241: Griefing in Black and White

Griefing in Black and White

Long before Ryu versus Ken, Scorpion versus Sub-Zero or Mario versus Wario, there was Spy vs. Spy, the videogame adaptation of the long-running Mad magazine comic. Peter Parrish examines what made Spy vs. Spy such a fun (and frustrating) experience.

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thanks for this article, it brought back so many painful memories :P I loved playing this on the NES, it was awesome to have a 2-player game, it's just too bad no one wanted to play with me after they'd tried the game once!!

My friend and I played the hell out of this game back in the day, and you are right; more often than not it ended with one of us hitting the other one in the nuts which further degenerated into open living room warfare!

Its hard, even today, to find a multiplayer game that evokes anything close to the same reaction.

Fascinating article. I played the game a lot (also played the sequels, though not quite as much), but I lived in a place with few kids my age; I never really experienced the two-player aspect. Thanks for giving me the experience second-hand.:)

I used to have a Spy vs Spy game for the original NES, and it was definitely fun to play... in a certain way of fun. Eventually the game was taken away because it always ended in fights after a while. The ending of friendships was common to this version as well!

I watched some videos of this being played on Youtube and now I really want to play it! I'd heard about it in passing, but damn does it look fun.

Perhaps they'll re-release it for modern consoles? It's one of the few games that it would actually be worthwhile to do that for.

Furburt:
I watched some videos of this being played on Youtube and now I really want to play it! I'd heard about it in passing, but damn does it look fun.

Perhaps they'll re-release it for modern consoles? It's one of the few games that it would actually be worthwhile to do that for.

They made on for thew Original Xbox and it was bad! Shame, the NES and Game boy versions were awesome, but 3D is a no.

xD ima check it out...i use to play alot of that tipe of games..."Back in the days" never played this one tho...i feel like i was missing out on some "action" hmmm someone sed there's a vid on "theTube" O_o *opens tube* *Blup*

I played this on my C64 back in the day and it was one of my favourites. I wish someone would faithfully remake it and throw it on PSN for a few bucks - I'd pick it up in a heartbeat.

Furburt:
I watched some videos of this being played on Youtube and now I really want to play it! I'd heard about it in passing, but damn does it look fun.

Perhaps they'll re-release it for modern consoles? It's one of the few games that it would actually be worthwhile to do that for.

Could you poissibly give me a link to those video's i couden't find them on YouTube...

OT: A great article, really nothing else can describe it, i do recall playing an Xbox version of Spy vs.Spy, and while it was interesting and did give many opertunitys to grief other players (Like laying Laser trip wire mines all over your enemies spawn) it doesen't seem to hold much of a candle to the experiance you described in the article.

Sir Kemper:

Could you poissibly give me a link

Enjoy. It looks dated, but I imagine it's great fun.

When I played the NES Spy vs. Spy game it was frustrating at first until I played it in my early Twenties and got the hang of it. It became fun and interesting to fight for possession of the correct types of items but soon it got repetative and I stopped playing. If they do bring back the game as DLC for PSN or XBLA I think it might be ok.

Furburt:

Sir Kemper:

Could you poissibly give me a link

Enjoy. It looks dated, but I imagine it's great fun.

I think that's the Game Boy version
Here is the NES version

Cosplay Horatio:

I think that's the Game Boy version

It says it's the ZX Spectrum version.

Furburt:

Cosplay Horatio:

I think that's the Game Boy version

It says it's the ZX Spectrum version.

Ah, thanks for the correction Furburt.

Never played it. I was a Genesis/PS1 household. First Nintendo home console I owned was the Wii.

Haha, I gave my cousin a black eye when we used to play this together. It was a constant back and forth, he'd win then I'd win and we'd get so steamed that we fell for the same traps over and over.

i loved this game on the game boy color. it was actually one of my first gameboy games. i can still remember the other spy laughing at me.

Absolutely love the article. Never played Spy vs. Spy but I know of the comic, and this is what I play every game for. I'm a completely unashamed griefer and I go into every game I play with the goal of humiliating other players just for the pleasure of finding that one player that will actually accept the rivalry and try to get me back instead of bitching and ragequitting.

