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Joel Schultz

Mysterious Cities of Gold

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Lately I've been on a bit of a childhood nostalgia binge. I've been recollecting things from my childhood -- toys, games, and TV shows. TV shows from later in life.

As for TV, of course there's Robotech -- I've always been a Robotech fan (see my avatar). But there were a couple other good shows I remember from my childhood. Like the Mysterious Cities of Gold.

I actually had a mediocre copy of the whole series on VHS tape, but was surprised to learn that they actually offer them now on DVD, like through Amazon. So having a bit of spare cash around, I went and ordered it.

You know, I forgot about how enjoyable the series is. Sure, from an adult standpoint watching, it has its cheesy moments. Some of the dialogue. Suspension of disbelief about the technology. But for all that it was a really entertaining series with an interesting plot.

What I didn't realize was that as originally intended to be broadcast, there were short three minute documentary clips at the end of every episode. These were actually supposed to be educational for kids, teaching them about real places, peoples, and cultures portrayed in the series. No thanks to Nickelodeon for dropping those parts.

This is the kind of show I wouldn't mind my child growing up with (when she gets old enough to watch TV, that is).

But then I got to thinking more about this show. It's a show about adventuring in exotic locations. Uncovering mysteries. Puzzles that need to be solved to unlock hidden clues. Hunting and putting together clues. Digging into ancient civilizations. Growing as a character.

Now look at a list of games that I've really enjoyed playing and movies that I like, noting "franchise" where I don't want to list all the individual titles, in no particular order:

Games:

  • Tomb Raider (franchise)
  • Myst (franchise)
  • Beyond Atlantis
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
  • Knights of the Old Republic (franchise)
  • Syberia (franchise)
  • Obsidian
  • Lost Eden
  • Beyond Good and Evil

TV/movies:

  • Indiana Jones (franchise)
  • National Treasure (franchise)
  • MacGyver
  • Star Trek (franchise)
  • Cities of the Underworld
  • Stargate
  • Goonies

I could go on an on. But each of those games, movies or TV shows all have multiple elements in common with MCoG. Especially within the point-and-click adventure game genre, which I am still a huge fan of.

You know, MCoG itself would have lent itself to a good game. It has all the elements of a classic Myst-like adventure game already present. Plus it would get bonus points for originality in that it could set it back in the 15-16th century. I'd fork over the money in a heartbeat.

So, that's MCoG for me: an enjoyable, entertaining, even educational show that (without my realizing it till now) shaped some my adult preferences in gaming, movies and TV.

Anyone else remember this show? Like it? Hate it?

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