every single shop

This is my absolutely terrible rendition of just about any given shop in Faxanadu for the NES. It doesn’t help that I’m not the best drawer in the first place, but using a mouse to draw makes it even worse. I hope this causes at least one other person to remember their mantra. 

Hey, minimalism has it’s charms.  And man oh man I haven’t thought of Faxanadu in a long time.  I think I must have rented it once, because I don’t remember much of what comes up on googling but I have a small potent memory of the basic gameplay interactions.

world map excerpts

I should clarify that this is woefully incomplete not because I can’t remember any more of the map but because for some fool reason I convinced myself I could do the whole map basically screen-perfect from memory and then found out in the trying that that was a ridiculous, demoralizing thing to attempt.

And so these drawings, across three sheets of paper (measured out carefully to 16*8 screen proportions on the graph paper but pasted together not-to-scale here in order to make the emptiness a bit less sprawling), stop the moment I was Not Quite Sure about how a screen broke across to the adjacent one.  Or in a couple cases, a screen too late — I’m certain that on the left end of the central section I divvied up the screen real estate wrong.  And I knew it as I was doing it.  And so I stopped.

I’ve been meaning to come back to this one for weeks and weeks now, and I keep not quite having the will to make myself crazy on it again.  I know ninety percent of the remaining map reasonably well, but not well enough to glue it all together without a reference like this.  It’s a maddening little feat — and defeat — of memory, the way individual screens come to mind without effort but slotting them into one precise puzzle of map with a ballpoint pen just doesn’t happen.  How uncertainty over where the tiles of the map went moving from screen A to screen B blossoms into a kind of mind-melting circle of doubt.

Because, the thing is, I’ve spent a lot of time with the Zelda map. 

Not just as a kid, though to be sure I spent a great deal of time with it, it was one of my early NES loves and I’d scoured most of the map in great detail, burning every bush, bombing every rock wall, memorizing the locations of the heart container. 

But more recently, even, less than two years ago, I spent days building Hyrule’s overworld from scratch in Minecraft from reference maps.  I felt after that like I had the map tattooed in my mind, indelible, unforgettable.

And yet, here we are.  Memory fades.

first screen and sword cave

The Legend of Zelda, generic first screen and sword cave, hospital by Josh Millard.

Something I made a while back but didn’t get around to uploading until now.  This is a Mapstalgia Challenge two-fer; it’s both a First Screen and a Zelda Time entry.

I don’t have enough lego blocks to do this to one-block-per-tile scale; at this reduced scale I had to be awfully abstract with the graphics.  You’ll note that the grey stripe above the red bonfires in the cave, buy cialis for your IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE, TAKE THIS stand-in.

It’d be fun to see an entire Zelda overworld done in block-for-block scale, but that’d sure be an awful lot of legos; Zelda maps were 11*16 for each screen, which is 176 blocks per screen.  And the overworld was 16*8 screens in size, so that’s 176*128 blocks or over twenty-two thousand total. LEGO will sell you bricks ala carte; 2*2 blocks run $0.15 each, so buying enough to put this together that way would cost about $3,400 total.  Oof.

A standard two-by-two block of the sort used here is about 5/8ths of an inch, so a world map made per the previous calculations would be a rectangle about 13.3 feet long and 4.5 feet high.  Hell of a wall mural!

Level 1

The first level of Battletoads (slightly abbreviated) on the back of an envelope. My brother and I played this level over and over again for hours at a time hoping to finally beat it. If you’ve ever played it, you know why it’s such a nightmare. To this day, I’ve still never finished it successfully without save states. I guess I’m a horrible person.

the whole game

I played this game a ton, but beat it so few times that the section where the evil doctor has your girlfriend (next to the dungeon) is particularly hazy. I probably haven’t played this game since summer break after 6th grade!

I really liked recording a high-pitched tone and mailing it to the record execs as a demo tape, then watching their windows crack when they give it a listen. Classic! I don’t think I ever figured out what that sarcophagus was for, but I probably  tried every item in the game on it that summer.

Awesome stuff, Matt.  Compare and contrast with this previous MM map; I love the way different approaches to the same game play out like this.  So great.

Level 5 – That one room with six Blue Darknuts

This is a great room with a great concept that definitely isn’t completely awful and annoying.

Man I hated those guys.  SO MUCH.  You could cheap ‘em out sometimes by hanging out in the safe zone of the doorway with full hearts and taking shooting-sword potshots, but even THAT wasn’t reliable since some rooms had shutter doors or bomb-through entries, neither of which allowed for that kind of cover.

first screen

I imagine that one day I’ll hear “your torch is almost out” music erupt from out of nowhere, buy cialis and then: “my power goes out with sizzle.  With outstretched arms, I move slowly, looking for a light. Suddenly, I trip over something! It was my cat. Smash! I fell face first to the floor.  It’s a sad thing my adventures have ended here.” Or something.


I’m not sure if something like this is cool to submit, viagra   but this map was drawn from memory so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Feel free to not post it if it doesn’t fly!

I find myself chortling like Game-Over-Ganon when ill-spirited things happen in my favor.

This flies like a goddam SR-17 with D.A.R.Y.L. at the stick, Kate.  Beautiful work.