🕹️Thumb Punks 08.19.21: Castlevania, DOOM, & PS2 Facts You Don't Know

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Happy Thursday! With ScummVM now supporting early CD-ROM games, what will be the first title you boot up?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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Whip It Good: A mythical Castlevania prototype has been shared online. The 0.5 beta of Castlevania: Bloodlines for the Sega Genesis features different enemy sprites, molten steel areas, and a zeppelin level that was previewed in magazines but never made the final game. Try it yourself at SegaSaturno.

Rebel Scumm: Popular emulator ScummVM now supports early CD-ROM games. Previously, this was difficult due to their reliance on Macromedia, Quicktime, and Windows 3.1. Read the full announcement here!

Sigil Stardust: Following his excellent Sigil megawad for the original Doom, series creator John Romero has announced he’s working on a sequel. While no date has been announced, expect it to drop later this year. And after he’s done with that, he is, excitingly, putting together new levels for the original Quake!

Gabby EA: Electronic Arts have admitted they "didn't fully consider player's perspective" when delisting classics Ultima Underworld 1 & 2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars. As a reminder, the relisted titles are free on GOG until September 3rd.

Higher Gear: Speedrunners have found an exploit in seminal PS1 stealth-em-up Metal Gear Solid. The Boba Skip shaves up to two-and-a-half minutes from a playthrough, and is initiated by being shot through a door during the long stairwell sequence. This video shows it in action and, as an added bonus, Digital Foundry have been busy remastering the MGS 2 trailer in HD using AI.

Going Under: Pirate site RomUniverse has been ordered to shut down and is being sued for $2.1 million by Nintendo. RomUniverse operator Matthew Storman is rumored to have been targeted as he was selling paid memberships to the site. He’s been ordered to delete all pirated content, including games, movies, books, and music.


DuckStation 4K PS1 Emulator is awesome on the Xbox Series S (Modern Vintage Gamer, 10 minutes)

The new DuckStation PS1 emulator is a powerhouse, and the fact you can run it (and several other emulators) on the new Xbox Series S is icing on the cake. MVG puts it through its paces, and shows off its perspective correction, 4K output, and overclocking abilities to astounding effect.

PS2 Game Facts (PlayStation 2) (DidYouKnowGaming?, 12 minutes)

More titbits of trivia from DYKG, featuring Metal Gear Solid, God Hand, True Crime, and more.

Link's Awakening's Hidden Predecessor - The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls (NintendoLife, 18 minutes)

Kaeru no tame ni Kane wa naru (or, The for Whom the Bell Tolls) was a Nintendo passion project whose ideas were later used in Link’s Awakening. Protagonist Richard is best known for his cameo in the latter, but NintendoLife find there’s more to his story than you might think. As an added bonus, they also look at forgotten Miyamoto GameBoy title, Mole Mania.

I Ranked Every WRESTLING game on NES (JohnRiggs, 14 minutes)

It’s no secret we’re big pro wrestling fans at Thumb Punks, but this rating of grappling games for the NES surprised even us.


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Does Friday the 13th’s Infamously Bad NES Game Deserve a Second Chance? (Den of Geek, 14 minutes)

Some games stick in your mind as they’re great, others because they’re memorable dumpster fires. Friday the 13th for the NES definitely belongs in the latter camp, but is it as bad as you remember?

Heretic (HG101, 10 minutes)

A fantasy-themed companion piece to Doom, Heretic doesn’t have quite the legacy of id’s classic FPS. HG101 are taking a look at the whole series, including Hexen and its sequel.

ClayFighter Sculptor’s Cut would probably be funny to your offensive uncle (Destructoid, 7 minutes)

Catching a ride on the ‘edgy’ 90s bandwagon, ClayFighter had distinctive claymation visuals and… not much else. Viewed through a 2021 lens, it’s offensive in more ways than one, as Destructoid find.

The Story Behind the Super Mario Bros. Movie Extended Cut (Den of Geek, 15 minutes)

Den of Geek again, this time with an interview with the folks responsible for the excellent extended cut of the Super Mario Bros. movie that was released a few newsletters ago. A captivating look behind the scenes.


Quiz Time: Name the two sports games that launched with the GameBoy.

Answer at the end of this email!


Kuri Kinton (PS4/Switch, $7.99)

The latest Arcade Archives release, Kuri Kinton (also known as KURIKINTON) is a hybrid beat-em-up/one-on-one fighter released by Taito in 1988. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of Kung-Fu or Street Fighter.

Super Space Fuel Inc. (MS-DOS, $FREE)

“Fill up the docking space ships with fuel, by matching 3 or more gems. Featuring a cozy FM AdLib soundtrack and beautiful 16 color EGA graphics.”

Tut-Tut (Commodore PET, $FREE)

“Occultist tales of curses be dammed, you're an Egyptologist and grand adventurer, such nonsense can't possibly hurt you. Or can it?”

Kaitou Saint Tail (English Patch) (Game Gear, $FREE)

Based on the manga/anime of the same name, Kaitou Saint Tail is a mix between an RPG and a puzzler, playable in English for the first time.


  • A stack of decorative Goombas narrowly avoided falling on passengers at Super Nintendo World in Osaka, perhaps the only time a mushroom has tried to squash a human

  • An ‘impossible’ Goldeneye speedrun has set a new world record using a trick in the notoriously tough Aztec level. Find out how

  • London, England’s Namco Funscape Arcade has closed after 25 years. It’s rumored to be due to the area being redeveloped


Quiz Answer: Baseball, and Tennis.

Thanks to Will for the question! Have a better one? Send it over and we’ll put it in a future edition!