Bubble Bobble - Christoper Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Bubble Bobble (1986)

Bubble Bobble is an arcade game that I’m certain many of you will remember fondly. This marks the latest classic arcade title that Christopher Tupa has chosen for his Retro Arcade Art project. In fact I can vividly remember where I first experienced Bubble Bobble. It wasn’t at the fabled Showbiz Pizza of my youth or any local arcade. It was actually in the lobby of a movie theater. I enjoyed the game so much I excused myself from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. As the film let out I was still pumping quarters into Bubble Bobble as my Father came to collect me.
Bubble Bobble - Arcade Marquee

Bubble Bobble allows one or two Players to take on the roles of two dinosaurs. Simply named Bob and Bub. The duo are tasked with entering the Cave of Monsters. Which just so happens to be 100 levels of monster filled mayhem. Both Bub and Bob aren’t doing this for the sense of adventure. They are in fact on a quest to rescue their girlfriends who have been kidnapped!
Bubble Bobble - Intro

I should add as well the Players only have the ability to produce bubbles to protect themselves! Furthermore besides using those bubbles to trap various foes and dispatching them. Players are able to create bubbles and use them as stepping stones. To reach higher spots of course as well as navigating the maze-like stages.

When using your weapon against your foes. You let those bubbles fly which envelops the enemies. Then the Player needs to touch said bubbles to burst them – which in turn reveals food products.
Bubble Bobble - Food

Picking these up provides extra points and a skilled player will rack up even greater points by dispatching multiple enemies at the same time.
Bubble Bobble - Shooting Bubbles

It should go without saying that our heroes will lose a life if they make contact with an enemy that hasn’t been trapped. Not to mention the various projectiles that enemies can fire at Bub and Bob. Also of note is the Player only has a limited amount of time to bust those bubble trapped foes. If the enemy breaks free of its bubble prison it becomes red and moves much faster. You should think of how the bad guys behave in 1983’s Mario Bros. by Nintendo for a good example.
Bubble Bobble - Mario Bros

In Bubble Bobble there are a few more elements to help out Bob and Bud. There are types of power-ups that will grant the Player special abilities. Such as the Fire bubble which will cause a section of the nearest platform to ignite. Obliterating any enemies it might come in contact with. While our heroes won’t suffer damage they will be stunned if they are caught in the flames, until the effect wears off. Then there is the bubble housing the element of water. When struck by the Player it will cause a waterfall to pour down across the platforms to the bottom of the stage. Killing all foes it catches in the wrath of its tidal wave. Last but certainly not least is the Lightning bubble. Hitting this power-up unleashes a lightning bolt that travels horizontally across the screen slaying the enemies it touches.
Bubble Bobble - Lightning

There are certain bubbles that appear during a stage that have letters within. If a Player manages to spell Extend they will of course gain an extra life. To clear each stage, Bob and Bud must defeat all enemies.
Bubble Bobble - Extend

In closing, perhaps the duo of Bubble Bobble‘s greatest weapon is they are just so darned cute. Their charming design certainly is one of the reasons I kept pumping quarters into the game when I first discovered it!

Did you know that Bubble Bobble was so popular that a limited edition soundtrack was released in 1987?


It’s totally true. The soundtrack was released back on January 25, 1987. Featuring the music which was composed by Tadashi Kimijima and Zuntata.

[Via] Otouto72


As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art Project as well!

Ready Player One - Back to the Future

New Ready Player One Trailer Brings The Retro!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, was a book that celebrated its love of retro pop culture. Perhaps it went beyond celebration and into proudly flaunting it. So many references to 80s films, TV shows, and video games are in the mix. It should come as no surprise that I fell in love with it upon picking it up. And now we have a live action film set to debut in 2018. Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg who knows a thing or two about 80s movies, right?

[Via] Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready Player One received a quite lengthy teaser earlier this year. Even then it was giving retro fans a glimpse at what was in store. Quick shots of everything from The Iron Giant, Joust, The Road Warrior, and many more. All of these elements are the digital representations of those people living in the online world of the OASIS. As you saw in the trailer it is basically the ultimate virtual reality simulator. Furthermore it is mixed with an advanced version of the internet. Certainly the dystopian aspects of the Ready Player One universe make it clear why people would spend all their time in the OASIS.
Ready Player One - The Stacks

Earlier today the full trailer for Ready Player One dropped. It too -like the teaser is full of Easter eggs. So I decided to point out a few of the worthy tips of the hat to some of the pop culture goodness. However…as a matter of fact we are going to start with a mystery. While the symbol on Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) backpack certainly looks familiar. I am afraid I can’t place it. How about you?
Ready Player One - backpack

Ready Player One - Backpack Symbol

Here is a better look

Far easier to spot in the Ready Player One trailer is the ’66 Batmobile. Which is located in the bottom as well as the Speed Racer‘s Mach 5. Of course we shouldn’t forget the fact that Ryu is walking past the legendary vehicle!
Ready Player One - Mach 5

