Prepare to die.
After taking a sidebar into portable (or semi-portable, in the case of Virtual Boy) gaming, the Video Works plan now is to knuckle down and work through the remainder of the NES’s extraordinary 1987 lineup. We’ve admittedly passed through the biggest games of the year with Metroid and Zelda, but there are some significant works yet to come. There are also some, like the titles contained in this week’s double-header video release, that weren’t especially significant in the grand scheme of the NES’s history but nevertheless have interesting backstories.
Spelunker has a notable legacy on personal computers, whereas Sqoon… does not. However, what both have in common is that they came to NES courtesy of Irem (either on their own or via Brøderbund), as the first self-produced creations by Irem. We did see Irem back at the U.S. launch… sort of. 10-Yard Fight and Kung Fu were Irem arcade creations reinterpreted by Nintendo, due to Politics, but Irem themselves had a more hands-on role with Spelunker and Sqoon.
Look, it’s complicated. Just watch the video.
There’s another Irem/Brøderbund joint venture coming up soon, but that one needs its own standalone episode.