I’ve been in a funk lately. I’ve had no drive to write any new entries or make new videos. Since I come from a pack rat family, There’s bound to be something in my room that’s worth talking about. Hold on, what’s this?
Oh boy, it’s a Super Power Supplies catalog! From 1999! Everybody loves old catalogs, right? I do, at least.
I honestly don’t know how I got this, but judging how it’s from Nintendo Power, I likely got it when I had a subscription to the magazine from 1998-2000. That was an interesting time: Pokemon was becoming a big thing, the Nintendo 64 was winding down, the Game Boy Color was a new and colorful way to play handheld games, and there were magazine covers dedicated to stuff like Tonic Trouble. This makes me realize we’ll never see anything cool like this again, now that Nintendo Power’s gone.
By this time in my gaming career, I was still a hardcore Nintendo nut, but my interest in the Big N started to fade, looking at the cool Sega Dreamcast, and later, the PlayStation 2. I still respect Nintendo, they make good stuff on occasion, even if my mom uses the Wii more than I do. But enough waxing nostalgic about Nintendo, let’s crack open this catalog.
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Half-Life is one of my most favorite games of all time. It blended action, platforming and story perfectly to be one of the awesome shooters of 1998. But it wasn’t always that way.
Valve, back then a small development studio, made a press demo version of Half-Life that showed a drastically different version of the game: While the story was similar, almost all the levels and designs were different from what we got. Originally slated for November 1997, it missed the release date and came out a year later with many significant changes to the final product, all for the better. Getting a chance to play the Half-Life that never was is really a treat, which has many unfinished levels — some early versions of levels in the final game — as well as tech demos such as skeletal animation. You can shoot a robot and make it do that dancing baby animation that was popular in the late ’90s! Not only that, it has documentation about the game and Valve itself, a walkthrough of all the levels, even copies of Paint Shop Pro and WinZip for some reason…
Here’s me playing through one of the levels, The Security Complex. It’s one of the more complete levels of the game. I go through the stage area at least once, then show the solution as given in the walkthrough.
Thanks reddit user jackaljayzer for uncovering this gem, who got it from a friend in Bellevue, Washington; and to Valve Time (har) for revealing the leak. There’s links in there if you wanna try it yourself. If somehow you are one of the few who have never played Half-Life, go buy the damn game on Steam already.
(The YouTube video is a sneak preview of what’s to come. Stay tuned…)
One year ago, I had an idea: Rather than post my video game stuff on random blog sites, I decided to start a blog of my own. I started You Found a Secret Area around January 2, 2012. The first entry I wrote was for the MTV2’s Video Mods show, an idea I had brewing for a good month beforehand.
Today, I’ve posted over 30 entries, got a fair share of notice on a few websites, and got my feet wet in doing a simple blog about video games. This was something I decided to act upon, to hope to get noticed in some way. The first few years is usually the toughest, but I’m happy for some of the recognition I’ve received. For those who have been following the blog, I thank you. For those who just stumbled upon here, Welcome and enjoy your stay. Read the silly articles and stop asking how to get coins in The Price is Right Slots, I can’t help you there.
I got a big surprise coming soon, but I’m gonna keep things under wraps until I’m ready to launch it. The Secret Area is gonna roll into 2013 in a big way, and I hope you will join me on this ride. We’ve only just begun.