs are all about limiting your character.  You get one jump, then you have to recharge it by finding spots that give you another jump.  Your character moves a bit slow & floaty in a world that feels quite large.  Finding a companion in-game helps this, because you can charge each other's jumps, but I found myself getting stranded from comanions pretty consistently after the first 1/2 hr of the game.

One thing the game does great is give variety to the landscapes.  I won't spoil anything, but there are 3 or 4 sections of the game that took me by surprise just how beautiful the game looked, and how well they rendered the landscape in-game. 

perrybAugust 11, 2015

Jonny, at first I was going to treat your leaving like that episode of Seinfeld where George's girlfriend doesn't allow him to break up with her.

But now I realize what has to be done.  And you will be missed very much.  You really have made quite an impact on the video game podcast culture. 

I'm not going to wish you good luck, because you already have the skills. 

But, Of course I think that Paul looks better with his Hofner instead of his Rickenbacker.  Plus it sounds better. 

mustbeburtAugust 11, 2015

Quote from: Disco


I don't think your absence is really gonna hit me until Super Mario Maker comes out next month and I won't hear your detailed, well-thought-out opinions on it.  I've gotten so used to having the pleasure of hearing your thoughts on every new Nintendo game over the years it's going to be so weird and very sad to go through the Fall/Winter release season this year without that in my life. I can't believe you left before Xenoblade Chronicles X comes out!!!

While I look forward to what RFN will be for years to come, your voice will be greatly missed.

I had the same exact feeling!  I will surely missed Jonny's take on the next Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc.  He always has amazing insight.  Hey - maybe he'll do a guest appearance - you never know.  Thanks, Jonny!

SupaKirbAugust 11, 2015

Hey Jonny, I just want to say thank you and just talk about the first time I had a conversation with you. It was many summers ago, but I had just started attending community college and planning to attend a 4 year school.  At the time RFN was always with me. I was a very shy kid all through high school, and I didn't really have too many friends when I started college either. But listening to your podcast got me through my days. I would just walk around campus and listen. You're old e3 video diaries inspired me to write about Nintendo one summer, and I actually emailed you about it, and asked for your advice on writing. First of all the fact that you even replied meant the world to me.  If you ask my girlfriend who my favorite podcast host is, she answer unequivocally Jonathan Metts! But anyways, you told me the key was to just play games, and as many as I could to get an understanding of them, and to just keep writing. Thanks for the prescription Dr. Metts. You've been a huge part of my life, and I just hope to be a part of Nintendo world report someday so I too can discuss my love and sometimes confusion.. For this company we call Nintendo.

SupaKirbAugust 11, 2015

I apologize for my horrible grammar and misuse of your in a few places. I just wanted to point out in my last message to you Dr. Metts, that my phone's autocorrect sucks and likes to make me sound 4. K, later Jonny! I wish you the best man.

TeaHeeAugust 12, 2015

Jonny, thanks for the memories! I have enjoyed the show for years in large part because of your insight. Best wishes for your future.

ChiramiiAugust 12, 2015

I lurk this website every single day but I have to come out of the darkness here and wish Dr. Metts the best of luck in his future endeavors. I'm not exactly sure which episode i jumped on board the RFN train, but it must have been around episode 130. It goes without saying that Radio Free Nintendo, and Jonny has been a huge part of my life have made a huge impact on how I perceive games and the gaming industry as a whole.

I really hope this is not the last we've heard from you on this podcast though, so please come back sometime. Greg making a comeback is fantastic news, and makes Jonny's departure less painful. Good luck to the new cast!

BiteThePillowAugust 12, 2015

Johnny Metts helped me fall in love with gaming all over again, along with the rest of RFN. I will miss him for sure. I'm really glad Greg is coming back though. There's just one question I have. With Johnny gone, who's going to tell James Jones, "Ok, well lets move on now."  ;D

motangAugust 12, 2015

Ah man that sucks. I will have to catch up, been behind since getting married. Sad to have the podcast retire. :(

This podcast was what got me interested in games journalism in the first place. Jonny, it was an honor to meet you and get to hang out at E3. Thanks for everything you contributed to RFN. I have no doubt that it will continue to be the best Nintendo podcast on the web for many, many years to come.


The podcast isn't retiring, just Jonny. We're recording one tomorrow.

Congrats on the wedding, by the way.

