Most of my local area seemed desperate to try the 'new' games - the ones with the blue line - so Story of Thor was very popular. I'd fight for a copy by getting my parents to drive me to the local store as early as possible on a Saturday morning. The challenge didn't end there though. The game was one of those 'fancy' games that enabled you to save your progress on the cartridge. Something that felt like magic back then and saved a lot of time previously spent writing down excessively convoluted passwords. Of course, remember there were two copies? That made finding the right copy hard, before you even factored in the risk of your save file being overwritten. It was risky.
Initially, Story of Thor seems very Zelda-esque. You play a hero called Ali who conveniently washes up on strange shores in a very Link's Awakening-like turn. However, while you roam lands hacking and slashing and exploring dungeons, the game is far more combat-focused than Link's tales. It has some puzzles, but they're rarely as intricate as anything you'd see in a Zelda game. As a young player keen to read fascinating stories yet also adoring a bit of hacking and slashing and punching and...you get the idea, it was the ideal mix.
Evans is up front about his indebtedness to Thundarr, as well as another Saturday morning cartoon, The Pirates of Dark Water (1991), and the most recent installment of the Mad Max series, Fury Road (2015). I'm a strong believer in acknowledging one's inspirations, which is why it's great see that BotRE includes its own Appendix N, which lists all of the media that influenced the development of the setting, not just those mentioned above. Like the inspirations of Gamma World's foreword, it's an eclectic collection, but reading the titles there, I immediately understood what Evans was trying to evoke.
Saturday Morning RPG is an episodic JRPG set in world heavily inspired by 1980s Saturday morning cartoons and pop culture. Players take the role of Martin "Marty" Michael Hall, an average high-school student who has just been granted an incredible power - a power that ultimately leads him to attract the ire of the world's most notorious villain, Commander Hood! Saturday Morning RPG features a full soundtrack by legendary composer Vince DiCola (Transformers: The Animated Movie, Rocky IV) and his composing... 2b1af7f3a8