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Episode 23: The Indoor Kids
Lost Games (w/ Jordan…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #23: Lost Games (w/ Jordan Morris)

Jordan Morris & The Indoor Kids put on their Indiana Jones hats and go Indiana Jonesing into the world of rare and unreleased/canceled games. Walk with us through this seedy underbelly of missteps, mistakes & mysteries. “This belongs in a museum!,” we all say in unison.

Follow @Jordan_Morris on Twitter!

Follow @indoorkids, @kumailn, and @thegynomite on Twitter!

And email us at [email protected]!

Special thanks to Carvin for supplying us with the equipment we need to record this podcast! Check out for more information on recording equipment, guitars, amps and more!

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  1. Luke says:

    I had a copy of ET for the Atari 2600. All I remember is a top down map view where you’d try to walk around. And then you’d fall into empty wells every so often. That turned it to a side view. And then you could make your neck go up and down and jump … but you were stuck in the bottom of a waterless well … and I never figured out how to get out.

    I’d just have to reset the game any time I fell in a well.

    No phone home button.

  2. Evan says:

    Boner in the court.

  3. guest says:

    The working title of “Ghost Adventures” was “Ghostfellas”. Seriously:

  4. Ainsley says:

    Just started listening to this podcast today and I think it’s great! The later discussion of political structure in Mario made me LOSE it. Also wanted to say Adderall makes me feel like my teeth are vibrating, too! Scary shit.

  5. Kyle says:

    Starcraft: Ghost
    Mega Man Universe

  6. Kyle says:

    Starcraft: Ghost
    Mega Man Universe

  7. sean says:

    Not really related to this episode but i do have a question for you, Im new to this podcast so i was listening to a few of the older ones, (number 15 to be exact) before Skyrim cam out Kumail was talking about how he didnt get RPGs, got lost easily and generally didnt enjoy them.
    what changed? what was different about Skyrim?

  8. Emily says:

    Snegu, just reading that terrified me, but also warmed my heart that there are others. I don’t know how that beast ever made it into a kids movie.

  9. Snegu says:

    I just want to add that, as a child, I also found ET terrifying, and was particularly afraid that he would come look at me through the window. There was a bathroom in my house that I wouldn’t use because it had a window that seemed very ET-friendly.
    I also married a man who loved ET and was horrified to learn this. You’re not alone Emily!

  10. Kass says:

    The band Wintergreen found a bunch of the ET cartridges in a music video. It’s a pretty victorious music video, but I love digging indie bands.

  11. RichM says:

    The defense breasts?

  12. IanAdams says:

    @GimpyDingo, the dearth of material on LostLevels these days is a direct result of pretty much all the main contributors having full time jobs making or writing about video games these days. It was an expensive and time consuming hobby.

  13. Very Cool Episode. Will there be a post mortem for Skyrim? You guys made me put Skyrim on my wishlist. I did play Oblivion. I never got close to beating it but did put in 20 or so hours. It was alright.

    Are you guys gonna to make a best of 2011 video game show?

  14. GimpyDingo says:

    Had to look up Dead Rush, cool looking PS2 game. Always like open world and gfx aren’t too shabby for PS2.

    Lostlevels is a cool site, but isn’t really updated.

    Unseen64 is a better site with far more info (but no Bio Force Ape jokes)

  15. Matt10 says:

    I remember reading in an issue of EGM about a game called “Dead Rush” where you play as a soldier who wakes up on a beach on an isolated island where the only bridge out of the place is ruined. An earthquake has happened and you have to go into the city there to find survivors. There was this fog there and whoever goes into the fog comes out a zombie. The zombies are very photoallergenic so you could use flashlights to kill them as well as guns.

    You also had to fortify a building with weapons and lights for your survivors to live in as you took to the streets of the darkened city and fought off zombies and other monsters on a quest to find parts for a vehicle to transport the survivors out of the city. There were a few pictures of the game, but it never got made. It’s a shame.

  16. IanAdams says:

    This is a topic I’m super familiar with, largely by association. Frank Cifaldi is a good friend of mine, and despite you kind of misapprehending the meaning of butter (the real meaning is stupider and more insular, and I don’t blame anyone for not getting it) you did a really great job on this. I’m glad I didn’t have to get upset that you said stuff that wasn’t true! Because I’m a horrible nerd!

