Gimmick! Preservation through rerelease

Natalia Kovalainen

Preservation through use

One of the corner stones of the archive and the work we are doing is preservation through use. We put a lot of effort on being able to further the knowledge about games using the objects in the archive both today and in the future.
By giving access the objects in our archive to researchers and people in the games industry then we see ourselves achieving one of our objectives.
We think that preservation can and should be done in many different ways. We can’t do everything alone and by not limiting our combined efforts we hope to see a more comprehensive and extensive understanding of games in our future from many points of view.

Some might preserve the games digitally by way of scans and movies of gameplay, digital assets or even the actual game to name a few. But there is one type of preservation that is not often spoken about that we think is very important. That is rereleasing games, by doing this we are making them easily available to fans both old and new.
Therefore, the archive is an incredible resource, it can inspire and help out with the creation of new products. We have already been involved in some projects, most of them are still in the process of being created. Not only in the form of games but also hardware, more to come soon.

One of the projects we were involved in at an early stage and was recently released is the new port of the cult game Gimmick!
Gimmick! had a limited release being sold originally to the Famicom in Japan and later as Mr. Gimmick on the Nintendo Entertainment System in the Nordic region. In other words a very limited release, the Nordics being a small region. Gimmick was also a late release to the platform. So late that many had already moved on to the Super Nintendo. These might be some of the reasons even though the game was good it did not get attention it deserved.
The game garnered a cult following due to the quality of the game, complexity and in its popularity in speed running. It can also be hard to find a physical copy of the game due to the small amounts produced and needing old hardware to run. We feel that the new version gives people the chance to play this classic game and the “rewind” function really helps those of us yet to master this game. 😊

The game

The protagonist of the game is Yumetaro – the green supernatural entity that is gifted as a toy to a girl. Yumetaro becomes her favourite toy something that makes all of her other toys envious. Then one night the toys come to life and kidnap the girl to another dimension. And thus, the game begins with you playing as Yumetaro on an epic quest to save the girl.

Our contribution to the new port of the games was in form of scans. Scans of the covers, the art on the cartridge and also the manuals. The cool thing about the manuals is that you can flip though them digitally in the game. So, in a way you who are playing the game can by reading through the manual experience a part of the archive.
The team at Clear River Games were so kind to put us on top of the Special Thanks page. We feel very honoured and look forward to helping out on future endeavours!