GamesMaster: A Retrospective – Series Six, Part One

Well, this is it, the penultimate series of GamesMaster. Another eighteen episodes to cover, so I’m doing this in two parts again. What delights does GamesMaster have for us now, are there any format changes and is this one better than the rather bland series five?

Series Six

Originally airing between October 1996 and February 1997, series six was filmed back in St Paul’s Church, the same place used for series one and four. As for the setting this time? Well, I need to fill in a bit of the ongoing story. Carrying on from where the previous series set in Heaven ended. Dominik Diamond is kicked out of God’s loving bosom and he plummets back down to Earth. Dominik screams his way down and splashes down in the sea. Definitely dead (again), DD is saved by two mermaids and given the kiss of life. Now back in action, Dominik finds himself in the fabled city of Atlantis, with GamesMaster being Poseidon, God of the sea. Now assisted by two lovely looking mermaids, Dominik Diamond get back to work with his double entendre jokes and putting numerous celebs and non-celebs through various gaming challenges. Oh, and there’s the most (in)famous GamesMaster moment ever too.

DOM AND MERMAIDS

Episode One

Getting this series off to a cracking start is the news of the launch of the Nintendo 64 in Japan and America. A few of the console’s title are looked at too. Killer Instinct Gold, Blast Corps, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Star Fox 64, Kirby Air Ride (later cancelled and reborn on the GameCube), Mario Kart 64 and the mighty Super Mario 64 are all given some airtime. Speaking of which, it’s time for the first challenge. GamesMaster selects the previously mentioned Super Mario 64 (N64) as the game for the inaugural contest to win a golden joystick. Giving the contestant a very tight 3 minutes to finish the last level of the game, including defeating Bowser. Nathan is the fella for the job and he’s pretty confident of wining having bought an import N64. Nathan does some tricky platform jumping to take a shortcut that works out well right at the start. At 1 minute and thirty seconds, Nathan is doing well and almost at the end of the level, finishing the first part and making it to Bowser in 1 minute and fifty-three seconds. A bit of a break before the fight against Bowser though.

It’s the first reviews of this new series and Wave Race 64 (N64) gets a splashing 85%. Then Pilotwings 64 (N64) is given a rounded 80%. Dominik introduces the celebrity challenge and yes, it’s an attractive lass. GamesMaster chooses the game Aqua Jet (Arcade) a jet ski based racer that used a full-size jet ski as its controller. The challenger just has to finish the race before time runs out and the attractive celeb lass to take this on is former glamour model turned actress/singer Samantha Fox. Of course, Double D (no pun… Slight pun) gets down to his trademark double entendres and mercilessly flirts with Sam. Just a quick side-note, Sam Fox came out as gay after appearing on this show. I’m casting no aspersions towards Dominik Diamond’s chat-up technique or luck with the ladies at all. Anyway, Sam takes position on the jet ski of the game and starts the race. It’s around halfway through the race and Sam is doing well, a few light rubs against the barriers but nothing too worrying. Coming up to the end of the race and Sam messes up on a couple of jumps, losing a few seconds. With just one more corner to go, there are only 5 seconds left on the clock which runs down to 0… But the momentum of the jet ski pushes Sam over the finish line and she wins a golden joystick.

SAM FOX WINS

There’s a feature and Dominik is in Japan at the Phoenix Seagaia Resort. The world’s biggest man-made beach where Dominik tires out a motion simulator that takes riders on a white-water rafting experience and a space-themed ride created by George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic team. After which, DD gets to go behind the scenes and sees just how the whole thing works… As well as flirt with some Japanese women. Then it’s back to Nathan and his fight with Bowser on Super Mario 64 and after the first part, he only has 1 minute and 7 seconds to take Bowser out. Nathan slaps Bowser into two of the bombs around the edge of the level, needing just one more hit to win and only 30 seconds on the clock. Nathan gets the final hit in with just 4 seconds left to win a golden joystick.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Two

Calling back to a challenge from the last series, Dominik introduces King Of Combos ’96. Just like the last series, GamesMaster picks Killer Instinct Gold (N64) to try and get the biggest combo between three expert players. The three challengers are Roy, Mark and Philip. But it’s news time first and impressive looking Rev Limit (N64) is given an exclusive preview, shame it was never released really. The opening of the mega arcade, SegaWorld in London is covered. Then the melding of Hollywood and gaming with 9: The Last Resort (PC). A massive budgeted adventure game featuring genuine Hollywood talent. It was even produced by Robert ‘You talkin’ to me?’ De Niro. Anyway, it’s back to the King Of Combos ’96 challenge and Roy goes first. Playing as Sabrewulf, Roy get a beatable forty-five hit combo. Next up is Mark who plays as Combo pulls off a less great forty-one hit combo. Last, it is Philip and he also selects Combo as his character, landing an impressive forty-nine hit combo to win the golden joystick.

