Video Works by Jeremy Parish

35 years ago this week, a key piece in the evolution of Metroidvania games hit the U.S. market: Atari's Adventure, a simple but ambitious console adaptation of the concepts behind William Crowther's Colossal Cave Adventure — the same Colossal Cave Adventure that inspired Zork. In fact, Atari's Adventure works as a sort of console counterpart to Zork: The answer to the question of how one might go about making an adventure as complex as Zork work within the limitations of a console. Obviously, the answer was "it can't, and has to be simplified," but despite its restrictions Zork was a bold and important chapter in the evolution of game design.

Direct download: 002_Adventure_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

We're almost through Game Boy's releases for 1989, and there's still good stuff to be found! Boomer's Adventure in Asmik World may not be an earth-shaking classic or anything, but it's a load of fun. It's also suspiciously similar to game that would hit Game Boy a few weeks later, Heiankyo Alien... how strange.

This episode marks another technical milestone for Game Boy World: I'm now capturing RGB video from a Super Game Boy 2. The Japan-only second SGB revision included hardware that was more accurate to the actual innards of a Game Boy, resulting in games that ran true to the original hardware (as opposed to slightly too fast, and with negligibly pitch-shifted music). Honestly, this is probably about as good as it gets in terms of video quality. Please enjoy this luxury, made possible by enthusiastic and very generous Game Boy World viewers such as yourself. Thanks for watching and supporting the show!

Direct download: 023_Boomers_Adventure_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

It's a game about a mouse who pushes boxes. But it's not Boxxle, because that was a dude in a ball cap. Seta's 1989 puzzler belongs to the endless ranks of Game Boy releases that stood alone and were largely forgotten by the world, and will never be seen again thanks to corporate mergers, acquisitions, shutdowns, and lapsed trademarks. Let this be the game's lonely monument. Amen.

For more portable 8-bit games, keep on reading

Direct download: 022_Q_Billion_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:00pm EDT

It's been a long time coming, but the first episode of Metroidvania Chronicles is here. We begin before the beginning, turning back the hands of game design to 1977's text adventure Zork. What does a text-based adventure have to do with Metroid-style platform action games, you may well wonder, and this episode aims to answer that question in as interesting a fashion as possible, given how deeply unsuited to video the text adventure genre is.

Direct download: 001-Zork_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

The first part in what will probably end up being a tragically lengthy series of analyses of Final Fantasy VI, the 1994 Super NES classic (by way of its 2007 GBA remake). We look at the techniques its creators used to relay its story and draw players into its world and systems, beginning at the very beginning.

For more dry dissections of classic video games, consider subjecting yourself to

Direct download: Anatomy_of_FFVI_01_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT


Suddenly we jump ahead to 1992! Well, kind of. Mindscape's Battleship (based on the classic tabletop game) arrived in the U.S. in December of 1992, but the same game appeared three years earlier in Japan under the title Kaisen Game: Navy Blue. Was it always meant to be Battleship, or did Mindscape simply make use of a Battleship-like existing creation as a shortcut once it acquired the Battleship license? You'll find no answers here, but boy howdy do I ever speculate wildly!

Direct download: 021_Battleship_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Game Boy gets its first-ever fighting game, and its first-ever licensed title based on a manga/anime property! And... it's not very good. But that's just par for the course with Fist of the North Star, which lends itself nicely to video games, but not necessarily very good video games. Still, it's an interesting artifact, especially since it was one of the first games with an anime license to make its way to the U.S. with its original property intact. History is written by the winners, but sometimes it's made by losers.

Direct download: 20_Fist_of_the_North_Star.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 7:43am EDT


The third Japan-only Game Boy release, and the third based on a very Japan-specific pastime. Coincidence? Ummm... no. Shogi presents the classic Japanese counterpart to chess in about as stripped-down a format as possible, with barely adequate visuals, no music, and hilariously lethargic artificial intelligence. It does the job, but please don't lie awake at night weeping that we missed out on this one. You are going to be OK.

Direct download: 019_Shogi_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:19am EDT

The biggest Game Boy release of 1989, in scope if not in popularity. The Final Fantasy Legend didn't just kick off the long-running SaGa series, it paved the way for countless handheld RPGs with its unpredictable but generally forgiving play and compact yet expansive world. A fascinatingly ambitious release for this early on the Game Boy's life.


Check out more Game Boy history at, and please consider helping to fund this project at — thanks!

Direct download: 018_Final_Fantasy_Legend_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 10:22am EDT


We reach an important milestone with Pachinko Time: It's the first post-launch Game Boy title to be a Japan-exclusive release — the first since Yakuman, back in April 1989. Soon, the floodgates shall open, and Game Boy World will be inundated with games never released in the U.S. (and, as we'll see, often for good reason). The Japanocalypse is nigh.

Direct download: 017-Pachinko-Time-itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:54am EDT

Even if you don't care about sports, or golf in particular, you have to give credit to Nintendo's Game Boy adaptation of the sport. Rich in detail and high in quality, Golf set the standard for portable sports software. And in black-and-white, plaid doesn't look quite so offensive.

Direct download: 106_Golf_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 10:09am EDT

You will believe... a radicool tomato in sunglasses shoving his way through a Boxxle-alike can be the star of one of the most surprisingly inventive games of the early Game Boy days. To know Kwirk is to love Kwirk. Now that you know of it, so must you love it. Amen.

Direct download: 015-Kwirk_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:20am EDT


Just in time for Halloween 1989, Tonkin House and TOSE bring us Malibu Beach Volleyball. This summer sports game means well but doesn't quite net a flawless victory. However, it does feature more exposed flesh than any other Game Boy release to date. So that's something.

