14. Gris, My Friend Pedro and Carrion, Oh My!



14. Gris, My Friend Pedro and Carrion, Oh My!


It's been a very busy week for Special Reserve Games. Smitty and Erik talk about the SRG-related announcements made during Devolver Direct. Plus, we ask the Dogfathers about their "White Whale" collectibles, and Producer Dan reveals his Top 5 Video Game Movies of all time.

Games You Deserveis a weekly podcast from Special Reserve Games that celebrates the digital art of video games. Join us for gaming industry interviews, insider perspectives, and interactive content. Production by Dan Vadeboncoeur. Music by Jesse Hamel. New episodes drop Sundays at 9:00 a.m. CST.

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Smitty: Games You Deserve.

Erik: Welcome to Games You Deserve brought to you by Special Reserve Games. This week, we ask the Dogfathers what their white whale collectible is. Plus, it was quite the busy week here at SRG filled with great announcements. Lastly, Dan brings us his top five video game movies of all time. Let's get this show going. I'm hyped.

Dan: All right. It's time that we check in with the Dogfathers. That is the elite group on the Special Reserve Games Discord, those who have chosen to Nitro Boost the server. They're a very eclectic group of people. We love them. They are... How would you describe them?

Smitty: The hardest of the hard core fans. I call them the V-V-VIPs.

Erik: What does the second V stand for?

Smitty: Very.

Dan: Very, very, very. Three verys. What we like to do, and we've done this on a couple of occasions before, is we check in with them and ask them a question and check in. They're all collectors. They all have a great collection of various things. So we've checked in with them for other topics. So today we decided to ask them a question about what they would like to get for their collection.

Erik: The white whale question, right?

Smitty: Don't talk to me that way.

Erik: What is that, white whale?

Smitty: Don't call me that.

Erik: I'm sorry, Smitty. That was insensitive. Before we get into what the other folks have, I'll share what my white whale is in collecting, and although mine is video game related, not everybody answered this way when we get a chance to hear what they said. I'd love to know what you guys have as well. Right now, because this changes for me as time goes. I might actually get a white whale and then move onto something else or my taste changes, but right now...

Dan: I don't think that's what happened to Ahab in that story.

Erik: I don't think so either.

Dan: I don't think he caught the white whale. He didn't get Moby Dick.

Erik: No, no. Not that way. Mine is... I would love to have a pristine version of the United States release of the original Neo Geo AES Home Consol. The Neo Geo itself was, even at the time, an astronomically expensive thing to invest in from a console standpoint compared to your NES or your Super NES or whatever because essentially, it's the arcade system. It's pretty much an arcade true with these cartridges that are just massive.

Dan: Oh, yeah. I know what you're talking about. Yeah.

Erik: They're huge. Heck, the system is so arcade true that with a small adapter that changes the cartridge plug, you can take and plug in an MVS, which is the arcade cartridge. You can plug in the MVS cartridge into the adapter, stick it in your home system, and play the arcade game on your TV with that little adapter there. I say little, but it's not really that little.

Those systems have now, at least the ones released in the United States, have become quite rare and quite expensive. Even right now on eBay, a decent one, not even the best, but a decent one, can easily go for a few thousand if you're going for the United States release version of that and not just trying to pick up one of the Japanese versions. So to me, that right now is one of my white whales. Dan, what do you think?

Dan: Well, like I said, I used to collect comic books, and I lost my collection in a flood 27 years ago, 25 years ago. One of the things... I don't actually know how hard this is to find, and I don't know how expensive it is. I know that it's more expensive than what I paid for it, which was almost nothing, and that is the Marvel Secret Wars series from the mid-80s.

That was one of the biggest crossovers. It was one of the first crossovers they ever did, where they brought all the Marvel superheroes together in one series. I picked them up, one at a time, off the news rack and I read them and then I put them away in their little bags and I had them in my collection and then lost it all. So if I was to get one thing, it would be to repurchase that whole series.

Erik: Doctor Doom, Galactus, yeah.

Dan: I re-read it on the Marvel app, and it's interesting. To me, it's an interesting piece of comic book history because it's so very clearly written for children at the time, and comic books have changed since then. They're not aimed at kids anymore. They're mostly aimed at an adult audience, but I just look back on that. That's a huge piece of nostalgia for me, so I would love to have that again, that collection.

Erik: I can very much appreciate that. Smitty, you aren't... You've got collectible stuff from video games, and I don't know if you're into comics or not, but what would you say your white whale collectible thing is?

Smitty: Money. No, just... White whale collectible thing? I don't really collect. I had a lot of Todd McFarlane stuff, but I think I almost bought all of it. What I really collect now, though, believe it or not, I'm kind of crazy. I collect things from my travels. So I don't have a white whale necessarily because my collection is the whale. I collect coffee mugs. I collect refrigerator magnets, stuff that you can get at truck stops and airports so you can always get that kind of stuff.

I do have my secret collection of all my original Kenner Star Wars figurines. Some of the stuff I'd like to have. They had little plastic scenes that had little pegs that your characters could stand on. One would be that they use for Star Wars and it was a desert looking paint job. Then, Empire Strikes Back, it's the exact same thing, but it's painted white, so it's on Hoth. I have the actual bases, but some of the things to the back. I forgot the stupid thing that the Jawas ran. What was that?

