The 1 More Castle Manifesto
The player is sitting on the living room carpet, hunched forward with wide eyes and intent concentration. The 8-bit protagonist on the softly glowing screen is running across the pixelated landscape, dodging projectiles and defeating enemies with ease. Every glorious beep and bloop serves as an overture to what feels like inevitable victory.
“Honey,” a female figure suddenly, quietly interrupts from the hallway in a halted, raspy tone. “It’s late. You should go to bed,” the player’s mom gently urges, her silhouette barely discernible against the dim backdrop of the walls behind her.
The player’s focus is unwavering. Thumbs flit from button to button, leaning on precise directional angles, the controller softly clicking and slightly angling with each press. The hero persists, champion of another realm, bent on saving the world and rescuing the princess, on triumphing over evil, on fulfilling a noble purpose no mere mortal could ever appreciate.
“Just a minute mom,” the player sharply hisses in return; not meaning any disrespect, but honed in on the mission at hand. Lives are in the balance. “Just one more castle…”
To put it in simple words: We love old video games.
To put a purposeful twist on such fondness: We believe that old video games are worth preserving, promoting, and enjoying. We believe that retro gameplay, along with its related discussion and creative projects, is still worthwhile. We believe that pure fun outweighs graphical fidelity, although varying levels of each certainly exist. We believe nobody should feel ashamed to like a cartridge that is decades old.
Such sentiments are hardly original. After all, the term “retro gamer” has become so widely used that it, in its widespread popularity, has already become the butt of hip jokes and even a source of contention, as the retroheads themselves debate over what, exactly, qualifies as “retro” within the gaming arena.
Some of us are retro gamers because we grew up too poor to keep up with the latest consoles, so we always got our systems secondhand for cheap but managed to thoroughly enjoy those experiences anyway. Some of us are retro gamers because we have been playing electronic games for over thirty years and developed a taste for vintage masterpieces. Some of us are retro gamers because we just never quite got done enjoying everything that those old games had to offer; we like to get every ounce of value out of those titles as we can, and are hesitant, even stubbornly so, to move on. Others are retro gamers because we dislike current gaming trends, ranging from DLC to a lack of local multiplayer.
Yet, for all this passion, is there one great retro gaming website on the web?
Sure, there are some niche sites, blogs, and other nuanced destinations. But when we say “great,” we truly mean it in both senses: A big sense of grand size, and a big dose of high quality. We set out to fill a need, and to create exactly the sort of website we ourselves would enjoy. We wanted it to be professional in its appearance, friendly for its visitors, collaborative in its content, and cultural in its resonance.
Modern, “mainstream” gaming has their outlets such as Kotaku, Polygon, IGN and other impressive venues. Let us be perfectly clear: 1 More Castle isn’t here to discredit the advancements to the medium as an art form, and the growth of the gaming community that modern gaming brings. If anything, it is to their credit that video gaming remains such an explosively relevant force in society.
But we believe it is time that retro gamers, too, had their “one big site.” A central hub. The bar-setter. To be very clear: We are taking this seriously. We are aiming high. We have a healthy amount of ambition.
We want to be your #1 retro gaming website.
We want to give you multiple daily updates, so that you can keep checking back for more excellent content.
We want you to share our pages not because we ask you to, but because you genuinely want to show them to someone else.
We want to become one of your favorite new websites – and, someday, your favorite old website.
We want to become your go-to source for retro gaming-related news.
We want to entertain you, to make you laugh and make you think.
We want to listen to you and respond accordingly.
We want you to visit 1 More Castle and feel like you are that kid again, sitting on the living room floor, turning down the volume on the television set so that dad does not wake up, playing your favorite old video game, and responding to mom’s overtures with a hushed tone of “Please, just one more castle…”
Remember when beating a tough level gave you a sense of fulfillment like no other? Remember when playing a sports game gave you more of an adrenaline rush than actually playing the sport itself? Remember when you could buy a game without knowing anything about it? Remember when you had to buy strategy guides from a toy store or subscribe to magazines to get more information? Remember when even the big-name developers took genre-busting risks? Remember the emotional cycle of liking a quirky game, discovering that your friends thought it was dumb, but to ultimately end up defending it and learning to love it all the more? Remember when Sega and Sony seemed cutting-edge and rebellious? Remember the magic of entering an arcade? Remember the alluring hum of an old disk drive? Remember when neighborhood kids exchanged cheat codes in the cafeteria at school, when you had to hand-write passwords and draw your own maps, when the game would glitch out and you got Mario to do something that nobody would ever believe?
Join us on a little journey. You are among friends. Together, we can conquer 1 More Castle.
Let’s press Start.
— Eric & Andrew