  17. Gospel X says:

    I have to say that I disagree with Emily’s suggestion that games are more grown-up these days. Saying they’re more insecure is definitely more accurate. Designers are trying too hard to say, “Respect me! This is something (worth buying)!” The thing is, I find the grim and grittiness in the visuals as well as the darker themed writing to be over compensatory, and it’s all just sound and fury. While there are certainly some great, mature titles out there today, most of them seem juvenile by trying too hard. Many of them, if you think about it, just result in what is easily comparable to old pulp novels.

    And the truth is it really comes down to the players. When the players are saying that they prefer more mature content, I don’t think they’re being all that mature themselves. A good game is a good game, and to hell with the image and attitude associated with it.

  18. Kumail Nanjiani says:

    Also, if you are in Chapel Hill, NC on Dec 23rd, you can come see me do stand-up at And then you can hang and meet both Indoor Kids! Yay!


  19. GimpyDingo says:

    I did luck out and get to play some beta games while working at an arcade and there was another in town that would get some games as well (Primal Rage 2 being one). We got to test out SF Rush with wavenet (online play) against other arcades. Ahh the good ol days.

    I would consider NES as old school, even Genesis and SNES. The 2600 really takes it far back and does have it fair share of oddities – ET and (a few sex based games) Custers Revenge and some other were you pilot a helicopter and your character dangling underneath would put out some flames around a women, with your penis??

    Never heard of Polybius!! Looks like there is an online version. Seems to be the same legend as Pokemon giving seizures to little Japanese kids.

    Tattoo Assassins I have only played on MAME and it runs slow during game play 🙁

    How about an episode of your (and guests) favorite games of all time.

    Phantasy Star II and Killer Instinct (arcade) are among my top favs. Of course Skyrim and the like for newer games.

  20. Walter T says:

    Thanks for another entertaining episode.

    Seeing as how both Kumail and Jordan are fighting game fans I thinks its about time for a fighting game episode.

    As for the guest I would recommend a California resident and fighting game commentator (yes they exist) David “Ultradavid” Graham. Who is an articulate and very knowledgeable fan of fighting games who recently wrote a densely detailed (i.e. LONG) article about the dual histories, demographics, and possible future success of both the FGC and Starcraft 2 as possible pillars of the Esports/Competitive Gaming scene.

    Link to his site

    and the op ed can be found at

  21. onReload says:

    Oh wow, Polybius…I heard about some game that made people go crazy, didn’t know the urban legend went back so far. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I heard a convincingly detailed story like that, way back when. Actually, probably terrified – I played this PC game, Yume Nikki, that people told me was really off-putting and uncomfortable, and I was kind of scared what it would do to me (yes, this was only 4 years ago)…when I finally got the chance to play it, it actually became one of my favorite games of all time, though it is really, really weird and kind of unsettling:

  22. Kumail Nanjiani says:

    Thanks all for listening! This topic was very fascinating to me. I genuinely felt excited trying to track down information on these games.

    GimpyDingo: I remember hearing about Tattoo Assassins. Had no idea it never came out. And I can’t believe you played Primal rage 2! Wow. Guardians of the Hood looked awesome but I never ever got to play it.

    OnReload, I agree with you about the Dreamcast. One of my favorite systems of all time. It also has the Powerstone games, Soul Reaver (what happened to the Legacy of Kain series?!?), Ikaruga & Crazy Taxi 2 were among my faves. Still own it.

    Do you guys know Polybius? Crazy story:

    I would love to do another episode like this, about video game urban legends & easter eggs etc. And talk about some of the games you guys mentioned that we missed. Hopefully soon!

    Thanks again for listening!


  23. onReload says:

    I think the 2600 generation is amazed that I didn’t grow up playing that – that to me, “old school” is the NES…but I respect the older videogame players, and am always up to hear more about what I missed. The other night, I was at Barcade in Brooklyn, and I was still amazed to see how many great early 80s arcade games I had never heard of, like Satan’s Hollow or Ladybug. That’s what I love about retro gaming; it feels like even though gaming is progressing so well right now, if they stopped all production whatsoever, we would still collectively have a backlog of great games to last us for a long, long time. GimpyDingo, you should email me at [email protected], or find me as onReload on Steam/MSN/youtube/something to that effect.

