Computational linguistics

Kevin alone at the computer, or Christmas in games

What’s the best time of the year? Well, I would say that it’s summer (because I like warmth and it’s my birthday then), but for sure a lot of people facing the question about it would answer: Christmas time.

  • This is undoubtedly a special period that has not been overlooked by computer game developers over the years. Sometimes whole games were devoted to Christmas trees.
  • Christmas balls and a pot-bellied man in a red jacket, sometimes only mods or maps, and sometimes only small elements indicated that it was time for carp and mushroom. Anyway – there was a climate.
  • I spent most of my childhood and early teens playing rather old games or budget games that didn’t put too much strain on my outdated computer.
  • It was a school of life – my parents jerked off and bought me a computer that made my classmates jealous, then a few months passed and it was as outdated as the Commodore 64.

But the C64 was a classic and my computer was junk.

  • Due to the limited possibilities, I was happy when any game started at all. I remember that on some PCB I had – attention – a demo version of the game made in flash called Northolt Showdown. 
  • It was probably my first meeting with the Christmas theme in games.

Christmas killing and traditional Kevin

  • NS was a brawl in 2D, which you could play co-op (I played alone, because, firstly, the demo probably only had this option, and secondly, who would want to play such a niche game with me?
  • Either way, I must admit that I was having fun for the hundredth – it was controlling Elvington and Penza, some kind of Santa’s helpers.
  • The game was cutting me incredibly anyway, so the sequence that you can see in the video posted took me from 20 minutes to half an hour, depending on my form of the day. Nevertheless, this is my first Christmas and game memory.

However, I will not accuse you in this text only with my childhood flashbacks. I would prefer to refer to the universal symbol of Christmas now. Something that each of us associates, something that is the essence of Christmas. Yes, yes, exactly – it’s about “Home Alone”, watched for the 10,000th time. This is a clue , isn’t it?

Well – the gaming market and profiting from movie licenses have been inseparable for a long time. This is why, in 1991, the Home Alone game based on the known-what-work and basically the same story appeared : Kevin McCallister defends himself at home in the hacienda against burglars, using various traps or weapons (adapted, of course, to a younger audience) .

The production brought mixed reviews, but as you can see, it was profitable to such an extent that when the second part of the adventures of the character played by Macaulay Calkin appeared in cinemas, there was also an adaptation (beautiful word, CD-Action taught me) and this film. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York also received various reviews, sometimes overwhelming, but well – today we have at least a nice console-PC curiosity.

Like Jazz with Duke for Christmas

  • Speaking of classics, everyone who went to school in Poland at the turn of the century must associate the game.
  • That has practically always been installed on computers in libraries, community rooms and IT rooms – we are talking about Jaz Jackrabbit in various scenes that could be played on breaks.

The first edition of this production went through two special Christmas releases (or at least I got to that many) – they were called ” Holiday Hare 94 ” and “Holiday Hare 95”, respectively. These editions simply added one or two levels of “stars” (named “Holidays”, “Pandion” and “Bloxonius”),.

which were kept in a winter coat and on which, for example, we could meet characteristic sugar sticks ready to be collected, yes often associated with American Christmas movies. And traditionally, we could jump a little and shoot.

Another classic from the ’90s got a Christmas expansion in a rather twisted version, but all in keeping with the overall characteristics of the game – and the game franchise as well. I am talking about Duke Norkem 3D, which on the eve of New Year’s Eve 1997 saw an expansion pack called “Nuclear Winter”.

What exactly did it look like? Pretty standard: snow-covered maps, full of holiday decorations and enemies looking as if they have broken off some hellish North Pole. Nothing, however, reflects the atmosphere of this game as well as the description of the plot, which I will translate from the English-language Duke Norkem Wiki:

“Santa Claus has been captured and brainwashed by the aliens Duke defeated earlier. Worse, the aliens are now backed by enemy forces that call themselves the Feminist Elven Militia. Duke Nukem has to go to the North Pole to stop Santa Claus from being brainwashed and tormentors manipulating him ”- very universal style, isn’t it?