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Episode 400: A Little Help from My Friends

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - November 12, 2014, 9:53 pm PST
Total comments: 23

Here it is, the long-awaited milestone episode recorded in a professional studio, live and in person! Updated with remixed vocals and much better volume balance!

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We always try to do something special for these milestone episodes, but 400 is our most ambitious episode ever. It's over three hours of game discussion, born out of a wild weekend full of playing and streaming games together at Jonny's home in Colorado. We played great games, weird games, and horrible games, and you'll hear about tons of them in a distended New Business segment right up front. The first chunk of this big episode also includes a couple of feature discussions on Nintendo's use of classic characters, plus our most idealistic hopes for the next Nintendo system(s).

During the break, you'll hear a special message from our friends at Nintendo Free Radio, then a direct thank you to each person who donated to make this whole event possible.

In the last segment, we talk about not one but three MiniRetroActive games selected by donors. Then, we play "Secret Santa" by recommending games based on each other's tastes. This gigantic episode concludes with just a little navel-gazing (as requested), which is really just a chance to look back on what the show means to us and how it has become a major part of our lives. We hope it's a fun and positive part of your life, too! Thanks so much for listening, interacting, donating, and just being the greatest audience we could ever imagine.

We may take next week off to recover from the intensity of this trip, but RFN will be back very soon. Please consider chipping in a thoughtful email to keep the discussion going well beyond 400! Also, be sure to check out the complete list of YouTube videos to watch our weekend gaming hijinks -- with full audio commentary from the entire RFN crew! It's like having several bonus hours of the podcast, except you also get to watch us play all these crazy games.

This episode was mixed by Megan at Immersive Studios and edited by Jonathan Metts. The "Men of Leisure" theme song was produced exclusively for Radio Free Nintendo by Perry Burkum. Hear more at Bluffs Custom Music.


famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)September 28, 2014

A big congrats to the RFN crew!
It's pretty obvious that the Famicast couldn't have existed with you guys as inspiration. Your awesomeness definitely motivates at least me to keep reaching for high standards in planning. Not sure about Danny though  :P:
Of course we still have a long way to go to reach your staggering episode number (round about the year 2029 at the current rate) but we will keep at it using you guys as our continued inspiration.

]It's amazing that there are still no other Nintendo podcasts outside of NWR that can hold a candle to RFN. Even something like having enhanced feeds is uncommon, and definitely not employed at (m)any outlets where people are paid real actual money to record and edit podcasts...
In summation; you are awesome, thank you being awesome, keep being awesome!

azekeSeptember 29, 2014


Wii All projector idea

I've seen Sony cameras having the projector feature. Don't think video quality is any good though.

Current projectors on the market are pretty heavy, because they need to have bright lamps that emit a lot of heat so you need fans to cool them off and all that stuff eats a lot of energy.

Leo13September 29, 2014

Now that RFN is 400, I'd love to know how many listeners they have.

Evan_BSeptember 29, 2014

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank RFN myself. I know I've written into the show quite a few times and my questions have appeared wordy or a bit too thoughtful, but the truth is, I have many games that I have either played alongside you four or at different times that I would love to talk with you about. Sometimes, the email field is just too restrictive, and I wish I could be there recording with you.

You are a great source of relief in my life, and after a stressful week, I know I can kick back and listen to RFN talk about one of my favorite subjects. I love Nintendo, and I love how your four look at the company with nostalgia and scrutiny.

You've made me think about games in a different way, and you've made me think about the industry in a different way as well- partially as a business, but also as someone who is just a game enthusiast. However, you made a comment about two or three months ago, jokingly referencing a game called COP: The Recruit, saying "if you are able to make offhand jokes and comments about things like this, it's a sign you know enough about video games to talk about them on a podcast."

Well, I do. And after listening for three years, I'm ready to start my own podcast as well. I hope that I can achieve a dynamic with my co-hosts that is as enjoyable and knowledgeable as yours, RFN. Here's to you.

mustbeburtSeptember 29, 2014

Can't wait to listen to this.  You guys do such a quality job and you're hands-down my favorite podcast.  It's one of the highlights of my week, for sure.  I'll be looking out for those Youtube videos.  I'm sure that'll be a ton of fun to watch.  Thanks again!

phatcornsSeptember 29, 2014

Very excited to listen! Was this actually recorded in a studio though, from sampling it, it sounds like it's just in a big ass room.

ejamerSeptember 29, 2014

Only 3+ hours?  Is that how you are wasting all of the donated monies?

Just kidding. Congrats on the milestone. I look forward to listening over the next couple of days.

Plus a dozen or so hours of live streams that we are putting on YouTube! Links will be posted today.

KisakiProjectSeptember 29, 2014

First.  Congrats on the show.  You guys got me into game podcasts back at the end of 09.  5 years times 2 hours a week is a lot to be thankful for.  Thanks for all the entertainment.

Second.  I was honestly expecting you all to be more out of control/zanny all together in a studio.  I was a little disappointed to be honest.    But I'm sure you'll do something insane for 500.  Maybe I should check out the streams.