KILLER INSTICNT

A couple of reviews next as Soviet Strike (PlayStation) gets a cracking 85%. Then Fighting Vipers (Saturn) is given a huge 88%. Quite simply the coolest cat-character actor in a sci-fi sitcom ever is the celebrity taking on the next challenge as Danny John-Jules has to play wipEout 2097 (PlayStation). GamesMaster gives Danny just 2 laps to win the race. Making use of the start line boost, Danny speeds off from the back of the grid and starts catching the pack and soon finds himself in ninth (out of twelve) place, before making it to sixth place. At the end of the first lap, Danny mistakenly goes into the pits, losing time and track position, going down to seventh place. With just one lap left, Danny has a lot of ground to make up. Grabbing a few power-ups, Danny finds himself in second place on the final straight, with first place inches ahead of him. Struggling to pass, Danny ends the race in second failing the challenge in this very exciting race. Just as a quick aside, Danny chose to use the PlayStation steering wheel instead of the standard pad, which is much harder to use. I think he most probably would’ve won if he had used the pad.

Time for a feature and Dominik introduces a special on retro gaming at a retro expo. Showing off some retro machines including the Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64. While classic games like Jetpac, Knight Lore and Manic Miner (ZX Spectrum) are shown. Then DD interviews the legendary Peter Molyneux in the toilets (seriously). All of which ends this episode.

PETER M TOILET

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode Three

This one is an athletics themed special and getting things underway is the episode length challenge, We’re Athletic We Like Lycra. GamesMaster picks out Athlete Kings (Saturn) as the game and two British athletes, John Regis and Tony Jarrett, to tackle four different events. Whoever scores the most points at the end of the four events wins. The first event is the hundred meters dash. The starter pistol signals the start of the button mashing antics and John gets a time of 9.95 seconds, with Tony slightly lagging behind with a 10.10 second time. In terms of points, Tony has 1,071 with John slightly ahead with 1,108 points. Before the next event, it’s news time. Virtua Fighter 3 (Arcade) is given a sneak peek. There’s a bit on a CD-ROM covering the making of the flick Independence Day. A new motion control system called Mandala, that can put the players in the game as they use their bodies and not a controller to play games is looked at. Including a game where you can play volleyball against a brightly coloured ostrich. Remember the now discontinued Xbox Kinect? Well, Mandala was just like that, it failed too.

MANDELA CONTROLLER

It’s back to the We’re Athletic We Like Lycra challenge and the second event is the long jump. John Regis jumps first, taking the best of three attempts as the best jump. John’s first attempt is a 6.43 meter effort. Tony responds with a 5.97 meter jump. John’s second is an impressive 7.31 meters, with Tony landing a pitiful 4.88 meters. Last jump now and John goes over the line and the jump is a foul. Tony needs a good jump to earn some points, he lands a 7.34 meters, just pipping John to the longest jump. With that, the points stand as John with 1,996 and Tony with 1,964. The next event is the hundred and ten meter hurdles. After they both smash through the first hurdle, John gets to grips with the event and sprints ahead to finish in 13.32 seconds. While Tony has a dog of a race, running through more hurdles than he jumps over, to finish with a terrible time of 16.29 seconds. John Regis is well ahead on 3,062 points, with Tony Jarrett now lagging way behind with 2,664 points. With only one more event left, unless John messes up massively, it’s very doubtful that Tony can win now.

But before the grand finale, there’s a feature. Interactive movie game-thing, Privateer 2: The Darkening (PC) is explored. Stars of the game, John Hurt and Clive Owen get to spill the beans on some of the behind the scenes secrets. Then it’s back to the final of the We’re Athletic We Like Lycra challenge and the event is the javelin throw, with the best of three throws being the one picked. John throws first and chucks a very impressive 70.32 meters. Tony next and he throws as not as impressive 30.94 meters. John throws his second javelin and goes just slightly over the line to a foul. Tony needs a whopper of a throw to gain some much needed points, he gets an okay 63.27 meters. It’s the final throw and highly unlikely that Tony Jarrett will win. John chucks his last pointy stick and gets a 71.96 meters. Tony really needs a gargantuan throw to win now, he gets a very poor 41.93 meters. With the final points being… I don’t know as Dominick doesn’t show them as John Regis is the clear winner of the golden joystick.

