It’s not often the Apple II gets more than a passing mention in scripted news media — but episode #502 of CheckPoint, a weekly satirical news segment about the video game industry, recently devoted an entire segment to early fan mods for the early Ultima role-playing game series. Co-host Brendan “Beej” Dery’s relevant section begins at 5:35, with additional, unscripted commentary with co-host Graham Stark at 11:18.

The piece was sparked by a Mastodon thread by Apple II enthusiast and preservationist A2_Canada.

The fan-made scenarios mentioned in this post, Islands of Death and Te-gran: Origin of the Sword Lords, were advertised in Nibble magazine Volume 6 Issue 4 (April 1985), as shared on Facebook.

A black-and-white, text-only advertisement to purchase these floppy disks by mail from a company in Tucson, Arizona.

This is not retrocomputing’s first appearance on CheckPoint — unsurprising for a comedy troupe named after Commodore 64 messages and commands. Softdisk was featured in CheckPoint episode #337 (Feb 12, 2019); the Internet Archive’s MS-DOS collection earned a segment in episode #361 (Oct 18, 2019); and the Apple II itself made a visual cameo in LoadingReadyRun’s predecessor to CheckPoint, way back in Escapist News Network episode #31 (May 5, 2010).

Editor & publisher of Juiced.GS, the Apple II community's longest-running print publication dedicated to the Apple II; co-host of the Star Trek podcast Transporter Lock; digital nomad at Roadbits.