The digital avatar of Wade Watts or Parzival as he is known in the OASIS – is decked out in some awesome retro gear. It was in fact Owen Treolo on the I Grew Up Star Wars Facebook page that pointed this out. Parzival is sporting the holster from none other than Han Solo of Star Wars fame. In addition his belt buckle is sporting the Thundercats insignia. To say nothing that he has wisely chosen Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future as his ride. Wade obviously has good taste in pop culture!
Ready Player One - Thundercats

In this digital night club scene, we have none other than Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. I wonder if she is working there or just getting herself some digital liquid refreshment?
Ready Player One - Lara Croft

And while this motorcycle scene is exciting it also features the monster truck known as Bigfoot. As well as an almost hidden reference to 1987’s Robocop. You can see the Delta City billboard in the background!
Ready Player One - Bigfoot

Obviously around the same scene, it appears that King Kong is making his presence known. I can’t help but wonder if the mighty ape won’t try to stop the racers as they attempt to win the copper key?
Ready Player One - King Kong

In this scene we have a mighty charge of characters. I was certainly surprised to see who was leading the rush into battle. We have 1991’s Battletoads. Behind them appears to be one of the ostrich riding knights from Joust!
Ready Player One - Battletoads

Not to be outdone in the call to battle of course. We have Tracer from Overwatch who appears to be backed up by Chun-Li from Street Fighter.
Ready Player One - Tracer

While The Iron Giant makes an appearance in this full trailer. It looks like he is joined by someone piloting a Gundam. While I am not positive I assume this is a reference from 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series?
Ready Player One - Gundam

So there you have it, friends. Just a few of the pop culture nods that made me excited. I’m very much looking forward to Ready Player One when it hits theaters next March. While I’ve drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid, it’s safe to say that there are many who are less than impressed. Which is understandable. Naturally. In fact the Retroist wrote a fantastic article about it all.
Ready Player One - Poster

Did I mention that in the new Ready Player One trailer – Chucky from Child’s Play shows up?


Who knew that Chucky had such mad ninja skills?!

Update: I totally missed a glaringly obvious nod to the 1992 Mortal Kombat series. When in the trailer we are told of the hidden Easter Eggs we see what certainly appears to be a shrine to the gaming series. Including in the shot are statues of Raiden as well as Scoprion and Sub-Zero. This I should add is all courtesy of Bloody Disgusting and I obviously feel like a fool for not catching it!
Ready Player One - Mortal Kombat

Mappy - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Mappy (1983)

Namco’s Mappy is not just the latest pick of for the Retro Arcade Project. It also happens to be hands down one of my favorite arcade games of all time. In fact you might recall that I shared my love for it on Episode 18 of the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. While possessing cartoonish characters as you can plainly see in Christopher Tupa’s artwork. The game is quite challenging. Not to mention that I feel that Mappy happens to be one of the most overlooked offerings of the platform genre.
Mappy - Arkadia Retrocade

Besides of course sporting a rather unique arcade marquee. Mappy has a rather interesting cabinet design as well. Obviously a little more squat than your typical arcade games of the day. However in addition to that marquee it certainly makes it stand out.
Mappy - Arcade Cabinet

The gameplay for Mappy is rather simple actually. The Player takes on the titular role, a mouse who also happens to be a member of the Micro Police. His task is to retrieve all of the stolen artwork and electronic equipment in each house. Pilfered I might add by the Meowkies gang. Which of course are bandit cats. In addition they are led by Nyamco or as his cronies call him – Boss The Big Bit! I must add that much like Pac-Man the names of your enemies differ depending on which region you are playing it.
Mappy - Cast

Mappy moves up and down through the house by way of trampolines. Using the joystick the Player is able to determine which floor of the house that Mappy lands on. The Meowkies do this as well and are hot on the trail of the mouse cop. While our hero in fact carries a billy club, he sadly doesn’t use it to protect himself. Coming into contact with a Meowkie or Nyamco will of course cost the Player a life.

In Mappy you have to be careful how many times you jump on those trampolines. Each time you land and are launched into the air. The trampoline will change color. Our hero can use a trampoline three times but if you try a fourth time it will break and you will lose a life. While bouncing up and down on the trampoline at the very least, the Player needn’t worry about losing a life when passing his foes.

While our little hero doesn’t use that club to protect himself – he does in fact have a way to defend himself. An unorthodox way to dispatch those cat burglars. Mappy can use the doors throughout the houses. Opening a normal door, causes the Micro Policeman to be violently pushed back a little. Coming into contact with a Meowkie in hot pursuit will stun the kitty. Allowing Mappy to get by safely. However if the Player opens a power door – which flash in multiple colors. It releases a microwave that travels across the screen and pushes any foe it comes in contact with off the screen.
Mappy - Door Wave

However this doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t soon be back. The only way for Mappy to finish the stage is to pick up all of the stolen items in each house. Although having said that there are bonus stages after 2 to 3 rounds. In these stages you must attempt to pop as many balloons as you can before the music is finished. While there are no enemies to speak of in this stage, you will in fact have to be on the ball to complete a bonus round.
Mappy - Bonus Stage

By the way, if you are wondering about the name of this game. It is commonly believed that Mappy is a derivative of mappo. Which is actually a slang term, some see as an insulting name for a policeman.

