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The Start of the Affair: Solomon's Key - Destructoid






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About

Occasional contributer to Tomopop.com.

Random gaming facts about Haxan

Legitimately beat Mike Tyson and went through Another World Circuit undefeated.

Beat the original Contra without dying. Twice.

Can land the damn plane in Top Gun and can also refuel in midair.

Can't beat Ghost & Goblins without the level select code and has never lied about it.

Thinks Friday the 13th is a great game even if the physics, controls and weapons are garbage.

Mario Paint caused him to buy a Super Nintendo and largely leave his Sega Genesis behind. He has played it more than most video games and wore down the mouse pad so that the grid only shows around the corners.

Has beaten Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers on the SNES on the hardest difficulty without losing a single round. Multiple times.

Is still friends with the girl who worked at a local game store and sold him Street Fighter II nearly 17 years ago.

Beat Final Fantasy 2 in a weekend when he was a kid, yet can't get through a role-playing game these days if his life depended on it.

Has never beaten Final Fantasy VII.

Prefers pads to sticks.

Likes the N64 controller.

Prefers the Duke to the S-controller.

Doesn't think that Super Mario 64 is all that great.

Got an Xbox mostly for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. And thinks it's a damn good game. Really.

Swore he would never buy a Game Boy Advanced SP, but immediately broke down once the NES edition came out. (And regarding the NES Classics series, true in-store dialogue: "Dude, are you serious?! They seriously expect people to pay 20 dollars a piece for games they can just downlo...Ooh! Zelda!")

Really liked the first Halo. (Well, there goes my dtoid cred.)

Can rock out Dynamite Rave in Dance Dance Revolution like it's nobody's business.

Played the hell out of Animal Crossing: Wild World and hid that fact from nobody.

Stomped Brad Nicholson at Street Fighter IV, but had to resort to the cheapest of tactics in order to do so. ;)

Thinks you're really, really, really smart. And pretty.

Top ten favorite games (in no particular order):

•The Legend of Zelda (NES)
•Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (NES)
•The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
•Phantom 2040 (SNES)
•Street Fighter II (any version)
•Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
•Final Fantasy 3/6 (SNES)
•Ico (PS2)
•Sin and Punishment (N64)
•Picross (DS)



(NVGR)

I love drawing, though I realize that I'm not very good. I figured early on that drawing my own header art would help my blogs stand out. Thanks to Destructoid, and to the scanner that Carollelogram got me for my birthday last year, I feel like I've developed a unique style that's distinctly my own.

Outside of games I've got a DVD collection that is exploding out of a 5'x6' shelf (over 400 titles). So suffice it to say that I love movies. I'm a huge horror fan and I host an annual Dusk Till Dawn Horror Movie Marathon nearly every October. My top ten favorite films in order are as follows:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cativo, 1966)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
3. Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai, 1954)
4. The City of Lost Children (La Citι des enfants perdus, 1995)
5. The Apartment (1960)
6. Strings (2004)
7. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
8. The Big Lebowski (1998)
9. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Music-wise, my top 3 bands are The Pixies, The Velvet Underground and Radiohead. I listen to damn near every genre of music (except modern country. I yearn for the days of Hank Williams, Sr. and Tammy Wynette). Hit random on my mp3 player and you'll get everything from darkwave to hip hop to 80's synthpop. I karaoke pretty regularly. I can't sing, but I surround myself with people who can. Still, you've not experienced all there is in life until you've seen me proper butcher True by Spandau Ballet.

Then, as for the literary interests, my love lies with pulp detective novels of the thirties and forties. Raymond Chandler is simply the greatest ever. And Dashiell Hammett is just fantastic. Lately, I've been reading through Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles at Carollelogram's recommendation. Two books in and I have to say they're astonishing.

If you do the Twitter thing, Haxan1 is my handle should you want to follow me.

Feel free to friend me to your console of choice should you ever want to play a game of Street Fighter. Just be sure to let me know that you're from Destructoid and you'll get the royal treatment.



Blogs I writed:


Reviews
•Virtual Console Review- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
•Review- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

Front Page
•Other Worlds Than These: The citizens of the land of Termina
•Community spotlight: Haxan goes above and beyond for the community

Monthly Musings
•Instant Replay: Street Fighter II
•The Start of the Affair: Solomon's Key

Editorials and assorted articles
•Does the Wii have RROD-type issues of its own?
•Okay, Nintendo. I guess that we can be friends again.
•Niero, do you have any idea what in the lobster milkshake you have done?! (dtoid 3rd anniversary post)
•10 things you might not have known about Haxan (but really only 8)
•Why Destructoid is awesome: Nilcam is the greatest edition (I honestly can't give Nilcam enough props for this.)
•Christmas shopping: Non-gaming, priest dad-style
•Bad Dye Job: A Darius Pickman Story
•"Congraturation" RetroforceGO!
•Nintendon't what?! Now you tell me just what the %#@$ Nintendon't do!

