The Games That Pac-Forgot #2- Piranha!

tgtpf2

Hey Arcaders!

In the early days after Pac-Man was released to the world, there were a lot of arcade and home console companies that wanted in on the Pac-profit! This series will focus on these lesser known games. weather it’s an original game, or a Pac-bootleg, we will be touching base with these games that Pac-forgot!

The next game is one I remember playing at my local roller rink’s arcade- Piranha!

piranha_marquee Piranha was programmed by a small company- GL. This was one of the biggest Pac-Man bootlegs- it actually had an dedicated cabinet release in the U.S. by U.S. Billiards.

125000201

The cabinet looked like a standard Sega cabinet of the time (Frogger, Carnival, Pulsar) with some beautiful artwork, the cabinet’s quite a looker. Check it out!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now that we have seen the cabinet- what about the game?

Here’s a write-up from Strategy Wiki-

  • This hack of Pac-Man was released as a conversion kit. It was available as an upgrade board, much like the original Ms. Pac-Man was.
  • The graphics have been drastically altered to present an underwater theme. You control a red piranha, while you are chased around by four squid-like monsters. (In an earlier variant of the game, they are little more than altered ghost sprites, with extended sprites for the tentacles).
  • Most of the maze in the game is wide open. You’re free to move about various open portions of the maze, but so are the squid-like monsters.
  • One central tunnel is present on the left and right sides of the maze, as well as another central tunnel at both the top and bottom of the maze.
  • There are fewer bonus items, and their values start at 500 points for the Crab, and end at 5000 points for the Yellow Anchor. The Fish (Rounds 3 & 4) is worth 1500 points, the Red Anchor (Rounds 5 & 6) is worth 2000 points, the Cyan Whale (Rounds 7 & 8) is worth 2500 points, and the Blue Whale (Rounds 9 & 10) is worth 3000. Eating the squid-like monsters is also worth four tremendously different point values: 300, 700, 1200, and 2000 points, which adds up to total of 4200 points.

The first thing You’ll notice- there’s not really a maze. I always felt it was like you were in a large salt water tank. The whole nautical theme has been done very well- from the seaweed, rocks, to the kelp bed- you feel like you’re underwater! The screen has four exits- two on top and two on the sides! The ghosts have been turned into squid- with soulless, hollowed out eyes!

pscreen

Your power pellets have been turned into shells! The bonus fruit are now crabs, anchors,and other fish. Interestingly, the dots are placed in a pattern. But, the piranha’s control is still 4-way… meaning you’ll be circling around a few times to get a single dot. So the game’s challenge is tough- even for the most seasoned of players.

So- why don’t we watch a game?

If you have a emulator, you can play this game- I suggest giving it a go. It will keep you coining up for more!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

The Games That Pac-Forgot #1… Make Trax!

tgtpf2

Hey Arcaders!

In the early days after Pac-Man was released to the world, there were a lot of arcade and home console companies that wanted in on the Pac-profit! This series will focus on these lesser known games. weather it’s an original game, or a Pac-bootleg, we will be touching base with these games that Pac-forgot!

The first game we’re talking about, is one that is in my top five games of all time-

mt1

Make Trax started it’s life as a maze chaser called Crush Roller. it was developed by  Alpha Denshi and originally published by Kural Samno Electric in Japan. It was also licensed for North American release to Williams Electronics, and in Europe to both Karateco and Exidy.

What makes this game so unique?

You don’t eat dots- you PAINT THE MAZE!

mt image

Make Trax is a maze game in which the player controls a paintbrush and must paint the entire layout in order to advance to the next stage. Two fish – one yellow, the other light-blue – emerge from separate aquariums to pursue the paintbrush around the board, and if either of the fish succeeds in making contact with the paintbrush, the player loses one of three lives.

And unlike the ghosts- the fish can see you wherever you are in the maze. So, they can plan an attack- most of the time cornering you.

It’s a challenge- checkout Youtuber CrazyClimber 80 playing!

 

I love this game. The maze layout, the roller powerups, The hidden WARP HOLES, the sound, and it’s kooky nature keeps me coming back for more! I might even do a Coin Up episode soon…

How about you? Have you ever played Make Trax? Love it? hate it? let me know in the comments!

Pac-ommercial – Arby’s Pac-Man Glasses!

pc

Hey Arcaders!

Anyone who knows me- knows my favorite fast food restaurant, hands down is Arbys.

