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AnnK: Tell us who you are, where youre from, and why you started streaming on Twitch.

Macaw: Im Macaw from Australia, and Ive probably been on Twitch since about mid to late
2014, I think. I pretty much started streaming because I watched a lot of streamers years
before that and wanted to do it myself, but the internet was really bad in Australia. Eventually
I made a plan where I could stream at a decent speed, and I started doing that because why
not? Its a lot of fun.

AnnK: What kind of games do you usually play on your stream?

Macaw: Everything, but mostly old games in general. Everything from the mainstream old
consoles like the Sega Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo to computer stuff - thats my big
thing. I really like DOS games and all the other computers that werent just the western DOS
stuff back then, like the Japanese computers: PC-88, PC-98, FM-Towns, X68000, X-1,
FM7 it goes on and on. Im just a big fan of computer games from all computers, even the
non-Japanese ones like the British stuff such as the the Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC. Its
something you dont see too often on Twitch, but I like streaming it. There are a few DOS
streamers, but in terms of the other stuff its pretty rare.

AnnK: What percentage of Twitch retro streamers do you think play old computer games?

Macaw: Maybe like 1 in 30?

AnnK: Why do you stream old computer games?

Macaw: Well, its mostly what I play a lot of the time. The amount of old computer games,
especially the old Japanese stuff, released is just insane, and the type of games that are
released on them tend to be the type of games that are more adult oriented compared to
what was coming out on consoles, so youve got a lot of crazy and interesting themes. Even
in the action games, theyre a lot more adult, and theyre all about really cool visuals. I like
that type of stuff and thats what I play so I might as well stream it. People seem to be
interested in that quite a bit too despite how obscure many of the games are.

AnnK: You usually get about 100 to 150 people to watch the really old Japanese computer
games, and you dont even know that much Japanese.

Macaw: Language barrier always depends on the game. Sometimes I do the adventure
games and not bothering to read the text and were just sort of blazing through it. But those
games are often really cool to play through because theyre so visual; you can still tell whats
going on. For example an old Japanese adventure game I streamed once, Marine Philt, was
about a huge alien rampaging through a city, and it was still easy to follow what was going
on and be in suspense because its like an action movie. Action games, which you dont
need Japanese knowledge for, of course provide no language barriers and are always fine to
play. Theres a lot of action RPGs on the old computers too and Im a big fan of that genre.
There are just so many interesting old computer games!

AnnK: How did you get into playing older games?

Macaw: Its pretty much just because the stuff I like lends itself to the stuff I play. Im not
really big into nostalgia; some people tend to play old games mostly for nostalgia, the stuff
they played a lot as a kid. I just really like games that have, for example, a sci-fi horror theme.
Japan made a lot of those types of games in the early 90s, so thats where a lot of the
games that Im playing come from. I also like the games with the over-the-top 80s action
hero aesthetics, like what Ive been streaming recently. All the games inspired by Rambo
and Arnold movies, like Commando and all of the other Stallone stuff, are mostly in the 80s
and 90s as well. On computers like the Amiga there are an absolute tonne of games inspired
by stuff like Conan the Barbarian too. If there was new stuff coming out these days with
those kinds of aesthetics and gameplay, I would be all over it, but its very rare these days.
So most of the games Im going to stream and play are old ones.

AnnK: Why do you think theres that difference between how the aesthetics were then
compared to now?

Macaw: It basically depends on the country, and tastes have shifted quite a bit. Western
game developers have been the leader for a while now with the triple-A releases, and Japan
has taken a backseat to where it used to be. Back in the 80s and 90s most videogames
were inspired by American action movies and such. At some point in the late 90s, it started
shifting and now its to a point that Japan makes almost nothing like that anymore. The
overwhelming majority of games from Japan these days are anime-oriented games for the
most part, with the exception of stuff like the Metal Gear Solid series and the Dark Souls
games. Of course Nintendo hasnt changed much and still put out their Mario games that are
still very true to the original aesthetics of the old games though.

AnnK: Hideo Kojimas making a new game. Have you seen the trailer for that?

Macaw: I saw the old trailer I have no idea what thats going to be, but even in terms of his
recent games with the Metal Gear series, those games were rooted in 80s action movies, so
it will be interesting seeing him start up something completely fresh.

AnnK: So going back to those old games, why do you think theyre fun?

Macaw: It depends on the game. Sometimes I stream messed up 80s PC games that run
really poorly and are badly designed, but at the same time I still play and enjoy some of the
ones that are like that because the games are ridiculously cool in terms of the themes, boss
design, stage design and whatnot. With such an enormous amount of games flooding the
market in the 80s at that time it was inevitable a bunch really cool but rather bad games
came out. For example, on the PC-88, theres a game called Galf Stream made by Xain Soft,
one of my favorite old video game makers that have a pretty infamous history. Basically,
they made a ton of action RPGs with really cool aesthetics and themes, very 80s Japanese
aesthetics. Galf Stream is a game by which all accounts is terrible - its an action RPG, and
you walk around on this overworld map and get into fights, which are some of the worst
fights Ive ever seen in a game; theyre ludicrous, ridiculous, and not much fun coming from
a gameplay standpoint, but at the same time the theme of the game is just so cool and
unique for an RPG. Its kind of inspired by the movie Streets of Fire from the 80s, which is
also a movie that inspired Final Fight. So its interesting to play an action RPG that entirely
takes place in a modern city with street fights and such even though the game is pretty bad!

AnnK: Would you say youre more interested in games with unique elements, or games with
a focus on polish?

Macaw: I like everything. If its a super polished side scroller, like the 2D side-scroller
Castlevanias, those are amazing too because theyre based on old horror movie stuff and
horror mythology. Thats a more mainstream series that I like just as much, along with
Contra, Metroid, the list goes on. I just like everything at the end of the day as long as theres
something about it thats good or suits my taste.