Dan: Sandcrawler.

Smitty: The Sandcrawler. I wanted to call it a something mover, but the Sandcrawler. It was a Sandcrawler and it had an elevator that you moved up and down in the back. So I have the bases, but for some reason, the Sandcrawler... It's made of corrugated cardboard. It's not like it's made of platinum. I would like to find some pieces like that, and I would still like to have an original Millennium Falcon. I do have my Millennium Falcon that I had as a child, but it's dinged up. I played with these toys.

There are some of them that I just remember in a pristine state, some of these little diorama looking things that were made as play sets that were Kenner, if I'm not mistaken. I think they were all OG. I looked at some of the date stamps on the bottom of some of my figurines. A lot of them are still in blister packs, by the way because I had a mom that was really smart. She was a schoolteacher. She was not a painter or anything like that. She was an English professor, but she saw value in Star Wars figurines that she would buy me one to play with and that she would buy some that she would keep in the blister pack because she really thought they would be valuable one day, and she was right.

Most of my Star Wars toys came from Sears. I think we've probably talked about that. Anyway, if I had a white whale, it would be probably two or three of these little diorama playsets that I had for the original Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back.

Dan: That's interesting because recently, I just saw on the news... This is related to Star Wars. One of those prototype Boba Fett figures that were out... It was one of the ones with the firing rocket on the back that they never released. They only made a couple of prototypes because they were testing it out. It recently sold on eBay for 225,000 dollars.

Erik: I think he was all white, too. You didn't even have the paint on it.

Dan: Yes. There was no color to it. They just made the mold. They just tested it out. I don't know even how it got that far in development because any idiot can tell that a kid is going to choke on that. I don't know why they ever thought they could release that for a kid's toy, but yeah. One of those recently sold for 225,000, so...

Smitty: I had a GI Joe character. He was from the swamps. I'm trying to remember his name. He had a rocket... No, there was two guys from GI Joe. One of them had a little spring loaded rocket on his back that you could fire. You'd never get away with it now because every kid in America would choke on that one.

I remember there was this one where you had to clip proof of purchases off the back of your GI Joe figurines and you collect say 10, you mail them in the envelope, and this one I got back had a heat sensitive chest plate or whatever. It would change like a mood ring or something like that. He was from the swamps and you could only get him if you were a real collector, and that was my favorite character ever because –

Dan: Was it Zartan?

Erik: Zartan.

Smitty: Was that his name? See, when you say –

Erik: I think Zartan had the heat sensitive thing.

Smitty: When you say Zartan, I think of some awkward Teen Hunger Force crap.

Dan: He's a master of disguise, it says here. I think that's who that was. I think they did release him later on, but there was originally that thing where you sent away for –

Smitty: It was amazing. That chest plate popped off too. So just some of those things. I think even when we talk about Special Reserve and some of the weird processes that I go crazy about for our boxes, they're totally related to things like that as a kid. I enjoyed... There was a tactile memory that I have that's part of the enjoyment of that piece.

Erik: Absolutely. All of the memories that that kind of thing evokes, it really inspires. It was great to hear what you guys shared, but as Dan had mentioned, we asked this question of the Dogfathers. So why don't we go ahead and give a listen to some of the great answers from some of the Dogfathers that chimed right in.

Mark: This is Mark, Guymanstuff on Discord. I think for me, right now, my more desirable collectible would have to be an original Game Boy, and the games of course, that I used to have as a young kid. My dad actually is the one who gave me that Game Boy and the games with it. It used to be his. He bought it for him and then he passed it down to me.

Going back, looking at it now, I call myself dumb all the time when I think of it. It's my biggest regret that I actually ended up trading it up for whatever the new... I think it was a Game Boy Advance. When it came out, it had Tony Hawk on it. It was super, super cool, but being a young kid, I didn't have money to go buy another system and keep my old one, so we traded it up.

If somebody said, "This is what it will cost," whatever the huge number would be, "To find out and trace exactly where that Game Boy and all the games ended up and you could get it back. We could find it. You just have to give us that money and we'll go and locate it and bring it all back and we'll give it to you." That's the one thing that I would love to get back somehow or I wish I could get back.

Jean: Hello Games You Deserve. This is Dogfather Jean here. For the collectible I would like to own, it's probably the Interstella 5555 figure set. It was released in 2003 for the movie of the same name. It's really just one of my favorite movies, and also, Daft Punk being my favorite band, I think having the figure set on display, opened, of course, would be just a nice thing to have around in my room. So if anyone has a link on how to find one, let me know.

Tigerfest: It's your boy Tigerfest here, and if money was no object, I'd like a DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou black label PCB and an Egret 2. Unfortunately, all the money in the world won't make me good at it though.

Doktor Awesome: Hi. This is Doktor Awesome. The collectible I would most want would be the Death album number one. It is the only Death album I am missing and it would complete my Death collection.

