Think of the Children: Historical Stories – The Horrible Show 031611

The Horrible ShowOur Think of the Children series continues with analysis of the best stories of the NES and SNES eras. Justin, Cole, Ethan, Gifford, and our guest, Craig reflect on Zeldas, Metroids, Quests, and soft Squares while forgetting your favorite game. Send in your questions to or @TheHorribleShow

It’s been a while since The Horrible Show thought of the children, but @pwrglove (Craig) joins Justin, Cole, Ethan, and Gifford to nominate some of their favorite gaming storylines to help round out those kids’ gaming educations. Of course you have to survive some classy babysitter conversation to get to the historical conversation, but we never said our podcast wasn’t a minefield. Gifford takes on us a mobile journey with this week’s On the Spot question about the future of the relationship between app developers and our favorite mobile providers. If that’s too futuristic for you, we will take you back home to the early days of video games as we seek out the stand out storylines of the first generations of video games. We use Nintendo as the time benchmark and attempt to cover the NEs, SNEs, and N64 eras, but only make it through the first two thanks to glorious overanalysis of Zaxxon, King’s Quest, Super Mario Bros, multiple Zeldas, Fantasies, and X-Com. What did we leave out? Probably something important, and feel free to let us hear about it as we finalize our list. Anger takes over the end of the episode as GiffTor and Ethan unleash their fury about their disappointment about Homefront.

Show Notes

Justin (JDevL), Cole (Colefacekilla), Ethan (Wizardtrain187), Gifford (GiffTor), Craig (pwrglove)

Intro and Threesomes – (01:03 – 24:20)
On the Spot Question – (24:30 – 31:57)
Think of the Children – (31:58 – 1:35:44)
NES Era – (33:51 – 1:03:41)
SNES Era – (1:03:43 – 1:35:33) Updates – (1:35:46 – 1:36:49)
Shout Outs – (1:36:50 – 1:43:24)

Threesomes of the Week:
Cole8 Mile, NBA Jam, Torchlight
CraigThe Wolfman, MacBook, Back to the Future: The Game
GiffTorGoW fiction, Gears of War 2, The Hangover
EthanMajesty 2, Nat Geo Underwater Civilizations, Culture Beat – Mr. Vain
Justin127 Hours, Bulletstorm, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Storyline Nominees (working list)


  1. Zork I: The Great Underground Empire
  2. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  3. Double Dragon
  4. Ninja Gaiden
  5. Ninja Gaiden II
  6. King’s Quest IV
  7. Police Quest 3
  8. Secret of Monkey Island
  9. King’s Quest V
  10. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
  11. The Oregon Trail
  12. Maniac Mansion
  13. The Day of the Tentacle
  14. Grim Fandango
  15. Mega Man 2
  16. Super Mario Bros 3


  1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  2. Alien 3
  3. Super Metroid
  4. Metroid II: Return of Samus
  5. Jurassic Park 2
  6. Aladdin
  7. Secret of Mana
  8. Final Fantasy VI
  9. Super Mario RPG
  10. Chrono Trigger
  11. Super Star Wars Trilogy
  12. X-Com: UFO Defense
  13. Mega Man X
  14. Earthbound
  15. Traffic Department 2192
  16. Wing Commander
  17. Warcraft II

Lucas – The Wizard, Tandy 1000, Hustle & Flow, 1981 IU Championship, Benicio Del Toro, Hugo Weaving, Lenovo, The Hangover 2, Taking on Tyson, The President’s Speech, Ethan’s Dance Video, Windows 7 Phone Issues, SCUMM, Michael Wolfskin, Goonies II, Kefka, Chryssalids, In Gaming We Trust Open Game Night, PAX Prime Aug 26 – 28

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6 Comments Think of the Children: Historical Stories – The Horrible Show 031611

  1. JPizzle151

    I firmly remember playing the heck out of the Shining Force series during the SNES/Genesis era. I have gone back and played these games via iPhone and VC. The pacing is very slow compared to today’s standards, but the stories are very good. It of course is another game that has children trying to save a fictional world from a demon uprising. That for me is one of my biggest standouts story wise. I have to disagree with FF not being a good story. As a kid I bought that game because of Nintendo Power and I got sucked in. As I played through the game I felt as if I was a warrior of light and that I had to save the people by restoring the crystals. I guess you could say that my imagination ran a little wild. Not to mention I still love major boss battles in JRPG’s that are so intense that your hands sweat like crazy. I think it is important to show kids how some of these older series got from point A to point B,C and D. They are important to the history of gaming and each individual franchise. Also for the record I still really like Simon’s Quest. I downloaded that on VC before Castlevania.

  2. GiffTor

    After that comment, JP, I feel compelled to point out that you can sign your name with the title of Gamer after it, be a well adjusted adult…and never, ever, ever play a single Final Fantasy game. Ever.

  3. Spicer

    NES era: Legacy of the Wizard; Faxanadu
    SNES era: Beavis & Butthead (who knew a game based on slackers actually contained a fun, if basic storyline)

  4. JDevL

    I really need to check out Faxanadu just so I have a frame of reference. Seems to be one that got by me. If the B&B games is half as entertaining as the movie, I’m in.

  5. JPizzle151

    I think that Star Tropics is also an underrated story and game. I really enjoyed that game.
    GiffTor: I understand that there are people out there that do not like FF. I’m ok with that.

  6. Spicer

    I just found out Faxanadu is available through the Wii virtual console. The graphics and the music don’t hold up well but the story is still interesting and the final boss battle is tough for a side scroller.

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