Neat stuff I played a bit part in
•The Destructoid children's alphabet book

http://profiles.us.playstation.com/playstation/psn/visit/profiles/Haxan




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My little cousin. That spoiled brat had everything. And by everything, I should make clear that I mean "EVERYTHING". My older brother and I had an Atari 2600 when we were very wee. And on it we were quite content to play Combat, Spider-Man and even E.T. (yeah, we had it. I was 5. To me, a new game of any kind was awesome in its own right). Frogs and Flies, though, was by far our favorite. But, my cousin Jody. That child must've been sparred the rod in ways unheard of. He had an Intellivision. Circular Pad. Numerical buttons with the fancy overlays for each game. And if that wasn't enough to make a boy jealous, when I was 7 he would get... a Nintendo Entertainment System.


This just came to me as I was writing this.

We'd seen them on tv, sure. But nothing beats the first time that you touch an NES. It's like the seeing your true love for the first time. A wave of awe slaps you across the face. You sit there stunned. You question yourself as to how you can possibly live in the same world with something so purely awesome (when I first met Carrie and her Mega-Man blue hair, I might have been reminded a little of this first encounter- it's true).

Jody already had himself a small library of games during my very first encounter. Super Mario Brothers, Excite Bike, Ice Climbers. I had to be the one to show him how to set up R.O.B. to get it to work with Gyromite (the kid never had any brains, coming from terrible breeding stock that also couldn't follow the instructions to show him). My mind was blown. But it was roughly a year later that I came face to face with the possiblities of video games. It was a little guy in a green suit with a funny hat. And it was awesome!



But this was months before Link would venture forth to save the fair Princess Zelda from Gannon (and had it come first then I would surely be writing about that right now. And I am a little sad to say that I can't, as I love The Legend of Zelda like no game that has come since). It was Solomon's Key from Tecmo (The Pre-"We screwed Itagaki" Tecmo). This was a kind of gameplay that I had never before encountered. An action puzzle game. A game that took reflexes like any other video games, but more importantly, it took brains! My mind was blown!

I was sleeping over at Jody's that first night. He fell asleep early, and I played that game throughout the night. The bird's were chirping outside, calling in the morning sun, long before I finally crashed out on the top bunk of his bunk bed (I bearly fit on top of that thing because there were 70 giant stuffed animals and a Teddy Ruxpin on top- Had I rolled over just four inches, I would have fallen 5 feet to the ground!). By that time, the levels had grown so devious, that it would take ages to get the inspiration for a solution. Happily, the continues were infinite, and I never had to start over.

I controlled the main character, Dana, who jumps around a simple 2D grid. He can hop on top of blocks. He could crush gold blocks that he was underneath by jumping into them (the Mario approach, except he had to hit them twice). But he could also create blocks at will (even in thin air) with his magic wand, and also dematerialize existing blocks. And in doing so, he could freely move about the entire area. His goal was to collect that level's key, which unlocked the exit door, then make it over to that exit (picking up any stray fairies along the way).

Unlike Mario and Link, Dana was largely defenseless. Occassionally he would grab a magic jar that would grant him a fireball to throw at an enemy. But only one use per jar collected, and those were few and far between. And seeing how many levels had skull symbols that would spawn new bad guys at timed intervals, those fireballs weren't much use. You could also zap a gold block that an enemy was standing under, making them fall to their death. This took planning, and was often easier said than done.


Just one minute of this video will show you everything you need to know.

That Christmas we did finally get a Nintendo Entertainment System in our home. But I never did get to play Solomon's Key on it. In fact, it is rare that I've found anyone who's ever even heard of the game...

...until decades later. The midnight launch of the Wii. I got mine and brought it home. The first thing I did, before Twilight Princess, before Wii Sports, was smash a bottle of champagne over it in the form of downloading the Legend of Zelda from the Virtual Console. And what did I find to my surprise was also available to download? My legendary one-night stand, Solomon's Key. I had a bunch of friends over and we did nothing but play Wii all weekend. They had never heard of Dana and his quest for keys and fairies. But the following night, my friends and I stayed up transfixed by Solomon's Key, opening up many doors, beating many levels. When we finally crashed out due to exhaustion, we could hear the birds chirping outside.
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