Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Great Gatsby- From Novel to NES

A couple of days ago, I stumbled across this hidden gem:

The Great Gatsby for NES

Apparently found at a yard sale and bought for 50 cents, this original NES game had nothing more than a funky old game booklet that somehow linked it to "an unreleased localization of a Japanese cart called 'Doki Doki Toshokan: Gatsby No Monogatari.'"

A martini a day keeps the doctor away.

You get to play as the narrator of the famous book, Nick Carraway, and fight your way through hordes of butlers, flappers, and "tommyguns." Your weapon of choice--a stylish hat! And if you happen to get hit by an enemy and lose a health point, a martini's all you need to feel better.

The game is lathered with phrases like "old sport" and "two-bit town," and does a decent job of summing up the main themes and events of The Great Gatsby in the span of a little over 10 minutes.

But imagine my surprise when a quick search revealed that it was all a clever hoax by the founders of the website! Of course there's no NES Gatsby game(part of me still didn't want to believe it).

And yet, I couldn't be upset. Here, a couple of game developers took a classic piece of literature, revived it, and well, made it relevant to more than just English majors. They even managed to combine it with the worthy and retro medium of the NES. Using an interactive and compelling art form, this game succeeds where the book may not. Nostalgia for both, the video gaming world and that of classic literature ensures that this isn't the last we see of a retro-rendition of some of the world's legendary authors. Hopefully, this has inspired other game developers to make reading fun and video games even more reflective of the world around us.

Legend of Frankenstein, anyone?

So play the game, or even watch the game. It's good fun!


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