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retrorussell

Memories of where and when you first played/saw this game

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Another one, to chew on for this week:

KICKER/SHAOLIN'S ROAD, 1985 Konami

 

What a mindless beat-em-up that you can just jump right into-- but what a fun game (although pretty easy)!

Your kung fu fighter kicks all manners of enemies that make an appearance in a multi-floored establishment that scrolls a bit left and right.  Some, colored green, will give you a limited power up.  They are able to kick you as well, and it's a good idea to let them drop down/come up to your floor and deal with them before they can react.  Boss characters will immediately start coming after you, which is unusual for the time (you usually have to reach the end of a stage before you face them).  You have 3 hits you can take before you are a one-hit kill, and the game makes certain you know how damaged you are.  Successful completion of a stage makes your fighter flex proudly and utter "GUTS!", which cracked me up to no end.  Great Konami classic.

Pretty sure I first saw this at my dad's Fred Meyer department store in Tigard, OR.

 

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^That looks like a SCRAMBLE conversion.

 

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On 1/24/2020 at 11:51 PM, retrorussell said:

Next game: 

KANGAROO, 1982 Sun Electronics/Atari

Very cutesy game with the titular marsupial hopping up various multi-floored structures to rescue her baby Joey.  A gang of monkeys (whom are called "Nasties" IIRC on the bezel) try to throw a monkey wrench in your endeavor (pun intended, I guess) by throwing apple cores at you (well, I guess it's better than poop).  Whereas kangaroos normally are more renowned for their leg strength, here you punch your adversaries with boxing gloves on (perhaps inspired by the kangaroo in the Sylvester cartoons).  I remember this appearing at just about every arcade BITD, and on occasion grocery store/laundromat/restaurant.  Very cute with cute sound effects and graphics, though it does rip off Donkey Kong a bit (save for the odd stage 3, where you have to take out a column of monkeys holding up the cage with Joey).  "Turkey In The Straw" is played with each successful rescue.

I think the first place I saw this was either the Fred Meyer department store in Tigard, OR or Malibu Gran Prix less than 10 miles from there.

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I've got the config in MAME saved so that "up" is mapped to a button (same with Arabian which would be another good one for this thread).  If only Atari had the foresight to realize that it is more fun to have separate buttons for jump and punch.  Two buttons with two functions might have transformed this game from the obviously derivative into something innovative.


kangaroo-controlpanel.thumb.jpg.f625f6bbeac5fd8cedba62553f4c68d9.jpg

 

And I don't remember ever seeing Kanagroo IRL.  I think by the time I would have noticed, Donkey Kong (or DK Jr) was so easy to get that it had taken over.

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17 minutes ago, wongojack said:

And I don't remember ever seeing Kanagroo IRL. 

I seem to remember my bowling alley getting this one back then. I never really liked this game back then or today. It's good for one play and then move on to something else.

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1 hour ago, VectorGamer said:

I seem to remember my bowling alley getting this one back then. I never really liked this game back then or today. It's good for one play and then move on to something else.

My favorite version is the 2 button hack for the 2600, but even there, I don't know if it is worth it.

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I wasn't really a fan back then of using the joystick to jump.  Little did I know that VS. fighting games later on would make this the norm.

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40 minutes ago, retrorussell said:

I wasn't really a fan back then of using the joystick to jump.  Little did I know that VS. fighting games later on would make this the norm.

That was more out of necessity at first, but at least fighting games don't have platforming... lol

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Another one for this week:

GAPLUS/GALAGA 3 (1984, Namco/Bally/Midway)

One of the last handful of games that Namco let Bally/Midway distribute in the US, due to the latter company ripping off the Pac-Man likeness from the former too many times.  Regardless of that, this was a worthy sequel to Galaxian/Galaga.  Here you can fly your ship anywhere in the bottom half of the screen!  Enemies have new and strange flight patterns (and your ship flies backwards at various intervals).  Various power-ups include a "hypno-ray" where you can turn the enemies into option fighters for you, a "corkscrew" ray that collects enemies and you can shoot them for increasing bonus points, and a super-fast double shot.  Secret bonuses and 1ups can be uncovered.  The bonus stage allows you to "juggle" enemies with your shots as much as you can to spell out a word (like "Bonus", "Lucky", etc.).  I saw this first as GALAGA 3 at a 7-11 a mile and a half or so from my house.  Later in the mid-late 80s as GAPLUS at a Seattle-area bowling alley.

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Next: 

Woah-- how did I forget my favorite game when it came out?

