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Author Topic: LoC 50 - Top Video Games of the '80s (And before!) - Today's High Scores  (Read 37035 times)

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Offline Pak-Man

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#17 – Star Wars (Arcade)

(77 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #3 - TeamRAD

Use the Force, Luke.

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Release Date:  1983

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari Inc. and released in 1983. The game is a first person space simulator, simulating the attack on the Death Star from the final act of Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope. The game is composed of 3D color vector graphics.

The player assumes the role of Luke Skywalker ("Red Five"), as he pilots an X-wing fighter from a first-person perspective. Unlike other arcade games of similar nature, the player does not have to destroy every enemy in order to advance through the game; he must simply survive as his fighter flies through the level, which most often means he must avoid or destroy the shots that enemies fire. Each hit on his craft takes away one shield (of the six he started out with), and if he runs out of shields and takes another hit, the game ends.
 
The player's ultimate goal is to destroy the Death Star through three attack phases.

- In the first phase of the game, the player begins in outer space above the Death Star. He must engage in a dog fight with Darth Vader and enemy TIE fighters.

- In the second phase (occurring beginning with the second wave), the player reaches the Death Star's surface as laser turrets on towers rise to confront the player. If the player manages to destroy all of the towers, he will receive a sizeable point bonus.

- In the final scenario, the player finds himself speeding through the trench of the Death Star, avoiding obstacles and blasting gun turrets until, finally firing a proton torpedo at the correct time for a direct hit on the exhaust port target. What follows, if the player is successful, is the Death Star exploding in a multitude of different colors, plus the awarding of one bonus shield (on factory settings). If the player manages to destroy the Death Star without firing at anything but the exhaust port, he will receive a sizeable point bonus for "using the force." Then it is on to do battle again.
 
Each successive Death Star run greatly increases the difficulty; TIE Fighters shoot more often, there are more Laser towers and batteries in the second round, and there are many more obstacles and laser fire during the trench run. Unlike the movie, where the units shoot beams similar to lasers, the enemy units in this game shoot projectiles resembling fireballs, in order to give the player a chance to destroy the fired shots.

The game features several digitized samples of voices from the movie, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, James Earl Jones as Darth Vader, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, the mechanized beeps of R2-D2, and the growls of Chewbacca.
 
The game is available as a standard upright or a sit-down cockpit version, both of which are elaborately decorated. The controls consist of a yoke control (similar to a steering wheel — twisting left and right gives combined roll and yaw; twisting forwards and backwards with the side control gives pitch) with four buttons — two trigger style and two in position to be pressed by the thumbs — each of which fired a laser positioned on the four leading edges of the X-Wings.

Pak's Thoughts: The sit-down version of Star Wars was one of those arcade games you had to wait for. You could try to play a game and come back later, but there was always someone else hogging the machine. Somewhere in this game is the seed that would blossom about a decade later into the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. It was fun in the '80s, it was fun in the '90s, and it would be fun today if they'd just bring back the Space Sim. But I digress. How cool are vector graphics? And soundbytes too. This game had everything going on.


Offline Pak-Man

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#16 – Galaga

(78 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #2 - Monty

That is Galactic Dancing!

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Release Date:  1981

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Galaga is a fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan and published by Midway in North America in 1981. It is the sequel to Galaxian, released in 1979. The gameplay of Galaga puts the player in control of a space ship which is situated on the bottom of the screen. At the beginning of each stage, the area is empty, but over time, enemy aliens fly in formation, and once all of the enemies arrive on screen, they will come down at the player's ship in formations of one or more and may either shoot it or collide with it. During the entire stage, the player may fire upon the enemies, and once all enemies are vanquished, the player moves onto the next stage.
 
Galaga has proven very successful. The arcade version of it has been ported to many consoles, and it has had several sequels, most recently Galaga Legions for the Xbox Live Arcade service.