KingsleyCake: Hello, my name is KingsleyCake. I'm one of the Dogfathers for SRG, and I was asked about my white whale for collecting at the moment. Right now, I believe my white whale is a working Virtual Boy system. It is just about the only system that I have never played on from Nintendo. It's one of the most interesting stories, in my opinion, and it looks like it would be just an amazing collector's item.

Kaylee/Klee: Hey, what's up everybody, my name is Kaylee, but I go by Klee on all of my social media. The most wanted collectible... I would definitely purchase the INSIDE Collector's Edition. It is 375 dollars plus shipping. It comes with a physical copy of the game for PlayStation 4, which doesn't do me any good because I don't have a PlayStation, but I still want it. It also includes a Huddle sculpture with a display stand for it and then an art card set. It also has a foldout poster, and it comes in a really beautiful box that says INSIDE on it.

I've always wanted it, but it's really really expensive, and it was sold out for a long time. So I just told myself that it wasn't meant to be. Well iam8bit, the company that sold it actually just had a sale where they released some of their stock that they saved back for conventions. I actually went as far as to purchase it because I'm stupid and then actually canceled the order before it shipped out because I couldn't really justify spending 400 dollars on it. As much as I want it, I don't have a job right now, so that was a big dumb dumb.

If money's not an object at any point in the future, I will definitely buy one and probably pay more because it's going to sell out. It will be like 1,000 dollars on eBay.

SaidNoJuanEver: Hello Special Reserve. This is SaidNoJuanEver. If there's one thing, to answer your question, I could have gotten to add to my Special Reserve collection, the The Messenger Bokken Bundle. The Bokken Bundle was clean. It was awesome. The Bokken sword, the Bokken scroll with the signatures of everyone involved in the development of the game. I wish I could have gotten it. Sold out quicker than I could have clicked on it. I look forward to many other releases by Special Reserve and anything else you guys have for the future. Thanks.

Erik: Man, it was really cool to hear some of these great shares from people. There was video game stuff, of course, but there was albums and arcade machines and things like that. They all have this cool set of ideas as stuff that they really want to chase down, those white whales. So huge, huge thanks to all the Dogfathers that stepped up, sent those recordings over to me, and were able to share that with everyone.

Yeah man. This has been pretty amazing to see all these folks finally getting their copies of Hotline Miami. I know the people in the United States were getting theirs because they're local to us anyways. Some of the folks, they got lucky. They got their shipments on an airplane as it is supposed to be, flying over the ocean, over the big, giant bodies of water. This whole pandemic thing, right? It's killing us.

Smitty: Hotline Miami? When did we put that on sale, last year? God, it's been so long.

Erik: That's what it feels like.

Smitty: No, it was really exciting. I sent myself a copy. I received a copy in the mail as well, my copy. I had given one or two away, but it was really neat to start seeing everybody getting their numbers, loving the boxes, feeling the grid on the back on 50 blessings. Then, what I really like is when people actually take that shrink wrap off. They take the shrink wrap all the way off, and then they –

Erik: You get to touch it, the tactile.

Smitty: It is one of those things where... We say tactile all the time because it's a great descriptive word, but it really is an emotional response, without being too corny. The physical touch, just like if it had a smell. People have licked the back of the Nintendo cartridges to see what they taste like.

Erik: I still have never done that. I have to say, I still have never done that.

Smitty: And I am with you in this camp of non-licking of cartridges, but it is one of those things where it's a fourth dimension or whatever to this cold, hard box, this plastic case. There's these elements that we can put on it that convey an emotion of the game a little bit by how we put these treatments together and assemble them around the art to augment the art.

I have seen some people like... I always mispronounce his name, he does box opening videos, and he's awesome. I actually swapped a couple of emails with him because I wanted to quote him in one of our videos that is coming up, just to use a great quote. He has such great descriptions, but he feels it like we do. I love watching his box openings because he's like, "Oh, guys!"

The Gris art book. When he got that and it had the gloves, he was one of the first people I had seen that said, "Oh, I've got to put the gloves on."

Erik: Oh yeah. He actually... He pulls them out and slides them on. It's a great feeling and a great thing to see. The other one that I was really happy to see finally, finally... Jonatan Söderström. The actual developer, one of the couple of guys from Dennaton actually finally received his and tweeted out about it. He was so excited because it took the slow boat to get over there.

Smitty: It did, and actually, the backstory there is we sent it to Dennis at Dennis's address, but in that box it had everybody's split up. So Jonatan had his own in that box too. Thankfully, Dennis and Jonatan both got it at the same time.

Erik: It's great though, seeing the reaction. He was so happy to finally have that and feel it and see it. It's amazing. It's really amazing. I honestly take... I love every single time we get a chance to hear when the developers get their copy. You get those reactions.

Smitty: Oh, bro, what's even more fun for me is the production when we're actually putting it together and then things sell out. Mother Russia Bleeds that we put on sale from Le Cartel in France, those guys are awesome, man. They are so humble, and as we're putting things together, we're always feeling, as Special Reserve Games side here, that we'll be... Offending, I guess is the wrong word, but I was going to say offend in any way, the artistic sense, if you will, of the developer because we are taking some of their art and we're augmenting it. We're altering it in certain ways. We're taking key art, we're cutting it up. We might be framing it in a way they don't like. There's all kinds of ways. These are true artists, but so are we.