AnnK: Tell us a bit about the collection you have, because you sometimes like to show your
collection on stream.
Macaw: I have acquired a bunch of stuff over the years, mostly games I am particularly fond
of or that are otherwise unattainable any other way, especially when it comes to old
computer games. Streaming did sort of make me stop playing around with real hardware as
much, but as soon as I get capture cards set up I may do more real hardware streams.

Another reason I buy a lot of the physical copies of games is because I am really interested
in the packaging and manuals. With the old computer games, especially on the Japanese
computers, you get the original box with the manuals and extras and its like a different world
compared to the console games. Instead of getting a tiny thin manual, youll often get a lot of
these big manuals with illustrations of the enemies and items in the game amongst other
things. Thats why Ive gone and tried to find the games I want through the years, like the
previously mentioned Galf Stream for example. Ive got a physical copy of that as well as a
bunch of other computer games and of course console stuff as well.

AnnK: Why do you feel that its important to stream these games?

Macaw: First off, its fun to see the reaction to a lot of the stuff I play, especially if its the
obscure stuff where people have never seen it before. Im not just streaming it for a gimmick
like look at this game that I found that no one knows about though - Im usually streaming it
because its a game I like and have an interest in. Its fun to see peoples reactions to these
games Im excited about; a lot of the time theyre pretty entertained by a lot of the games
and its pretty rewarding to see.

Another big thing thats really good about streaming is that I stream games that arent just in
Japanese, but in many languages. I play German DOS games that never came out of their
country in the 90s and Chinese games, most of which are from Taiwan. Thats another big
part of DOS gaming: Taiwanese games. Im big into the domestic Taiwan DOS scene from
the 90s and into the 2000s, where they made thousands of games and had their own
culture developing around it all. Korea too; they were also making a lot of games. Whats
good about streaming these is that there is often someone in the chat that knows the
language and they can help me out with translating the text. Whether its the Chinese,
Japanese, German, or even Russian or Polish games.

AnnK: Whats the strangest thing you have in your collection?

Macaw: In terms of games, I have a lot of old independent Japanese computer games,
games that werent released in a box. Theres quite a few of those indie releases, and they
are super rare; you have to be patient and keep watching auction sites in Japan to find them.
Its never consistent in terms of when a certain game comes up; you just have to hope for
the best whenever someone puts up their weird old stuff. Ive got a bunch of those, including
one on PC-88 which was one of my most wanted PC-88 games.

I thought Id never find it. It was never released in a box and only released independently by
the developer; he made 500 some copies and released them at shows and by mail order.
Then, there was this one auction where it showed up. It appeared in an auction that I saw
not even a day before it ended. It was this weird auction of floppy discs, and in the photo you
could see he had the game. The games called Dragon Knights, not to be confused with the
much better known Dragon Knight which was a commercial series at the time. This indie
game was one of the biggest PC-88 games released with 8 discs, a full price quality game
and then some. He had the discs there in the back of one photo. I had to win that auction,
although it was quite a battle; there were some other bidders who obviously knew what was
in the collection of random floppies.
Apart from indie games, the weirdest stuff is probably the Digital Diary games I have, which
basically no one knows exists these days. These were big in the late 80s and 90s during the
PDA and pre-smart phone era. These little digital notepads were called digital diaries: PDAs
pretty much used by businessmen. The market for these digital organizers in the 90s was
almost exclusively the businessmen who would pay a lot for something like that, and in
Japan they actually released games for it in boxes, which is absolutely bizarre. I remember
when I first discovered them I was fascinated, so I started trying to acquire a bunch. The
games are rare and only appear at auction a couple of times a year at best. It was a long
process trying to find out the games I wanted and what was released. They are really weird
and along the same lines as the Taiwanese digital dictionary games, which were English to
Chinese dictionaries that were big amongst the Asian countries especially Singapore and
Taiwan. There was one company that had a near monopoly on the Chinese to English
dictionaries at that time, and they released games too on this thing called The Invincible.
They released a lot of games on it like RPGs and action games, and thats pretty fascinating
too. Thats probably my weirdest stuff.

AnnK: One of the weirdest streams I saw you do was the cell phone games stream. You
had a whole bunch and were going through them.

Macaw: I love those Chinese ones, cause China made tens of thousands of games on the
old button phones. I was messing around trying to see if anything was good. There are a few
cool ones!

AnnK: What are your goals for future streams?

Macaw: Im just gonna stream whatever Im into at the moment, it often changes quite a bit
and I go on big tangents at times. I dont do much off stream these days.

AnnK: Can you list off five Macaw most required games to pick up?

Macaw:

Xardion (SNES) - Not the most well made game on the snes for sure, but the narrative is
insane and there are a huge amount of super cool moments and a great climax. The
gameplay can provide some fun too with its interesting RPG elements combined with the
standard sidescrolling shooting action.

King Collossus (Mega Drive) - Japanese only release but does have a fan translation. An
action RPG with no towns or anything, just straight up action. Extremely dark and cool
atmosphere and a tonne of boss fights keeps things exciting throughout.

All the PC Engine Valis games! - Valis 2 on the PC Engine might be a little weak, but 3 and 4
are polished and quite epic platformers with a lot of really cool stuff to see.

Rolans Curse 2 (Game Boy) aka Velious 2 in Japan, an Action RPG with extremely good
graphics for the original gameboy, lots of different characters that become playable
throughout the journey, and cool looking bosses

Vice Project Doom (NES) aka GUN-DEC in Japan, a Ninja Gaiden-esque sidescroller with a
unique narrative for this genre, where you play as a hard boiled detective on an investigation.
Some of the best graphics on the NES and also includes top down car action sequences as
well as on rails lightgun sections.