Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tristes Tropiques

In my groundbreaking review of Final Fantasy XII I mentioned a 1990s semi-interactive screensaver about a man marooned on a desert island. The Internet has generously provided me with a wealth of detail on this subject: the screensaver is Johnny Castaway, a 1993 Sierra On-Line production. In my callow youth I adored screensavers, and I remember weeping many a salty tear because I would never have "flying toasters" because it was only for Apple computers. I did have Johnny Castaway, which even then I felt was kind of a disappointment. It was one of those screensavers that was essentially way too complicated to use for its intended purpose. Basically, it was an extremely slow-paced cartoon which consisted mostly of Johnny shuffling around his island in his tattered rags. Occasionally a little canned event would play. On holidays, Johnny would set up seasonally appropriate decorations. It was probably not worth waiting an entire year to watch Johnny string up from VGA tinsel on his palm tree. The whole thing bore an air of melancholy and although I thought it would be amusing to write about this little-missed piece of software ephemera, it's actually kind of depressing.

No comments: