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Old 03-02-2012, 07:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Drop What You're Doing and Start Watching Chrontendo

Since Breaking Bad had its season finale in September, I've mostly been filling my brief bits of TV-watching with shows I've already seen an appalling number of times. But after realizing that it's probably not healthy to have memorized the contents of Netflix's entire Mystery Science Theater 3000 selection, I had no choice but to scour the Internet in search of some alternative long-form programming. After days of fruitless searching, I stumbled upon the sublime Chrontendo: one man's effort to catalog the entire 8-bit Famicom/NES library in video form. So far I've digested a good chunk of Dr. Sparkle's incredibly comprehensive series, leaving me with no choice but to share its awesomeness with you dear Retronauts readers.

Chrontendo chief Dr. Sparkle has been quietly producing these videos for almost five years now, and I assume he's been pretty low-key about the operation; for the amount of work put into this project, it's not getting the attention it deserves (even when you factor in the somewhat-esoteric subject matter). Though I guess Chrontendo does require its audience to focus on a single piece of content for upwards of an hour (and sometimes longer), which does make it an anomaly in the world of Internet video. That said, the affable Dr. Sparkle provides a nice mix of education, commentary, and criticism, with a bit of light-hearted, good-natured humor thrown in for good measure. The guy knows his audience, and often includes mini-history lessons on subjects like adventure games that will make even the hardest of hardcore retro gamers scratch their collective chins in deep thought.

Here's the newest episode, in case you're interested. (Hint: you should be.)

Unfortunately, the majority of the series has yet to hit Dr. Sparkle's YouTube channel; if you want to start the series with 1983, you'll have to do a search for "Chrontendo" on And while you're there, make sure to dig up Sparkle's Chronsega and Chronturbo videos as well; he hasn't made it as far into their respective libraries, but each series features the same admirable attention to detail as Chrontendo.
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