Centipede Cleared Of Mushrooms

 

 

In Arcadian, I mentioned a time my step brother cleared the Centipede screen of mushrooms.  Some people doubted this, saying it was impossible.  Well, thanks to MAME and a gamepad, I proved that it is not impossible.  As you can see here, I did indeed clear the first stage screen of mushrooms.  Again, I used MAME (but not save states) and a gamepad, which would be really different from a trackball, and I stayed on the first stage, being careful not to fully kill the initial centipede and thus bringing mushroom-producing fleas into the game.  I also killed myself a couple of times, which cleared the bottom of centipede segments.  But I did it.  So it is possible in theory and I’m certain my step brother did it in reality.

Centipede Cleared

Contra Evolution

The NES version of Contra is one of all my all-time favorite games.  I remember the first time I played it.  It is a love I’ve never gotten over.  I’ve always kept tabs on the games and its sequels.  Recently, I discovered the Android app Contra: Evolution.

Evolution is an updated version of the NES version.  It has the same levels in the same arrangement.  It has the same two soldiers and the same weapons and same music.  But it has all been improved.  The graphics are finer and the music sharper.  There are also a couple of female soldiers, a boss rush mode, a mission mode (beat certain levels under a certain time and with a certain score), and weapon power-ups.  There is in-app purchasing as well.  I didn’t try that, but you can apparently buy better weapons with it.

It seems like there is some sort of PC version of Evolution out there.  I don’t know if it was only released in Europe or something, but I could never find it.  I only found pictures of a game that clearly wasn’t my Android app.

I also really missed my gamepad.  I would have dominated Evolution if I could play with an actual controller.  Even so, the controls were better than what I’ve experienced with other Android apps.  I was able to play through the entire game and do okay with the mission mode.

Nothing is going to take my heart away from the original.  But if you’re going to remake and expand on a classic, you could do worse than Contra: Evolution.  I highly recommend it.  And if you find out anything about a pc version, let me know!

And if you liked this post, check out my video game books ANESthetized and Arcadian.

Game Pro TV

I’m finalizing my latest book, TV In My Time. It is about all the TV I watched in the 80s. As I was finalizing it, I remembered a show that times into my video game books: Game Pro TV.

Actually a show from the early 90s, Game Pro TV featured J.D. Roth (who would appear in a host of other youth-oriented shows) and Bren-nan (a Bill and Ted clone) talking about video games. The only clear memories of this show is a preview of Act Raiser for SNES and a clip that ran that was submitted by a viewer. This viewed explained that if you left one creature alive on any board of The Legend Of Zelda, the creatures would not be respawned. So if you left one creature on each board, you would easily be able to navigate Hyrule. I thought it was a lame tip, especially considering that The Legend of Zelda was an old game by that time. Still, I liked the show and am glad I remembered it.

Dragon’s Lair on Android

My wife has become addicted to Candy Crush on her Kindle Fire. Seeing her indulging her addiction made me wonder if I should look for a game to play on my Kindle Fire. I don’t game much on the Kindle as I don’t find the controls that accessible (I have the Atari collection, for example, but I can’t really do any serious gaming on it because the controls are so unwieldy). Still, I decided to look and I found something I’ve always wanted: Dragon’s Lair.

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I have always wanted a home version of Dragon’s Lair. I’ve wanted it for a couple of reasons. One is that I like the game. The other is that I’m no good at it and I need a home version that doesn’t require quarters so I can learn to last more than five seconds. I’ve never been able to find this home version. Even the PC versions I bought didn’t work. I think this was because they were always a system behind whatever system I was using and I was no good at hacking them. But that is now moot, because the Android Dragon’s Lair is the port I have been waiting for. It is even better, actually. Not only does the Dragon’s Lair app have the arcade version, an exact translation of what you found in the arcade, but it also has a home version, which includes deleted scenes.

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I was quite pleased with those options. I was also quite pleased with the controls. Dragon’s Lair doesn’t really require aggressive controlling, so controlling wasn’t a problem. I got much further through the game my first time through than I ever did in the arcade. It looks pretty good as well.

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Now this Dragon’s Lair will put a hurting on your Kindle storage. After it originally installed, it had to download additional data, and I think that data was 5 gig, more than half my 8 gig Fire HD. That aside, it is the best version of the game I have personally had, and I’m quite happy with it. You can get it for a reasonable $4.99 in the Kindle App store. There is also a Space Ace app as well. I did not see Dragon’s Lair 2, but hopefully that will be coming soon. Until it does, I highly recommend the original.

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And don’t forget to check out my book Arcadian, which describes my original experiences with Dragon’s Lair in the arcades!

The Space Invaders

I couldn’t make it to this year’s California Extreme arcade game convention, and I’m super bummed about it, not just because I missed a chance to play some great retro games, but also because I just learned about a great documentary that was shown there. That documentary is called The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time.

I haven’t gotten to watch this documentary yet, but I will later this week and will write a review on Retroist.com. I can tell from this trailer, though, that I’m going to love it.

If you want to beat me to it, you can get The Space Invaders from both Amazon.com as well as from the director’s web site. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Arcade Ambiance Project

I’m still trying to work my way through Before the Crash.  Today, I read a chapter on arcade sounds and was directed to the Arcade Ambiance Project by Andy Hofle.  This is an attempt to recreate the barrage of background sounds you would hear as you walked through an arcade.  These sounds are presented in several long audio files, each of which matches a different year (81, 83, 86, 92).  Here’s the track from 1983 (the first few seconds of which listeners to the Retroist podcast might identify).

http://littlewoodend.com/arcade/arcade83.mp3

Though Hofle has obviously put a lot of work into this, he’s offering the project for free.  So if you’re missing this incredible ambiance, go over to his site and download these great files.