The objective of Galaga is to score as many points as possible by destroying insect-like enemies. The player controls a starfighter that can move left and right along the bottom of the playfield. Enemies swarm in groups into into a formation near the top of the screen, and then begin flying down toward the player, firing bombs at and seemingly attempting to collide with the fighter.
 
Occasionally a "boss Galaga", who takes two shots to kill, attempts to capture the player's fighter using a tractor beam. If successful, the fighter joins the enemy formation, tethered to the boss that captured it. The player can recapture their ship by killing that boss while it is diving. The recaptured ship is then joined to the player's current ship, doubling the player's firepower but also making themselves twice as big a target. Once joined, each of the two ships can be destroyed independently. If a boss with a captured fighter is killed while still in formation (not diving), the fighter will disappear after leaving formation and will then appear again on the next level attached to another boss Galaga. If the fighter is accidentally shot by the player, it is destroyed and does not return. The game is over when the player's last ship is destroyed or captured.
 
Galaga introduces a number of new features over its predecessor, Galaxian. Among these is the ability to fire more than one bullet at a time, a count of the player's "hit/miss ratio" at the end of the game, and a bonus "Challenging Stage" that occurs at level three, and from then onwards every four levels, in which a series of enemies fly onto and out of the screen in set patterns without firing at the player's ship or trying to crash into it. These stages award a large point bonus if the player manages to destroy every enemy.
 
Galaga has an exploitable bug that can cause the attackers to stop firing bullets at the player, due to a coding error. In addition, similar to the famous "Split-Screen bug" in Pac-Man, a bug exists in Galaga in which the game "rolls over" from Level 255 to Level 0. Depending on the difficulty setting of the machine, this can cause the game to stall, requiring that the machine be reset or power-cycled in order to start a new game.

Pak's Thoughts: I always got greedy and let my guy get captured to go for the double-ship. I'd die a lot sooner that way, but it was worth it for the HONOR of wielding dual-ships. :^) It had awesome graphics for its day, too. It had the same limitations as the other games of its day, but it did so much with them. The enemies are all brightly colored and the character designs never looked TOO pixel-ey. It's a good example of doing more with less.


Online RVR II

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#20 – Dig Dug

(71 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - 2 - RVR II


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Do the Dig Dug Dance!

Release Date:  1982

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Dig Dug is an arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan in 1982 for Namco Galaga hardware. It was later published outside of Japan by Atari. A popular game based on a simple concept, it was also released as a video game on many consoles.

The objective of Dig Dug is to eliminate underground-dwelling monsters by inflating them until they pop, or by dropping rocks on them. There are two kinds of enemies in the game: Pookas, round red monsters (said to be modeled after tomatoes) who wear yellow goggles, and Fygars, green dragons who can breathe fire. The player's character is Dig Dug, dressed in white and blue, and able to dig tunnels through destructible environments. Dig Dug is killed if he is caught by either Pooka or Fygar, burned by a Fygar's fire, or crushed by a rock.
 
If left partially inflated, the monster will deflate and recover after a few seconds, and the player can also pass through the enemy while it is deflating.
 
The monsters normally crawl through the tunnels in the dirt but can turn into ghostly eyes and travel slowly through the dirt. The last enemy on a level will try to escape off the top left of the screen.
 
More points are awarded for eliminating an enemy further down in the dirt (the levels are color coded), and the Fygar is worth more points if it is inflated horizontally facing the player rather than inflated horizontally opposing the player or inflated vertically (because it only breathes fire horizontally). More points are also awarded for dropping rocks on enemies in order to eliminate them rather than inflating them. If one enemy is killed by the rock, it is worth 1000 points. The next two add 1500 points each and any after that they add 2000. The act of digging is itself worth points, giving ten points for each block dug, so some players do as much of it as possible in situations where the threat from the remaining monsters is minimal.
 
