“Doctor required in GP’s Office!” is a phrase I heard oh too often in my youth, a term the receptionist would often throw out when doctor’s got too tired and would go off to the staff room. Theme Hospital was produced by Bullfrog Productions, all the way back in 1997. I was a young boy back then, but the game would always capture my imaginations. Indeed, we here in the UK have the NHS, but the idea of running my own American styled hospital was always a lot of fun. Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve got a new contender for the Hospital Management genre – A very specific niche indeed. It’s been over twenty years since Theme Hospital, so how does Two Point Hospital compare?
The diseased, the sick, they’ve come back to show off how these deadly cells have mutated. Viral infections are no joke, neither are deadly diseases, so in this week’s Top 10 list, we’re paying homage to all of the deadliest, most mutating diseases and viruses – And a brief discussion about what they do. Well then, be prepared to put on your mask!
10) Technocyte virus – Warframe
Better known as the Infested, the Technocyte virus affects a whole group of people, made up of the Corpus and the Grineer. This virus is a parasitic organism, which corrupts and changes its host. Those who have hosted the virus for a long time are known as Infested Ancients, who are practically unrecognisable from their original form. A painful, horrible virus which changes the behaviours of its hosts.
The habits an Infested exhibit vary from different specimens, but one constant remains: They all become exceptionally aggressive. They also exhibit a form of hive mind mentality, with the larger specimen referring to themselves as “we”. Nevertheless, we couldn’t mark the Infested much higher, mostly due to how they fear the player as much as they loathe them. They’re mutated, they’ve got a new mind, but they still feel like you’re one of them – However that’s a story for another day.
9) Krippin Virus – I Am Legend
Well, they’re not zombies, nor are they vampires. They’re vulnerable to ultraviolet light, which burns their skin, they’re possessed of incredible speed, agility and strength, and they’re capable of elaborate plans and traps, but they also attack in droves while howling unintelligibly, and they are highly infectious, a disease that spreads through the air. They do stand in crowds in dark rooms while swaying, so that’s nice and creepy.
The Krippin Virus is a pretty aggressive form of measles designed to combat cancer. The infected, Darkseekers, now form the majority of the living “human” populous, only a few million people have proven immune, and not even dogs, or rats have been resistant to the monster of our own creation. We end the world with a cure, and only Will Smith stands a chance at creating a cure to that cure.
8) The Phage – Star Trek Voyager
Among the many diseases sent to challenge the various medical teams of the Star Trek franchise, one that has always stuck in my mind was the Phage, an affliction that dogged the Vidiians for millenia. It began with extreme joint pain, before slowly devouring the victim, causing the flesh to slough from their bones while still living. Attempts to cure the disease failed, as it proved stubbornly resistant to every new cure, adapting and changing.
The Vidiians resorted to terrible practices, like kidnapping members of other races for the purposes of genetic research, or the far darker methods of organ piracy, using transporter technology to abduct organs from living people for use in other bodies. The EMH is eventually able to help manage the disease better, learning skills that will help him save his creator in the not-too-distant future.
7) Simian Flu – Planet of the Apes
A disease that spelt our end, and marked their rise, and it was all of our creation. The virus was modified to help cure Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative mental illnesses, first the ALZ-112 which propelled Caesar to new heights of reason and deduction, then the ALZ-113, which created Koba, the ruthless and cunning ape who would eventually lead the aggression towards humanity.
While 112 proved effective in temporarily treating Alzheimer’s, 113 proved to be our end, an epidemic that brought us to the edge of extinction. Cities emptied, and we were reduced to nomads and clusters of survivors, while ape society flourished, and the disease we made spread and mutated with them, becoming less lethal, but instead robbing us of our reason, our language, our minds, leaving us the feral slaves of a new world, a planet… of apes…
Oh I just got that!
6) The Red Death – Edgar Allan Poe
This may be the simplest entry on the list, but considering the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe, it’s unsurprising that this one had to make the list. He had a penchant for the macabre, with a writing style celebrating the gruesome and grotesque. This was spurred on by a lifetime of sadness, confusion and likely frustration. The Red Death then was inspired by a very real disease of the time, which they used to call ‘Consumption’.
The Red Death in Masque of the Red Death, is a deadly disease which is inspired by Tuberculosis, the modern name for the previously mentioned Consumption. Once a victim has The Red Death, they will begin to bleed through their pores, before succumbing to a nasty demise. This was clearly exacerbated by the fact his wife had Tuberculosis, which made the story all the more personal.
5) Pokérus – Pokémon
Depending how you look at the other entries on the list, Pokerus is the only really beneficial virus on the list. In fact, this might be the only bug that people want to spread to their teams, as Pokerus is hugely beneficial. In fact, once your Pokemon has the virus, Nurse Joy in any Pokemon Centre will comment on the fact your Pokemon has contracted it, which is said to help stimulate their growth.