SorenAugust 13, 2015

I've been trying to avoid this thread all week, but I can't. It was a hard listen. Thank you Jonny, I've been listening to RFN since early 2010 and it's crazy to think of how you guys have been on my ears, once a week, every week for the past 5 years. A major part of that was you, and I hope to keep hearing you once in a while. You helped make RFN one of the best podcasts out there, and that's no small feat.

BiteThePillowAugust 13, 2015

I forgot to say this in my earlier post. Dr. Metts, those mp3 recordings of you talking about Gamecube and GBA from 15 years ago are such a treasure to me. So much of that kind of history has been lost, but you somehow managed to hang onto a piece of it. Personally that era of gaming was one of the most intense and exciting times for me. I was just as amazed as you were with the mind blowing visuals of the launch model GBA, and the Gamecube's better-than-PS2 graphics and load times. As a Nintendo fan boy, I was never more proud of the company and their incredible games and hardware. You brought all those feelings rushing back. They way you paint a picture with your words, and how you convey your emotional impressions of gaming experiences is just so great for passionate gamers like me. I know exactly how you feel about Milon's Secret Castle, because I felt the same way about Battle Toads for Gameboy. There have been so many times when you described a game or a personal gaming moment and I knew exactly what you meant because I had been there too, even if some of the details were different. So, even though we don't know each other, your work has made a deep impression on me. It sparked a passion in me that had been dead for a while. Thank you for that. I can't wait to read your book. Consider narrating an Audible version of it. It would mean a lot to hear your story in your own voice, and maybe for some of the sections where you get other people involved, you can feature their voices as well. I wish you the best, and if this podcast is any indication of your abilities, I have confidence that you will be successful in whatever you turn your focus to.

mustbeburtAugust 13, 2015

Are those MP3s posted here?

BiteThePillowAugust 13, 2015

Quote from: mustbeburt

Are those MP3s posted here?

Yes: http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/rfn/26153/rfn-special-jonnys-e3-2001-audio-diaries

WaTanookiAugust 19, 2015

Finally worked up the nerve to listen, it was a very heartfelt episode.  Got a little choked up at the end, this podcast has had a tremendous impact on my life these last 5 years and Dr.Metts you will truly be missed.  Not having you on the show will be losing a dear friend.  Good luck on all your future endeavors and I look forward to reading your book, it will be amazing.

I guess cats have their own way of saying goodbye, lol.

MASBAugust 19, 2015

I discovered RFN around E3 2011. "Perfect Agent Greganna" was one of the first episodes I heard, so how could I not be hooked? :) Later on, I figured out that NWR used to be PGC, I was like "Billy B's domain?" so things kind of came full circle for me as far as the site was concerned. While keeping up with the podcast, I listened to the archives over time, as well as spurts of listening to Discover Music Project, Box Office Poison, etc., so I've heard Jonny's voice more than I have some people in real life.

To me, podcasting is just another form of radio, and there's something about the radio/audio medium that connects with people in a way that other forms of media cannot seem to. I think the necessity of having to use your imagination is one reason (no visual stimulus). Because you generally have to focus to understand/follow, that level of concentration allows things to cut through in a way that some visual mediums cannot as easily do.

I think that's why  podcasts like RFN can have such a impact on people's lives. In the case of Jonny, James, Jon, Gui and Greg, you feel like you're getting to know them over time. Sometimes an exaggerated version of themselves, but nonetheless, themselves. And I think that's meaningful no matter how you look at it.

I didn't expect your PGC/NWR book project. I think it is something that you're uniquely positioned to do. A lot of people don't really think of online stuff as history and a lot of it has or will vanish, if people like yourself don't record it. Being an ebook, I hope you'll take full advantage of its freedoms (so many authors have to cut out a lot of good stuff in order to meet publisher's page counts). To be honest, if you pull this off, I think it'll make you a hero of sorts. It will  be an honorable, and not easy, task.

I hope the book is not the total end of your involvement with NWR or RFN or whatever name things will be under by the time the book is released, but if it is, it will be a glorious end. Everyone deals with things in their own way, so perhaps that being the end is the best thing for you, but either way, you have my support and I'm sure, that of many others.

With all that you've done for the site, RFN, and the book, I think that deserves to be remembered, and I think it will be.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, go grapple dem titties! (Keep your caliphers to yourself this time though) :) ;)

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