  24. GimpyDingo says:

    I could talk about this all day. Too many topics and too many games when it comes to old school gaming. Still amazes me kids will start out with their first system being a PS2/Xbox/GC/Wii/PS3/360.

    My first system was an Atari 2600 my mom bought me when I broke my leg at the age of six. Ever since I have been hooked. Thanks mom!

    As for my collection, unfortunately it has dwindle a bit over the years. Still have some obscure systems and games (neo geo pocket B&W and color). I still have a gameboy as my oldest handheld and SNES, PSX, N64 being my oldest consoles. I still have my Dreamcast with about 300 games (being one of the first released, waaayy pre Oct 2000 of course 🙂 ). I just finished building my MAME arcade cabinet a few weeks back and that has kept me busy finding all the games I played, saw and never played and the odd games that need love too.

    Even though I still have a DC, it was always a mixed bag of games. So many had that Sega feel, with it’s bland color palettes (Sonic being the exception). I still have Seman and the mic for it. Loved that game and played all the way through. I still have the keyboard for Typing of the Dead. But some of the best DC games had to be the fishing games; Sega Bass and Marine were damn fun (Fishermans Bait being the only better fishing games I’ve played, but those are for PSX). PSO awesome for it’s time. Action/Rpg, was nice to have split screen on the Xbox version. The system was great for fighting games and Crazy Taxi.

    I’ll have to hunt down Bio Force Ape. I did play Cheetahmen 2/Action 52 rom, pretty bad game.

    Cheetahmen commercial??

    I just saw on the android market that the Penn and Teller Desert Bus is available for download (only the bus level!). It seems to have night/day cycles, light weather, bugs and lots of desert!

    A show about some of the worst games people have not played (or maybe they have)?

    Giligans Island and (Racist) Tom Sawyer for NES are two gems.

    Thought this was going to be a quick post….I thought wrong

  25. onReload says:

    since it seems i’m not the only one who wants to just jump in during non-current gaming discussions, i’m gonna write as I listen a few thoughts:

    GimpyDingo is the man for his knowledge, collection, and for mentioning Tattoo Assassins. SHOGUN is correct about those fighting game streams, just…don’t read the stream’s chat. Urgh.

    Anyway, holy fuck, Gianna Sisters. Awhile ago, I got a C64 emulator and a rom of that game, and it’s so much fun and the music is amazing, with that distinctive C64 sound. Kumail, you’ve probably heard this since it’s all over YouTube, but if you want a nice nostalgia trip, check out the reason why I heard of the game:

    Cheetahmen II …Surprised you didn’t mention these games with the talk of Bio-Force Ape, since they both involve genetically enhanced animals…and an ape. Technically Cheetahmen 1 came out, though on the unlicensed Action 52, but Cheetahmen II never did. It’s famous for being terrible, but it’s huge on 2chan, the world’s largest messageboard (it’s in Japanese :\) because while it’s so bad, the level music is fantastically catchy and has been covered and remixed many times by a lot of Japanese electronic musicians….it’s worth playing because of how hilariously bad it is, and the sound effects mute the music entirely, which makes it more frustrating ’cause you just want to hear the music.

    Dreamcast…here’s my two cents – not gonna blow up at Jordan or anything, but I think sometimes people forget that just because it didn’t “win” economically, and was therefore the end of Sega in many ways, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some great technology, (except…DVD play, which is a HUGE reason as to why the PS2 was initially so successful and took the lead) great games, as you guys talked about in this episode and the Addiction episode with Tom Lennon. It also had Phantasy Star Online, which was an MMO, for its online capabilities. Don’t forget that many people love it for fighting games, as Sega’s Dreamcast produced the arcade hardware responsible for Capcom vs. SNK 1 and 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, so they have the best ports on the Dreamcast…every fighting game tournament for years had to have a DC somewhere. Also, it had the superior versions of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and all SF3 games (until SFIII:3SO for modern consoles), among other excellent ports exclusively Power Stone 1 and 2, Project Justice, Plasma Sword, Virtua Fighter 2-4…and those are just fighting games. People love Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Crazy Taxi, Jet Grind Radio, Seaman, Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia, Typing of the Dead…and people still make games either for the system, or games based on its hardware (yes, some are actually good/popular like Melty Blood or other Japanese-based fighting games). The disparity between good European/American games and good Japanese games isn’t nearly as bad as the Sega Saturn (which I’ll still buy), but it has a lot of great games and, IMO, has about as many good games as the GameCube…which I will also defend like crazy, even though yes, I have a PS2 and I’ve gotten way more mileage out of it. Play everything is my philosophy. Except…well…nevermind.