After the player drops two rocks, fruits and vegetables (and other edible bonus items, such as Galaxian flagships) appear in the center of the play field, and can be collected for points if the player is able to reach them before they disappear. These edible bonus items will appear even if the rocks fail to hit any enemies. In some versions of the game, the most points attainable from a single bonus fruit is 8,000 from the pineapple.
 
If the player drops a rock on a foe at the same time he pumps it to death, a glitch will occur whereupon all enemies will promptly disappear, but the game will not progress and the player will be free to dig through all dirt. Attaining the next level of play will then remain impossible, but the glitch can be resolved by forcing a rock to drop.
 
Level numbers are represented by flowers in the top right of the screen and each new level is noted at the beginning of each stage on the bottom right (as seen in this article's screenshot graphic). In successive levels more monsters appear on each screen and they move quicker. A level is completed successfully when the last monster is dispatched or succeeds in fleeing.
 
In the coin-operated version the game ends on round 256 (round 0), since this board is essentially an unplayable kill screen. At the start of the level a Pooka is placed directly on top of where the player starts, with no way to kill it.

Although Namco has officially given the character of the original Dig Dug the name Dig Dug, in other games where he makes an appearance, the protagonist goes by the name Taizo Hori (in Japanese order, HORI Taizo), and is the father of Susumu Hori, the main character in the Mr. Driller series. He is also the ex-husband of Toby "Kissy" Masuyo, the heroine of Baraduke. His name is a pun on the Japanese phrase "Horitai zo" or "I want to dig!"  a similar pun might be rendered in English as "Will Dig" or "Wanda [Wanna] Dig". Many American gamers learned of his real name via the Nintendo DS game Mr. Driller Drill Spirits, where he is also a playable character. He is additionally featured in an unlockable gallery of Mr. Driller items in Mr. Driller 2. In the Mr. Driller series, Hori is known as the "Hero of the Dig Dug Incident". In Japan, he is also the Hero of the South Island incident and is the honorary chairman of the Driller Council to whom most of the characters answer. This contrasts greatly with the PC remake Dig Dug Deeper, where the hero is simply named Dig Dug.

Pak's Thoughts: Of all the '80s arcade games to come out in the '80s, Dig Dug had the most unique form of defense. While other game heroes were hiding behind guns and power-ups, Dig Dug was inflating his enemies 'til they popped. It was satisfying 30 years ago, and it's satisfying today. I also found it completely liberating to play a game where you weren't bound by any kind of maze walls. Dig Dug could just dig his way in any direction he wanted at any time and shape his own maze. Dig Dug has aged very well and it's still a blast any time I decide to play it.

Love this game Even to This Day!! 8)

... Don't remember the Dig Dug Dance though.. :-\
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 09:37:39 AM by RVR II »


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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WOOT missle command.  Heh again anything with a track ball is cooler. 


Offline Rattrap007

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Dig Dug and Missile Command this time...




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Never played the Star Wars game.  Dig Dug, Galaga and Missle Command are good.  The Turtles game was amazing at the time.  I loved those old Beat-Em Up games.  Anyone else who did would do well to check out Castle Crashers and the Scott Pilgrim video game (with soundtrack by Anamanaguchi), which is also pretty awesome.


Offline gojikranz

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cant belvie i forgot TMNT. 

i put galaga 90 on my list rather than galaga cause its just way better (i had it for turbo-grafx).  forget about the double ship in that you could get a triple ship which was just incredible.
MICROPHONE MANIAC COMING SOON!!
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Offline Pak-Man

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#15 – Gauntlet

(81 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking – 3 #8s – ColeStratton, sarcasm made Easy, Asbestos Bill

Red Wizard needs food badly.

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Release Date:  1985

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Gauntlet is a fantasy-themed hack and slash 1985 arcade game by Atari Games. It is noted as the first class-based multiplayer game. Released during the emergence of popularity of other role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, the game was a sensation, being one of the first true dungeon crawl arcade games.