It's kind of one of those things like when you have three mechanics trying to figure out a problem, you've got three different solutions. This is one of those where it's the walking on eggshells thing out of respect for the developers. So it is great to see the final reaction, but along the way, when we're actually delivering things to the developer as part of the approval process, because every single step of the way, the developer has to say yes or no to what we're doing before it would ever go to Nintendo or Sony or anybody else for final approvals. The developers are always in great control, and as they see the products evolving, you can feel the excitement building with them. It's like they're re-releasing their digital game all over again. They've got this build and this crescendo.

Erik: And we get to see this weird overlap between the different developers where their games are at different stages. So like we just said, people are finally getting their Hotline Miami, and what did we just do a couple of weeks ago? We had the pre-order period for Mother Russia Bleeds. So there was a whole different stage happening there.

Smitty: It didn't last long, by the way.

Erik: No, boy, it did not. Thank you. Thank you to everyone that ran out and hopped on the website or grabbed their phone and jumped on and grabbed the website and purchased a copy. Thank you from us. Thank you on behalf of the developers because really, this is what that's about. It's about them. Then, not only do we have that stage, we had one of the busiest weeks we've had in quite a while.

Smitty: It's going to get busier, by the way.

Erik: Good golly.

Smitty: Yeah. There's a bunch of announcements that got made, a lot of product reveals, game reveals. All kinds of stuff happened this last week. Dr DisRespect is still banned from Twitch.

Erik: Did we even ever find out... Will we ever find out? Tune in next week to find out...

Smitty: It's kind of weird. At first... Not to go sideways on this because I actually have no dog in this hunt other than I like Dr DisRespect. I did watch some of the Fortnite stuff, I guess. I like Ninja for Fortnite and those guys a lot more... For Call of Duty: Warzone, sorry. I was just having a brain cloud there. Dr DisRespect, I liked watching his Call of Duty: Warzone streams because he had good post production. He had fun little cars that he rode around in, he made fun of himself. The whole thing was fun, but that dude is 6'5", 6'6". He's an imposing character.

I was expecting him to come out and say, "Ha ha. I signed an exclusive deal with Facebook gaming àla Mixer." That was just one of those things. When that didn't happen, I was like, "Well, I guess this is something probably really bad for him."

Erik: To keep on that, you did accidentally mention Fortnite. Ninja had his own news this week, moving over to YouTube. So he's going to start rolling on that as a network after the epic collapse of Mixer.

Smitty: Yeah. We covered this, right? We talked about this, that the minute the platform of Mixer couldn't provide a place for him to stream, their contract defaulted and he got to keep money. He was a free agent, so why would he go to Facebook then? If that happened, it would have been like, "Hey, I know I just burned down your kitchen, but I'm coming over with new pots and pans, we're going to cook dinner, right? Hey, I'm at Facebook." It would have felt a little weird.




Erik: It has just been a big week for announcements though. I had this great luxury of being able to tune in, and I know you did too, to what our friends over at LRG did too.

Smitty: Absolutely. They called it LRG3, right?

Erik: LRG3, yeah. It's got that pseudo 80s vibe that Doug and Josh have been carrying each year into their events that they're doing. This one was a little different because –

Smitty: And their chroma key, their green screen that they stand in front of.

Erik: Yeah. No E3 to pair this up. This was supposed to be their event to pair up with E3. Here we are. We've got them doing their video and then what's happening on Saturday?

Smitty: Well, it would have already happened by the time this podcast comes out, but we record it just a little bit ahead. Devolver Direct is Saturday, July 11th, streaming on Twitch front page. There's a 30 minute countdown leading up to Devolver Direct. During that 30 minute countdown, there was, will be, is, all kinds of Special Reserve Games games being features, all the different physical stuff that has been done, is going to be done, for games like Carrion, Mother Russia Bleeds.

Erik: Give us the full recap here. Let's talk through it because we had announcements. We have announcements here on this. Let's just give the rundown. What's happening here?

Smitty: Well, we've announced, of course, already on the site, that we're doing a second pressing of Gris for Switch, which second press... Is that what you mean?

Erik: Yeah. How does that differ, though? Clarify for anybody that missed it. How does that differ from a reprint?

Smitty: I was getting right to it.

Erik: I'm excited.

Smitty: Well, this conversation mirrors what's happening in our social media, where everyone is excited about it, but everyone's passionate about it as well. So what's happening is the real reason all this is happening is Nomada had an incredible success with Gris, and it was one year ago in July that we put Gris on sale unless I'm just completely making that up. It was right after we got back from E3 right?

So it's a one year anniversary for us. That game is still cried and begged for in our Discord, on Twitter threads, like, "I didn't even know about the game. I heard about it through an awards show or my friend told me about it six months after you sold it. I'd love to own a physical version of it." Not a collector that wants to go out and resell it and make money. Maybe some of them are, but most of the voices I hear are from people who want to own it physically.