CRAZY CLIMBER (1980, Nichibutsu/Taito)

I loved it when it was new at Malibu Gran Prix (saw the Taito version so it was probably 1981), even though I couldn't even beat the first building back then.  I finally got better but.. Those girders and barbells.. God they piss me off!

One of my favorite double-joystick games.  They move your hands as you climb up buildings and avoid things dropped on you and closing windows-- and even King Kong-- that try to make you fall.

Original Nichibutsu cabinet (which I first saw at the Rose Festival in Portland OR):

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More common in the US (and with less-weird sound effects/voices), the Taito cabinet:

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I remember not long after playing it at Malibu Gran Prix they had it at Chuck E Cheese.  Man, Chuck E's pizza was hot garbage but they had the best selection of arcade games!

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I have very fond memories of first seeing Crazy Climber in a bowling alley. I wasn't any good at it though since I didn't have the coordination, so I had to watch older people play to see what happened.

 

It's funny though because if I play it today I need to play the Japanese version which is what I grew up with. Half the appeal for me was the wacky sounding voice e.g. "BAMBALA" or "ABWAAK" whatever they say (no idea if they're actual japanese phrases or not) :lol:   Anyway, during the Mame days I finally got to hear the english voices, and the "GO FOR IT" or the "OUCH" just doesn't do it for me. :lol:

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2 hours ago, NE146 said:

I have very fond memories of first seeing Crazy Climber in a bowling alley. I wasn't any good at it though since I didn't have the coordination, so I had to watch older people play to see what happened.

 

It's funny though because if I play it today I need to play the Japanese version which is what I grew up with. Half the appeal for me was the wacky sounding voice e.g. "BAMBALA" or "ABWAAK" whatever they say (no idea if they're actual japanese phrases or not) :lol:   Anyway, during the Mame days I finally got to hear the english voices, and the "GO FOR IT" or the "OUCH" just doesn't do it for me. :lol:

"Ganbare" (gone-bar-ay) is "go for it" in Japanese.  I can imagine the "abwaak" sound in my head (like when you get hit by a flowerpot) but I'm not sure what that is.  The "Ah nahhhh…" sound when you fall is weird.  I prefer the American voices.

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Time for another weird one:

PIONEER BALLOON (1982 SNK/ROCK-OLA)

Bizarre game similar to FANTASY-- a possible spiritual sequel at least-- but only with the hot air balloon sequences.  Here you can drop bombs from your balloon (or some sort of projectile) as you fly over Old West prairies, the sea, and a fortress.  You must avoid projectiles from covered wagons (?!), native Americans' arrows, ape-thrown coconuts, birds, typhoons, and horseback riders' projectiles (?).  "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" and "The Great Escape" theme (!) are notable tunes.  Strange...

I saw this only once in the wild at the Oregon coast arcade FUNLAND probably in the late 80s.  I think it was out of order.

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On 1/28/2020 at 9:33 AM, wongojack said:

 

I've got the config in MAME saved so that "up" is mapped to a button (same with Arabian which would be another good one for this thread).  If only Atari had the foresight to realize that it is more fun to have separate buttons for jump and punch.  Two buttons with two functions might have transformed this game from the obviously derivative into something innovative.


kangaroo-controlpanel.thumb.jpg.f625f6bbeac5fd8cedba62553f4c68d9.jpg

 

And I don't remember ever seeing Kanagroo IRL.  I think by the time I would have noticed, Donkey Kong (or DK Jr) was so easy to get that it had taken over.

We had a Kangaroo machine at our local roller rink when i was a kid. :)

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On 1/28/2020 at 1:29 PM, retrorussell said:

I wasn't really a fan back then of using the joystick to jump.  Little did I know that VS. fighting games later on would make this the norm.

While I'm not really a fan of Kangaroo, Arabian (a fan) used that similar horrible design for controls

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7 hours ago, retrorussell said:

Time for another weird one:

PIONEER BALLOON (1982 SNK/ROCK-OLA)

Bizarre game similar to FANTASY-- a possible spiritual sequel at least-- but only with the hot air balloon sequences.  Here you can drop bombs from your balloon (or some sort of projectile) as you fly over Old West prairies, the sea, and a fortress.  You must avoid projectiles from covered wagons (?!), native Americans' arrows, ape-thrown coconuts, birds, typhoons, and horseback riders' projectiles (?).  "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" and "The Great Escape" theme (!) are notable tunes.  Strange...

I saw this only once in the wild at the Oregon coast arcade FUNLAND probably in the late 80s.  I think it was out of order.