#12-make it a double, Curly fries OR potato cakes (depends on my mood), large Coke no ice. That’s what I order.

DblRB_18_tile_Mobile_768x640 (1)

Come on- Ya’ know ya’ want one.

But- one of the things at Arby’s I always wanted-

Was the Pac-Man glass.

There was a time when fast food restaurants would do “collector series” glasses.

like the Burger King Star Wars glasses-

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But- the Pac-Man glass was special. There was only one.

o1AJ9qDyyJNSpZWhUgGYc3MngFqoAN3CqWuSpNPY64tq8Bdzn

384996098_d294826fc2_z

Don’t try using the coupons- I think they expired.

They must have made MILLIONS of these glasses- they were everywhere!

Check out the Pac-Tastic commercial for it!

And guess what?

I still have mine!

 

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Did you ever get YOUR Pac-Man Glass? let me know in the comments!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

The Electric Circus Podcast Episode #11- The Return

Hey Arcaders!

We are back with a brand new episode!!

In this episode Ray (aka RayGunn) and Joshua (aka Ubernerd527) talk about what their doing to help pass the time during the quarantine and catch you up on updates for the site. 

Please like us, share us, and give us five stars on Itunes!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Coming Soon- RayGunn Plays…

Hey Arcaders!

As I sit in the Archives bunker of isolation, I watched UberNerds play through of Luigi’s Mansion 3 on Facebook live… and it was good. It took me back to the Gamesters videos (you dudes NEED to bring the Gamesters back!!!!). So good in fact, I got my old gears turning. Maybe I give this play through stuff a go- and put a RayGunn spin on it!

So, in the next few weeks, I will start playing the classic arcade games you remember… or maybe you don’t. I will play the ports too, giving you my spin on these games and the time in my life when they came out!

Now for the surprise- the intro video I’ll use! What do you think? let me know in the comments!

Keep Playin Like It’s 1981!

Raygunn

Raygunn’s Video Review- The Pac- Man Fever book By Jerry Buckner!

Hey Arcaders!

Raygunn here, and do I have a treat for you today! One of the gifts I received form my lovely wife- was the book “Pac- Man Fever”. So, while I’m in self isolation in the Archives Bunker, I thought I would do a Video Review of it!

Let’s just say… I liked it. A lot. Don’t believe me? Well, check out the video yourself. and see how many times I say “amazing”. Check it out! And if you want a copy for yourself (or your Kindle) Check out the Amazon page for more info! https://www.amazon.com/Pac-Man-Fever-Unlikely-Defined-Worldwide-ebook/dp/B0812CSQM7

On with the video!

…And thank you, Mr. Bucker, for all the awesome memories!!!

Homebrew Spotlight#1- Dragon’s Lair For The TI-99/4A!

HS-Title

Hey Arcaders!

Raygunn here with a new series I know your gonna get a kick out of- HOMEBREW SPOTLIGHT!

I know what most of you are asking- Raygunn- whats a homebrew? That’s easy to explain. Homebrew is a term frequently applied to video games or other software produced by consumers to target proprietary hardware platforms (usually with hardware restrictions) that are not typically user-programmable or that use proprietary storage methods Wikipedia. Homebrewing has been popular for almost two decades now due to the resurgence in the classic game consoles of the first through third generations especially.

So, now that we got that out of the way, why don’t we take a look at our first home brew to spotlight- Dragon’s Lair for the TI-99/4A! First- let’s go over the machine specs!

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
TI99-IMG 7132.jpg
Type Home computer
Release date June 1981
Introductory price US$525 (equivalent to $1,447 in 2018)
Discontinued March 1984
Media
  • ROM cartridge
  • cassette
  • floppy disk
Operating system TI BASIC
CPU TMS9900 @ 3 MHz
Memory 16 KB RAM
256 bytes scratchpad RAM
Graphics TMS9918A
Predecessor TI-99/4

-Wikipedia.

Now- to create a home port (that’s the term used to describe a game created for the console during its original life cycle) of Dragon’s Lair back in 1983 would have been impossible. The were no means to create the video files in a way that would have worked without a laserdisc player.

dragons-lair-scr-4

Even the amazing Coleco Adam port had to be altered because of the hardware limitations.

But… Fast forward about 35 YEARS- and behold- this little jem appears on the YouTubes and I have to share- thus the nexus of a new article series!

