The V-2 rocket is one of the most famous Nazi weapons of World War II. It was the world’s first long range ballistic missile, as well as the first time people were able to fire a weapon into space with the goal of it returning to earth to deliver its payload. It was a gamechanger for modern warfare, and had a dramatic impact on the face of the war. Some statistics state that this rocket led to the death of over 9,000 civilians and military personnel. Last month Popular Science published this article containing an excerpt from the book Breaking the Chains of Gravity, describing the fascinating history behind rocket. It describes the struggles of a young Wernher Von Braun, one of the most famous scientists of the Nazi era, and how the SS was able to take the project of a simple rocket and develop it into a destructive force that had yet to be seen on this planet. If you have the time it is certainly worth a read.
If you liked the article and want to read the entire book itself, it is currently available on Amazon.
I received quite a bit of good feedback this week regarding my article on Dream, the original version of Banjo Kazzooie. Here is a follow up video from rare, this time going over the making of one of their other smash hits, Perfect Dark. You can find the video here, it’s another great insight into the inner workings of one of the greatest game developers of the Super Nintendo and N64 era.
It may be hard to believe now, but there was once a time when Rare was one of the premier studios in video games. Battletoads, Donkey Kong, Killer Instinct, Goldeneye, some of the greatest and most groundbreaking games of the SNES and N64 generations came from this one studio. Arguably the best among these, the crowning jewel of this time of success was their 1998 release: Banjo Kazzooie. It is a game that is still talked about by developers and gamers alike and the winner of dozens of awards upon release. It is interesting to note then that the original game that Rare began developing looked nothing like the Bajo Kazzooie that we know today. It was a game about a boy and his dog, going on a quest in a fantastical land. So fantastical in fact that the game was originally titled Dream, and featured everything from troll monsters to dinosaurs. Luckily for us, Rare recently released a short mini-film describing Dream and the design and inspirational changes that led to changing from the story of a boy to the story of a bear. It’s a glimpse into the minds of some of the industries greatest game making minds, and a fun little slice of video game history.