The players, up to four at once in the arcade version, select among four playable fantasy-based characters; Thor the Warrior, Merlin the Wizard, Thyra the Valkyrie or Questor the Elf. Each character has his or her own unique strength and weaknesses. For example, the Warrior is strongest in hand-to-hand combat, the Wizard has the strongest magic, the Valkyrie has the greatest armour and the Elf is the fastest in movement.
 
Upon selecting a playable character, the gameplay is set within a series of top-down, third-person perspective mazes where the object is to locate and touch the designated exit in every level. An assortment of special items can be located in each level that increase player's character's health, unlock doors, gain more points and magical potions that can destroy all of the enemies on screen.
 
The enemies are a vast assortment of fantasy based monsters, including ghosts, grunts, demons, lobbers, sorcerers and thieves. Each enters the level through specific generators, which can be destroyed. While there are no bosses in the game, the most dangerous enemy is "Death", who can not only drain your character's health, but is difficult to destroy.
 
As the game progresses, higher levels of skill are needed to reach the exit, with success often depending on the willingness of the players to cooperate by sharing food and luring monsters into places where they can be engaged and slaughtered more conveniently. While contact with enemies reduces the player's health, it also slowly drains on its own, thus creating a time limit.
 
Aside from the ability to have up to four players at once, the game is also noted for the narrator's voice, which was produced by a Texas Instruments TMS5220C speech chip. The narrator would frequently make statements repeating the game's rules, including: "Shots do not hurt other players (yet)," "Remember, don't shoot food!", "Elf — shot the food!", and "Warrior needs food — badly!" Occasionally, the narrator would encourage (or mock) the players in the thick of battle by saying, "I've not seen such bravery!" or "Let's see you get out of here!" A memorable statement of the game occurred when a player's "life force" points fell below 200: "Your life force is running out", "Elf needs food" or "Valkyrie...is about to die!"
 
To accommodate up to four players, the cabinet is wider than other standard uprights. Each player had a joystick and two buttons, one for "Fire" (ranged attack) and one for "Magic". The Magic button also started the game. After Gauntlet's release, other games started using this design, so it was a popular conversion target for newer games after it had its run.
 
There were some skilled players that could play an unlimited amount of time on one credit, especially with the Warrior and Wizard, and thus causing the arcades to lose money. A ROM update was released, reducing the "extra shot power" and "Extra shot speed" powerup bonus for Warrior and Wizard, and adding a new points-based difficulty counter to the game. The difficulty counter caused the game to become more difficult, in 16,384 point steps, which removed more designated food from the levels, and made the monsters respawn faster. Unfortunately, this was not well thought out, as on the default game difficulty of "4", it was almost impossible to pass levels 1-7 without dying, and level 4 was designed so that some of the food drops would block the monsters from swarming the player. This was because the game removed some of the "default" food for playing solo; on difficulty level 0, at least one food placement was removed from every single level (at low scores), and on difficulty 4, two or three food drops were removed. This made the game too difficult, even for the best players, unless they could find a machine set to difficulty 0. Instead, the game gave bonus food for three or four players playing together. (Three players gave all of the default food, while four gave extra food in random locations).

Pak's Thoughts: Gauntlet was always my favorite game to play with my brother. He liked playing as the warrior and I was always the wizard and we made quite a team. The theme song for the NES version is forever etched in my brain, and often when I'm reading a medieval-themed book and i need a soundtrack (Other people put soundtracks in their heads while they're reading, right?) the Gauntlet theme is my go-to generic medieval song. :^)


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#14 – Mega Man 2

(86 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - Gunflyer

In the year of 200X, A Super Robot named Megaman was created...

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Release Date:  1988

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Mega Man 2, known in Japan as Rockman 2: Dr. Wily no Nazo ("Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wily"), is a platform game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the second installment in the original Mega Man series. The game was released in Japan in 1988, and in North America and PAL regions the following years. Mega Man 2 continues the titular protagonist's battle against the evil Dr. Wily and his rogue robots. The game features graphical and gameplay changes from the first Mega Man game, many of which have remained throughout the series.
 
