Frankenstein's Console: The baked-in pleasures of Alex Kidd in Miracle World

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This week we’re stitching together our ideal console. 

Which console features from yesteryear are you super fond of? Given that there are new machines out soon – and given that it’s almost Halloween – we thought we would spend the week picking and choosing our favourite elements from our favourite consoles and stitching together our perfect Frankenstein’s Console. Inevitably it’s going to look a bit like that car Homer Simpson designed, and equally inevitably it’s going to say Giga Power Pro-Gear Spec when you boot it up. Anyway – join us! And have a think about what your own Frankenstein’s Console might look like. If you dare…

The Master System was the first console I ever saw, so it’s inevitable that I would want something of it in any Frankenstein’s console. Ours was a Sega school, and it seemed that almost everyone had one of these stylish, angular machines. I have a lot of love for the look of games on the Master System – I think the occasional awkwardness of 8-bit has aged very nicely. But while the best game was clearly Wonder Boy 3, one of my favourite things about the machine was the game that was baked in.

Frankenstein's Console: The baked-in pleasures of Alex Kidd in Miracle World

If you didn’t put a cartridge into my version of the Master System, when you turned it on it would start to play Alex Kidd in Miracle World. This blew my mind. Deep inside this machine, something was always thinking about Alex Kidd – Alex Kidd was stuffed right in there. Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a pretty fantastic game – watching replays online I am reminded of my friend Gareth who had a little song about Branston Pickle he would sing over the map-screen jingle – but it seemed much more magical to me because it existed inside this machine in a way that could never be extracted.

So there’s a Frankenstein’s Console feature for you: turn it on with nothing in it and it plays Alex Kidd in Miracle World. It is haunted by an 8-bit ghost. A ghost who really likes Branston Pickle. I miss you Gareth!


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