Now- THIS GAME truly defines a homebrew! An actual, playable version of an arcade classic on a system that it wasn’t truly meant to be played on! But, given the time we live in- with advancements in software and hardware technology, and the talented people who want to bring their favorite (and ours!) childhood arcade games home- or even… IMPROVE THEM! Yes, we will even see that in this series!

So- keep an eye out for more Homebrew Spotlight articles- where I’ll even try these amazing games- and give em’ a review- to see if they are worth a purchase for your classic console!

Hang on- this is going to be a fun ride! And if you know of any homebrew games you would like to review- leave me a comment below!

Thanks gang!

and-
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Raygunn

He Man and the Masters of the Universe Video Game is here… and i’ts AMAZING!!!

MOTU title

Hey Arcaders!

RayGunn here- and it’s good to be back! Had a few computer issues, so I decided to get a new one!

And in doing a test run, I literally ran into this game!

In my opinion, He Man never had a good video game.

I always felt that the franchise would benefit from a side stroller type game- like the Konami four player games of almost three decades ago.

And, here it is.

784795195147913029

Originally started in 2014, This game is THE BOMB.

with character animations that looked like they were ripped right off the animation cels, music and voices from the series, a roster of 10 playable characters, 28 stages, and more secrets than you can shake a power sword at- You NEED to check this game out!

 

I will be doing a review of this game soon.

By The Power Of Grayskull…

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Pac-Man Fever Eat-em Up 2016 – Video Game Boom Box

Pacman Video Game BoomBox logo

Fans making songs about their favorite games on YouTube is common place now. However, back 30 years ago that was almost unheard of. That is until an album came out called Pac-Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia. These guys created a wonderful soundtrack dedicated to the arcades that were super popular at the time. But not because they wanted a pay check (although I am sure it helped) but because they were fans themselves of the games that they sang about. Even going so far as to fill the lyrics with tips on how to play the game. Just recently Jerry Garcia along with Jace Hall released a new remixed version of their classic song. if you haven’t heard it yet it is awesome and I will put the video at the bottom of the post. If you like it you can even get a free download of the song (click here).

Video Game All Stars 3 Part Series From 1983- Part 1!

video-game-all-stars-title

Hey Arcaders!

I love YouTube. It’s like a library of the past- and if you put in the right search words, you can find some amazing things!  Things like Video Game All Stars!

The show Starcade was lightning in a bottle! This show is what revitalized  the children’s game show in the early 1980’s. What made it popular? VIDEO GAMES! Competing in video game challenges on the show, and winning an actual arcade game was what kids wanted ( and still do ). Other Shows tried to capture that same  excitement that Starcade did. We did a piece on The Video Game Challenge about four years ago. that looked like it was headed for syndication lake Starcade did- but sadly, never made it past the pilot (if it did, please let us know- we would like to put more up her at the Archives!)

Cut to today, and I’m looking for some arcade footage to put up on the site, and this little nugget pops up on the screen. And I’m floored.This description is from the YouTube Chanel-

In 1983 and 1984 I produced and directed a local Colorado Springs TV show called “Video Game All Stars,” which aired on KOAA TV, channels 5 and 30, the NBC affiliate. There were only 3 episodes produced. I consulted with my friend, experienced TV professional Larry Frost before getting started, and then hired Wes Rogers to host the first episode. He interviewed players and did a few stand-ups.

Highlights of this show include the early 1980s coin-op video games, the big Eighties fashions, hairstyles and the players’ funny descriptions of how they beat the games.


What fascinates me most about this, is that its a local show- and it looks it! And I mean that in a good way! From the old videotaped look to it, to the interviewers that you can tell DON’T PLAY GAMES… It screams early 1980s more so than even Starcade does. It’s so…rural. It’s like a group of friends got together and said “Let’s make a TV show about something popular, even though we know nothing about the subject!” Very typical back then- remember: there was no internets to cheat with back then! You learned about the subject as you rolled with the interviews! And the kids! They were so into playing games ant telling you about the experience- because it was so new! Some highlights of the episode include-

What you like most about playing games!

Tips on Tron!

Tips on Frogger!

The future of the arcade (and boy, was this guy wrong!)

New game reviews!

But the best part- is… THE COMMERCIALS!

The local arcade footage is nothing short of awesome!

With names like QuarterFlash, and The 5 Center, I wish I had gone to these arcades!

Let me know what you think- Let me know in the comments section below!

I’ll post the next video soon!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!