Although sales for Mega Man were unimpressive, Capcom allowed the Rockman team to create a sequel. They worked concurrently on other Capcom projects, using their free time to develop the game. Unused content from the previous title was integrated into Mega Man 2. Takashi Tateishi composed the soundtrack, with Yoshihiro Sakaguchi serving as a sound programmer.
 
With more than 1.5 million copies sold, the game is the best-selling Mega Man title. Critics praised its audio, visuals and gameplay as an improvement over the first game. Many publications rank Mega Man 2 as the best title in the series, and as one of the greatest video games of all time. The game has been re-released on several consoles and mobile phones.

Mega Man 2 is a platform and action game like its predecessor, Mega Man. The player controls Mega Man as he traverses eight stages to defeat the bosses, Dr. Wily's Robot Masters: Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Quick Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Heat Man, and Wood Man. Each Robot Master features a unique weapon and a stage related to their weapon's power. For example, Air Man shoots small tornadoes and is fought in a sky-themed level, while Wood Man can use a shield of leaves and is found in a forest-themed stage. After defeating a boss, their signature weapon becomes available to the player. The Robot Masters have weaknesses to the weapons of certain other Robot Masters; therefore, choosing the order in which the levels are played is a vital component of the gameplay. After completing certain stages, Mega Man receives a special item. These items create platforms that allow Mega Man to access areas that he otherwise could not.
 
After defeating the eight Robot Masters, the player proceeds to Dr. Wily's fortress, which consists of six levels that are played linearly. As in the first title, the player is required to fight each Robot Master a second time in Dr. Wily's fortress. However, these battles take place in a single room rather than a series of linearly connected rooms. The room contains teleportation devices that lead to each Robot Master. The devices can be entered in any order, but are not labeled. Once the bosses are defeated again, the player must fight Dr. Wily.
 
Mega Man 2 features several gameplay changes from the original Mega Man. A new item, the Energy Tank, allows a player to refill Mega Man’s health at any time. Also introduced is a password system. After defeating each Robot Master a password is displayed, allowing the player to return to that particular point in the game after restarting the system. The password stores the particular list of completed Robot Masters, as well as the number of accumulated Energy Tanks. Unlike the first game, Mega Man 2 does not feature a score counter, and the player is unable to return to Robot Master levels once completed.

Pak's Thoughts: Look through any box of old papers and stuff from my childhood and you won't have to look too long before you find a sloppily-drawn grid with red and blue dots drawn in crayon. Mega Man 2 is just flat-out one of the best games ever made. It's challenging, but not as insanely challenging as its sequels and prequels. The music is some of the best ever composed in 8 bits, and the levels are the very peak of 8-bit level design. Every gamer should take the journey through Wily's castle at least once.


Offline Pak-Man

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#13 – Rampage

(86 Points) 5 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #2 - gojikranz

EX-MUTANT IS ARRESTED FOR STREAKING!

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Release Date:  1986

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Rampage is a 1986 arcade game by Bally Midway. Players take control of gigantic monsters trying to survive against onslaughts of military forces. Each round is completed when a particular city is completely reduced to rubble.

Up to three simultaneous players control the monsters George (a King Kong-like gorilla), Lizzie (a Godzilla-like dinosaur/lizard), or Ralph (a giant werewolf), created from mutated humans. When they were humans, George was a normal middle aged man, Lizzie was a young woman, and Ralph was an elderly man. They were experimented on at Scumlabs. As monsters, they need to raze all buildings in a high-rise city to advance to the next level, eating people and destroying helicopters, tanks, taxis, police cars, boats, and trolleys along the way.

