Five Years!

It doesn’t seem like all that long but it was on this day back in 2008 that I did my first 2 posts on this blog. Somehow I’m still here 5 years later which certainly wasn’t the plan originally but I’ve had some fun along the way. That year spent playing through Origin games clearly gave me an appetite for retro gaming which has continued to grow ever since. I won’t hazard a guess as to whether I’ll still be doing this in another 5 years but there are still plenty of games to play that relate in one way or another to Origin and I intend to get around to most of them eventually.

Despite that I’m considering broadening the scope of the site to include other games of the same era and this seems like it would be a good time to start. It’s either going to be that or less frequent posts as, much as it pains me to admit it, there is only so much time I can spend on this hobby and there are other games I want to play. For instance I’d really like to look at other RPG series like Wizardry, Bards Tale & Might And Magic all of which would keep me busy for months. So I’m putting the question out there, is this something anyone would like to see or should I keep this site relatively on topic?

Anyway back to Origin and if this isn’t the appropriate time to dig out this particular artefact I don’t know what is:-

Origin 5 year service award

This is ex-Origin QA Rhea Shelley’s 5 year service award which he presumably got in January 2000. The base is made from a similar material as his 200K UO subscribers award so I expect it’s the same manufacturer. This is a whole lot better looking at least in my eyes and with a nifty Origin logo stamped on the base. I had this in my hand luggage last year when I was coming back from Austin and airport security did not initially take to me carrying all that glass. I had to dig it out of my luggage and was expecting the worst but the guard just remarked on how cool it was and she let me through no more questions asked. That would probably only ever happen in Austin.

I do think that it perhaps says something about the games industry that there even was a 5 year service award as it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of time coming from my line of work.

As long term readers will know, most of the more unusual Origin artefacts on this site came courtesy of Rhea Shelley who had quite the hoard to say the least. There was one item of his that probably led to me getting quite as much of that collection as I did since it would have cost a small fortune to ship either on its own or with other goodies. That particular item was this:-

A 5 foot Origin logo

Yes, it’s a 5 foot long sign/poster with the Origin logo. I had to own this from the moment I saw it as I figured if anyone in the world should have a giant Origin sign in their home it’s me. This is currently adorning one of the walls in games room #1. I’m no idea of its original use but I would assume it has to be either from a trade show or possibly could have been used in a games store. It’s got a stiff foam backing so it isn’t the most transportable of collectibles.

I’ll dig out another relic for a second post today which is appropriate since it goes back to one of the games I played on day 1 on the blog.

11 thoughts on “Five Years!

  1. Part of me would like to see you play other old games, specially Might and Magic which I’ve been playing lately myself (I suppose you will play faster than me as I’m mapping everything on graph paper), but I also like how this blog is just origin related.

    Anyway, it’s your call in the end, and probably more games would also add more variety to the site and thus more appeal for other people out there.

    Game room #1 must be awesome. My girlfriend and I want to do something like that if/when we get a good job that will give us the money to do/maintain something like that.

    • That games room is tiny in all honesty. It’s the box-room in a converted attic with my PC on one wall and lines of bookcases on every other. It started off as an office of sorts but the games took over. Room #2 next door is bigger and that’s got most of the old computers/consoles in but I’d need a larger house to do this properly. I think I’m nearly done buying old systems for that reason but I am still on the lookout for an Apple IIGS. I’d also love to own a pinball table but that will definitely have to wait.

      It’s not for everyone but if a games room is something you want I’m sure you’ll be able to do it sooner or later. For the most part it doesn’t have to cost all that much but the time in fixing everything up and getting it running how you want is what really adds up and I’m still working on that part myself.

  2. Hey Pix! Congratulations on Five Years, that’s quite an accomplishment! Hope you have a chance to get back to Austin sometime soon, maybe to hear Wing Commander music later the year…

    • Hey Ben. I’m all up for another US trip sometime, not sure if this is the year for it or not. October might be possible although in one way I wish that concert was somewhere else so I could play tourist in another city. I could look into stopping over somewhere on the way though – might even be able to get the cost down a bit that way. Is there going to be anything else going on?

  3. Congratulations on your five-year-anniversary, Pix. It’s terrific that there are fans like you out there keeping the Origin dream alive. I’d love to get together some day and compare notes–you’ve done an excellent job at the site here, and I can’t wait to see more! Thanks again for all that you do.

    • Thanks Joe. I’d certainly love a tour of the Origin Museum if I’m ever in the right bit of the world. Be sure to let me know in the unlikely event you find yourself in the North of England.

  4. Congrats on the five years! Running a blog is quite the effort. Though clearly you have more expensive toys to show off than me.

    And I would say rock out some Wizardry. Especially since it was the main competitor with Ultima both here and in Japan. (Though in a way, Wizardry won in the long term. And won BIG.)

    • I’ll definitely be blogging my way through the first Wizardry. I have a bad feeling it might be too hardcore in the difficulty level for my taste so I’ll take it from there as to whether I carry on. I’ve never so much as started up a single Wizardry yet though and it’s long overdue.

      • Well it depends on how authentic you want it to be really. And what version.

        Wiz 1 and 5 are stand alones and effectively play mostly the same.

        Yet there are PC, Apple, other computers, revised, Japanese systems, US or Japanese console ports (some translated), ect.

        Generating characters is a LOT easier when you can savestate and save yourself a ton of pointless busywork.

        Course you could just hightail it to the GOOD Wizardries. (7 and 8 if you don’t mind some abuse and flaws, Tale of the Forsaken Land on the PS2 if you want THE best classic styled Wizardry, or the more recent PS3/iOS Wizardry which plays like a hybrid of Forsaken Land and Wizardry 5.

        (Can you tell if you want lots of new blog fodder the Wizardry franchise can keep you VERY busy?)

        Hell, Japan got the best versions of even the American Wiz games.–RJdPrdzUMA/T5pYDnyqevI/AAAAAAAABNg/x7W0PaqskkA/s1396/Wiz%25209x.JPG

        (Sadly the teleport spell isn’t translated so my whole awesome team died quickly in Knight of Diamonds as they Malored like into the Sun or something and it had erased their previous Proving Grounds selves. And I even had a max spell level Priest who went Ninja and had morphed to Good alignment to run with my Lord…)

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