ABOUT THE MUSEUM CURATOR
My Computer Game History


I am Jukka Eronen from the south of Finland. I create many kinds of art, compose music, make movies, play the guitar, write poems etc. And I'm a gamer and a collector.

I've played computer games since a little kid. My first computer was a 80286 PC: IBM PS/1. I also got to play on f.ex. Commodore 64, Amiga 500, Atari and Nintendo Entertainment System back in the old days. Our elementary school had an old Commodore; possibly C16 or Vic=20 with a small black and white monitor.

OLD DAYS

IBM PS/1 It all started with an IBM PS/1 (80286, 10MHz, 30MB HD, 3.5" diskdrive) that my grand father bought for me in 1991. A versatile PC machine it was, with 256 color VGA graphics. With this wonder machine I could draw (Deluxe Paint II), make animations (Deluxe Paint Animation, Disney Animation Studio), compose music (FastTracker 1.01), write documents (EDIT.COM) and print. I could play games and code them too (GW-Basic, Turbo Pascal 7.0). Later I got a 14.4kbps modem to surf on-line on BBS' – Bulletin Board Systems' (Lynx). 30 megs was the size of the harddrive – amazing to think these days! It was pretty sufficent for its time at first but it did start to get full (with games especially) and 3.5" disks were in use a lot.

With the PS/1 I was able to do almost everything that I do these days too. Of course in a simpler and smaller form back then. The downside was that some games needed a 80386 processor in order to work. And some games or programs worked slowly. That also sometimes had to do with not-so-good programming. F.ex. Pinball Fantasies (coded on assembler) played superbly smooth and fast with digitized PC Speaker music and sound on that 80286 – like say on a 80486! That's some 'core programming there. It was only in 1997 when I finally bought a new computer, a Pentium MMX 200MHz. The leap was quite something.

MY PROGRAMMING, RETRO GAMES AND MUSIC

In 1991–1993 I programmed many graphic stuff, PC beeper musics and stick figure animations of my own with GW-Basic 3.22. In 1993 I got Turbo Pascal 6.0 and later 7.0 which were vast improvements as a programming language goes. Also in 1993 I started to compose with FastTracker 1.01 and PC Speaker. Finally in 1996 I got DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) which improved the sound tremendously – and I could start using an amplifier with loudspeakers.
Tight Spot © Jukka Eronen
I made lots of graphics, musics and sounds for various own game projects but unfortunately most of them never got finished. You can view some of the screenshots here. I still hope to correct this and finish a retro game project some day...

FIRST GAMES

Some of the first games I remember playing on various computers were Bubble Bobble, Alley Cat, Frogger, Leisure Suit Larry, Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Giana Sisters – to name a few.

Police Quest 1 (AGI) The first games that I remember playing on the own IBM PS/1 were Police Quest (AGI version – with an earlier cyan title screen as oppose to blue title screen), Test Drive II: The Duel, Grand Prix Circuit, Nero 2000 (a Finnish trivia quiz from 1987), Ski or Die, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Konami) and Silent Service II. Adventure games hooked me up immediately as a kid. I remember fondly the hot summer day when I played through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. I still consider it as the best adventure game of all-time, in addition to The Dig. Some of my other all-time favorites are Monkey Island 2, Police Quest (AGI), King's Quest II, Leisure Suit Larry 7, Prince of Persia, Another World, Bubble Bobble, Great Giana Sisters, Super Mario Bros... From the shareware-department some of the most memorable are Astro Fire, Action Supercross (a.k.a. Elastomania), Slicks'n Slide, Auts and from "newer" games Death Rally, Darklight Conflict and P.O.D.

COLLECTING BEGINS

The Secret of Monkey Island Having nostalgia for games I started collecting adventure games of my youth in autumn 2001. I started with Sierra and LucasArts, which are considered to be the kings of adventure by many. Some of the first games for the collection were Leisure Suit Larry 5, The Secret of Monkey Island and other classics.

I started to collect more and more games for different platforms. Some I had played before while others I hand't. And some of the covers at least were familiar. After a few months official J.R.R. Tolkien computer games started to interest me. Seeing the beautiful covers of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons gold boxes I started to collect them and soon Ultima role-playing games too. In summer 2003 I got interested in the other (non-AD&D) SSI fantasy games also, from mostly 1980s.

I found games and old computers from my home town's flea markets, weekend garage sales, electronic stores and from the web. The findings were galore and excellent back in early 2000s. Game collections Some of the best findings included Amiga, C64, PC, Apple ][ and Nintendo stuff, a lot of obscure 1980s Finnish computer games, etc.

The collection grew rapidly. I started to focus on fantasy-themed games especially. Other great collecting influences and help were websites like Vintage-Sierra, LucasArts Museum and Musem of Computer Adventure Game History that inspired me to widen the horizon.

WEBSITE AND MUSEUM

Fantasy Adventures 1.0 In 2001 I published my first home page Synchronic Web that featured my own art, music and collecting pages, including computer games. When it grew, in 2005 I seperated the game collecting pages to a site called Fantasy Adventures. It was a visual and virtual version of the physical Museum with adventure/RPG and other computer game collecting information. In 2011 I started to remake the old Fantasy Adventures site and finally released this renewed version 2.0 in the spring of 2015.

In addition to graphical update I wanted to focus the new site on game art and games as art. One of the main reasons was also because the "1.0" version was always a bit confusing (even to me at times) with its division to Museum and Guides -sections which seemed blurry at times. So now the Collecting Guides appear and will be featured via articles in the Blog. And the Museum remains clearly as a seperate entity.

TODAY

Bubbe Bobble 3D

The highly active collecting years were thru 2001 to 2006. After that I attended art schools and the pace toned down. Nowadays I still collect but mostly passively. Which means if something interesting comes along I acquire essential items for the collections (for an affordable price). The priority is in filling up the gaps from 1980s and early 90s – especially On-Line Systems, early Sierra, Ultima series and Finnish 1980s computer game releases that I'm missing.

In addition to my original game and pixel art that I've done since the 1990s, I've started to create retro game artwork inspired by classic games. F.ex. in the themes of "games that weren't" and "video games come to life" (i.e. Lego pixel-block art). I have also composed since the early 1990s and continue to compose f.ex. ambient and medieval music that go well with the game themes also. There will be more MP3 pieces added to the music page every now and then.

As of 2015, I've found myself interested more in video games too; especially Nintendo, Sega and Atari. This has a lot to do with discovering Angry Video Game Nerd and his crazy funny gaming videos.

I hope this website will bring you nostalgic memories and perhaps introduce to artwork and games that might be interesting to check more about.






Top artwork from "Ulysses and the Golden Fleece" (On-Line Systems, 1981).
Thanks to Vintage Computing and Gaming for the magazine scan.




Nero 2000 (Bio-Syntax Method Oy)