I visited the Retrospill Messen 2016, some of you might remember that i went to the 2015 event in August last year. I decided to give it another go this year due to the fact that i needed a vacation, and i wanted to meet up with a few new faces from the interwebs among other things. I do not regret going, the show was a blast (from the past?).
Note: This is one of two articles from the event, the reason for this will be obvious to you in a few seconds. (The second article might be out tomorrow/Monday (which will be a full show report about the event)
One of the reasons why the event was such a blast for me was that i got to meet two of the most famous musicians from the 80’s and early 90’s – Ben Daglish and Matt Gray. To those of you who can not put their names on the games – It is the guys from the C64 hit series The Last Ninja.
The Last Ninja 2 on the C64 is on my top 20 games of all time list, the music is one of the reasons.
The soundtrack from the games have been stuck in my head for nearly 3 decades now (down to every note, sound and tempo). The only other soundtrack i can say the same about is OutRun.
All 3 games in the series are timeless classics, the playability has aged a bit and they feel slower and less responsive than i remember them, although nothing game breaking.
To meet two of the brains behind the music was nothing less than stellar.
It was really cool to get to experience them both at the same time, and maybe most of all asking a gazillion questions to both of them. I shared some of my memories regarding the games and the era, and they did the same.
Ben Daglish is one of those guys whom can go from being serious to nutty to serious again in a matter of seconds. Lots of funny punch lines, positivity and enthusiasm and maybe most of all – he really enjoyed being there, at least that is the impression i got.
Matt Gray seems to be a very relaxed guy, he didn’t speak with his whole body like Ben, but he did smile a lot and definitely a not a boring person to talk to. He also had some very interesting stories to tell, naturally, they were filled to the brim with both good and bad stuff about working in the gaming industry at the time.
In my humble opinion, they somewhat completed themselves.
Being able to hear the stories from the “horses arse” made everything so much more fun compared to reading an interview in a book etc.
I probably talked with them for 2 hours at the event, probably more if you count the time i was listening to others talking to them.
I knew they were coming to the event, i had the perfect plan to bring everything from the thing on a spring to Ninja Three with me to get them signed, i failed…..
I forgot all about bringing the games due to the high amount of stress finding a hotel, and it didn’t help that i had a really busy week before that.
I had already made an appointment with a repair centre in Sandefjord (same city as the event) to get my CD32 recapped/fixed there, so luckily i had at least something Commodore related with me that they could put a signature on, not a bad move if you ask me.
Ben naturally had a funny comment as soon as he picked up his white marker pen, ” should i use my left or right hand?” he said.
And then it was Matt’s turn, “where do you want my signature on it” he said, on the back i replied and then out of the blue he went like “I must remember to include the “r” in gray this time”, i, of course, laughed out loud and was about to roll on floor, luckily i didn’t.
Yup, here is a picture of all three of us and of course i just had to look so out of place in it. Ack!, oh well, starstruck i guess.
I never got around to ask them why their table was cordoned off with red white zebra tape, but i guess it was to stop groupies from storming them, or maybe it was to keep out the ninjas?.
I will round up this article with a picture from my good friend Roar, i asked him if he could draw a funny picture for my article, he delivered as always.
thanks for your time, please tune back in soon for the full show report.