Then also Nomada over in Barcelona, Spain, the developers of the game... Roger, over at Nomada and I have talked many times about how, even though we had a lower shipping rate for Spain around the time of Gris being on sale, specifically to try to make sure the proud countrymen of Spain could support someone making a great game from Barcelona. The word didn't spread to Spain just like it might not have spread to Wichita, Kansas. There were a lot of people in Spain that missed out on the sale of Gris as well, and the developers always wished I had done a larger overrun or anything so they could have had some extra units to just give to friends and family.

That's where the idea sparked from. I think in a previous mean Tweets, someone asked if this was a cash grab, and I said, "Yeah, it's a cash grab for the developer." Well trust me, the developer is not asking me for a cash grab. That is not what anyone asked for. They were like, "Do you have units that we could share with people because so many people love that game?" Once the answer was no, everyone dropped it.

After a while, I don't know. I think you and I might have had a conversation, Mike and I might have had a conversation. Who knows where the idea really came back up.

Erik: A lot of fan voices speaking up. Not any specific ones, just lots of them here and there. You see it all over the place.

Smitty: You hear me kids? It is not going to work for Hotline Miami Switch so don't even start. At the same time, to answer what a second pressing is, it's probably the only time that I can see us even doing what would be called a second pressing at all. We had to think long and hard about how to even do this correctly to honor the first version, the value of the first version. What are the differences between the first pressing and a second pressing? Is it the same game?

The answer is: It's the exact same game. There's no DLC added. Patches and everything, of course. They're always going to be included in any current version that Nintendo would replicate to a cartridge. It's always going to mirror anything that the digital patches that have been done. That is the file that we create the cartridge from. It's not like we have a master gold disk that never gets updated that we created the very first cartridge from.

Nonetheless, same on the inside. So what would we do on the outside? Well, we wanted to do a different cover and not number them. That way, the only numbered copies that existed were the original first pressing because what if you had the number 14 copy or, like me, number 13 or number two or whatever. What if you had that from the first pressing, but then you had the number two pressing from now. Is one more valuable? What if someone tried to sell one on the secondary market as the first version with the number?

So we thought, "How about we just treat the second pressing more for the masses?" It is intended for people to collect, but it's not being put out for hard core collectors as much, but if you want to collect the artwork that is going to be around this, we are going to be putting the jacket covers up. There's a version for Special Reserve Games of course. Then we have an alternate jacket, even, for Limited Run Games. We'll sell both of those jacket covers flat as an accessory if you just want to buy. They'll probably be 15-20 bucks. I don't know if we priced them yet, but it won't be too expensive.

Then we're going to do the slipcover on ours, on the SRG version, not on the Limited Run Games. We'll do what some people call an o-card, a slip cover that goes down over the outside of the shrink wrap Switch game. It will have Nintendo branding and everything on it. It will look like a Nintendo branded slipcover, but it'll have cool art on the front with some processes that are exactly similar to what's on our reserve box. So there's a nice, quality package that's put together, but it's not a reserve. We'll sell it for $29.99.

Erik: Right. That's what I've tried to tell folks who have asked.

Smitty: That's a long explanation, I'm sorry.

Erik: No. It's fine. I've tried to tell folks that have asked how is this going to be any different? I said, "It will be different, and we're going to find a way to honor this game in its own way. We are respectful of the art form." Doing something like this is critical to us too. We care. We really care. We want to honor that game.

Smitty: Let me throw in one thing to close this up though. Roger, when we said we wanted to do this... Nomada had the same fears we did, that we were going to please some people. We were also going to anger some people and we were going to scare some people, but when we all agreed how this made sense, and I think it makes perfect sense. I think it's a great thing for everybody to be able to do the second pressing this way. Once again, there are no second pressings for any other games we've ever done period.

Erik: No. This is not a habit.

Smitty: No. This is a standalone, once thing unless there's a game down the road or something. Never say never, but nothing right now. I guarantee it, and I can't even see anything that came out in 2019 getting a second pressing ever, for us, period.




Smitty: One thing I wanted to say about Nomada was when we agreed on the base rules of what a second pressing would be, they said, "We want to do new art for it," something that was not seen before. So it is special because that's what we want to do. I said, "Oh, great," because we had shown them five or six different layouts that we had done from key art and unused art and everything that was so beautiful from the past that was similar but not the same. They went a completely other direction with the way they wanted to present it, and I thought it was really beautiful.

I just wanted to say that the developers had a hand in this. They designed that art. This is them coming up with something new because they did want to put that out as a gift for the second pressing.

Erik: I cannot wait to have that and be able to take a look at that, actually have them side by side, seeing the new art with the old. I wanted to say the next thing that we had as an announcement there was one of those other things that people were screaming about. When we said, "Hey, we're going to put My Friend Pedro out on Switch," what's the question that a lot of people threw out there: Hey, are you going to put this on PS4? Well, guess what? Here we go.

Smitty: I can't.

Erik: We can now.

Smitty: It's not ready for PS4, but it's coming out now, and guess what? It does have that super cool foil gun pattern that we did. If you got the My Friend Pedro Switch and you took that jacket cover out and then compare that jacket cover to another jacket cover of another game, you'd see that My Friend Pedro weighed three times as much. There is so much foil on that thing. There's not even a print layer where all those guns, the gold guns that are on the jacket cover for Switch and for PS4. It's not a print at all. It's just a foil layer. So anyway, that's just all heavy foil. I love it.

