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Author Topic: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown  (Read 40973 times)

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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #105 on: November 06, 2015, 12:09:10 PM »

After the enormous success of The Addams Family, Williams told pinball designer Pat Lawlor that he had carte blanche to design his next game. Whatever he came up with, they would put into production. What he came up with was the most complicated, most expensive pinball game ever made, up to that point: The Twilight Zone.

And this is why you never tell that to a designer. I know, I am one.



Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #106 on: November 06, 2015, 03:06:33 PM »

Up next, one of the earliest games with a female protagonist.

But first, let me tell you about Winston cigarettes.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #107 on: November 06, 2015, 03:34:07 PM »
#19 (Tie) – Ms. Pac-Man

43 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #8 TeamRAD

Production Date: 1981
Manufacturer: Midway

If you're going to rip off another company's work, at least change the title.

Midway had licensed the original Pac-Man from Namco, for production in the US in 1980. In 1981, programmers from a small company known as General Computing Corporation had an idea for an "enhanced" version of Pac-Man. They altered the look of the game so as not to look so obviously like a Pac-Man knock-off, and titled their game "Crazy Otto" and took it to Midway. Midway figured that a Pac-Man-like game would be much more successful if it actually had "Pac-Man" in the title. So they bought it, then changed the look of the character again, this time resembling a female version of Pac-Man, and called the game Ms Pac-Man, without Namco's knowledge, let alone approval.

Namco was less than thrilled.

Midway was afraid that, if they didn't turn over the rights to Ms Pac-Man to Namco, Namco might refuse to license any more games with them. So Midway did turn over the rights... and then went ahead and made Baby Pac-Man and Jr Pac-Man. As expected, Midway lost the Pac-Man license.

Cosmetic differences aside, Ms Pac-Mac differs from Pac-Man mainly in two ways. One, it has four different maze layouts, as opposed to one. And second, the bonus fruit moves around the maze, instead of always being below the Ghost Pen.

Fun fact, Midway made the character female in response to Pac-Man being atypically popular with women, in an industry that usually appealed almost entirely to males.

Another fun fact, Ms Pac-Man holds the record for most arcade cabinets sold in the US. Approximately 120K.   

Strange fact: is sometimes possible to pass through a ghost without being killed. It seems to only works at intersections, as seen below:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/QRbc9CtDWjM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/QRbc9CtDWjM</a>

Up next, these are the best graphics I've ever seen!   


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #108 on: November 06, 2015, 06:20:58 PM »
Son of a... :grr: :grr:

I had the next entry all typed out and ready to go, and I accidentally deleted it.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #109 on: November 06, 2015, 06:24:12 PM »
I hate when that happens.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #110 on: November 06, 2015, 06:56:00 PM »
#17 (Tie) – Dragon's Lair

44 Points, 4 Lists, Top Vote: #8 Cole Stratton

Production Date: 1983
Manufacturer: Cinematronics

Here's a quiz: What was the first laserdisc game? If you guessed "Dragon's Lair", you'd be wrong. It was actually Sega's "Astron Belt". But Dragon's Lair was the first one that was actually any good.

The idea for DL came from Rick Dyer. Dyer had invented a sort of "choose your own adventure" type game that could be played on a slide projector. He was looking to make that kind of game, but on a much larger scale. Supposedly he saw the movie The Secret of NIMH and decided to approach Don Bluth with the idea. It took Bluth and his staff  7 months and over $1 million to animate the game, a game that could be completed in 12 minuets. Their budget was so limited that they could only afford one voice actor: The narrator. Everyone else was voiced by people working on the game. Dragon's Lair was a huge hit. Dyer claimed in an interview that they sold $30 million worth of Dragon's Lair cabinets in six weeks. Which was great, considering that Cinematronics was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the time.

Both Bluth and Dyer were convinced that this was the future of video games. That people wouldn't be willing to pay money to play games with block sprite based graphics. They went on to make Space Ace, and started work on Dragon's Lair 2. However Bluth quit the project before it was finished. The animation that was already done was used in Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp, a game that was released 8 years after the original.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/3bIxeYYSm-c" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/3bIxeYYSm-c</a>  <a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/l464ZF5jK3Y" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/l464ZF5jK3Y</a>

Fun facts:

Dragon's Lair was the first arcade game I ever saw that cost 50 cents to play.

Daphne's character design was based on Playboy models

The game had a reputation for wearing out laserdisc players, thanks to the need for constantly jumping from one part of the disc to another.

There was a short lived Saturday morning cartoon based on the game, that I remember watching. It had a gimmick where, right before the commercial, the narrator would ask the viewers what they would do in Dirk's place. Then after the break, the show would show what would have happened in each scenario.

Next up, re-post of Galaga, this time in the correct place.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #111 on: November 06, 2015, 07:02:52 PM »
Not Actually #17 (Tie)– Galaga

44 Points, 7 Lists, Top Vote: #6 Stethacantus

Production Date: 1981
Manufacturer: Namco

Galaga, a game that, even with the near total demise of arcades in the US, there's still probably a Galaga machine somewhere nearby. I have one at my local laundromat, which I only found out when my clothes dryer broke down.

If you're not familiar with Galaga, you wouldn't be reading this in the first place. Galaga is essentially just an updated version of 1979's Galaxian, which itself is inspired by Space Invaders. Insectoid creatures (ships?) fly onto the screen in waves, coming together to make one large formation. Once all the ships are in position, they begin dive bombing you one, two or three at a time. You control a ship at the bottom that can only move left or right to avoid them and their shots. The big difference between Galaxian and Galaga is that the titular "Galaga" ships can capture one of your ships with a tractor beam. But, if that wasn't your last ship, you can destroy the Galaga and free the ship. Do so without accidentally shooting it yourself, and the two ships can join together to double your firepower.