Direct download: 014_Malibu_Beach_Volleyball_-_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

It's the biggest franchise name on Game Boy since Super Mario Land. Alas that Castlevania: The Adventure is nowhere near as good as Mario's first portable outing. Join me for this video lamentation as we explore the failings of what should have been an instant classic. Then weep.

Direct download: 013_Castlevania_The_Adventure_-_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:07pm EDT


After making an unremarkable Game Boy debut with a port of Shanghai, HAL Laboratory returns in short order to grace the world with the far more spectacular Revenge of the Gator. Sure, it's just a single-table pinball game, but it shimmers with quality. Shimmers, I say.

Direct download: 012_Revenge_of_the_Gator-_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

A gaming classic makes its way to Game Boy, though the results are somewhat less than classic. Hyper Lode Runner offers a fairly sloppy take on this legendary platformer, with no learning curve to speak of and a completely useless edit mode.

Direct download: 011-Hyper-Lode-Runner-iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

Konami's portable debut takes the form of a strange, fascinating, and pretty entertaining motorcycle racing game called Motocross Maniacs. I'm surprisingly terrible at it, even after working at mastering it for the past couple of weeks. Despite that, it's actually quite a lot of fun — and it's quite unique as far as racing games go. I wouldn't quite call it a hidden gem of the Game Boy library, but it's definitely at least on par with a respectable piece of costume jewelry.

Direct download: 010_Motocross_Maniacs_-_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 10:13pm EDT

An in-depth look at Game Boy's first licensed game: The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle... AKA Mickey Mouse... AKA Roger Rabbit. Honestly, stick a comic book super hero in here and you have just about every major licensing property wrapped up in a single video game. The insane collision of brands involved in this single tiny Game Boy cart is honestly quite baffling.

Oh, and also, I talk a little bit about the game, too.

Direct download: 009-Bugs_Bunny_Crazy_Castle_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT


One part statement of intent, one part shameful confessional, it's: The first episode of Metroidvania Chronicles! The first of many to come.

Look, just go to and it'll all make sense.

Direct download: Metroidvania_000_Mission_Statement_IT.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:31pm EDT


Slow-paced puzzle games made a perfect fit for Game Boy, and few games were slower or more puzzling than Boxxle, aka Sokoban. Shove crates — for love! Learn all about the rich history of the game that served as absolute zero on Old Man Murray's Time-To-Crate Scale.

I apologize in advance for the music, which will drive you insane. But just imagine how much worse it was for me as I edited this video.

As always, please to read Game Boy World for more of this stuff.

Direct download: 008_Boxxle.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

Game Boy World #000: Game Boy DMG-001 [Nintendo, 1989]

This update has been a long time in coming, because it's by far the most complex and challenging video project I've ever attempted by my sad little amateurish self. But here we are at last: A retrospective on the Game Boy hardware itself. 

I've attempted to minimize focus on the system's tech specs and defer discussion of specific software to those games' respective retrospectives. Instead, this feature delves into the creative culture at Nintendo that gave birth to the Game Boy, while trying to determine its place in the game marketplace of the 1990s.

Now that this massive endeavor has been put to rest, expect far more frequent updates to Game Boy World — hopefully weekly! And soon we'll be getting into Atari Lynx as well...

Check out the full Game Boy hardware retrospective on Game Boy World:

And if you enjoy this study of Game Boy's history, please consider supporting Game Boy World on Patreon:

Direct download: 00020Game20Boy.m4v
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 6:25pm EDT


The date is July 1989, and the Game Boy console finally gets its first-ever third party title. Kind of. Regardless of its parentage, though, we finally have a Game Boy game not published by Nintendo -- and just in time for the system's U.S. launch in August, too.

Direct download: 007_Shaghai.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:43pm EDT


Well, it's Tetris. The big one. Even bigger than Super Mario Land, I'm afraid. You know it, you love it. It's a monster.

Direct download: 006_Tetris.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:41pm EDT


The Game Boy's first post-launch release is... oh. It's a new version of NES Tennis, which (like NES Baseball) was released five years before the Game Boy version. In the '80s, five years was basically an eternity in game time.

But hark! This is no mere port. Tennis for Game Boy represents a pretty substantial improvement over the source material. It's still annoyingly tough, though.

Direct download: 005_Tennis.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

Game Boy World #004: Yakuman [Nintendo, 1989]


The last of Nintendo's four Japanese launch titles for Game Boy, this is the one you've probably never played, because (1) it was never released outside Japan and (2) it focuses on a pastime specific to Japan. Yes, it's Yakuman! I have no idea how to play this game, but this means that as I work my way through Game Boy's mahjong library, you can enjoy me slowly developing some degree of competence in real-time. So please forgive the clumsiness of this episode.

Direct download: 004_Yakuman.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:38pm EDT


Revisit the heavy hitter of the Game Boy's Japanese launch lineup: Super Mario Land. Unlike its day-one peers, Mario's first Game Boy adventure felt like a legit game rather than a primitive throwback. Look at the good, the bad, and why the good outweighs the bad for this portable classic.

Direct download: 003_Super_Mario_Land.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:36pm EDT


A look at the second of Nintendo's four launch day releases for the Japanese debut of Game Boy: Baseball. It's not a particularly great game, but given the utter lack of contemporary competition all it really needed to do to succeed was exist. And it did. It totally existed.

Direct download: 002_Baseball.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:33pm EDT

Game Boy World 001: Alleyway [Nintendo, 1989]


Travel back to the Game Boy's Japanese launch in 1989 with this retrospective on one of its first four games: The simple Breakout clone, Alleyway. The first video retrospective (of, one hopes, many to come) from

(This being the first of these, please pardon the rough edges!)

Direct download: 001_Alleyway.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT