Chomp Bites One Off: the SEGA Dreamcast (SEGA Dreamcast Anniversary Week Special)
Welcome back to SEGA Dreamcast 20th Anniversary Week here at The Splintering! If you missed last month’s interview celebrating 30 years of the SEGA Genesis, you can brush up on that intense exchange right here.
Every now and again, we at The Splintering are going to lean on our mascot, Chomp the Termite, to go out into the world of myth and fiction to get the stories that we non-fictional types just can’t get. September 9th marked the twentieth anniversary of the SEGA Dreamcast’s release in the U.S., so Chomp thought he’d dust off his old buddy and see how he’s doing. Yep, that’s right. Chomp’s guest this month is the little white box that could, the bright flame that burned out too fast, SEGA’s final home console, the SEGA Dreamcast!
Chomp: How are you, old friend?
Dreamcast: Hey, Chomp. I’m okay, I think.
Chomp: Cool. So let’s start off with your launch. 9-9-99. Fifteen years, man, damn. Seems like yesterday. So what are your favorite memories from that time?
Dreamcast: Hm… That’a a good question… Hm…
Chomp: Do… you need me to repeat the question?
Dreamcast: Oh, no, no. Uh, while I consider my answer though, maybe you could tell us about what you remember?
Chomp: Ooookay. I remember that in the few years before then, I really didn’t play games all that much. I really didn’t care much for new 3D games in those days. Whether they were Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation or Super Mario 64 on the Nintendon’t 64, I thought they looked like garbage and essentially took a gaming hiatus for a couple of years. But when I first saw a Dreamcast demo unit at a local mall, that all changed. The Sonic Adventure opening was playing, and I was blown away. Not only did it represent a 3D game that finally looked awesome, but this was also Sonic’s big return in years since he never got a proper release on the Saturn. I think I might have pre-ordered my console that day. You?
Dreamcast: Uh, well, how about launch day itself, uh, for you?
Chomp: Well, I remember that the only time I have ever run my car out of gas was on September 9th, 1999, because I was so excited and in such a rush to pick you up that I ran it completely dry. I know I got Sonic Adventure on day one, and soon after I picked up both The House of the Dead 2 and Air Force Delta, both of which I really enjoyed at the time. I also remember getting my fill of Soulcalibur, Mortal Kombat Gold and NFL 2K over at my brother’s place. Enough about me though, what do you remember most about those early days? Got an answer yet?
Dreamcast: Yeah, uh, pretty much the same as you, I guess.
Chomp: …Really? That’s all you’ve got?
Dreamcast: Huh… yeah. I think so.
Chomp: Alrighty then, moving on. You had a good 200 or so US releases over your time. Got a favorite game? Before you pawn that one off on me, though, I can’t really talk about my own favorite game because I think we’re doing another site-wide roundtable on the subject. No spoilers!
Dreamcast: I see. I see… So, huh, my favorite game… Hm… That’s tough. There were so many to choose from. Hm… Huh…
Chomp: If you can’tnarrow it down to one, just spit out a few of your favorites.
Dreamcast: Hurm. Let’s see… Huh…
Chomp: Any game you really liked.
Dreamcast: Huh… Er…
Chomp: Any game you remember fondly.
Dreamcast: Uh, what was that one? You know, the one with the disc?
Chomp: You mean every Dreamcast game ever?
Dreamcast: No! The one with those guys! You know…
Chomp: Kiss: Psycho Circus?
Dreamcast: Yeah! That one!
Chomp: Your favorite game was frickin’ Kiss: Psycho Circus?
Dreamcast: Uh… no, uh… but… hm…
Chomp: Oh, for Christ’s sake! Next question. You were the only SEGA console released in the US with the white as your primary color. Do you have any thoughts on that? Did that make you feel special or a little left out?
Dreamcast: Uh… well… wait! Won’t I sound a little racist if I answer that question either way?
Chomp: Who gives a fuck? It’s not like we strive to be politically correct here at The Splintering, or journalists… or decent, responsible human beings. Now, Honkey McCracker, do you have white guilt or a white power superiority complex?
Dreamcast: Uh… well, when you put it like that… er…
Chomp: Saying nothing will be an answer for “white power superiority complex” by default.
Dreamcast: Uh! Um… Uh…
Chomp: Okay, you racist bastard, let’s march along. You introduced several innovations into the gaming industry, such as online gaming, dual-screen gaming on a console via VMU, maraca controllers, even the first fishing controller produced by a first party. Tell us, to what do you owe your innovative spirit?
Dreamcast: Huh. Wow. Uh…
Chomp: Jesus Christ, forget it! Next question! Despite the most successful launch in history at the time, and a steady stream of really solid software, your active lifespan in the US only lasted just over two years. What do you think is the primary reason for that? The insane hype over the PlayStation 2? Software piracy? Terrorism?
Dreamcast: Uh… hm…. That’s another good question. What was the last option again?
Dreamcast: Okay, yeah, that one.
Chomp: All right, dammit! I’ve only got one last question and I will get a sincere, honest answer out of you. So, there is a thriving underground community still developing games for the Dreamcast, including games like Sturmwind, SLaVE, Elysian Shadows, Dux 1.5, Tiny Barbarian and Pier Solar, just to name a few. How does that make you feel?
Chomp: We’re waiting.
Dreamcast: Hmmm… Well….
Chomp: Any day now.
Dreamcast: Hm… Let me… Let me just…
Chomp: Dammit, man! DAMMIT! What is so tough about this? Why can’t you just come up with an answer!? What on earth could you possibly still be thinking a… about…? No. No! NO! Are you telling me that this interview was just one big setup for a single gag! Shit! ONE GAG?! “It’s still thinking…” Fuck this! Worst interview ever.
Thanks for reading! If you loved this interview (and who can blame ya?), you can check out more installments of “Chomp Bites One Off” here. You can also check out more of our SEGA Dreamcast 20th Anniversary Week content here!