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode Four

It’s the news that kicks off this episode and Sonic Championship (Arcade), a one on one beat ’em up based on the famed Sonic characters is previewed. Then there’s a look at the T2 3-D:Battle Across Time attraction at Universal Studios. Finally, Pac-Man VR (Arcade) was a… Well, a VR version of Pac-Man in the arcade, which gets a bit of a looking into. I Have Violence I Am Happy is the title of the first challenge and Quake (PC) is the game that GamesMaster picks out. The challenger, David (he was in a feature last series covering the Doom championships), has to take on a specially designed level by a Quake fan called Michael. If David finishes the level, he wins the golden joystick, but if he fails, then Michael is declared the winner. David makes short work of the first section and onto the second area, which he also passes with ease. Passing through to the next section, David is almost crushed by a falling roof trap… Almost. Next up is an underwater area, which David swims through without breaking a sweat. Michael was pretty confident at the start of this that David would fail his specially created map, but so far, it’s been a breeze. It’s onto the final area where Davis gets pummeled by the various bad guy and his health soon drops to just 35, only a few more hits and David has failed. But he does it, he battles his way through the rest of the level and wins a golden joystick.

QUAKE

The reviews this time get started with a classic as Tomb Raider (PlayStation) gets an 85%. While karting game Street Racer (Saturn) is given 78%. Paul Leyshon (who?) an actor from the soap Hollyoaks is the celebrity taking on the next challenge. GamesMaster picks out Die Hard Trilogy (PlayStation) and in particular the Die Hard with a Vengeance driving game segment for this one. Paul has to race around the in-game New York and stop various bombs from exploding. Paul gets off to a cracking start and defuses the first bomb in seconds… Well, it was right in front of him. When it comes to cornering, things do not go so well. Paul spends too much time slamming into buildings and other cars, wasting time. He does manage to make it to the second bomb… While continuing to smash into any and everything. Paul’s penchant for crashing continues as he makes his way to the final bomb, and he makes it too, with seconds to spare. Paul Leyshon wins a golden joystick.

There’s a feature to end this episode with and Dominik is in Tokyo, Japan, DD enrols in the Human Creative School (owned by Human Entertainment) where students are trained in game development. DD learns about creating polygon models and animations. After which, he takes part in a gameplay theory lesson that looks at what makes games playable. Dominik also gets to learn a bit about music and sound composing in gaming. Then Dominik comes up with a new game idea where people take it in turns to put Os and Xs on a 3×3 grid, with the first to get three in a row the winner. I think the idea could, perhaps work out.

NAUGHTS AND CROSSES

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Five

You Only Live Twice is the title of the first challenge and is probably one of the most well remembered of the show. GamesMaster has Virtua Cop 2 (Arcade) as the game and the challenge is to not just finish a level on the game… But to play two games at the same time and without losing a single life. There’s really only one person up for the job, Martin Mathers. Back for his now third appearance on the show and trying to impress as he did last series with his previous Virtua Cop challenge. Can the cocky Martin really play through two games of Virtua Cop 2 simultaneously? We’ll have to wait and find out as it’s the news first. Sega Touring Car Championship (Arcade) is previewed. Then there’s a look at a 3D TV that can display 3D images without the need for glasses, this was in 1996 too before 3D TVs became an actual thing. Even then, you still need glasses. Finally, DD takes a look at his ‘favourite’ game, Barbie Fashion Designer (PC). A game where Dominik takes a bit too much enjoyment creating new clothes for Barbie. So, it’s back to the You Only Live Twice challenge and Martin begins this very, very tough double game contest. There’s about a 1 second gap difference between the two arcade machines as Martin wields a gun in each of his hands. Quite honesty, this is pretty damn impressive to watch as Martin takes down the bad guys one after another, flitting from one arcade machine to the other. He’s looking unstoppable too, then it gets to the very hectic jewellery store bit on the first stage and while he mowing down enemies, a momentarily slip of concentration makes Martin shoot a hostage, failing the challenge. A gallant effort though.