9017485_orig.png

0pballoonr.png

 

Weird thing is I grew up in Chicagoland, where Rock-Ola was based from, and the only game of theirs I have a vivid memory of seeing was Nibbler. One of the Chicago area collectors has a Rock-Ola Demon - very cool. One of my favorite by them was/is QB-3.

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On 1/28/2020 at 7:33 AM, wongojack said:

 

I've got the config in MAME saved so that "up" is mapped to a button (same with Arabian which would be another good one for this thread). 

I did Arabian a long time ago.  I made a list of the ones done up to the 15th page on page 15.  But of course, memories of long-documented games can continue to be shared presently.

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1 hour ago, schuwalker said:

 

Weird thing is I grew up in Chicagoland, where Rock-Ola was based from, and the only game of theirs I have a vivid memory of seeing was Nibbler. One of the Chicago area collectors has a Rock-Ola Demon - very cool. One of my favorite by them was/is QB-3.

Demon I had not seen in the wild but I did play it in MAME-- okay Armor Attack type of vector game.  QB-3 I believe was a prototype.  I'd seen almost all the officially released games with the Rock-Ola license in arcades, save for probably Demon and Mermaid.

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On 1/28/2020 at 8:52 AM, VectorGamer said:

I seem to remember my bowling alley getting this one back then. I never really liked this game back then or today. It's good for one play and then move on to something else.

 

^My Exact thoughts on Kangaroo!  I tried to play it once;  Probably didn't know what I was doing and did not enjoy it, despite liking the graphics...And yes, maybe if it had better controls...

 

I never saw Pioneer Balloon,... and Crazy Climber,  well I only played it a few times, but it was IIRC, the first full size cab a friend of mine bought.  I helped him move it once and it was extremely heavy for its size as I recall...

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Quick comment,

 

Does anyone else remember the sounds of an early arcade?   Talking about Star Castle earlier jogged a sound bite in my memory...Our mall (Time-Out arcade) had Star Castle and Space Panic as the loudest games;  So you would hear that throbbing bass thrum from Star Castle and that almost guitar riff shovel sound from Space Panic amidst all of the laser blasts from Space Invaders, Galaxian, Asteroids, Rip Off, Astro Blaster...Along with the occasional voices from Astro Blaster, New York, New York, Frenzy, and Black Knight Pinball challenging you, ...Plus that little musical intro to Scramble...

 

Just thought I'd share...

 

Now back to the show...

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2 hours ago, GoldLeader said:

Quick comment,

 

Does anyone else remember the sounds of an early arcade?   Talking about Star Castle earlier jogged a sound bite in my memory...Our mall (Time-Out arcade) had Star Castle and Space Panic as the loudest games;  So you would hear that throbbing bass thrum from Star Castle and that almost guitar riff shovel sound from Space Panic amidst all of the laser blasts from Space Invaders, Galaxian, Asteroids, Rip Off, Astro Blaster...Along with the occasional voices from Astro Blaster, New York, New York, Frenzy, and Black Knight Pinball challenging you, ...Plus that little musical intro to Scramble...

 

Just thought I'd share...

 

Now back to the show...

If you were unaware of this awesome virtual arcade video (with a great Journey song-- Journey themselves were arcade fans), this faithfully captures not only the look of an arcade back then but has a whole lot of arcade game noises blended together.

 

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19 hours ago, GoldLeader said:

Does anyone else remember the sounds of an early arcade?  

Have you checked out the Arcade Ambience Project? It has sonic collages of various arcade machines organized by years... http://arcade.hofle.com/

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Zoyous- I have all 4 volumes of Arcade Ambiance and HIGHLY recommend them to anyone jonesing for that "back in the day" feel.

 

Crazy Climber! What a great game. It was at my local skating rink for a few years and then popped up at a department store my family often visited called Harts. I was shocked to learn in college that it had been ported to the 2600.

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9 hours ago, Zoyous said:

Have you checked out the Arcade Ambience Project? It has sonic collages of various arcade machines organized by years... http://arcade.hofle.com/

I've heard of it and been meaning to check it out.   Thanks for the reminder!  🤜💥

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New game for the week:

MISSILE COMMAND (1980, Atari)

The classic Cold War game.  I was never any good at this.  My earliest memories of this are at the Washington Square Cinemas, Big Tomato Pizza, and Shakey's Pizza (all are long gone).  I loved the big THE END screen in lieu of 'game over'.

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Oh, and a little history:

 

The unauthorized enhancement kit SUPER MISSILE ATTACK (a more difficult version of MC) by General Computing Corp. ruffled Atari's feathers.  They took them to court but proposed that GCC work for Atari, making games for them.  They made two-- FOOD FIGHT and QUANTUM.

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