Retronauts Episode 467: Boktai

It's Always Sunny in San Miguel

Hideo Kojima's had his hands in quite a few projects over the years, so many in fact that a few series which he helped foster have actually run dry. They can't all be Metal Gear, a brand that will endure long after he's departed the business.

One such lost franchise is our main topic this week, a series of handheld games that took advantage of being portable in a unique way: The cartridges included a UV light sensor that detected the amount of sunlight at your present location, and translated that figure into in-game power-ups. Throw in some vampire lore and presto, you've got Boktai, a Japanese abbreviation of Bokura no Taiyo meaning "our sun."

To shed some light on this forgotten topic, host Jeremy Parish summons regular contributor Stuart Gipp and frequent guest Shane Bettenhausen so the three of them can talk about what made these games fun, what other sensors Kojima wanted to add, and which former EGM reviewer hated the Nintendo Game Boy (much to Stuart's ire). This podcast is so bright, you gotta wear shades!

Description: Jeremy Parish, Stuart Gipp, and Shane Bettenhausen emerge from their caves, blinking and frightened, to face the ferocious fury of the sun as they lift their GBA solar sensors skyward and discuss the Metal Gear offshoot that gave nerds suntans: Boktai.

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Artwork for this episode by John Pading and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.