Wednesday 7 December 2022

What's Your Story? PsOmA

 Intro and pictures by Ilmari

We've again had an influx of new commenters and couple of What's Your Story -answers have been waiting for publication for a while. Here's the first one of them: let's all welcome the commenter with the moniker PsOmA!

It's a little big adventure for all of us

My home country is…

Melbourne, Australia

My age is…

40 (geez, when did that happen...)

The first adventure game I played was…

King’s Quest 1 (Booter)

My favourite adventure game is…

Tough one. Up until a few years back I would have said Hero’s Quest. But in 2020 I finally relented and played through Gabriel Knight (something which I’d been stubbornly refusing) and found myself altered both as a gamer and human being as a result. For a game to have that kind of impact on me (given just how many games I’ve played over the years), how could it be anything but the greatest?

We'll see, if it will be as momentous an experience for TAG

Honourable mention as it’s questionably of the genre, although I’d argue it has a legitimate inventory, quest and progression system, is the Relentless/Little Big Adventure series. Hey, it’s got Adventure in the title!

When I’m not playing games I like to…

Spend time with my family - wife and kids, 2 and 4, repair/revive vintage computers (typically Amigas, C64s and XT class PCs)

I like my games in (a box, digital format)…

Box. Without a doubt. The box art and physical manuals/paraphernalia are a vital part of the charm.

The thing I miss about old games is…

The lack of pretense and general accessibility of them. There’s an innocence to old games that stems from an industry discovering itself, and the fact I can launch just about anything from the 80s and 90s and get how to play it in a few minutes is right up the alley of my attention span.

The best thing about modern games is…

It’s hard to go past the graphics. Not that I care for photorealism, but I think of the (few) games that have captured my imagination over the last few years – Skyrim, Fallout 4, Diablo 3... they all build a world that you can genuinely escape to without needing to suspend disbelief.

The one TV show I never miss is…

Oh man, the only TV I watch these days is kids’ programming. That said, I love “Bluey” and do enjoy watching new episodes of that as they are released.

I've seen this appear a lot on my younger kid's tablet lately

If I could see any band live it would be…

Past or present? The Doors past. Probably Radiohead present(ish).

My favourite movie is…

Oh, probably Snatch.

One interesting thing about me is…

It’s hard to tell what others might find interesting about me... To me, it’s just who I am and what I do. But I guess for some relevance to the classic gaming theme of the blog, I was a B-grade celebrity in the early Abandonware scene running a rebel ring (the Ring of Ages) against the Abandonware Ring from about 1996 through to the early 2000s. Whilst in hindsight, it was mostly just the naïve escapades of a computer nerd trying to be "king of the kids”, I hope in someway the energy and attention to the “better spread than dead” message led to the accessibility and respect gaming classics enjoy today.

You've got your name written in history!


  1. I'm going to guess 17. I've played it before, it's not very good ;)

  2. Replies
    1. That looks like a score guess for a new game, so maybe they commented on the wrong post...

    2. It's the author of the post. I don't think he's talking about GK1 though...

    3. Yeah, it's just my warped sense of humour.

  3. What made you refuse to play Gabriel Knight previously?

    1. I'm stubbornly anti-hype. For whatever reason I missed it on initial release, and despite actually owning it on CD, I thumbed my nose at all the positive reviews and gushing fandom. It's some weird thing I have for throwing a disproportionate level of support behind the underdog. I'm so glad I finally relented however, as the blend of story, setting and puzzle logic is absolutely on point. Add the soundtrack, and voice acting, and what can I say... adventuring perfection.

    2. I also played many great 90s graphic adventures after 2010: Gabriel Knight, Loom... even the first Monkey Island! (for some reason we had it briefly as kids but never played it seriously).

      Gabriel Knight is definitely on my top 20 list of graphic adventures, but it doesn't reach the top 10 because Lucasarts has 4 or 5 better games, and I humbly believe there are 4 Space Quests that are better than this. And I also enjoy Ween, Fascination and Lost in Time more as games.

      I love Gabriel Knight's music and visuals, but I only like some parts of the story and puzzles. Regarding the story, let's be honest: while better than 90% of graphic adventures, it would definitely be "bad" for a movie (more fore a B-list one made directly for television). It has the great merit of feeling like a book or a movie where other games just don't take themselves seriously or try, but fail. The characters feel real, but the graphics and the music are 90% of the magic.

      But we also have to talk about the puzzles. Some are good, but there are at least 3 or 4 that don't make any sense: 1) the pixel hunting + inventory object use madness to access the secret base, 2) the clock for which the game gives you 2 numbers, but the clock has 3 arrows and 3) the brutal "guess the right word" in the voodoo language once you find the "dictionary" to create the message the game expects and no other.

      For this reason and insisting that it's one of my favorite games, I'm curious and I would like to ask you 2 quesions if you don't mind... 1) Didn't you "suffer" those puzzles I mentioned too? and 2) How did the game "altered you as a player and a human being"? (Maybe you find the story Oscar material, which I respect).

      (By the way, I also love Little Big Adventure! Got it on a "CD full of (illegal) games" back in the late 90s and finally finished it last year... it's really difficult, but it's fun! I was forced to use save snapshots in YKHwong's DOSBox SVN to avoid dying too often, though...).