Erik: That is one of my favorite things about that cover though is that... Man, you hold that up to the light and it just pings right off of that cover.

Smitty: Yeah. It's heavy. It's a noticeable difference in the weight of it. You talk about packing value in every square inch. Anyway, the PS4 cover has got that cool pattern, and Victor, who has got to be tired, probably, of all the Pedro love because also, it was finally officially revealed the news about a TV series, if you will, but it's got a great writer, a great director. The writer from John Wick, the director of Deadpool 2, so there's great muscle behind it.

It's not like they're trying to take a flyer and get someone to invest in a project. That thing is green lit. It's in production. It's happening.

Erik: You and I talked about this months ago at this point, on the DL, because you don't know at that point. Is that going to happen? You don't know.

Smitty: There's many projects that could happen, right? There are some that are happening. So it's neat for Victor, right?

Erik: And it's exciting, man, yeah.

Smitty: He also had a couple of pieces that he wanted to design. When we were doing the disk art, we were trying to figure out a background, put the logo, the PS4 disk, the face of the art itself. He came back and said, "Hey, I did this repeating pattern," and it had gold guns and amongst this cool... It almost looked like it wanted to be... I don't know if 3-D is the right word, but stark yellows on top of darker yellows. It was really neat. Then a banana hidden amongst this pattern of guns. I just loved it so much.

So we're trying to maybe use one of these different patterns he created for the background of the disk, the face art, the disk art, for the PS4. The PS4 in and of itself isn't just a copy of assets that had been done for Switch. There are some cool, unique elements that Victor himself put in for this one.

Once again, the My Friend Pedro PS4 will always be what we call a single. When we're talking about Gris, the second pressing didn't want to call it a single as well to make it confusing. This is the way we do it. We have a reserve that comes in a really great collectible reserve box. It usually has one or two great pieces on the side of it like an art book or something else.

The singles are the same great jacket art, reversible jacket art, instruction booklets inside, shrink wrapped for your pleasure. Then, with an o-card or a slipcover around the outside of it so we can still honor the art and do that. That's how PS4 My Friend Pedro will go out.

Also, sadly, no Pedro squeeze bananas will be sold with the PS4. There's a lot of reasons for that. One of them is that shipping is a nightmare, getting back to your first conversation about Hotline Miami arriving and how long it takes. Do you know that there is somebody, in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas here, our warehouse that ships products, is in Grand Prairie Texas. There was a customer of ours who maybe lives two, three miles away from the warehouse in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Erik: He could have walked over there to pick it up in person.

Smitty: It took weeks, a month or something like that for him to get it. It's weird.

Erik: I'm thankful that that's not a regular occurrence right now. It's not that bad. That's a unique occurrence right now.

Smitty: That's a very weird one. It was one of those strange anomalies. We always talk about how hard it is sometimes for someone in Denmark or someone in Munich, Germany to get their stuff. It is. There's so many layers and literally borders and custom's agents that make it even harder, but right here in Dallas, Texas, we've had some shipping anomalies. It's just one of those things.

Erik: Both this second pressing of Gris and My Friend Pedro are scheduled for the 23rd of July.

Smitty: July 23rd.

Erik: But that's not it. That's not the end of the story.

Smitty: On July 23rd, one thing with Gris... It's going to be an open pre-order. It's not a capped quantity. It'll be what we did a lot in 2019. We had a lot of open pre-orders for our games in 2019. The only reason that we had fixed quantities on Hotline Miami, Mother Russia Bleeds, is those were older games, and that's just how we were treating them. So you're going to see a mix of open pre-order and fixed quantity sales happening through Special Reserve Games.

So Gris will be open pre-order for a set amount of time, right into three or four weeks, going into August. Then that will end. My Friend Pedro is going to be limited numbers. Limited Run Games is going to sell a set number and I'm going to sell a set number. I'm not going to say that number on this podcast in case it changes and then I turn out to be an idiot, but we're going to be selling over 2,000 game and less than 3,000 games total, probably, of My Friend Pedro PS4.

Erik: Gee, and there you go saying numbers.

Smitty: Then, what we're announcing is Carrion, also available July 23rd. You'll notice, if you follow our sales, that this is a Thursday. We usually go on sale on Tuesdays.

Erik: That's right.

Smitty: We are honoring the high noon Texas time, Central Standard, negative five GMT, but the thing that's exciting about July 23rd is that's the day that Carrion has been announced, by this point, for going on sale. That's going to be pretty exciting. Dude, people are so excited about Carrion.

Erik: Well, come on. You get to be the monster. You get to do the thing in this one that you always think of when you're watching a horror movie and you're like, "How cool would it be if you were the villain?"

Smitty: Yeah, and the sounds are in there man, and you get to eat people, and as you eat people, you become larger. As you become a larger monster, it's harder to stay safe.

Erik: There's also a bunch more tentacles and stuff sticking around.

