The Making of Karateka

I was a massive fan of the Atari 50 collection by Digital Eclipse so I was thrilled when they announced The Making of Karateka. I think people have been asking for decades for a Criterion Collection style rerelease of old games, where interviews and documents are packaged with the game. It follows the same format of the Atari 50 collection, where you are presented with multiple timelines, each documenting a different era, and scroll through the timelines to see various documents, interviews with people involved, and games to play. I wasn’t sure how much you could do for just one game but it’s the perfect rerelease to me, no complaints. It’s stunning how much was preserved by Jordan. I knew he had journals during the making of his games because I had read the one he released for Prince of Persia, but the collection also features playable prototypes for games that were never released and letters sent back and forth between him and Broderbund. The remakes created by Digital Eclipse for the games in the collection are a lot of fun too.

I’m hoping the collection is a big hit and we’ll see more of these. I don’t know how many are possible because it’s hard to imagine anyone preserving everything as well as Jordan Mechner has, but I’m sure Digital Eclipse has a few in the works if they announced this is the beginning of a Gold Master Series that “presents iconic games in an innovative “interactive documentary” format, putting the shared history of games and their creators into one comprehensive package.” I think my dream version of one of these that I think would actually be possible, meaning a game not owned by a giant company like Lucasarts or Sierra, would be something like Llamasoft. Seeing prototypes and interviews for anything they put out would be fantastic.

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