Finally.  I think Jonny's idea about the projector could be really interesting.  Plus a super cheap handheld that has smaller experience & VC games/subscription could really take off.  Part of gameboy's success was the cheapness.  They definitely lost that with 3DS.  2DS really needs to be $100 if not $80.  Part of GBAs explosion was $80 SPs. 

broodwarsSeptember 29, 2014

Is it just me, or is the mp3 version of this episode extremely quiet? I had to turn my laptop's speakers up to 75% volume to even hear the RFN crew audio.

I think the streams have all the zany action you are looking for! I'm working on an article to collect them all.

SeacorSeptember 29, 2014

What happened to the highlight reel of favorite moments from show's history for those that contributed to the Archivist tier?

Also, are there chapters?  I downloaded iTunes version and you usually break out segments into chapters.

Chapters should be coming shortly, might need a redownload.

The archive had some work left to do to it. It's also pretty long. We're going to release it soon as a stand-alone episode.

ClexYoshiSeptember 29, 2014

I'mma skip the sappy thanks because I've done it MANY times before and I feel like being contrarian. that being said, My name isn't in this episode, because I'm givin' it all to child's play, baby!

that being said, I cringed SO damned hard when I heard "EnBeeZee" come out of Johnny's mouth.

My main man NBZ happens to be a resident of the united kingdom! you'll not that this is the same country that brought us the Sinclair "ZedEcks" Spectrum, which particularly to you, Dr. Metts, is what the game VVVVVV is primarily a love letter to with it's named rooms and often near monochromatic presentation. sure, there are other things you could point to like the Commodore 64 for inspiration, but Sinclair's ZX Spectrum is the most obvious of VVVVVV's inspirations.

That being said, it sounds dirty saying "ZeeEcks" spectrum. I am very much american, hailing from the northwest suburbs of Chicago , and I will demand a correction of this egregious error in episode 401! "EnnBeeZed" is a man of many Pokemons and should not be trifled with!

NE_austinSeptember 30, 2014

It's downright cruel to spring "You're the Inspiration" on us without warning like that. Nearly sent me spiraling into a fit of tears, and it probably would have had we not transitioned out with the "Wii All" bombshell Jonny dropped before the break.

EnnerSeptember 30, 2014

Congratulations! Great episode.

- NintendoFan -September 30, 2014

Great episode guys!

This sounds like it was recorded around one microphone. Why'd you choose to go that route?

Sorry, I didn't have the location for nbz at hand! Otherwise, we might have caught that.

Chapters were added last night, so please re-download the m4a file if you want those.

We did have just two shotgun-style microphones in the studio. I chose to mix them down to mono per many comments in the past that people don't like stereo panning for the podcast vocals. However, since this is a special show, I retained stereo for the music clips in order to highlight our new theme song in its original form. (Future episodes will be all mono.)

We had the option of individual microphones, but it would have taken much longer to set up and would have been a lot more complicated for us in terms of microphone technique. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but in the end, I think it was probably for the best that we didn't have all that gear between us. The goal was a natural, intimate conversation with high quality audio, and that is what we got from recording it in the studio. Also, it was such a cool experience!

SeacorSeptember 30, 2014

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Chapters were added last night, so please re-download the m4a file if you want those.

Re-downloaded. Thanks for adding chapters and pics!

azekeOctober 06, 2014

Microsoft is doing something with projectors:

It requires five projectors and five Kinects though...

CalemOctober 07, 2014

Great podcast guys.  I was happy to experience the Twitch stream too.

For some rather long feedback, I disagree with Guillome's suggestion that Nintendo should reduce the number off spinoff games on their established characters.  A lot of Nintendo fans have fun seeing new perspectives of the same characters, or more fully embracing those worlds.  If anything, they should develop anime, merchandise, and other things to develop that culture.  Personally, I would like to see Nintendo take a Marvel approach and hire the absolute best thing talent to produce content for it in a variety of mediums (tv, movies, manga, anime, etc.).  If they execute on their theme park plans, I would definitely attend.

As for the idea of Mario stepping too far outside his persona as a plumber, he is pretty widely regarded by fans and Nintendo itself as an "everyman".  Mario is like an actor who plays the superhero in 2D platformer games and then winds down with some go-karting with the cast after the shoot. 

As for Jon Metts' comment on wanting Wario Golf or Zelda Golf, every spinoff Mario sports title is its own franchise that Nintendo tries to improve.  It doesn't make sense for them to refine the gameplay of Mario Golf and call it Wario Golf and I don't think they have mental bandwidth to support two different franchises.  They could barely support both Mario Sports games and Wii Sports games.

Also, I think Jon Metts' idea about the projector console is awesome.  I would want an option to buy a legit 3DS successor as a controller, but a cheap gba micro esque handheld with the power of an N64 you could buy for like $20-$30 would be cool if it doubled as a controller.

Thanks again for setting up this podcast, I really like hearing mature, well-reasoned commentary on Nintendo's games and strategy.  Looking forward to episode 401.

I've been threatening this for a while but finally got around to it -- Episode 400 is now remixed and remastered with true stereo vocals (previously, only the music was stereo) and greatly improved volume balancing. Subscribers should delete the old file if necessary and re-download to get this new version. Otherwise, all existing direct file links now point to the improved remix.

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