Smitty: Everyone's trying to kill you. It's a nightmare for you as the monster. Why is everyone trying to kill you? You're just this pretty red thing crawling around the laboratory. Man, it is such a fun game. Phobia, these guys, they're from Poland. Great, great guys.

Erik: Side note on that, how many developers from Poland have we worked with now?

Smitty: Three. Three.

Erik: A whole three, which is weird, and not even in various parts of Poland.

Smitty: Warsaw. Mainly in Warsaw.




Smitty: The thing that's even crazier is, going back to my beginning in the game business, when we're running around in 1996, 1997, 1998, that was really a great time for PC gaming. It was the emergence of console gaming coming on. When we went on press tours, we would go to Germany. We didn't go to Poland, but we would go to Germany or Italy. We'd be in London, we'd be in Paris, Copenhagen. We'd hit these places, and there was such appreciation for what the American programming minds were producing.

The art is the art. Everybody loves the art of the game, but the software, and a lot of the hardware too, but the software that was being produced the game engines, the graphic engines that were being produced were awe inspiring to almost everybody I went to in Europe that we met with for PR or they were just fans that came out or journalists or whatever, but also Eastern Bloc. There was a lot of Eastern Bloc.

Nowadays, I know there's these political jokes about Russia and some of them are not jokes about Russia hacking our elections and things like that. Talk about why that particular part of the world might have this fascination with programming and whatnot, and a lot of it, believe it or not, was inspired by multiplayer gaming. That's how some of these regions got exposed to different mindsets, different programming languages and ideas and things like that was through multiplayer gaming. Multiplayer... You connect to people in a variety of different ways. So you can just see how the networking side of the world all started with multiplayer gaming, but it inspired all kinds of different regions to have development of their own that seemed to just explode.

So I see all the stuff that happens in Poland... I can't say that people weren't making video games in Poland in 1998 or 1999, but they weren't AAA games that were getting the attention of all the big buyers and were selling millions of copies, but now they are.

Erik: Yeah, they are now. That's for sure.

Smitty: I think it's just so cool to see. If you and I were sitting here talking about music or Hollywood, we wouldn't sit here and say, "They used to make great movies in Hollywood, but God they make such great movies now in Paris, France. Have you seen all those movies out of Paris? Have you seen all those movies out of London, England?"

The same artistic content doesn't translate the barrier of the ocean the same way that video games do. Half of that has to be through multiplayer, great things like Discord, ways that the community of gaming is really a community as much as a bunch of crazy gamers.

Erik: This week has just been filled with all kinds of excitement. All this news, all these announcements. I'm kind of exhausted.

Smitty: Yeah, man. We are going to have to take a break. We've been grinding, but I don't think I'm going to be able to quit making games until somewhere around November. You know our schedule. My voice is tired. I'm sure you can hear it, especially today.

Erik: I do, and I know we've got a little bit more to say. So I can't say that this is going to be it for us for a little bit, but darn close, right? We've got to take a break.

Smitty: Yeah. We're family men. It's summer. It's going to be a crazy fall.

Erik: School is going to be starting.

Smitty: God, yeah. I think maybe we might take a couple of weeks off or something pretty soon, just to give our voices a break. It is fun, and I sure love the audience and the reception and all the support that the podcast gets. Once again, our Discord... Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram are great, but Discord is always just awesome. The Dogfathers in there and everybody, we're hopefully launching a new website and giving you guys some little cool widgets pretty soon to play with as well. If we take a break, we would come back. I know that for sure because this is too much fun not to keep doing.

Erik: Absolutely. I've had a real blast and it's been great to talk to you about these things and talk with Dan, Mr. Producer Dan.

Smitty: Dan the Man.

Erik: He's rocking it.

Smitty: Dude, Dan's been great, right? Dan came in, and see, we can talk about Dan because he's not here right now. We were introduced to Dan through Mike. Dan just had a lot of great experience in producing podcasts, has a fun voice, and thought this would be neat. He could produce the podcast and Erik and I will be doing a lot of the talking, but no. Dan is a big gamer, he has all kinds of deep knowledge, he loves his stuff. So it was such a cool little pairing. It was neat that all three of us were able to come together and make this work because it's hard to get three people and different opinions and different voices to actually sound like they congeal, and so far, so good. So congrats to all of us and you've done a great job on the podcast this year too, man. You've done some amazing production stuff. The history of Nintendo people should call you for their documentary stuff.

Erik: I am very excited about what's coming in the final episode for the season for that. It's going to be almost a double episode of Fire Flower. I'm actually finishing up writing it and getting ready to produce it now, even though we're still an episode away from when that would even air. I'm very excited. I get goosebumps just thinking about where I'm at in writing that. It's almost bittersweet, I'll say, to be putting the finishing touches on that final segment. I can't wait to share where that is.

Smitty: It's a great job.

Erik: Yeah. I'm thankful for everybody that's been so excited and shared such positive words about it. Thank you all for listening to that. It's been a passion project.

Smitty: Well, congrats. I hope we do more stuff like that in the future. Anything that you guys want to hear about that we could talk about, maybe do a couple deep dives, maybe do a multi-part segment or revisit topics and stuff. Hit us up.

