Journal of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities
Online ISSN : 2188-7276
Special issue: Bringing Japan Game Studies and Digital Humanities
Remixing Retro
Preserving the “Classic Feeling”
Domini Gee
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2019 Volume 4 Issue 1 Pages 54-71


Attempts to preserve retro game elements or ‘the classic feeling’ through remixing retro elements with modern ones are not a new method. However, it is an effective preservation method. According to Newman, videogame preservation goes beyond simply preserving hardware. In order to deliver “authentic play (and aesthetic) experiences”, it also necessary to determine what are the most significant, qualitative aspects or properties that make a particular videogame what it is (Newman 2012, 122–23). Part of the success of classic characters like Mario is how often they are reused and reimagined (Suominen 2012, 8). Even if you have never played the original Mario games, you have still likely been exposed to the franchise’s most ‘basic’ elements through their various iterations. However, while the game industry typically aims for continual innovation and reinvention (Newman 2012, 9), the changing market and gaming landscape is allowing for alternative opportunities for remixing retro elements. One notable example includes Mega Man 9, which garnered praise for their gorgeous, realistic graphics. While all three games were made for modern consoles, Mega Man 9 was made in classic retro style, not only to return the series to its roots but also to give players a new story and “the classical feel” (Takeshita 2008). By studying the approaches developers have used, it is possible to study what ‘feeling’ they were attempting to preserve, what elements were considered most essential, how these elements were translated, and what new meanings occur.

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© Domini Gee
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