Monsters can jump and climb buildings, and punch enemies and buildings. Buildings also take damage when jumped on by a monster. The player's monster receives damage from enemy bullets, grenades, shells and so forth, and from falls. Damage is recovered by eating appropriate food such as fruit, roast chicken, or soldiers. If a monster takes too much damage, it reverts back into a naked human and starts walking off the screen sideways, covering its genitals with its hands. While in this state, the player can be eaten by another player. If the player continues, the human mutates back into the monster, or flies in on a blimp if off-screen, with a full life bar.
 
Smashing open windows generally reveals an item or person of interest, which may be helpful or harmful. Helpful items include food or money. Dangerous ones include bombs, electrical appliances, and cigarettes. Some items can be both; for example, a toaster is dangerous until the toast pops up, and a photographer must be eaten quickly before he dazzles the player's monster with his flash, causing it to fall. When a civilian is present waving their hands out a window signaling for help, a player's points meter rapidly increments when the civilian is grabbed. Each player can hold only one type of person: George can hold women, Lizzy can hold men, and Ralph can hold businessmen.
 
Rampage is set over the course of 128 days in cities across North America. The game starts in Peoria, Illinois and ends in Plano, Illinois. In Plano, players receive a "mega vitamin bonus" which heals all the monsters and provides a large point bonus. After this, the cycle of cities repeats five times. After 768 days, the game resets back to Day 1.
 
Some of the home port versions of the game start in San Jose, California and end in Los Angeles, California after going all around North America. The rampage travels through two Canadian provinces and forty-three U.S. states. Only Connecticut, Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont are spared.

Pak's Thoughts: This game got SO many things right. First and foremost, they put you in control of the monster. It was mind-blowing back in the day. THEN your goal is to DESTROY THE CITY. And not just generic video game cities, but cities that were named after real places! I played for hours trying to get to my hometown (Denver at the time, and Albuquerque later on). My monster of choice was always Lizzy. I dig Godzilla-style monsters.


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#12 – Contra

(91 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - sarcasm made Easy


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Release Date:  1987

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Contra, known as Gryzor in Europe and Oceania, is a 1987 run and gun action game developed and published by Konami originally released as a coin-operated arcade game on February 20, 1987. A home version was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988, along with ports for various computer formats, including the MSX2. The home versions were localized in the PAL region as Gryzor on the various computer formats and as Probotector on the NES, released long later. Several Contra sequels were produced following the original game.

In Contra, the player controls one of two armed military commandos named Bill and Lance, who are sent on a mission to neutralize a terrorist group called the Red Falcon Organization that is planning to take over the Earth. Details of the game's setting varies between supplementary materials: the Japanese versions sets the game in a fictional Galuga archipelago near New Zealand in the futuristic year of 2633, whereas the manual for the American NES version sets the game during the present in an unnamed South American island. The American storyline also changes the identity of "Red Falcon" from being the name of a terrorist organization to the name of an alien entity.

The main character is equipped with a rifle with an unlimited amount of ammunition. The player can also jump, move and fire in eight directions, as well as move or jump simultaneously while firing. A single hit from any enemy, bullet, or other hazard will instantly kill the player character and discard the current weapon. There are a total of four weapons the player can retrieve from flying weapon capsules, pill-box sensors, or red guards during 3D mazes: a Machine Gun, a Laser Gun, a Fire Gun, and a Spread Gun. There are also two additional supplemental power-ups: a Rapid Fire power-up which increases the player's firing speed, as well as a Barrier that will grant the player temporary invincibility for many seconds. All the power-ups in the arcade version are represented by Eagle-shaped letter icons with the exception of the Machine Gun and Laser. In the arcade version, the flying weapon capsules only appear if the player is not wielding any special weapons.
 
There are a total of over 10 areas in the game. There are two types of stages in Contra. In addition to the standard side view stages, Contra also features stages in which the player character is seen from behind and must move towards the background in order to proceed. Each of these "3D maze" stages are set inside the corridor of an enemy base in which the player must fight through the base's defenses in order to reach the core of the base. During the 3D maze stages, the upper screen will display a map of the base along with a time limit. Each maze stage is followed by a "3D fixed" stage set at the core of the base, in which the player must destroy a series of flashing sensors to expose an even larger sensor and destroy it.
 