In terms of the competitive aspect of why you’d want Pokerus; it doubles EV’s, Effort Values. Whenever a Pokemon defeats another, it gets a secret value, depending on the Pokemon yours defeated. For instance, a Pikachu might beat a Rattata and it’ll get 1 EV for Speed. Some Pokemon offer higher EV values, so it’s up to you to find the best Pokemon to train yours, but it’ll be much faster if you have the Pokerus.
Gotta spread it to ‘em all!
4) Rage – 28 Days Later
What happens when a virus gives you pure, unbridled anger? You’ve contracted Rage from the 28 Days/Weeks Later franchise. The aptly named virus targets specific neurosystems, triggering uncontrollable levels of anger, to the point where you have to just act out your violent, angry frustration. It’s no surprise that people compare the infected of 28 Days Later to Zombies, however the two are quite different.
A zombie typically has absolutely no real control over their actions; an undead cadaver seeking out their next meal. Meanwhile, those infected with Rage, albeit may be zombie-like, are actually still human – It’s just their minds are completely clouded by nothing but rage. Oh and there’s blood. Lots of blood. So much blood it makes The Red Death look like less blood. Just don’t cross these angry folk!
3) Shame – Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
We didn’t think this one would rank so highly on this list, but when we realised just how absurd this entry was. The absurdity of it alone meant that we marked it a lot higher, but the popularity of all mediums of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy meant we had to include it. It’s actually quite an obscure entry on this list, all things considered – But again, we had a good laugh at the idea behind this one.
Shame is, in some places in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’s universe, a terminal condition. Yes, people have and do die of shame. The most notable example is Ford Prefect’s father, but there’s one piece that puzzled us the most. This entry is only really included in a footnote, to which they state that it is “still a terminal disease in some parts of the universe”. Please, if you know the cure to shame, share it with us in the comments below.
We debated this one a little. Often described as a curse rather than a disease, and with highly and unapologetically magical symptoms; physical transformation and a moonlight trigger, but lycanthropy shares many things in common with an illness.
It’s transmitted via exposure via open wounds, so if you can survive an onslaught by an infected party then you’ll likely find yourself a victim to their symptoms instead. Did you know that silver has strong antibacterial property, and transmission via saliva strongly suggest that lycanthropy is a bacterial infection. Like many old “curses”, is it possible we have a case of advanced use of bacteria as a witch’s curse, like in the old haitian zombie?
I sincerely doubt it, but that’d be pretty cool. Werewolves and their ilk make the number 2 slot.
1) Virus Strains – Resident Evil
We had a tough choice with this one, too – Do we include zombies? To which our main answer was “no” as zombies are another list all together…
… So why did we include one of the most zombie filled games as one of our examples and indeed, our top example? In Resident Evil, the initial virus was known as the Progenitor Virus. This was effectively the basis for all other viruses in the franchise, which was a virus spread by flora. This virus was mostly unexplained, but it led to the research and development of the t-Virus and the g-Virus.
The t- and g-Viruses are notable for being some of the main focal points of the franchise. If we stick with the t-Virus for now, the logic also applies to the g-Virus. Effectively, the t-Virus was made to better the human race, but an altered strain meant that there was instead a zombie outbreak. Without giving you a whole load of information about why the games even happen, the various viruses in Resident Evil often start with good intention, before becoming mutated to make their victims more aggressive and even cannibalistic.
Plus, Resident Evil is a franchise all about viruses… We’d be mad to not include it.
Not all diseases affect people the same way, so we couldn’t help but come up with some more examples. There were a lot more deadly infections and viruses out there, but these we had to give an extra little nod to – Just because we wouldn’t want these conditions ourselves!
Flayer Virus – Warhammer 40K
What disease could possibly infect a race of metal bodies with immortal, undead souls programmed into their aeons old circuitry? Only the kind of madness that could make such future-zombies miss having skin enough to try and get some more. Such is the infectious virus that spreads among the flayers, a parting gift from a C’Tan destroyed by the Necrons, something to forever thank them for their treachery.
It’s a god-given curse turned computer virus with the infectious properties of a real virus, and it’s the only kind of illness that could make the machine-dead more terrifying. The foot and a half long blades that tip their limbs don’t quite have the same potency of a skeletal robot coated in freshly harvested flesh.
The Spon Plague – The Goon Show
I talked about the Goons recently, and if you’ve looked into them since then, or before, or during, then you’re already familiar with the terrible disease that swept through the cast at roughly knee height, an infection known only as the Spon! Why, you may have it, even now! Quickly roll up your trousers to examine your knees. Are they bare, all exposed to the elements and whatnot? Then hie thee hence to a medical practitioner at once, you’ve contracted the dreaded Spon!
