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January 2016 Retro Gaming Article


January 24, 2016 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I read Brooks' Sword Of Shannara in the 70's and now Mtv has revived it on TV

The Shannara Chronicles on Mtv
I still miss Martha Quinn (and music) on Mtv, but the Shannara Chronicles TV show is a nice throwback to a favorite fantasy trilogy.
A childhood friend who turned me on to bands like Aerosmith, Steely Dan, and Led Zeppelin also got me interested in Terry Brooks' The Sword Of Shannara book. Every time I saw that huge book (700+ pages) in his room, I was intrigued. One day I picked it up and began reading. I didn't want to put it down and asked my parents to buy me a copy. Having read several J. R. R. Tolkien books, this was right up my alley.

Shannara novels and Episode One I read the Shannara trilogy and later re-read them as an adult. however, I hadn't seen Terry Brooks' name until George Lucas decided Hollywood technology was sufficient for him to continue his Star Wars franchise back in '99.

I was stoked to see Episode One reignite Star Wars fandom and pleasantly surprised to discover Terry Brooks had written a novelization of the story. I'm currently looking forward to again reading the Shannara trilogy as well as Brooks' Episode One!

Last week I discovered the Shannara name attached to a new show on Mtv. They are presently in the midst of The Shannara Chronicles adaptation of Brooks' trilogy. Several reviews, including The New York Times warn fans to lower expectations as Mtv has taken a somewhat formulaic approach to this fantasy tale. Although is features beautiful vistas having been filmed in New Zealand.

From Mtv's Shannara Chronicles website:
The Shannara Chronicles is a new TV series based on the best-selling fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization, the story follows an Elven Princess, Amberle, a half-human half-elf, Wil, and a human, Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop a Demon army from destroying the Four Lands.

Empire Strikes Back for Atari 2600 In between my youthful obsession with fantasy novels and wanting to relive the glory of the original Star Wars trilogy via Episode One, I became obsessed with video games. My first game console was the Atari 2600 which offered blocky renditions of many of my favorite arcade games.

They also began to offer games with movie tie-ins. Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back was a pretty cool Atari game to have in one's living room. It paled against the excitement of Atari's vector-based Star wars arcade game, but we didn't care about such things in those days. We could play the cockpit vector game at the local arcade. We never envisioned an era without arcades.

After decades of reality shows on Mtv, I'm interested to see how long The Shannara Chronicles will last. It's style and content seems to diverge from Mt's typical programming, but I hope it does well. At the very least, I hope it will inspire a new generation to delve into Brooks' Shannara trilogy of books.

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