Now that the basics of Mappy are out of the way. How about watching the game in action for yourself?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming


As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art Project as well!

Howard Lovecraft - Undersea Kingdom

Howard Lovecraft And The Undersea Kingdom

While I have certainly been a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft for quite some time. Thanks in fact to 1985’s Re-Animator. I do not believe the now quite famous author would ever have expected that his works would be adapted into film. Much less two CGI animated movies from Shout! Factory. Which are based on the graphic novels by Dwight L. MacPherson and Bruce Brown from 2009. But that certainly is what has happened with Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom. Which is actually a sequel to the 2016 movie entitled Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom.
Howard Lovecraft - Frozen Kingdom

In the Howard Lovecraft series we are introduced to the future author as a young boy. As well as quickly finding out that the stories we love are actually entities and people that Howard Lovecraft had met in his youth. In the first adventure our hero reads from his Father’s book. An odd tome that describes a darkly fantastic realm named R’yleh. Doing so conjures a portal that sends Lovecraft into the path of Thu Thu Hmong.
Howard Lovecraft - Frozen Kingdom Teaser

Of course Howard is a young boy and he surely can’t be expected to pronounce that properly, right? So that is how this ancient and very wise entity comes to be called by a much simpler name. Spot. The duo set out to tackle the dangers of the Frozen Kingdom and beyond.

Peppered throughout both films are not just nods to Lovecraft’s works. But actual biographical information of the author is included as well. Of course since this is a family film, some facts are softened. In particular I refer to Howard Lovecraft visiting his Father in the Butler sanitarium. While the filmmakers have altered the works of the author to entertain a younger audience. As well as of course the cosmic entities that threaten our heroes. On the whole it does deliver a tasty Lovecraftian treat.

I think you will immediately pick up on the animation of the films. This is not Pixar of course. On the other hand it is certainly serviceable. However the real draw to both movies is the voice talent. You have the likes of the legendary Christopher Plummer as Dr. West. Ron Perlman as a Shoggoth. Then we have Hellraiser‘s Doug Bradley providing the voice of Nyarlathotep. None other than Mark Hamill as Dr. Henry Armitage. And last but certainly not least we have Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator fame!

Speaking of Combs, he is really the only bonus feature provided for this release, beyond a trailer. It is a nice addition however nonetheless. A short segment in which the actor talks about the continuing popularity of Lovecraft’s work.

Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom will be available in stores on December 5th. If you cannot wait until this upcoming Tuesday however you can of course hop on over to Shout Factory and pre-order your copy today!

Now that you know about Howard Lovecraft why not enjoy this audio treat? Roddy McDowall reading H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound

[Via] The Haunted Chair

Matinee - Shout Select

Shout Select Is Releasing Joe Dante’s Matinee!

I have a lot of love for the work of Joe Dante. Not just Matinee of course but Gremlins, The Howling, Explorers, Innerspace, and The ‘Burbs to name just a few of the films he has directed. Now though his 1993 film Matinee, which is an ode to the movies of William Castle is getting a Blu-Ray release by Shout Select!
Matinee - Mant!

Joe Dante has always worn his “Monster Kid” badge with pride. Growing up with the likes of Forrest J. Ackerman’s legendary Famous Monsters of Filmland helped to shape his love of horror and sci-fi films. As well as being a teenager during the Cuban Missile Crisis must have certainly left a mark. Which might indeed make Matinee a little more autobiographical as these elements naturally are the focus of the film.

“It’s 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simone Fenton) can’t wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, Mant! But the absurd vision of Woolsey’s tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crises places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Woolsey’s leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they’ll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.”

[Via] YouTube Movies

I will of course be sure to give a review of the Blu-Ray for Matinee when I get my hands on a copy. However Shout Factory is already letting us know what we can expect on the Collector’s Edition when it is released on January 9th, 2018.

  • Master Of The Matinee – An Interview With Director Joe Dante
  • The Leading Lady – An Interview with Cathy Moriarty
  • MANTastic! The Making Of A Mant
  • Out Of The Bunker – An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub
  • Making A Monster Theatre – An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler
  • The Monster Mix – An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey
  • Lights! Camera! Reunion! – An Interview With Director Of Photography John Hora
  • Paranoia In Ant Vision – Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film
  • MANT! – The Full Length Version Of The Film With Introduction By Joe Dante
  • Vintage Making Of Featurette
  • Behind The Scenes Footage Courtesy Of Joe Dante
  • Deleted And Extended Scenes Sourced From Joe Dante’s Workprint
  • Still Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailer

Now remember that if you pre-order Matinee through Shout Factory. You not only get a free 18″ X 24″ poster featuring the brand new artwork. But in addition you get the Blu-Ray two weeks before the release date as well!

To get you in the mood for Matinee. Why not listen to Joe Dante discuss the merits of William Castle’s 1964 film The Night Walker?

[Via] Oscars