Not to worry there, young Seagoon, you may indeed have the cure right at your kneetips, for a particular manner of berk is completely immune to the disease, namely that what weareth long underpants! Yes folks, say no to the wonderpill for the Spon Plague, and don longer undergarments. Save your money for that new wonderpill to protect you from the Quodge, a new epidemic whose symptoms include bare knees covered by long underpants.
Bloaty Head – Theme Hospital
When we first discussed this list, somehow this painful sounding condition completely slipped our minds. Bloaty Head is a disease where your head, unsurprisingly, bloats. It gets larger, more rotund and is all in all very balloon like. Sadly, it doesn’t mean the head is any lighter for the infected patient. Theme Hospital had a wonderful solution to dealing with the painful disease, which caused immense discomfort.
A pin would be used to pop the head of the patient, before being inflated back to a much more reasonable size. Certainly a painful method, but hey, it’s effective. With the release of Two Point Hospital, which we’ll have a review of next week, we legitimately couldn’t forget to include Bloaty Head; an iconic staple of Bullfrog’s title. They might not have bloaty heads, but get ready for Lightheadedness!
It’s safe to take your masks off now, folks; the sick and dying have now left the building. Some of the diseases and viruses we’ve seen today are enough to make you question: Where did nature go so wrong? Why did we make such sick, disgusting things to do to people? Where can I find the highest EV Sp. Att Pokemon to train my Machamp? All these questions and more will not be answered when you vote for next week’s list below.
Now that all of these deadly diseases and viral viruses are outta here, we’d best make sure to sterilise everything thoroughly! Whilst we prepare the site for next week’s list, why don’t you share your thoughts about the above? What did you think of our picks? Did we forget any diseases or viruses that you think should have made the list? Should we have included the “Virus type” Digimon for instance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.
Small indie studios are all the rage these days, often creating something that outsells the Triple A companies that have dominated gaming for so long. The mainstream trend right now seems to be bringing back gaming gems from the past; Crash Bandicoot being last years big reskin and this year we’re set to get both Spyro the Dragon and Medievil, two games I adores from my childhood. However, remakes don’t need to be the only way to bring a bit of classic gaming back, as Two Point Hospital is coming to prove.
Ladies and gentlemen, geeks and nerds, we are gathered here in memoriam of those we have lost but not forgotten. This is a sad Top 10 to have to write, because the games companies we have assembled below have all contributed titles to history that have inspired and driven creative minds world-over to go into games design, or in some other way create incredible works. For reasons beyond their own control these companies have fallen by the wayside to create no more.
Join us, one and all, as we mourn the Top 10 games companies who are no longer with us. (more…)
You may have noticed the Stonekeep series slowed down for a while – But fear not, this will be back to normal, along with more series in the near future. Read on as Timlah lists the ongoing series he’s going to start running.
Stonekeep, the game that started it all for me as a Dungeon Crawler fan. So it’s no real surprise that I’d start my YouTube channel with one of the games that was an early fond memory for me. I was so keen to see more people get to experience Stonekeep, that I didn’t even realise the amount of work behind a YouTube channel, let alone editing your own videos, scheduling and publishing the associated articles with them.
However, we’re now past the holiday season, many of us are going back to our day jobs and here at GeekOut, we’re switching on the overdrive! Yes, I will be diving back into Stonekeep and doing 2 weekly let’s play episodes of the series once more… But this time, Stonekeep won’t be alone on YouTube. No, I don’t just mean one off episodes for articles either; I mean I’m going to work on making a new series or two for the channel to go along with it.
I haven’t forgotten about it, don’t worry. I’ve actually gotten two episodes recorded as of time of writing, but I decided not to bring this series back until I had released this article. I expect to finish this series by mid to late February, as it’s one I’d started but then stopped releasing episodes of (foolishly).
I love the game, I love Bullfrog games and you can expect to see Theme Hospital come to a close within the next two months. It’s time to pick up the Slack Tongue and cure many more patients. I am not sure if I will fully finish the whole game in the series. Only time will tell!
Final Fantasy IX
If you’ve stuck around GeekOut for more than a couple of days, you might be aware that I’m hugely fond of the Square Enix masterpiece, Final Fantasy IX. I’ve been looking at many ways to connect my PSP up to my PC and now that I’ve got a way of playing FFIX on my PC, it’s almost time to start recording it. I expect to start putting out FFIX LPs by the end of February – After I’ve finished my Gamely Giving streams.
I have a few goals on that series:
- All four optional bosses, Quale, Tantarian, Hades and Ozma, will be defeated.
- Find many secrets and explain how to get them.
