Friday, May 18, 2012

Unusual Hardware #1

     In 1989, an Illinois based company called Safe Care Products created the Homework First Lock; a combination lock designed to help regulate unauthorized Nintendo usage. In fact, the idea for the product came about when Safe Care president, Tom Lowe, heard that a friend's son "stayed up all night playing Nintendo instead of studying for his finals." This device was never licensed by Nintendo, however Lowe managed to sell a few thousand of these units by phone and toy stores, with the help of endorsements from The Council for Children's Television and Media.

The Homework First Lock basically functioned as a "The Club", previously seen on cars to prevent theft. (pictured below)

Here's how it works:
Homework First Lock schematic

Installing the Lock:

Video games are causing much concern for parents and educators!  Parents, go buy a lock to put on your child's gaming system, they'll never find a way around it!  Punish them the right way using the patented Homework First Lock!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Music References #1 - War in the Gulf

     War in the Gulf is a horizontal SHMUP taking place during the Persian Gulf War. It was distributed by an unlicensed Brazilian company called CCE.  In the game you play as a helicopter named SUPER-AH 64,  in which you battle your way through numerous stages featuring a variety of terrains.  The graphics are pretty good for an unlicensed game - the sprites are well-drawn and vibrant.  The gameplay is also pretty solid - it is filled with some intense action with loads of sprites and patterns, providing a nice challenge for hardcore SHMUP fans. Now, lets take a look at the Eye-catching title theme:

     Upon starting the game up, you are struck by lightning accompanying a jammin' tune, which flashes an eagle with spread wings, ready to hunt its prey.  This tune is in fact the song "Electric Eye" by Judas Priest! Judas Priest on Nintendo!

     Don't miss out on this game if you're a SHMUP fan who's interested in trying something new and obscure. Also, Judas Priest and NES collectors, you have a new item to keep an eye out for, and good luck with that as this game is rather difficult to find.



But wait, there's more... have a listen:

 Judas Priest - Electric Eye
 Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane

 Scorpions - Still Loving You

  Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train (solo)