VIRTUA COP 2

A review or two now as Killer Instinct Gold (N64) gets a more than decent 89%. Star Gladiator (PlayStation) is given an 85%. Then Virtua Cop 2 (Saturn) is awarded a solid 85%. Fraudulent spoon-bender and general bullshit psychic, the paranormally powered Uri Geller is the celeb taking on the next challenge. Uri has to play a special ski game on the PC using the, mentioned in the last series, Mind Drive controller. A device where the player uses their thoughts to control the action on the screen. All Uri has to do is make it from the top of the piste to the bottom going through at least fifteen of the twenty gates, using his mind… and the Mind Drive controller. He does it only missing two of the gates to win a golden joystick. Just to finish up, there’s another feature. Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair (PC), a CD-ROM where you get to direct and edit your own movie is looked at. Featuring Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Aniston and Penn & Teller. You get to create a movie with help from Steven Spielberg and award-winning editor Michael Kahn. A few behind the scenes titbits are shown and Jennifer Aniston tells you how amazing the game is… she lied.

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode Six

GamesMaster selects Gunblade NY (Arcade) as the game for the first challenge and the contestant has to finish the entire game with only five lives. Paul is the guy taking on, what is called the Shoot Down The Shops And Get Us A Paper challenge, which runs the length of the episode. Paul gets cracking by mowing down bad guys in Times Square, which he finishes easily enough. While that carries on, it’s time for the news. There’s an exclusive look at the golf sim St. Andrews Old Course Golf (N64) which, as far as I can tell, was never released outside of Japan. The documentary film, Special Effects: Anything Can Happen, a film that explores the making of some of cinema’s most famed effects work is looked at. Pyst (PC) a CD-ROM adventure game released as a parody of the classic Myst is also given a looking at. Then it’s back to the Shoot Down The Shops And Get Us A Paper challenge and Paul is going great guns as he’s just finished area two of eight (split over two levels) and without losing any of his five and only lives.

Dominik introduces the obligatory GamesMaster mini football tournament for this series. Richard Rufus and Michael Duberry are the pro ball kickers who are going head to head to secure a chance to win a golden joystick. GamesMaster picks out Sega Worldwide Soccer (Saturn) as the game. Richard playing as Holland, with Michael choosing Italy as his team. The action kicks off and Michael is immediately on the attack and puts one away early doors. Richard comes back fighting and has some very decent shot son target too, but nothing seems to get through… Until he does a rather cheeky chip and lobs the keeper, taking it to 1 – 1. The game ends a draw, so onto penalties. Michael Duberry’s Italy first and the shot is saved, while Richard Rufus’ Holland puts their first shot away. Italy tuck their next shot away and Holland’s is saved, making it one penalty apiece. Italy’s third goes in, as does Holland’s. The fourth penalty and Italy score, putting the pressure on Holland to score… And they do. With the score being even, there’s only one more penalty each before it goes to sudden death. Italy step up to the spot and the shot is saved. All Holland have to do now is put this one away to win, and they do. Richard Rufus goes through to the final and the chance to win a golden joystick.

SEGA SOCCER

Back to Paul and his Shoot Down The Shops And Get Us A Paper challenge. Hels doing rather well-ish, he’s lost two of his five lives, but he has finished the first level, with only one level (four areas) left. While Paul is busy shooting polygons, it’s time for the reviews. Victory Boxing ’97 (PlayStation) is up first and gets itself an 81%. While Pandemonium! (PlayStation) is given an understandable 70%. Finishing up with the Shoot Down The Shops And Get Us A Paper challenge and Paul has lost another life, leaving him with just two now to finish the rest of the game. Then while finishing up the penultimate area, he loses another life. It’s getting very tense, one life left and one final area to finish the game. The last stage is particularly tough too, it takes place at night and the action is fast and frantic. Paul gets off to a great start and takes out the bad guys, there are a few near misses and one direct hit. Paul loses his last life on the last area of the game and fails. It was a very hard challenge to be fair and Paul put up a great fight… just not great enough.

