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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Issue: Games: The Moon



Scrooge McDuck is an anthropomorphic duck that wears clothes and loves money. He is named after Ebenezer Scrooge from the novel "A Christmas Carol." Scrooge is a wealthy Scottish business magnate characterized as a stingy old miser. Most people agree he is based off Scottish industrialist Andrew Carnegie, but no one knows for sure.

Scrooge made his first appearance in a comic book called "Christmas on Bear Mountain," where he tests his family members to see if they are worthy of inheriting his wealth. Scrooge became popular enough through comic book appearances that later he became the lead character in his own. It's first issue was called, "Only a Poor Old Man."

The comic "Only a Poor Old Man" begins with scrooge swimming in his money bin saying, "I love to dive around in it like a porpoise, and burrow through it like a gopher, and toss it up and let it hit me on the head!" The family members from his first appearance are there with him, and they ask scrooge why he is so attracted to his money.


Scrooge said that to him it is not just money, his fortune was the result of a long life of hard work and daring action, and that each coin is a memento of an adventure. He told them, "You'd love your money as much as me if you'd gotten it the way I did - by thinking a little faster than the next guy, by jumping a little quicker. I had to be smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies, and I made it square!" Today "Only a Poor Old Man" is considered a masterpiece by most comic book enthusiasts. 

An animated television series based on Scrooges comic premeried in the eighty's. The show is about Scrooge taking care of his great nephews when their uncle joins the Navy. The show was the first attempt from a studio to create high budget, high quality animation for an animated series.

Which was a risky move, because animated series of the time were generally considered low budget and low return investments, as the intended audience could not pay for products displayed in advertising. And seemed unnecessary, as animated shows of the time maintained viewer bases off the name of the brand, regardless the quality of the product.  

The show was a breakout success, it ran a total of four seasons and 100 episodes. The immediate success of the show resulted in a licensed tie in video game of the same name being released two years later, which also became a breakout success. 

The game company tapped to create it were fans of the show, and decided the title should raise the bar in gaming if only to honor the subject material it came from. The DuckTales NES title is remembered for its bright and colorful graphics, tight play control, unique gameplay dynamics (such as using Scrooge's cane as a weapon, tool, and pogo stick), non-linear gameplay, and musical score.
    
The show and games appeal spread across all demographics, to the point if today you asked anyone of a certain age about the show, or to sing the theme song, they will recite the shows theme verbatim, or point to the music in the Ducktales Moon level stage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_80PQ543rM) as one of the greatest achievements in the history of video game music. 

The DuckTales game contains an alternate ending shown when the player finishes the game with at least $10,000,000, and has found both hidden treasures. The alternate ending displays Scrooge McDuck with a crown on his head in a newspaper photo, the caption says "Scrooge stunned the world with his discovery of 2 Lost Treasures."

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