The Forgotten Pioneers
There are series, such as God of War or The Last of Us, which it’s easy to locate and play all the games in them. There are also series that have spawned multiple sequels, it becomes difficult to track its origins. And sometimes those first entries are-on purpose-left forgotten. Today we will have a look at the less known “ancestors” of popular games.
Team Fortress 2
Well, if a game has “2” in its title, it makes sense it is a sequel. Team Fortress 2 has been one of the most beloved shooters, and despite it was released in 2007, it remains popular in online fan communities. However, not many players seem to know about its predecessor. The original Team Fortress debuted as a modification for Half-Life, and it slowly started amassing a cult following. Now, it can be found on Steam as Team Fortress Classic as a standalone game.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a mainstay in online competitions. What many fans tend to forget is that, like Team Fortress, the series traces its roots to Half-Life modding. More specifically, the first version of Counter-Strike saw the light of day in 1999 by by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe. The game was so successful that Valve acquired it and made it an official game shortly after.
When you think of Street Fighter, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the second installment of the series, featuring iconic characters such as Ryu, Chun-Li, and Blanka. However, there is another game that came before it and kickstarted the whole series. The original Street Fighter came out at the arcades in 1987. It only had Ryu and Ken as playable characters, and it was quite difficult to control, let alone complete. The game has been so obscure and unrequested by fans that it became available in the series’ 30-year anniversary collection for the first time since its release (OK, it was also on the Virtual Console, but we don’t count it).
Despite all the hype around the Persona series these days, many people don’t talk about the series’ beginnings. The popular series by Atlus debuted in 1996 for the PlayStation, with the game Revelations: Persona. It was itself a spinoff in the Megami Tensei series. Yeah, the franchise is bigger than what you thought. Revelations: Persona saw a rerelease for the PSP.
There are way more games that became the cornerstones of bigger series: Diablo, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Final Fantasy (which was not very “final” after all), and more. While these days we enjoy a good number of sequels and spinoffs, it is always important to remember the “ancestors” who paved the way.
Oh, and if you want to check out some of these early games (and some more recent ones), you can always drop by the Arcade Hotel in Amsterdam.
Header image: Street Fighter (1987) by Capcom