Golden joysticks won – 0

Episode Seven

GamesMaster receives a rather strongly worded letter from someone calling themselves The Boss. Said Boss claims they can beat any boss in any game ever. Of course, GamesMaster has to see just how true that boast is and sets up a challenge simply called The Boss. The special challenge has The Boss trying to beat three randomly selected bosses from randomly selected games. Beat ’em up Star Gladiator (PlayStation), flying about the screen game Nights into Dreams (Saturn) and horror game Resident Evil (PlayStation) are the three ‘totally random’ games picked, it put ‘totally random’ in single quotation marks because even Dominik Diamond makes a none too subtle suggestion that the games selected were perhaps not quite so ‘random’. But before we get to see The Boss take on The Boss challenge where he has to beat three game bosses, it’s time for the news. Alpine Racer 2 (Arcade) is given a little preview ahead of its release. The X-Files Game (PC) and a peek at new, untitled motion capture themed a beat ’em up (that was never released) from Acclaim Games are also looked at. Then it’s back to the action and The Boss begins his first of three boss fights. Bilstein, the final boss on Star Gladiator is first and The Boss gets off to a rough start, taking more than a few hits. Making a slight comeback, but to no avail, The Boss loses the first round. The second round is also a close one, but The Boss does win it. One round apiece and The Boss has to win this, or the whole challenge is a fail. The third and final round goes The Boss’ way as he lands a pretty impressive combo and special move thing that decimates his opponent’s health. The Boss clears the first boss fight. So, Nights into Dreams is next and The Boss has just 100 seconds to defeat the game’s final boss, who has to be thrown through six walls to be defeated. Making short work of the first four walls, The Boss still has 45 seconds left, with two more walls to throw the game’s boss through. The next wall causes all sorts of issues and by the time The Boss gets to the final area, he only has 18 seconds left, on top of which, he takes a few hits and loses very valuable time. With only 5 seconds left, The Boss beats the final boss of the game… Have you noticed I have to use the word ‘boss’ a lot? Anyway, The Boss makes it to the third and final boss of this special The Boss challenge.

THE BOSS

It’s the next round of the GamesMaster mini football tournament and footie player, Chris Armstrong is the man battling it out for the chance to win a golden joystick in the final. Now, GamesMaster usually has two pro footballers playing against each other in these games. Dominik rather sheepishly points out that Stan Collymore was supposed to turn up to play against Chris Armstrong… But he didn’t bother. He was probably too busy beating up women… Allegedly. So as only one player turned to for the challenge GamesMaster reviewer and co-commentator Rik Henderson steps up to play. So Chris plays as Brazil and Rik on Sega Worldwide Soccer (Saturn). The game is pretty even with both Chris and Rik taking some decent shots. After a lot of tussling, Chris’ Brazil put away a brilliant lob from outside of the area to go 1 – 0 up. Rik’s England begin to fight back and, but a cracking shot is saved, which Brazil turn into a counter-attack. Then when in the box, England foul Brazil and give away a penalty. The ref gives a red card to England and a penalty to Brazil… Which goes way over the bar. The final whistle blows and Chris Armstrong goes through to take on Richard Rufus to try and win a golden joystick.

A little feature next and Star Trek: First Contact is looked at before its UK release. Then to finish, it’s back to the special The Boss challenge and The Boss has to take on the spider boss from Resident Evil… And The Boss can only use the basic Beretta pistol too. The Boss gets three shots off, hitting the spider, but he also takes a hit himself. The Boss gets seven shots on the spider, leaving only one more to finish it off… But he takes another hit himself, leaving only one hit too. It’s actually quite close as the next hit wins. Running around the spider, doing his best to avoid being hit, The Boss does it. Getting the final shot in, the spider boss dies and The Boss wins a golden joystick. Oh, and I used the word ‘boss’ and its derivatives thirty-eight times covering this episode, thirty-nine if you want to count that last use where I explained how many times I used the word ‘boss’… A nice, round forty now.

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode Eight

Four Ninja Kids is the name of the first challenge and GamesMaster selects the game, Virtua Fighter Kids (Saturn). For this one, four kids (as the title suggests and aged around 10-years-old) have to fight each other in some classic one on one beat ’em up action. Jim-Bob, Christopher, Alex and Micheal are the four little tykes tackling this challenge. But first… News. Fighters Megamix (Saturn) is given a sneak peek. A CD-ROM called Making Magic (PC) that looks at the making of the Star Wars Trilogy Special Editions is mentioned. Then new motion simulator experience, Ice Ride is also looked at. Then it’s back to the Four Ninja Kids challenge, Jim-Bob and Christopher go first with Jim-Bob playing as Akira while Christopher favours Lau. The first round isn’t even close as Christopher wins with ease. The second round is a bit closer, but Christopher still wins and goes through to the final. Next up, it’s Alex using Shun and Micheal is playing as Kage. Michael wins the first round with an almost perfect, a very one-sided scrap. The second round is a lot closer and Alex very nearly wins it, nearly but not quite, as Michael wins by a whisker to go through to the final against Christoper.