Erik: There's a couple of different ways that you could do this, but I think the easiest way for most people is to go ahead and email me. Send me that email and Erik, [email protected]. You send that in to me and I'll turn that into an idea that goes on the list, and maybe whatever your suggestion is I can turn into one of these kinds of segments or it might be something that we bring up in general discussion on there.

There's also a way to leave a voicemail. If you go to the anchor page for the podcast, you go click and you can leave us a nice little pleasant voicemail or maybe a not so pleasant one. I think we've gotten a couple of those, and that's okay. So yeah. Do that and tell us what you might want to hear in our second season of the podcast.

I know we're all getting amped up and excited about that final episode of the first season. Then we're going to take a well deserved break for just a few weeks, and come back hot and heavy.

Smitty: God dang, there's going to be a lot going on, I'll tell you what. First time ever, July 23rd, we're doing a day-and-date release with a digital game that's being released. Devolver is putting out Carrion through Steam. It's going to be out on Switch on the eShop. Then, on that same day, we're going to put up our pre-order for Carrion. So that's going to be a great day, and we're also going to have My Friend Pedro and Gris all on sale on July 23rd, hello, just right around the corner. So what a great day coming up for us.

Then, after that, I can pretty much say the schedule is... There's at least two games every month after that. So it's getting real busy man, and just appreciate everybody, all the support. We've got a lot left to do before this year is through.

Dan: It's time for a new segment on the podcast: The Games You Deserve Top Five. Why top five? Well, because top 10 lists are half filler. No one really cares about numbers six through 10, come on. It's the top five that counts. So without further ado, I present to you: The top five video game movies of all time.

I will start by saying that all of these movies are adaptations of video game properties. There's no Scott Pilgrim vs The World or  The Wizard on this list. We'll do the top five movies about video games another day. No, all of these films began life as a cartridge or a CD-ROM or even an arcade cabinet, and as you're probably already aware, these types of films do not have a great track record. Apparently, it's very difficult to adapt a video game to the big screen and still have it be a good movie, but there are some diamonds in the rough, and here are five of them.




Dan: Number five is also the most recent release: 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog. Despite a huge audience blow back on character design after the film's first trailer was released, Paramount was able to right the ship and redesign Sonic to look nearly identical to his video game self. The film debuted January 25th, and quickly earned a 93% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics liked it as well, but they did point out its lack of originality in some cases and its nonsensical plot. Still, Sonic the Hedgehog is responsible for bringing the incomparable comedic stylings of Jim Carrey back to the big screen. He's hilarious as Doctor Robotnik, and it sets up a sequel that will likely be much closer to the source material than this film was.




Dan: Number four. The age of video game movies began in the 1990s, and so I must include at least one entry from that era. The third major video game adaptation to be released ever was 1994's Street Fighter starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia. Now hear me out on this. You may not remember enjoying that movie very much when it came out. I certainly was disappointed in the casting of Van Damme as Guile and a story that put Guile in charge when we all know that Ryu and Ken are the main characters in Street Fighter, but upon re-watching this recently, I found that the film definitely has its awesome moments, especially when it comes to Julia's performance as M. Bison. Bison is the best part of this movie and it shows in his many memorable quotes.




Dan: It was to be Raul Julia's final film role as he died just months after the production on Street Fighter wrapped. He received a Saturn Award for his performance and will always be remembered as the first great video game movie villain.




Dan: Number three on my list is Silent Hill, a film that was successful in capturing the sheer terror of playing the original 1999 video game, if not the story. Now, I saw this movie in the theater. Actually, I saw all of these movies in the theater, and it was simply terrifying. Its unique character design continues to be celebrated to this day. Bet you saw a Pyramid Head at the last convention you attended, and while the sequels proved to be lackluster, that also accurately follows the trajectory of the video game franchise.




Dan: Number two. I'm bringing it back to modern times for this entry. Detective Pikachu was not the first Pokémon movie, but it was the first live action Pokémon movie, and it magically transported us into the world of Pokémon like no animated film could. Add to that a compelling storyline that's pretty faithful to its namesake game, some hilarious lines, great performances, and a twist ending that I didn't see coming, and Detective Pikachu truly is an all around excellent video game movie. Just not as great as…




Dan: Number one. All right. I'm showing my age here, but back in those mid-90s, when we were subjected to sub-par video game movies like Super Mario Brothers and Double Dragon, this movie came along and blew all of us away. Mortal Kombat was everything awesome about the arcade game that we knew and loved and it had Christopher Lambert as Rayden. No matter. When I went to see this movie in the theaters in the summer of 1995, my friend Trevor stood up just as the lights dimmed and yelled, "Mortal Kombat," as loud as he could, and it was all uphill from there.

Now, maybe the special effects don't quite hold up to a modern viewing, but there's no denying its awesome soundtrack and its almost awesome casting of our favorite fighters.




Dan: I'm producer Dan and that's my top five video game movies of all time. What are yours? Leave us a voice message in the show notes or tell us in a five star review on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can also suggest future top five topics for us to do as well. Thanks for listening.

That's going to do it for this episode of Games You Deserve. Be sure to follow us on social media to give us your feedback on the podcast and sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest announcements from Special Reserve Games. Until next time...Game over.