Thursday afternoon, and you know what that means? It's time
for me to sit down and impart the second half of the collected
wisdom I've gained from all the arcade games I've been playing.
After reading that last bit you might be wondering what, if
anything, Thursday afternoon has to do with learning more
about the ways of the world from poorly-translated arcade
so they have nothing to do with each other at all. Satisfied?
You and your analytical powers have ruined my article lead.
Well. I'm not one to hold a grudge, except against certain
software store clerks*,
so I'm going to keep on writing anyway. It really wasn't that
great a lead. I deserved it.
the wisdom. As I covered in the previous installment of this
series, I have come into posession of a remarkable amount
of arcade roms and as I slowly work my way through each and
every one of them I have gained a certain amount of knowledge.
Knowledge that is far too important to be kept to myself -
and so it is that I write about it here. Let's get on with
is a perfectly normal reaction to run about and construct
a huge machine while your girlfriend is being chased by monsters.
Shown Here - Blue Print
all familiar with the standard horror movie plot. Evil Nasty
Thing invades, kills several. Studly Protagonist and Girlfriend
are the last ones left standing, and when Evil Nasty Thing
attacks Girlfriend, Protagonist must cleverly dispatch Evil
Nasty Thing - else Protagonist will not have anything to make
out with later. Except Evil Nasty Thing, but that's just--
Print puts a spin on all that. In the game, while your shapely
mistress flees across the top of the screen to escape the
clutches of the weird purple monster thing, it is your duty
to raid random houses in order to find parts for a bizarre
machine that you have the blueprint for. It is assumed that
the completion of said machine will solve the problem, but
I'm not entirely I would have chosen the "Build Machine"
route to solving things, given the same situation. I'm thinking
I would have gone with the "Beat the monster to death
with a tire iron" route.
when you come down to it, this guy's doing the right thing.
Instead of acting irrationally and violently, like I would
have, he becomes a shining example of cool-headedness and
control by building a machine instead. The lesson? Keep cool!
Even if your girlfriend's life is being threatened, it's still
way better not to solve your problems with violence!
(Unless her name is Madonna, and she's been captured by Skinheads,
as we saw in the previous article.)
Mobsters have the honor and patience to wait until you are
looking directly at them before killing you.
Shown Here - Empire City: 1931
City: 1931's backstory is a little complicated, but I think
I have the upshot of it now. It begins with two shady, overweight
individuals standing by a car. One lights a cigarette, and
says "Thank You".
then the game kicks in. You're dropped onto the street level
in front of three buildings packed to the gills with mobsters,
and you and your trusty crosshair must follow a gigantinc
blue arrow that directs you to the nearest Mobster. Once he
slowly scrolls onto the screen, you'd better take him out
before he fires back! Repeat as necessary.
struck me is that even though the mobsters are obviously out
to kill you, and indeed are pointing their guns at you by
the time you see them, they won't fire until you are looking
at them - and even then a timer counts down from three before
they actually fire. This was pretty interesting to me. It
showed me that the old adage "Honor Among Thieves"
is pretty true, no matter how trite it may sound. These guys
won't gun you down in cold blood, especially if you aren't
looking - they have the professional courtesy to wait until
you can see them, and then give you a three-second reaction
time. That's what I call respect.
I hope some day to be as courteous and professional as the
gangsters inhabiting Empire City, wherever that is.
Japanese have some kind of weird obsession with Mahjong arcade
Shown Here - Part of my MAME games list
last count, there are 54 seperate, obvious Mahjong games in
my collection. I say "obvious" because that's just
counting the ones that say "Mahjong" in the beginning
of the title. There are plenty more hidden away in the rest
of the collection, and probably half of them feature naked
it isn't like this is the 'regular' Mahjong that people actually
know how to play, like that one that came in the
old Best of Windows Entertainment Pack. Oh no, it's always
some odd version that's never explained.
the lesson to be taken away from this is that the Japanese
are all slightly insane.
you have immense powers, you must use them to fight, simply
because you have them.
