The Ghosts of Video Games Past: 14 Forgotten Classics


Happy holidays from your ol’ buddies, ol’ pals at FemHype! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Max. With “Game of the Year” games being announced, there really are only so many triple A games that one can afford. So, for this holiday season, we are giving you lovely FemHype community members the gift of cheap, fantastic games that we can nerd out about together. So here we go, fam!

Moonmist (PC), Aphelion

A ghost of video gaming haunts 1986 interactive fiction mystery game Moonmist. When writers Stu Galley and Jim Lawrence sat down to collaborate on a new work for game company Infocom, they drew on the oeuvre of famous fictional detective series Nancy Drew (Lawrence had anonymously penned several Nancy Drew novels in the early 1980s). Historian Jimmy Maher wrote that this inspiration was so prescient, “The game and its accompanying feelies … would really kind of prefer it if you could see your way to playing as a female. Preferably as a female named ‘Nancy Drew,’ if it’s all the same to you.”

In Moonmist, you take on the role of a detective coming to the aid of your friend, Tamara Lynd, concerned about the haunting of her fiancé’s manor, Tresyllian Castle, near Cornwall, England. The classic text adventure system was praised at the time for its elegance. Copies of the game included physical materials—“feelies—to aid the player in navigating Tresyllian, including a story about “The White Lady of Tresyllian Castle,” the ghost Tamara claims has been harassing her.

Moonmist is especially notable for including a character who is arguably the first gay character in a video game—I covered the character in-depth in a piece, with major spoilers, in video game history e-zine Memory Insufficient Volume 2: Issue 2Like spooky spectres haunting a British castle, a number of free emulators of Moonmist float around online.

Continue reading “The Ghosts of Video Games Past: 14 Forgotten Classics”

Diversity, Inclusivity, & Validation in ‘Undertale’


Undertale is a critically acclaimed JRPG indie title that was recently released, and you can get it on the game’s official website or Steam. This EarthBound/Mother series-inspired game does a lot of interesting things with narrative, gameplay mechanics, playing with expectations, and most notably, making it possible to beat the game without killing anybody in what is known as a “pacifist run.” What I think is also an important element of the game is that it is incredibly good at creating lovable characters who are also pretty diverse and relatable. This is what I want to talk about in this article in the hope that some of you out there might also find the immense joy I found from this game.

Going forward, I will discuss potential spoilers, however, and the game does rely on a lot of surprises to deliver its narrative as well as its oddball comedy. Be sure to not read too much before playing it if you find you want to try it out!

Undertale is the story about a world where humans and monsters live together peacefully until, one day, a war breaks out between the two factions. The monsters—whose strength doesn’t match up to the humans for reasons revealed later in the story—lose the war and end up sealed underground with a magic barrier to keep them from ever returning to the surface. All hope seems to be lost for the monsters to ever return until many years later when a human child falls down into the underground, setting forth a chain of events where how they react to the monster people living there determines the fate of society.

Continue reading “Diversity, Inclusivity, & Validation in ‘Undertale’”

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