- Build a team using Zidane, Vivi, Steiner and Freya – An all-out aggressive team!
- I hope this series proves to be as entertaining as Stonekeep has been.
This comes at a really opportune time too, as recently it was unveiled that there will be a Final Fantasy IX remake! Well then, let’s hope that is a good remake for what I feel is the best Final Fantasy game in the series. I’m looking forward to playing it natively on my PC, but in the mean time: Time to get this one going!
Beyond Good & Evil
A masterpiece of a game, involving more beauty shots of pig-men than any other game, Beyond Good & Evil set the bar when it came out for truly innovative storytelling. With the unique premise of being a reporter for Jade & Co’s Reporting, it’s up to you as Jade to take on aliens, military and more to find out what has been happening in your home world of Hillys.
Featuring a brilliantly unique photography system where you uncover clues and earn money for your published images, Beyond Good & Evil didn’t work on many Windows PCs when it first came out. A lot of people encountered day one bugs with it, which stopped them from enjoying it. Recently however, I’ve been able to make the game work via WINE and now it’s time to show off this RPG Phenom… You’ll be left wondering why you haven’t played it before, or yearning to play it again.
There are more series planned throughout the year, however these are the upcoming ones. I’ll also still do the occasional one-off video. What do you think so far? Are you happy we’re going to diversify a little bit with our Let’s Play series? Do you think there’s anything else I should play on the channel (bearing in mind my very underpowered machine)? What series are you happiest to see come to our channel? As always, your comments are much appreciated below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to Subscribe, Like and Comment on the GeekOut YouTube channel and we’ll see you over there soon!
Every week, I am delivering two episodes of Stonekeep via YouTube. However, if that was all I was doing, it’d not be very interesting, would it? To switch it up a bit, I’m also working on a GeekOut Plays Theme Hospital series, where each episode, I will try to do all of a good portion of a level. These are being done once a week and the next episode will go up on Saturday, along with this weeks episodes of Stonekeep.
If you’ve never heard of Theme Hospital, then you’re in for a treat. It’s an old game made by the British video game company Bullfrog. At the time, Bullfrog were on top of the world, with insanely popular titles such as Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Magic Carpet and of course Theme Hospital. This game was considered one of the greatest games to come out of the UK at the time, which is high praise indeed as the UK was full of great developers, such as Team17 and later Jagex.
Episode 1 – Zany Doc!
In this episode of GeekOut Plays Theme Hospital:
- I tell a doctor how zany he is.
- There’s a shortage of good quality doctors and nurses from the get go.
- My doctors pop a few heads and re-inflate them.
- We issue an invitation to a VIP.
- A year in my first hospital passes…
- … And I complete level 1!
Episode 2 – I Suffer Slack Tongue
This time on GeekOut Plays Theme Hospital:
- We buy a second building.
- We put down plenty of seats and drinks machines.
- Caretakers get frustrating.
- I send a patient home for having a more slack tongue than me.
- A year and three quarters pass…
- …. And I complete level 2!
Please remember to like, comment and subscribe to the GeekOut YouTube channel. If you’ve got anything you’d like to say about these episodes, please do not hesitate to comment below, or on Facebook and Twitter.
Cast your mind back just two weeks ago and YouTube was a foreign concept for GeekOut. Occasionally, we may put a video up, but nothing to the frequency of what we’ve been doing recently. Read on to find out what we’ve got planned as well as how the process has been going so far.
Theme Hospital. This game consumed so much of my youth, it’s not even funny. It’s as if Theme Hospital was made to be one of these games that you sorta go “Okay, perhaps I’ll play it through again… Just because I remember it being good.” Then you play it… And you remember that it’s actually quite slow during the gameplay, so you’re constantly set to speed setting 5 (That’s the fastest)! Well okay, that doesn’t sound like a good thing but it actually is. I’ll explain more about that as we take a trip down memory lane.
The game was created by Bullfrog Productions back in 1997. Bullfrog were well known around this time, one of the most established British games companies out there in fact. They were in charge of the highly successful Theme Park franchise, which still goes on today under the guise of RollerCoaster Tycoon. The latest in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, RollerCoaster Tycoon World, is set to be released this year and utilising the Unity 5 engine.
When I heard about this fantastic game, I immediately started to think about how I grew up through gaming. I thought back through some of my earliest games on the PC, the amazing games made by the British development team, Bullfrog Productions. These guys had some of the pioneers of gaming behind them, including the very popular Peter Molyneux and Stuart ‘the Balrog’ Whyte (most recently Studio Director of Lionhead Studios).
Whilst they made some great games such as Populous, I am right now focusing in on two of their greatest games: Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper (I and II). When I attended Rezzed this past week, I was able to play some alpha builds of some truly phenomenal indie games that are coming our way.