Friday, May 18, 2012

Deeds of Yore - An 8-Bit Webseries

Deeds of Yore is an 8-Bit Webseries created by Ostrog Productions and set inside a Commodore 64 cartridge. It won "best animated series" from the LA Web Series Festival 2012, and it's easy to see why. Ostrog has created a truly unsettling world of gnomes, tigers, and flat animation easily comparable to something you'd expect from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

It's a standard classic technology plot: a human from Earth gets trapped inside a computer world, and fun/hilarity ensue. It's a time-tested formula (From Captain N to Tron to the much more recent, Captain S), but Deeds of Yore keeps it fresh with the Ultima-style RPG jokes.

Characters move around as tiled versions of themselves, townspeople spout the same borderline nonsense they do in game, and everything is generally strange and creepy.

Admittedly, I've never played a C64, but I've always wanted to. I grew up on an IBM 286 playing Rogue and Moraff's World, and if you've played any older RPGs the humor should easily translate.

There are currently 13 episodes, and the first four have been pretty hilarious. I'm about to watch the 5th right now, and will probably just blaze through all of them.

If you are into classic RPGs, video games, or humor in general then watch Deeds of Yore. I cannot speak more clearly that that.

...This is really making me want to play the actual game--which I'm pretty sure doesn't exist. Or does it?

And you can watch the first episode below, and make sure to subscribe to their Youtube so you can catch the new episodes as they air. Things seem pretty normal in the first episode, but just wait until you get sucked into this crazy computer land.


8bitcity said...

Just finished watching all of them...definitely based on Ultima: Quest of the Avatar xD

Robita said...

Thanks for the great post! And yes, "Deeds Of Yore" is heavily based on Ultima IV, particularly the way the characters walk. We're hard at work on the next half of the story, and will present episode 14 on July 1st.

8bitcity said...

The series inspired me to give the original Ultima a try :D

Also, I didn't even mention how great the opening song is in my post. I've listened to it over a dozen times already.

Robita said...

I'm glad you like the music, our composer it a talented lad. Ultima is totally awesome. Ultima I is a good start, Ultima IV is probably the most involved.

8bitcity said...

I've owned Ultima Exodus and the DOS games for about 12-14 years. Ultima II is the only one I still haven't played.

Exodus I finally beat last year, since then I've been working on Ultima IV for some time.

Yesterday I started playing Ultima I, doin' pretty well so far and should have some posts about that coming up.

8bitcity said...

I notice some similarities as well between the world of Deeds of Yore and graphical text based adventures like Troll's Tale. Text parsers were so primitive, and the graphics were done so hastily that you couldn't help but play for hours.

I remember having a lot of fun with the text parser in Hugo's House of Horrors, Zork, Adventure, Caverns of Mars, and a million other text adventures.

It's sad that these have gone out of popularity in the mainstream. It'd be nice if you could still by Independent games in the drugstore for 5 bucks.

It'd also be nice if Gamestop sold anything worth buying. I'm pretty much done with my DS collection, except for a few games which I can order online. They don't sell buckets of cheap GBA or PS2 games anymore which pretty much removes the need to enter. I remember walking into Babbabges (now Gamestop) as a kid and being totally wowed by the number and variety of computer RPGs available. Of course, our 286 couldn't handle most of the games, but I could still handle VGA graphics.

Diablo 3 should arrive tomorrow, so some good games are still being made, but I miss the great era of computer gaming. Also, I don't want to download the game, I really don't. I want a gigantic box and manual and map and foldout insanity. The game should be an artifact.

Robita said...

I so miss the old days of gaming before games were full Hollywood productions. And I remember when you could go to a bookstore and buy games on special for a couple of bucks and they were good fun games. One of my very favorites of all time is "Rags to Riches", a title I bought for my C64 that cost 99 cents on the sale rack at Software Etc. To me the old games are still the best and that's what inspired me to make my series. I don't even keep up with the new games at this point, none of them seem to pull me in like the old ones still do.