Numerous fun facts:

There is a bug/feature, that will cause the enemy to stop firing at you. Kill all but the bottom left two enemies, then just keep dodging their fire for about fifteen minutes. Eventually they'll stop shooting at you, and you can continue the game. From this point on, no one will fire at you.

During the attract demo, it's possible to take control of the ship. You can do this, just as the Galaga activates its tractor beam. If you avoid it, you can move the ship around until the demo times out.

Galaga has a "kill screen". A kill screen is the point at which an "endless" game ends, no matter what you do. In Galaga, it happens if you pass stage 255. The level counter rolls over and the game locks up.

The score on the one player side has 6 digits, while the score on the second player side has 7. This means the second player can rack up a 10x higher score before rolling over.

Guess how many Galaga games there are. I'm aware of at least 4: Galaga, Galaga '84, Galaga 3 and Galaga '88. And there are at least 3 official Galaxians. Plus there's the "Class of '81" Ms Pac-Man / Galaga combo machine.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/NB9979OPYMc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/NB9979OPYMc</a>

Next up, the best vector graphics game ever.


Online The Lurker

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #112 on: November 06, 2015, 07:05:39 PM »
Dragon's Lair cartoon was by Hanna Barbera.
Audio samples were used in a Italo Disco tune by Koto, called Dragon's Legend.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/FWzrcb8qZg8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/FWzrcb8qZg8</a>


soguru

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #113 on: November 06, 2015, 07:37:07 PM »
Son of a... :grr: :grr:
I had the next entry all typed out and ready to go, and I accidentally deleted it.
Oh no! :( I'm so sorry. I've had that happen when I type out something I'm gonna post and all of a sudden something goes south and the post disappears. I find it best when I'm typing up something long and detailed to just type it up in a word processor first, save it, then copy and paste it. I'm so sorry Cjones.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #114 on: November 06, 2015, 07:45:02 PM »
Wasn't Galaga already in the list?
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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #115 on: November 07, 2015, 12:35:40 AM »
Son of a... :grr: :grr:

I had the next entry all typed out and ready to go, and I accidentally deleted it.

You're just typing right into the Forums? When I'm running a list I usually do the work in Word, then paste THAT into the forum to keep just such a thing from happening.



Wasn't Galaga already in the list?
Galaga was originally misplaced, so it was moved to its new spot here.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #116 on: November 07, 2015, 12:40:53 AM »
#17 (Tie) – Dragon's Lair

44 Points, 4 Lists, Top Vote: #8 Cole Stratton

To this day, I love playing through Dragon's Lair. Reducing the game to one long QTE allowed them to make it beautiful and get very close to my vision for video games ever since I started playing them: I want to be able to play a cartoon. They still haven't created the cell-shaded game that looks quite as beautiful as 2D hand-drawn animation, but then the gameplay gets limited. There are some happy mediums, especially in the Adventure genre, but someday I want to play a game that feels like Dragon's Lair looks like it should feel, if that makes any sense. :^)


MightyJack

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #117 on: November 07, 2015, 12:58:28 AM »
I never was an Arcade/Video game junkie, so I didn't do a list. But in College, during lunch I'd go into the game room to play pool. My girlfriend however LOVED  Ms Pac-Man and she got me playing it as well. I thought it was a blast and for one brief moment I had high score. Brief because my brother, whose a natural at anything, popped in a quarter - and despite it not being a game he played very much, proceeded to not only beat my hard earned high score, but obliterate it. And it stayed that way through all the years I was there. I was forever, "number two" (dang brothers who are better at everything!) :)


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #118 on: November 07, 2015, 01:05:35 AM »
Wasn't Galaga already in the list?

Yes, but I had mistakenly counted Stethacantus' vote as Galaxian instead of Galaga. Adding his vote in moved Galaga much higher on the list. 


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 90: Top 50 Arcade Games Countdown
« Reply #119 on: November 07, 2015, 02:53:45 PM »
#15 (Tie) – Atari Star Wars

48 Points, 3 Lists, Top Vote: #3 TeamRAD, CJones

Production Date: 1983
Manufacturer: Atari

Much like the movie, this game was way ahead of its time.

Star Wars really showed off what could be done with Vector graphics. For anyone who doesn't know, there are two primary means to portray images on a screen. Raster graphics, where the computer has to redraw the entire screen with every frame, and Vector graphics, where the electron beam starts and stops at specific points, drawing a line. With vector graphics, you don't have the enormous overhead of having to calculate every pixel on the screen. Instead, that processing power can go to calculating the start and stop locations for each of the lines required to express a 3D model.

Atari had already had success doing this with Battlezone and Red Baron, the first games to use vector graphics to portray 3D objects. Both were produced in 1980. By 1983, Atari was pretty damn good at it. And they could do it in color. There was no way hardware at the time could portray anything half as "real" looking using raster graphics. And the attack on the Death Star sequence readily lent itself to being shown from the perspective of the cockpit of an X-Wing fighter.

The cabinet was pretty bad ass too. I got to play the sit down version at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, back when I was about 10.



Fun facts: Star Wars was so advanced, it required three processors working together. One for graphics, one for music, and one for digitized sound.

Speaking of which, SW was the first Atari game to have digitized speech.

Atari did release an Empire Strikes Back game as well, but it was only sold as a conversion kit. Meaning arcade operators would lose the extremely popular Star Wars if they converted it to Empire. And believe me, Empire was nowhere near as good.

The yoke like control was later used in Paperboy, just with different handles.

When you approach the Death Star during any odd numbered level, just before it cuts to the Tower sequence, you can see the phrase "MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU" written on the surface. In even numbered levels to shows the names of the developers.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jHUToeQykp0" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jHUToeQykp0</a>

Up next, the quintessential arcade game