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Flashback: Tamagotchi

Virtual Pets in the mid 1990s where cool especially for people who could not have a real pet for health grounds etc etc. and there were games like Oddballs Catz and Dogz on pc from PF magic running on windows 95

But for me a fond memory of the days of virtual pets was the short lived but still amazing Tamagotchi. Now at the point of writing this I dont have a real Tamagotchi but i am actually planning on getting hold of one again but for now I have tried to do as much as possible of this flashback using a tamagotchi simulator but some I am also doing from reference sites and memory.

So lets take a take a trip down memory lane and into a fable

Availability 

original Gen1 Tamagotchis are long out of print now but so many have been made since the originals back in 1997 so finding original 1997 models is not too hard but they are starting to get pricey now.

While that is the case with original models bandai released the 20th anniversary edition nearly a year ago now its 20% smaller than the original 1997 model but its pretty easy to find and has the same original hardware and screen at a pretty good price

Starting the Pet up 

This sounds so wrong as you would never pull a tab out of a cat lol anyway lets get the Tamagotchi up and running a simple case of pulling the Battery Isolator tab out from the side of the Tamagotchi egg and then an egg appears on the screen taking around 5 minutes to hatch even this brings back memories.

And once the pet has done its thing the egg cracks open the pet emerges looking like a tadpole and immediately cries out for food and playtime this always made me laugh how can a blob of pixels could not only eat but aslo want to play closest link I can get to for something slimliar is a gremiln because at all the stages they can eat play and cause utter havoc of course unless its gizmo hes just downright adorable and cute.

Evolutions

Ahh the fun of this holds fond memories too never knowing how its going to look next this does not show all of them but shows some of the wacky and weird creatures that tamagotchi has (these are gen 1– so the same as the tamagotchi simulator) and like the one before it some are greedy and want constant attention and I remember at school hearing bleeping and evolution sounds during a class and the teacher taking them off people for being a nuisance to the point of the schools usually banning them.  

Playing games 

ahh another thing that brings back fond memories of the little pet is the games it comes with and I can simulate both the types the tamgotchi had with the simulator my first tamagotchi had the first game installed which was a guess the direction game and you used the left and middle buttons to control it and the remaining button cancelled it and the other one was a play your cards right style game but with numbers and the control method was the same in both games and its really nice to try both games out again in the simulator.

Cleaning and care 

ewww poop!.

I sort of stepped on this with my evolution bit about some being incredibly needy and constantly attention seeking and how teachers ended up banning these pets from the classroom honestly now grown up I can why teachers were frustrated with them and alot of people got fed up with them but I did not care really and loved playing with mine turning the lights off when it slept and years on its interesting to see how mobiles have effectively become the new tamagotchi annoying teachers employers and generally everyone else in a whole new way through stupid ringtones and some youngsters/teens being obnoxious and playing music out loud to name a few

CPU

Powered by improved version of commodore semiconductor incs 3 mhz MOS 650 CPU yes if you are thinking Jack Tramiel (RIP – 201) commodore days then you are bang on commodore bought MOS technology in the late 1970s and its CPUs quickly found there way into the vic-20 and a evolution of the 650 mos chip the 6510 was used in the c64 but thats a story for another day.

what is for sure Bandai with possible MOS help made changes to the CPU likely adding in timer instructions to help with the pets random event cycles and the additional speed was probably just a result of CPU advancement and Bandai likely had more access to advanced tech than Commodore and reduced its size down to the size of a 10p piece which is pretty impressive considering original socketted chip (above) was the size of an eraser.

So now looking back its quite interesting to see the link Tamagotchi had  with Commodore and in a sense the Vic-20 since they used the same the same chip just slightly faster. 

Battery Life 

Tamagotchi battery life was not great I think I went through the button batteries about once every 3 months and I think I probably got maybe 2 different tamagotchi lifespans in that time not exactly great really. and I remember back in 1997 cell batteries were not exactly the cheapest thing around maybe explains why Bandai have now gone mostly AAA cells now in the later designs like the tamagotchi P ID and the japanese exclusive Tamagotchi 4U and 4U+ even though you can get a patch for these. 

Death

this is a good place to end this piece as I kid I hated it when my tamagotchi died and those were probably not the best of memories of it but the tamagotchi was so damned easy to well kill ! even the new smaller 20th anniversary edition is easy to do it and when it dies you get a screen like the above or one with an angel and some stars around it. 

An Ending

well the Tamagotchis memories both good and bad will forever be something I remember fondly and I am likely to grab a 2017 anniversary version for those reasons. now this piece is a bit shorter than I planned originally but hey thats just the way it goes and with other stuff I want to get out stacking up I just dont have the time.

Until next time 

Tim

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