    the bit on games-as-movies, i’m glad you guys feel the same way I do…and it’s a discussion that goes back to FF7, with the start of FMVs on playstation and stuff, but it’s obviously accellerating as tech gets better. my feeling is, if you can’t skip it…why do you want me to buy your game? let me choose how much i want to get immersed in your story – yes, you put a lot of time into it, but maybe i bought your game to explore and run around and try and glitch into walls or shoot helpful NPCs, whatever!

    for more info on this kinda thing, if you’re really curious, check out – it’s the forum where the bioforce ape joke came from, but there are some serious collectors with serious knowledge there.

    great episode, glad jordan didn’t cause a war this time, emily & kumail, stay uh, you know, whatever!

  26. Mr. V says:

    jamesedwardsmith, your pretentiousness knows no bounds

    great podcast btw!

  27. Wow, Emily didn’t know that Soul Calibur was a Dreamcast game… You guys might wanna get real nerds for your podcasts.

  28. I google-image-searched ‘Tongue of the Fat Man’ and it was very frightening. Also, Bio Force Ape strangely reminds me of the DOS game Jill of the Jungle. Some weird ideas for games back in the day…

  29. Elliott Wallace says:

    I just wanted to share this about the Nintendo World Championship :

    It’s the AVGN video of the game.

  30. James says:

    Alas, youve forgotten the Full Throttle sequel that got scrapped.

    Btw, on the topic of old school easter eggs in video games, does anyone remember how in old Lucasarts games theyd always put Max from Sam & Max in their games? Shadows of the Empire, Dark Forces, Rebel Assault 3, even the original Full Throttle has a Max head in the background.

  31. Christopher says:

    Hung Jury.

  32. GimpyDingo says:

    Yes! Starcraft: Ghost, the other Duke Nukem mythos game. I hope they don’t pull a Duke and bring it out at this point. When a game gets delayed for several years then is cancelled it should never be resurrected.

  33. Kevin says:

    No mention of StarCraft: Ghost?

  34. odin42 says:

    Primal rage! Oh man that takes me back. Another great ep as usual. I wanted to say one of the best and probably overlooked dreamcast games is project justice, a capcom fighting game and the sequal to rival schools. It was the last dreamcast game i bought, and it kept that console on for months.

  35. MikeSol says:

    I’m 21 and I enjoy the zelda chime when you find hidden areas. Ocarina was my first game that i played without having watched my older brother play it.

  36. When I worked for, we had a beta copy of Thrill Kill. The general consensus was that it was pretty one-note, but if they’d made the effort to actually put in a quality fighting game underneath the over-the-top characters, it could’ve been a really interesting game.

  37. GimpyDingo says:

    Long post coming up!

    Awesome episode!! I love playing unreleased/beta games. Always as a kid I (and I am sure many others) never had enough money to play all the games I wanted. I rented and borrowed games from friends, but there is always the elusive games I never got to play. Now with emulators running everything under the sun I can finally play all those games I missed. I still own my Dreamcast, but run the emulator for it to play Marvel vs Capcom 2 on my arcade cabinet.

    I love unreleased and rare japanese games. One of you guests had mentioned Vib Ribbon for PSX previously. I have a copy of both Vib Ribble and Vib Ribbon. Both different types of games, but both great puzzlers.

    You mentioned quite a few of the good “unreleased” games. Here is what I thought of:

    Tattoo Assassins (arcade), Mortal Kombat ripoff with hundreds of fatalities including shooting a turkey out of your ass. There is a rom for it, but the game is sadly, very slow.

