Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"The LucasArts Archives Vol. III", 1997.

In our last post, I was somewhat belatedly mourning LucasArts' dissolution beneath their new Disney overlords. I don't have a lot of ads for Lucasfilm games, but since branching out from strict comic book sources (and sampling a bit from peer bloggers) I was able to throw together a few. Ah, but now that's totally yesterday's news! Three weeks ago my nostalgia for the adventure games of 20 years ago was finally timely, but now the zeitgeist has picked up and moved on for good.

But what am I gonna do, not post this stuff?


The LucasArts Archives Vol. III
Just a ton of award-winning games.
(Without spending a ton of money.)
On this beat you see a lot of "here's two unrelated games we're publishing separately, together in the same ad!" Less often is the anthologization of games, since that phenomenon's emergence dates to a later point in the industry -- some time was needed for the defunct genres to lie fallow before people could start wondering "gee whiz, I wonder why they don't make great games like (x) anymore?" and the long-tail parent companies could start cashing in.

This is a bit of a grab bag. The ad is the box art plus a caption of nominal wit. The box art depicts the games being liberated from a vault with a cutting torch (the likes of which Ben from Full Throttle might use tuning up his hog, perhaps? In fact there he is holding it on the cover, heating the logo to red-hotness.) Mostly these games are two years old (Afterlife only one year old!), plus the Monkey Island Madness bundle. One thing they liked to stress with early anthologies is how enormously much there was inside. What would it be, the equivalent of 20, 30, 50 floppy diskettes? Probably they would all fit on one or two CDs, but instead each game would get its own platter for reasons I don't entirely understand. (Working with existing unsold merchandise?) Anyhow, that many floppies would weigh, well, not a lot, but because the CDs are so FILLED TO THE BRIM with WEIGHTY entertainment and HEAVY gameplay, the ad is basically a disclaimer that EVEN THOUGH CDs are flimsy and nigh-weightless, you might hurt yourself picking it up. (Did we ever see 16-in-one carts marketed this way?)

In closing, even though the sum of the games would be "a ton", consumers receive a steep discount for having waited one or two years to play these ("award-winning" -- I'm curious, what awards did The Dig and Afterlife win?) games, so the amount of money they spend on it is not "a ton".

These are not LucasArts' A-list games, exhausted in a 1992 compilation of "Classic Adventures", and by and large their profitable (esp. now for Disney!) side-line of Star Wars games were cloistered into compilations by themselves (though curiously, here we have Dark Forces). The theme of this game pack is, essentially, "games we were working on recently". This is why on MobyGames, the term "compilation" is used synonymously with "Shovelware".

Anyhow, this material can now go into the vault with "Song of the South" until Disney can figure out what to do with it.