VIRTUA FIGHTER KIDS

FIFA 97 (PlayStation) scores a high 86%. Then NBA Jam Extreme (PlayStation) also gets an 86%. Finally, Virtual On (Saturn) is awarded an 83% in the reviews. Back to the Four Ninja Kids challenge (though now, there’s only two) and it’s the final punch-up. Standard best of three rounds bout with both Christopher and Micheal sticking with their favoured characters, Lau and Kage respectively. The first round is a close one, until Christopher spams a stomping move to cause a ring out win. Round two is very tit for tat, Christopher tries for another ring out, but Michael manages to avoid the trap and fights back. Time runs out, but seeing as Michael had more health, he wins the round. Both kids have a round each going, whoever wins the next one takes home the golden joystick. Michael starts the final round very strong, throws, combos, he’s looking like he’ll win this one with ease. Christopher fights back and lands a few slaps, but it’s just not enough and Michael wins the third and final round, as well as a golden joystick.

It’s the GamesMaster mini football tournament final with Chris Armstrong taking on Richard Rufus at Sega Worldwide Soccer (Saturn). Chris playing as Brazil and Richard as Holland. Chris instantly goes on the attack and fires a shot at goal, it is saved and the following gaol kick lands right at Richard’s feet. Going for a shot on goal, it goes inches wide. Both teams starting strong, but neither of them scoring… Yet. After a bit of swapping possession of the ball, Richard scores, 1 – 0 to Holland. Chris’ Brazil have a couple of attempts, but nothing goes in. Then Richard tucks another away, 2 – 0 to Holland with only 49 seconds of play left. Chris Armstrong playing as Brazil have it all to do, but can they a couple of goals and force a draw? No, Richard Rufus scores again to make it 3 – 0. To save the embarrassment of a whitewash, Chris does eventually put a goal away. 3 – 1 to Holland with 4 seconds left. Unless Chris can score another two goals in 4 seconds… He can’t. Richard Rufus takes Holland to GamesMaster golden joystick victory.

FOOTIE CHALLENGE WIN

There’s still a few minutes left of the episode, so feature time. Dominik gets to look at some new PlayStation games coming from Namco. Rage Racer, part of the much loved Ridge Racer franchise is shown. Then beat ’em up, Soul Edge and the on-rails shooter, Time Crisis are shown in all their lovely PlayStation glory. Looking back, Namco were pretty awesome in the nineties and had a fantastic relationship with Sony. It’s a shame they (technically) no longer exist.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Nine

Well, this is it, the GamesMaster Christmas special of 1996 and the most well known GamesMaster moment ever. I do hope you’re ready…

So, this special is very special indeed. Instead of the usual GamesMaster format of challenges and whatnot, we have a Christmas quiz. With Dominic Diamond as quizmaster and several GamesMaster reviewers/commentators as the contestants. The quiz is played in four rounds and at the end of the four rounds, the two contestants with the highest score will go on to a playoff. Whoever wins that playoff will be the winner of the golden joystick. And answering questions for a chance to win that golden joystick are, Kirk Ewing, Derrick Lynch, Rik Henderson and of course, Dave ‘The Games Animal’ Perry.

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 1

Round one is called Hey Hey, It’s The Picture Board. Contestants have to pick a concealed numbered picture and DD asks a question related to that picture once it is revealed with two points for a correct answer. Dave goes first and picks number one, he answers the question correctly and identifies Mario. He’s then asked a bonus question of what colour are Mario’s overalls… Normally? Dave gets the answer right. Next up is Rik and he picks number three, he answers incorrectly so no bonus question. Derrick goes next and he chooses number four, he passes. Finally, it is Kurt’s turn and he is left with number two, he also fails to answer. GamesMaster reveals the exciting scores as being:

