Updates have been thin on the ground here for the last few days. After a long anxious wait on Friday, I’m glad to say I do still have a job which should have left me with plenty of time for blogging but this seems to have worked the other way around. 10 months of being under threat of redundancy tends to put your life on hold and I have a stack of things to sort out having come safely through the other side.
One of the easier tasks on the list was sorting out a new mobile phone contract. A new phone should mean I can get some half decent photo’s from here on out. So by way of a trial run, I thought I would find something Origin related and photogenic. The first thing that sprung to mind were trinkets.
Origin were famous for including trinkets with their games in the mid 80’s. These were basically useless little items put in the box for gimmick/novelty value or to add some extra atmosphere. They weren’t unique in this with Infocom also being a prime exponent. Combined with the wealth of documentation, cloth maps, etc, it made buying any of these games quite a different experience in my eyes. The practice is still kept alive through special editions at least, but this usually comes with a serious price tag.
There is plenty on the web about the various Ultima trinkets already but there are four other Origin games which got their own little extras. In no particular order these were:-
In what is potentially one of the most useful trinkets ever included in a game, Autoduel came with a toolkit with a screwdriver with 4 different ends, an adjustable spanner and a miniature hammer all in a little plastic pouch. This is definitely one of my favourites even if it does look like something you might find in an expensive Christmas cracker.
2400 AD came with not one but three little lead figures. These any tiny and proved the greatest challenge for my new camera.
Included with Ogre was a radiation badge and stickers (in a top secret envelope). The principle behind these is that you stick a dot to the badge, walk around a dangerous area with it in view and if it changes colour you know you have taken a certain dose of radiation and need to get out of there. I’ve heard rumours that the dots included with this are the real deal but I don’t expect I’ll ever get the opportunity to try them out.
Last but not least is Moebius which came with a nifty bandanna if you fancied dressing the part while playing the game. This is one step behind another game I have on my shelves (Life And Death) which came with a surgeon’s mask and rubber gloves.
Outside of the Ultima series, Origin stopped including trinkets after these early titles which is something of a shame but they kept their standards of documentation and packaging up which is what I really miss when buying a modern game. It’s hard to make a good case for why these sorts of trinkets should ever have been included but they are one of the things that make collecting old games so much fun.