    MK II for PSX would have been a great release. Arcade perfect graphics, but the beta had a bit of loading when it came to fatalities and anyone you morphed into while playing as Shang Tsung

    Primal Rage 2 I did play the beta version when it was released in a local arcade. Was better than PR 1, had the morph feature, but I only got to play it a few times. The second time I went back to the arcade the game was gone.

    Tenth Degree was another beta arcade game that was being tested at an arcade I was working at. People from Atari were there to test the game and ask questions. Everyone in the arcade was ripping on the game. Graphics were nowhere are good as Tekken 3/Tag at the time. The game play was psuedo street fighter, they added the pauses after hits trying to emulate Street Figher. I was able to play against some of the Atari people and was able to beat them after only playing the game for a matter of minutes. There is a rom for it, but it is waaaaay to slow to play.

    Too Human – cancelled for PSX, more adventure/puzzles vs action game. Looked a lot better than the released version.

    Pit Figher 2 became Guardians of the Hood (arcade) – looking at the pics it uses 3 of the pit fighter 2 characters (new) plus one additional. Has the same intros for the Guurdians characters. Gurardians is a Final Fight type of game. There is a working rom.

    I own 2 different copies of Thrill Kill. I believe there are 3 – 4 different versions released, some with endings, some without. Great combos, 4 player fighting, has fatalities, interesting characters. When you fill up your kill meter you get the chance to chase the other players around the ring and catching one meant instant fatality. And yes, this game was remade into Wu Tang Shaolin Style – almost the same game, same gameplay, had fatilities, but with a Wu Tang flair. Not sure why Redman killing someone is better than a freaky cannibal redneck??

    Half Life for Dreamcast. never officially released, but has nicer gfx than the pc versions, also included Blue Shift.

    Prop Arena for Dreamcast was a airplance racing game, but they feared that people would crash into buildings since this was just after 9-11.

    Steven Segal for the SNES. There is a beta rom floating around. Had digitized, Mortal Kombat style gfx and sort of a Final Fight style of gameplay.

    Resident Evil 1.5 (2 beta) has 2 player support and the game itself is different than RE2. Wish I could find a copy!

    There was a New Kids on the Block game which was talked about in Nintendo Power. You would fight against the “New Kid Haters”.

    BC for Xbox, made by Peter Molyneux. From the screens I saw years ago and now vids, looks like it could have been something great.

    Shenmue 1 on Saturn, before being redone for the Dreamcast. Surprisingly looks very good for a Saturn game.

    NBA Live 11 – have a copy, played a bit and not a big basketball fan, so can’t tell you what the real issue is besides the vids online with the jesus pose, etc…

    I owned ET on the 2600 and should have kept the copy!! I beat the game. Very odd, falling down “pits” using your neck to fly back up, running from the “FBI” agents. Find reeses pieces and pieces of your “phone” to get back home.

    There was an indy movie being made about finding the ET landfill, but they gave up after never finding the location.

    I still have an original ET toy with his weird ham head.

    Giana sistes came out for NDS!

    Never heard of Bioforce Ape – must find the rom. Actually looks good for a NES game. The animation seems a bit too smooth for a NES game, could it be that someone made/remade the game and released as a rom?

    Penn and Teller – yes you do drive for hours and hours on the road to vegas and nothing happens. I still need to find a copy.

    Socks the cat!! I remember reading about that! Horrible!!

    Awesome Opossum – I still say it as well, just such a bad name for a game, but rolls off the tongue (of the fat man). I worked at Kaybee toys when this game was out and always remember seeing the box and saying Awesome Opossum.

    Here are some episode ideas:

    Episode of unlicensed games. Tekken vs Virtua fighter for Genesis, Street Fighter 2 NES.

    Unbeatable games – Noid, Athena, Treasure Master, Castle of Dragon all for NES

    And as always more SKYRIM!!

  38. clivodimars says:

    love the indoor kids

  39. SHOGUN says:

    Great episode as per usual guys!

    Kumail, if you’re ever interested in watching more high level play for fighting games (IE Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3) check out these weekly tournament streams and/or their archives when you have spare time. and

    Team Spooky were the ones who streamed EVO2K11 a few months back. There is also another major tournament happening next weekend called SoCal Regionals hosted by the Level Up crew as well.