Contra also features a two-player cooperative mode. Both players occupy the same screen and must coordinate their actions. One player lagging behind can cause problems for his partner, as the screen will not scroll onward, and a slow player can be fatal to his partner. The European release, Gryzor, does not feature a simultaneous 2-Players mode. Instead, both players take turns: whenever one player dies, the other gets his turn.

Pak's Thoughts: OK. Say it with me. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left,. Right, B, A, Start!

I didn't really discover Contra until waaay after its prime. I'd heard of it,  but it never caught my eye. It wasn't until the Super NES sequel years later that I would discover how awesome this game is. This game (And a lot of games that made the list) is notorious for its insane challenge level. If you can make it past the first stage without using the aforementioned code, you're a better Contra player than I.


Offline Pak-Man

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#11 – Castlevania

(93 Points) 7 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #3 - Gunflyer


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Release Date:  1986

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Castlevania, known as Akumajō Dracula (Devil's Castle Dracula) in Japan, is a console video game developed and published by Konami for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan in September 1986. A year later, in May 1987 it was ported to cartridge format and released in North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) followed by a European release in 1988. It was re-released for the Family Computer (FC) in cartridge format in Japan in 1993. It is the first game in Konami's Castlevania video game series.
 
The player takes control of Simon Belmont in the year 1691, who must defeat the vampire Dracula. A sequel, Simon's Quest, was released for the NES a few years later.

Castlevania is a typical platform game of the 8-bit era: the game is composed of six levels, which are played in a strictly linear progression. The player controls Simon Belmont throughout the game. The A Button allows Simon Belmont to jump just like other platformer games, such as Super Mario Bros., however he can only jump straight up, left, or right; there is no midair control. There are many stairs located throughout the levels, however rather than simply pressing left or right to step up them, you must hold up on the directional pad. His primary mode of attack is via his whip by pressing the B Button, which can be upgraded twice by obtaining special items throughout the course of the game which extend its length. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack. By breaking candelabra and certain other items located throughout the castle, Simon collects hearts, which are then used as ammunition for the sub-weapon that he possesses. Simon can only carry one sub-weapon at a time. The player can use a sub-weapon by simultaneously pressing "up" and B on the controller. Whenever Simon receives damage, he is knocked back a distance, increasing the challenge as this may lead to him falling down into a pit below. He is not knocked back when on stairs.
 
Each of Castlevania's six levels conclude with a boss fight: these bosses are generally taken from horror literature or legend, and include a giant bat, Medusa, a pair of mummies, Frankenstein's Monster and Igor, the Grim Reaper (this boss in particular is also infamous for being very difficult) and finally Dracula (who transforms into a second and more powerful monster form after his first form is defeated).

Pak's Thoughts: We have some notoriously hard games in this section of the countdown. I could never make it past the Grim Reaper and I can only rarely make it TO him. This game is absolutely diabolical. It kills me again and again and again, but I can never quit. Me and my brothers would spend WEEKENDS- leaving the TV on overnight, passing the controller back and forth- trying to slay this beast of a game, and we never could. The music is awesome, though, and the series went in some awesome directions from these humble beginnings.

And that's it for today. The top ten starts tomorrow. I won't give anything away, but I'll tell you right now these games are all well-deserving of their place on the list. What are the ten best video games made in the '80s? The countdown begins tomorrow!


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Damn i REALLY wanted contra in the top spot, or at least top 10.  And pak i can make it to level five (snow level) without the code, and used to be able to do it without dying. 


Offline goflyblind

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i finally went looking for a c64 emulator and some games. i am now very worried about my ability to research over the next few weeks.
dF = 0
d*F = J


Offline Rattrap007

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Gauntlet, Castlevania, Contra, and Rampage were all on my list..