Rik – 0
Derrick – 0
Kirk – 0
Dave – 4

Tell Us, Quite Literally, What Happens After The Wee Bit Of Clip That You Have Seen is the wonderful title of round two. A clip from a well known game is shown and the contestants have to (quite literally) guess what happens next after the clip is paused. First up is Rik Henderson and he gets Earthworm Jim (Mega Drive). Rik answers correctly. Derrick Lynch gets a classic clip of Resident Evil (PlayStation) and he half answers it correctly. Kirk Ewing buzzes in to try and give the full and proper answer… He’s wrong. So Dominik Diamond gives Derrick half the points for being half right. Then it’s Kirk’s clip and he gets Primal Rage (Arcade), Kirk (like Derrick) half answers the question, so Rik buzzes in and gives the full answer… He’s wrong. The final clip is for Dave Perry and it’s Sonic The Hedgehog (Mega Drive) and he gets it wrong. So Derrick tries his luck and also gets it wrong. After which GamesMaster tots up the scores as thus:

Rik – 2
Derrick – 1
Kirk – 1
Dave – 4

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2

Round three kicks off and it is called, Ohh I feel Like Magnus Magnusson. Borrowing from the classic quiz show, Mastermind, DD gives each of the contestants 45 seconds to answer questions based on their specialist subject. First up is Derrick Lynch and his specialist subject is: Namco arcade beat ’em ups, 1992 to 1996. He does well scoring six points. Next, it is Kirk Ewing and his subject is: video game subjects related to the letter P. Kirk does a very questionable okay and gets four points with his questions. Then it is the turn of Dave Perry and his specialist subject is: the life and times of the Street Fighter arcade game. Dave gets himself four points too. Rik Henderson goes last and his subject is: football management simulations from 1986 to 1996. Rik scores a decent five points. Then, of course, GamesMaster does his thing and reveals the scores:

Rik – 7
Derrick – 7
Kirk – 5
Dave – 8

With Dave Perry still in the lead, it is on to the final round to decide which two will go through to the playoff. But before the final round begins, there’s a feature. Dominik is in Tokyo, Japan as he explores the phenomenon knows as otaku. Basically, the Japanese version of nerds/geeks. DD goes to a costume party where game fans dress up as their favourite game characters, I guess we call it ‘cosplay’ now, a portmanteau of ‘costume’ and ‘play’. Of course, Dominik perves over all the scantly clad females, he also points out a fella wearing a pair of pants on his head as a costume.

PANTS ON HEAD

DD is even asked to be a judge and pick out his favourite costume. No prizes for guessing he picked out a lass wearing nothing more than a very small, tight, furry bikini. No idea what game character she was supposed to be though?

Anyway, it’s back to the final round of the Christmas quiz and this round is called, Don’t Shoot Too Soon. This is a 90 seconds, quick-fire, first to buzz in-type situation. The questions do indeed come fast with Kirk and Dave answering most of them (Kirk mainly). After that fast-paced round, GamesMaster reveals the final scores and the two top scorers going through to the playoff:

Rik – 7
Derrick – 8
Kirk – 9
Dave – 10

Meaning that it is Kirk Ewing and Dave Perry who go through to battle it out in the playoff to win the golden joystick. GamesMaster selects Super Mario 64 (N64) for the challenge, Kirk and Dave have to play the Cool, Cool Mountain level, in particular, the Big Penguin Race. Whoever gets the fastest time in the race wins, simple stuff indeed. Kirk goes first and at the 20 seconds point, he comes off the track and fails. So, the time is irrelevant now and all Dave has to do is last longer than 20 seconds to win, he doesn’t even have to finish the race, just last longer than 20 seconds. Dave takes the N64 controller next and coming around the first corner, Dave falls off the track. Lasting just 13 seconds. Dave fails, leaving Kirk to claim victory. Dave Perry rather (in)famously claims he was set up and becomes very stroppy and bitter. DD questions Dave on his ‘sour grapes’. Not that it matters as Kirk Ewing wins the golden joystick. Everyone smiles, celebrates and congratulates Kirk on his win… Everyone except Dave Perry who stands off at the side, arms folded and looking very glum indeed.

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 3

I’ll actually have quite a lot more to say about this particular episode in a separate article, coming pretty soon (when I’ve finally finished this huge retrospective). But until then…

Golden joysticks won – 1


And with part one now done, that inevitability leaves the conclusion that is part two remaining. As I creep ever closer to the end of this massive retrospective, I’m kind of sad to think that it is almost all over with only one more series left after part two of this one.

Total golden joysticks won – 11

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