For a griefer it's a win-win situation. If you whine and cry and give up, you got what you deserved for being so weak-willed and spoiled. All's fair in love and war, the only person to blame for your loss is yourself, but if you fight back you give the griefer the satisfaction of an opponent that plays on his terms and a glorious battle of words and emotions with pride on the line begins. Sure, 9 out of 10 people will hate you, but you know what they say about 90% of everything.

Now I have to find this game and make all my friends play it.

I never played this game, but the original Halo filled the same role. Since it had no online multiplayer, which was of course still barely starting on consoles anyway at the time, to do multiplayer you all had to be on the same Xbox or at the very least networked together. More than one game night ended with controllers tossed aside in favor of fists. Such great times.

I remember playing this game on the C64(I think) when I was 9 and my brother 7... talk about a game that got banned quickly in my house hold, the fist fights it started, the swearing, the screaming.

Reminds me of the near fist fights we had over GoldenEye whenever the Golden Gun was brought into play.

"let your opponent do all the hard work"
My bro's strategy when playing on the SEGA Master System
Awesome article based on an awesome series / game.

...DAMN YOU SPY VS. SPY!!! You're the reason for rage-quitters, team-killers, idlers...

Imagine how well this game would do with a graphic overhaul still in 2d, I'd pay to play it again via PSN/XBL

I think a lot of what was said in this article can be applied to other competitive player verse player games. There was a time where I had gotten Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past for the GBA, mostly because I just wanted to play Link to the Past again. It being the GBA version, it came with the Four Swords Adventure game, which you could play with up to four different people. My brother and I had decided to give this game a try and it was kind of interesting, up until he pick up my character and started to take most of the treasures for himself. The game stopped being fun to either of us because it turn into a competition where we were in the game to win for ourselves, with my brother being the main winner because he was more used to performing tricks that would undermine my progress. So ever sense, I never really cared so much for games with competitive features in them, as I would like to play a game for fun and not to prove myself better than someone else. I'll be able to do that once I find out what my talent is...

Off topic, I wonder if it is just a coincidence that I got the Spy vs Spy: The Complete Casebook not too long ago.

I remember playing this on the old '64. I don't remember if I liked it or not, but now I feel compelled to hunt it down for my emulator.

*** a few minutes later ***

WinVICE emulator

Direct game download link (unfortunately the friggin' site is frame-based so I can't direct link to their entry for the game)

Bringing back painful C64 memorys, mostly for my Tac2 joysticks. Great game though.

.. turbo 64 loaded, press play on tape ..

Ahh, Spectrum memories. I used to wire the exit room with traps on every door while my opponent did all the hard work. They'd HAVE to trigger one of them to reach the exit, leading to their demise, an easily-pilfered case sitting on the floor and sweet, sweet victory. Except when you forgot you'd booby-trapped the exit door too. :(

I owned this on my Amstrad. It caused many a fight between me and my brother. To beat the other guy to death with a stick, take the items he'd so busily collected then escape was magic. I don't know what it is about old school games that could inspire such rage.

Gauntlet was as bad. When that Gauntlet selfishness kicked in and you'd eat the food you didn't really need when the elf was dying or block the escape and watch player 2 collecting ghosts. Bomberman was later but could cause an argument or two. Don't even mention 4 player micro machines... Im sure there were fatalities related to that. The J-cart changed multiplayer forever.

bjj hero:
I owned this on my Amstrad. It caused many a fight between me and my brother. To beat the other guy to death with a stick, take the items he'd so busily collected then escape was magic. I don't know what it is about old school games that could inspire such rage.

Gauntlet was as bad. When that Gauntlet selfishness kicked in and you'd eat the food you didn't really need when the elf was dying or block the escape and watch player 2 collecting ghosts. Bomberman was later but could cause an argument or two. Don't even mention 4 player micro machines... Im sure there were fatalities related to that. The J-cart changed multiplayer forever.

I remember micro machines. >< The levels were awesome but trying to cramp everyone into a single screen while driving literally down a pool cue to get rammed off the side of the table to your death ... rage. Multilap races didn't help either.

 

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