I have just received issue 214 of Retro Gamer magazine, and I am absolutely thrilled. It contains my ten-page article on The History of Turrican, which marks the first time I’ve ever written a cover feature. And what a cover! The subscriber edition above looks utterly fantastic, but to celebrate this personal milestone, I will also be hunting down the regular newsstand version once the shops open again.
Ten pages might not sound like much, but I can assure you that it represents an enormous amount of work. Writing the article involved a trio of hour-long interviews with people like Factor 5 head Julian Eggebrecht and composer Chris Huelsbeck, as well as all of the many phone calls and emails that allowed for such things to happen. Then I had to transcribe all of that information and craft it into a 4,000-word story, as well as write four separate boxouts AND play through every version of every Turrican game for every system to get all of the screenshots for the feature. In short, it took flippin’ ages.
But it’s all worth it to see the issue before me – I am positively tingling with pride. And there’s something magical about seeing your words etched into print. Although I like writing for websites too, magazines give a sense of tangibility and permanence – something that was brought home to me earlier this year when Kotaku UK disappeared, taking dozens of my articles with it.
I pitched the Turrican feature quite a while ago, based on my love for Turrican II on the Amiga, and it was brilliant to revisit that game again for this article, as well as to discover some of the Turrican games I missed, like Super Turrican 2. Plus I loved hearing the stories about how these things got made. One thing that I particularly like about writing features on retro games is that the interviewees can be much more candid about events long in the past than can developers promoting a current game, who are also no doubt up to the eyeballs in NDAs. Julian Eggebrecht in particular came out with some absolute crackers in my interview with him – but you’ll have to read the feature to see what he said. And do read it if you can: I am especially proud of this one. (NB. You can order single issues or subscriptions to Retro Gamer here.)
Finally, massive thanks to Julian Eggebrecht, Chris Huelsbeck, Audi Sorlie and Dennis Mendel for their help with the article, as well as to the folks at PR Hound and United Games for their sterling work in organising interviews and images. I’ll leave you with a trailer for the excellent-looking Turrican Flashback re-releases, which I cover in the feature and which should be arriving on Switch and PS4 in the not-too-distant future.