News Article

How Running to the Right is Heroic

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

An epic montage

For gamers of a certain age that grew up in the era of 2D pixel-based platformers and action titles, there are a lot of happy memories of one simple activity: running to the right. Yes, a lot of games did involve some backtracking in the other direction, but the main task was to keep moving right until you'd reached the goal or defeated all of the enemies. Simple, but brilliant.

Courtesy of Nintendo and other like-minded developers, younger gamers have experienced their fair share of 2D titles in recent years, ensuring that this style of gaming continues into the next generation. For those who prefer the old-school though, we encourage you to watch the video below from YouTube user RockyPlanetesimal. With the backing track of A Wild And Distant Shore by Michael Nyman, this montage is guaranteed to prompt some serious nostalgia for gamers of the 80s and 90s.

Even if you weren't around for that era, this sequence demonstrates that when it comes to epic adventures, video games are in a class of their own.

[via youtube.com]

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User Comments (47)

Whopper744

#3

Whopper744 said:

Wow! That was a lot of games in one video! Great video. Simple, but sort of artistic, with a touch of epicness.

dizzy_boy

#5

dizzy_boy said:

that`s got to be the biggest pile of right handed propaganda i have ever seen.
time for us lefties to unite and rise up against our oppressive right handed menaces.
witches and warlocks suite up.

FonistofCruxis

#8

FonistofCruxis said:

Awesome video and I'm glad Wario land 4 was near the end, I thought the video was going to end without any of the Wario platformers in it.

OldBoy

#9

OldBoy said:

Oh wow. :O Great video.I loved the part where the characters tried to go left,brilliant :D Good music as well.

sgotsch

#12

sgotsch said:

Saw it earlier today.. watched it at least 5 times now. Extremely well crafted <3

FluttershyGuy

#14

FluttershyGuy said:

@dizzy_boy
No, it's a political ploy by Republicans to brainwash video gamers into conservatism, through constantly having them move toward the right! That means when you reach your villainous opponent, he's facing LEFT! I didn't realize that politicians had stuck their grubby hands into video games. It's a right wing conspiracy, a CONSPIRACY I TELL YOU! :P DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LIBERALS! I want games where you're heading to the left, or I'm calling the ACLU!!! Seriously, I'm kidding, not trying to get anybody riled up. But it is an interesting conspiracy theory for Mel Gibson, no? ;) (waits for Chrono_Cross)

Royspaceghost

#15

Royspaceghost said:

It almost made me cry you know, if one thing videogames has taught me through all these years is no matter how hard the road is, or the need to get back, you only need to run right straight on and you'll eventually get there.

scrubbyscum999

#17

scrubbyscum999 said:

That was epic. I liked how the showed a variety of eras, from past to present. It shows that video games, no matter how much it advances, will have a common thread. Very emotional, well done.

RevolverLink

#18

RevolverLink said:

I just thought of how disoriented I would be if a platformer had you running towards the left side of the screen for the whole game. I'm not sure I'd ever fully become fully comfortable with it. :p

One thing I've always loved about the Donkey Kong Country games, though, was that Rare, and now Retro, would like to hide stuff to the left of the start point. It seems like such a simple thing, but there have been quite a few gamers that have missed secrets simply because they're so programmed to keep heading towards the goal at the right end of the stage.

Odnetnin

#20

Odnetnin said:

Love how Klonoa was running slower than everyone else.

Props for Cave Story, Braid, and VVVVVV for a half second.

Sherman

#21

Sherman said:

Made me a child, took me to a long forgotten place, made me feel like a hero again.
Those were the day, the adventure days, the good videogames days, the real gamers days.
Thank you, you really know who we are!

BulbasaurusRex

#22

BulbasaurusRex said:

@FluttershyGuy Interesting theory, but of course the idea of running right began with Japanese games like Super Mario Bros. Although, western releases at the time were already so heavily censored that a liberal president might have ordered the games to be flipped a la the Wii version of Twilight Princess. Thank goodness that conservative Ronald Reagan was in charge back then.

dizzy_boy

#24

dizzy_boy said:

@bulbasaurusrex although your point is valid, fluttershyguy was using satire in response to the joke post that i`d made before him.
just think, you maybe running right in these games, but your controlling the direction that you`re going with a thumb on your left hand. so therefore lefties rule, haha.

RR529

#25

RR529 said:

Great video, brought back lots of memories (glad to see some modern games, and indie games as well).

Ren

#26

Ren said:

Video games are the only place I'd ever run to the right.

Shirma_Akayaku

#30

Shirma_Akayaku said:

@dizzy_boy LOLZ!
I see that someone understands about how lefties rule the controller in video games. I could never use an analog stick with my right hand (like the Gamecube Controller's C-Stick, It's way too difficult).

BulbasaurusRex

#31

BulbasaurusRex said:

@dizzy_boy I was just continuing the joke. I thought the idea of the U.S. government censoring video games in such a silly and expensive way was ridiculous enough that it didn't need the [/sarcasm] tag.

LittleIrves

#32

LittleIrves said:

That... that was pretty amazing. I'm actually surprised there hasn't been a popular game that subverted the formula and made you go left the entire way. The WarioLand games are clever in that you have to progress backwards to finish the stage. And of course Metroid, I believe, was one of the first to play with the convention, forcing you to eventually go left and find the morphball before you could advance. But I can't think of a game that is all left, all the time. Huh...

hillbill26

#33

hillbill26 said:

Ahhhh, memories. After decades and decades of exploring the video game world, we all see the we have been going the "right" way. Pun intended. after all, two wrongs don't make a right....but three rights do make a left.

SKTTR

#34

SKTTR said:

I downloaded the latest WiiWare game 2 Fast 4 Gnomz (a ´runner´game). In the ´night mode´ you run to the left. This felt weird for a couple of seconds, but I got used to it quickly. If you played 2D games with lots of backtracking you know what it's like. No real difference, but it mixes things up efficiently.
However, I fondly remember the early 8bit days when scrolling to the left was a technological feat that wasn´t easy to code. A game with relatively big character sprites combined with smooth scrolling was a rare highlight in early 1985. At the time there was much stronger Arcade hardware available as well, and crazy independent coders working with a Commodore 64, and they all showcased (r)evolutionary steps.

I believe scrolling to the right was the first form of scrolling... or was it scrolling down?
Have to investigate some old retro games now.

Henmii

#35

Henmii said:

Awesome montage! And sooo many good games in it!! This was made by the same person who made the Neo Geo tribute movie, right? That movie also showed games up very close!

WaxxyOne

#36

WaxxyOne said:

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I can name (and have played) 95% of the games shown...

Samholy

#42

Samholy said:

brilliant. its crazy seeing how many games i tried in my life so far.... there is not much inthere i didnt play....
nice vid that brings nostalgia this morning, thanks !

madgear

#43

madgear said:

"Even if you weren't around for that era"

There's quite a lot of games on there from the last two years. Get started early kids, there's a lot of gaming to fit in.

SomeBitTripFan

#44

SomeBitTripFan said:

I was inspired when all the characters were charging right. No game will ever stop the power of retro games!

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