Monday, 12 February 2018

What's Your Story - Alex Romanov

Answers: Alex Romanov
Introduction and captions: Ilmari

It has been a pleasure reading the comments of Alex Romanov, who appears to have encyclopedic information on some of the games we've been playing. Just look at what he wrote about Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes or the effort he is now putting on analysing Fate of Atlantis! We finally get a chance to meet the man behind the comments in person.

I'd really like to find out if he's any relation to the Russian imperial family

My home country is...

Argentina. We are famous for the best Asados (barbecues done right) in the world, renowned for our wines, beautiful women, having all climates and landscapes, and having the weird record of having 5 sitting presidents in less than a month.

And everyone of them was an old white guy

My age is...

Just 34, been playing games since I was 2, first game I played in my life was Tapper for C64. Started playing professionally as a 16 year old teenager (Unreal Tournament), now I'm retired and just playing anything. In 2016 I played the first 10 minutes of 2560 games for my Youtube channel (DefinitelyRussian), and even found the time to win some more games.

Now this is real dedication!

The first adventure game I played was...

Loom for DOS, got it as a 1990 birthday gift at 6 years old, and the rest is history.

My favourite adventure game is...

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and also my favorite game of all. I hacked it, debugged it, found new secrets, found new ways of dying, heard the lava maze song thousands of times, played it on other languages, played it on FM Towns and Commodore Amiga. Seriously, I know this game better than Hal Barwood.

We'll see how you like our review of it

When I’m not playing games I like to... 

Play football (soccer or calcio), read, write my novel, and program emulators for old consoles. Currently I'm the author of emulators for the SMS, NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and now Sega Genesis. They are not 100% perfect, but they were a great exercise for learning how some classics managed to use very limited resources.

I like my games in... 

Digital format nowadays, because I tend to play hundreds of games per year. In fact my only worthy collection is 200 big box DOS games, including LucasArts full set, and some other rarities (I love my Maupiti Island box).

Interesting to find someone else whose played Maupiti Island. Did you manage to finish it? 

The thing I miss about old games is...

The music, especially adlib songs. Nothing from current day can beat the IMuse system from Monkey Island 2 (Woodtick rocks).

The best thing about modern games is...

The gameplay design, old games in general were designed to just make you buy a guide, or be stuck for years. Now, games are designed to be enjoyed, made for players.

The one TV show I never miss is...

24, or the Jack Bauer power hour. I'm on my eighth full run and I cannot get it out of my mind. Now it's owned by Disney, so I want to see a Jack Bauer vs Darth Vader vs Donald Duck game or movie.

I guess anything is possible with Disney

If I could see any band live it would be...

Sumo, which is just a legendary band, founder of reggae/rock around here, and full of mysticism. Just check it out.

My favourite movie is...

Either The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Roberto Benigni masterpiece La Vita e Bella, wonderful and moving movie.

One interesting thing about me is... 

How I dedicated my whole life to video games. I have played every genre, every classic, if I haven't played something I probably know about it, and I can maybe teach you a thing or two.


  1. And I thought playing all the significant graphic adventure games was a difficult task.

    Let's see if I can stump you - what do you know about a game called 'Juice!'? It's a game I was trying to remember the name of for a long time, until I eventually found it a few years back.

    1. Not sure if you're talking about this one, but I remember a sidescroller for the C64 called Juice. Unfortunately I haven't played it back in the day, so I have no detailed info

    2. It was a C64 game, but the one I'm thinking of isn't a sidescroller - it reminds me more of Q-bert by looks, though I've never played Q-bert.

      It's an obscure game and I only remembered it because it's a game I owned for the C-64 that is remarkably unmemorable.

      You'll get to it if you keep up with the C-64 videos - probably video 20 or something :)

  2. Lol, Romanov is just the russian equivalent of my very italian surname, so (un)fortunately no relation with them.

    I have a deep fascination for Maupiti Island, but for other reasons. I used to play it with my cousin back in the early nineties, we were creeped out by the robotic voices, and the fact that you could punch every lady in the game, they would get offended and stopped talking to you. We never solved a single puzzle, we just got the inventory filled up with junk on the first screen and that's it. It's more of a cult following now. We even talk about this game in our podcast (no link, since it's in spanish).

    Also, something relevant to the blog: I started creating my own graphic adventure (using AGS), which I hope to finish it and publish someday. We'll see =D

  3. So, since you are trying to play all games published whatsoever, do you have any method for choosing what to play next or do you just play what you fancy? And do you have some sort of master list of games to play, where you can check what you've already done?

    1. Yes, the first step of every project is to create a master list of every title. Right now I'm doing the Wii, and I can tell you, I'm the first person to document a full list without duplicates. This is a work of months.

      Eventually I will play every console, and hopefully most computers. When I get bored of a system, I switch to another. I was the first one to play all GameCube titles for example. I also help reporting emulation bugs, and dumping impossible to find titles.