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About My Site

Hi, I'm Retrofrogg - welcome, fellow time travelers, to a virtual sanctuary where pixels rule and nostalgia reigns supreme! Behold, the wacky wonderland that is my personal retro gaming website - a digital portal where the classics are celebrated, and the glitches are embraced with open arms (and a few well-timed power blows).

In this pixelated paradise, we'll journey back to a simpler era, where game controllers were chunky, cheat codes were our secret weapons, and blowing into cartridges was a scientific ritual. Prepare to be whisked away on a rollercoaster ride of 8-bit shenanigans, where Mario's mustache was the epitome of fashion, and Pac-Man fever was a legitimate medical condition.

Here, we embrace the quirks and quirksome characters of yesteryear. We revel in the absurdity of plumbers rescuing princesses, hedgehogs battling mad scientists, and yellow circles devouring ghostly adversaries. So, grab your Power Gloves, dust off your Game Boys, and embark on a journey that's equal parts nostalgia trip and laugh-out-loud comedy show.

But wait, there's more! Our pixelated playground isn't just about reliving the past; it's about bringing retro gaming culture into the present. Unleash your inner retro gaming geek by customising your gaming frontend with quality game-related media including box art, develop your artistic side with box art creation guides, and get a handle on the retro gaming information superhighway with a special comparative look at online gaming databases.

Why the name Retrofrogg? Well, the first part should be obvious by now, and the second part.....

Once upon a time, in the mystical realm of the internet, there lived a gamer with a peculiar fondness for all things retro. This gamer, known as our hero, had a passion for classic games that was rivaled only by his love for amphibious creatures. Little did he know that his destiny was about to be sealed by a most unexpected encounter.

One sunny afternoon, as our hero was indulging in a marathon session of his favorite retro game, a mischievous frog leapt out from the screen. This was no ordinary frog, mind you, but a sly, talking frog with a snazzy bowtie and a penchant for puns.

The frog introduced himself as Freddy, the Retrofrogg Extraordinaire. With a twinkle in his eye and a ribbit of amusement, Freddy claimed to be the ultimate expert on all things retro gaming. He hopped and skipped around our hero, regaling him with tales of pixelated adventures and outrageous glitches. Intrigued and amused by the charismatic amphibian, our hero struck a deal with Freddy. They would become partners in crime, exploring the depths of retro gaming together and spreading joy and laughter along the way. And thus, the name "Retrofrogg" was born—a perfect fusion of our hero's love for all things retro and his newfound amphibious sidekick.

From that day forward, Retrofrogg became a legendary figure in the gaming community—a beacon of retro gaming knowledge, with a touch of amphibian humor. Together, Retrofrogg and Freddy would embark on epic quests, battling virtual monsters and saving princesses with a hop and a smile.

Something like that anyway. The other reason is that a few of my old screen names had the word frogg in them, such as lostfrogg and rainfrog_dreaming, and so I decided to follow that theme. Links to my profile on a few gaming related sites are above.

My journey - my introduction to gaming began on my parents' Amstrad PC1512, circa 1986. This was Amstrad's new Intel 8086 CPU-based IBM compatible PC, with 512 KB RAM and 2 5.25" floppy drives. Not much by today's standards, but at the time it heralded boundless possibilities. Games like Alley Cat, Paratrooper, Sopwith and Castle Adventure would quickly soak up the time I had on this machine - if the dreaded "Abort, Retry, Fail" message didn't make an appearance that is...

Then around 1988, the first machine of my own: an Amstrad CPC 464 with colour monitor, picked up second hand at some kind of market and including the Amsoft games pack (including such classics as Oh Mummy, Bridge-It and Roland in the Caves). It sported an internal cassette deck from which games would take some minutes to load. Sometimes many minutes. Enough time to run some errands, take a nap or start a family. This was a machine that taught the true meaning of patience, frustration and problem-solving. One fateful day when some game again failed to load, I read that adjusting the tape head alignment, or azimuth, could help sort the problem. This was done via a small hole at the bottom of the tape deck.

 

. A legendary machine that taught us the true meaning of patience, frustration and problem-solving. After messing with the tape head adjustor screw in an effort to get a game to load, I was thereafter forever adjusting it henceforth. And the loading times! You pop in a cassette tape, press play, and settle in for a long wait. You have time to run errands, take a nap, and maybe even start a family before the game finally loads. Patience is a virtue, my friend, and the Amstrad CPC464 was the ultimate test.

And then, just when you thought the game was about to start, you're greeted by a cryptic message: "Press any key to continue." You frantically press every key on the keyboard, hoping for a breakthrough, only to realize that "any key" is just a mischievous joke played by the computer gods. Nevertheless, I was initiated into the Amsoft games pack, including such cllassics as Oh Mummy, Roland in the Caves, Harrier Attack and Animal Vegetable Mineral. Later on came better games like Way of the Exploding Fist and Barbarian II. It was a time when gaming wasn't about mind-blowing graphics or hyper-realistic simulations - it was about the pure joy of pixelated adventures and the triumph of getting a game to load successfully.

Around 1991 the family PC became the legendary 486SX, a powerhouse of a machine that took classic PC gaming to new heights (or perhaps, limited heights), it's beige tower proudly displaying its technological prowess. Playing classic PC games on a 486SX was a magical experience. It was a time when imagination ran wild, when gameplay triumphed over mind-blowing graphics, and when the joy of exploration and discovery surpassed any technological shortcomings. Games such as Double Dragon II, Outrun, Elite and Test Drive were regular inhabitants of the now 3.5" floppy drive, before the arrival of...the Sierra Adventure games - those delightful concoctions that brought joy, frustration, and the occasional desire to chuck your computer out the window. The puzzles were like devious riddles concocted by a mischievous game developer. Who else would think it's a brilliant idea to combine a rubber chicken with a pulley in a game about pirates? Having said that, I became firmly engrossed in the Space Quest and King's Quest series, then Police Quest, Hero's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry and Codename Iceman, amongst many others.

Soon after this time I acquired a Sega Megadrive - the console that brought us iconic games, blistered thumbs, and a bizarre obsession with a speedy blue hedgehog. Competing with the hedgehog were games like Road Rash II, Fatal Fury, Streets of Rage II and of course Street Fighter II. It was also the era of intense couch co-op battles and heated arguments over who got to play as Sonic or Tails.

Soon though I returned to the PC Master Race, the elite group of gamers who sit atop their high-tech thrones, sipping from their RGB-lit chalices and basking in the glory of superior frame rates. Picture a gathering of PC Master Racers, their battle stations resembling a cross between a spaceship control panel and a NASA command center. They proudly showcase their monstrous gaming rigs with more fans than an '80s boy band, all glowing in a mesmerizing rainbow of colors. They argue passionately about refresh rates, overclocking, and the mythical land of 4K resolution, as if they were discussing the secrets of the universe itself. Some favouties at this time were Mortal Kombat, Doom, Unreal Tournament and Duke Nukem 3D. May your frame rates be high, and your temperatures low....

After a brief period with a Microsoft Xbox 360 (Crackdown, Halo 3, Left 4 Dead) and then a Sony PS4 (Mortal Kombat 11, The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V), I eventually sold these and played solely on PC, though kick the kids' butts on their Switch from time to time. So yeah, that's the journey in a nutshell. Go ahead and check out some of the stuff on the projects page.

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