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Retro Vault: Tekken, Zool, SimCity

Plus: Psychonauts and a Japanese Dreamcast promo video

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed last week's Retro Vault you can read it here.


2005 - Psychonauts print advert

The first game by newly formed company Double Fine Productions was always going to be a crucial one. Double Fine was founded by former LucasArts developer Tim Schafer - the man responsible for such classics as Grim Fandango and Full Throttle and the co-creator of The Secret Of Monkey Island and Day Of The Tentacle - so all eyes were on what he and his team would come up with first.

The answer was Psychonauts, a third-person platformer set inside various characters' minds. Players took control of Raz, a young lad blessed with ability to read people's thoughts. Raz sneaks into a summer camp to learn how to become a Psychonaut - someone who can enter another person's mind to help them overcome their fears or past memories - but while he's there he realises something shady is going on.

The concept of platforming stages set inside other people's innermost fears and desires made for a wide variety of bizarre and abstract locations, which combined with the superb dialogue (a Schafer trademark) and surprisingly dark moments resulted in a game that those who played it fell in love with.

Sadly, Psychonauts may have been a critical success but it certainly wasn't a commercial one with less than 100,000 copies sold in its first year in America and a total of 400,000 retail copies sold to date. It retains a cult following, though.

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