Shown Here - ESP Ra. De.
never bothered to figure out what this game is about, so I'm
going to make up a good backstory instead. Three random Japanese
teenagers have been chosen to inherit massively destructive
psychic powers, which they can channel into beams and other
explosive attacks. Suddenly, peaceful Japan City is attacked!
by nefarious Time-Travelling Ninja Nazis - herein referred
to as Ninjis - and the teens must leap into battle because
they have these ferocious powers and hey, it beats the hell
out of attending school.
even with all the carnage and terror they seem unclear on
their motivation. It seemed pretty obvious to me that if you
have the power to single-handedly destroy an approaching Ninji
army, well, you better do it, I guess. I mean, ripping buildings
in half with your bare hands can only be fun so long, and
it's bound to get people angry at you - whereas saving the
city can only have limitless benefits. They might even give
you the key to the city, which is something I have
coveted my entire life.
in the end this game taught me that if you have immense powers,
you'd better have a pretty good idea of what you're going
to use them for - otherwise you'll end up slaughtering armies
and being all confused about it.
to popular belief, Ninjas favor the fruitiest and most obvious
Shown Here - Shadow Dancer
I discussed in the previous article, fighting games of the
eighties were based on real events and locations wherever
possible. This attention to detail means that these games
are nearly historical documents, and I treat them as such.
games from that era will tell you that Ninja Crime was on
the rise, which was probably true. However, there were those
few Ninja who went against the evil doings of their friends
and actually risked their lives to save America. Games were
made about them as well, fortunately - or we might never have
known about their well-intentioned deeds.
as I reviewed this historical document, I was shocked. Whereas
most people, when asked, will tell you that Ninjas favor secrecy
and stealth very highly - all the Ninjas in these games were
wearing bright and incredibly obvious colors.
mean, white and red? Come on, what could you possibly
blend into with a suit like that? A herd of bleeding polar
this I learned that most Ninjas weren't necessarily stealthy
at all. Seems like a miracle that any of them are still around.
games should not have been made. Ever.
Shown Here - I'm Sorry
I'm not kidding, that's what it's called.
first glance this game seems pretty normal. You play the role
of a Japanese man with a massive head and a penchant for gold.
It is your duty to navigate mazes, collecting these bars of
gold while avoiding angry but well-dressed men and sentient
all seemed fairly straightforward until I watched the Demo
for the game. The later levels feature such enemies as:
Mostly Naked Black Guy, and
well, Jacko is getting crazier by the second, so
I can kind of see him chasing around some random Japanese
man. But the black guy? I dunno. Most disturbing, however,
is when I stuck in a quarter to play the game. I scrambled
around a little but was eventually caught up to by one of
Once again: The less said about this...
my utter horror (and now yours too! haha!), my character was
stripped to his underwear while the other guy suddenly sports
dominatrix gear and whips him. Like...whatever happened
to just spinning around and going "weeoo weeoo weeoo
bwoop bwoop!" like Pac-Man? How does this have anything
to do with Japanese men collecting bars of gold?!
I learned that there are some games that just don't need to
exist - and that game programmers will spend time on the most
rediculous things. I believe this is one of them. Perhaps
the title of the game is actually a real apology to anyone
who might end up playing it - but somehow I doubt it.
there you have it! The end of the Truth in Arcade Games Saga.
Of course there is so much more wisdom to be discovered, but
since I was driven nearly insane by some of the games I've
already played, it may be a long time before I ever try to
write about it again.
yeah, and check it - Rom
Pack Number Two! (15.8 mb) Featuring five seperate games
(and not six because point #9 wasn't about any specific game,
and there is no way I'm going to bother packaging all those
retarded Mahjong games). Of course you can only get these
if you own the original games, and you will need MAME to play
them! Enjoy, and thanks for reading!