Downfall - Milton Bradley

Did You Play Milton Bradley’s Downfall?

Downfall is a game of many names, friends. As well as being offered in many countries since it was first published in 1970. While I will certainly admit that I have no recollection of this particular game. The play mechanics have me absolutely captivated. Apparently it was picked up by Hasbro and is being produced today under the name New Downfall.

Downfall - New Downfall

The design might be a little different but the gameplay certainly remains the same.

While as you can plainly see from the box art, Downfall was a Milton Bradley game. I have however found a version by Whitman that definitely has the groovy vibe of the 1960s. Having said that this game was indeed released in 1970.
Downfall - Whitman - Front of Box
Downfall - Whitman

Now obviously Downfall is known by different names in other countries. Such as Nouveau Dix de Chute, Dix de Chute, Slotter, Cascadix, and Combi 5-2-5 to name a few. For myself though I am partial to the Dutch version of Onderuit! as well as it’s grim commercial!

[Via] The Toys Channel

That is some Hangman level of creepiness there, all it needed was Vincent Price, in place of the child. Now the point of Downfall is to take your ten numbered discs and get them to the bottom…in order. This is accomplished by turning one of the five dials on the “board”. Although each Player naturally cannot see the other side of the board, which means they have no clue if their opponent’s turn will hinder or aid them.

Downfall really seems to offer an amazing amount of strategy to the Players. I might have to keep my eyes peeled on eBay to add this game to my collection. Also of interest was how Milton Bradley made sure to show it was fun for the whole Family. With at least two different covers!
Downfall - Milton Bradley - Box B

Downfall - Box A

If I am being totally honest though, I truly love the Japanese version of Downfall by Whitman


Downfall - Whitman - Japanese

Now then, how about the German Commercial forDownfall aka Slotter? Definitely looks like there is a hesit going on!

[Via] Crazy Merch Lady

Bill & Ted - Movie Poster

Check Out Bill & Ted’s Original Script Pages!

Friends, surely we can agree that 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a masterpiece. Or at the very least we can meet in the middle and admit that both Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves really delivered stand out characters. Thanks of course to the script by both Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. Which is why it was such a joy the other day when Solomon totally revealed a few pages of their handwritten script for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure!

Real quick, in case you didn’t know. Ed Solomon has written for a lot of great films as well as TV shows. Just a few of the projects he has written for include It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Men in Black, Mom and Dad Save the World as well as the Now You See Me series.
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon

Chris Matheson most certainly comes from a Family with a legacy for writing. As he is the Son of the late and great Richard Matheson and brother to Richard Christian Matheson. His eldest brother like his Father, has written numerous horror stories as well as working in TV and film. Now Chris not only co-wrote Bill & Ted’s Exellent Adventure but the 1991 sequel and even some episodes of the animated series. In addition to writing the script for 1995’s The Goofy Movie!

[Via] Sheldon Williamson

I need to give a huge thank you to io9 for the heads up on the original script pages for Bill & Ted that Solomon shared. On the writer’s Twitter account he offered five handwritten pages with commentary:
“I promised this to some people a while ago (sorry for the delay, had to get them down from storage again). These are very first pages from the original, hand-written draft of Bill & Ted, written in a coffee shop by Chris Matheson & me in what now seems like another life. 1/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 1

“Writing it was never anything other than a pure joy. It was hard, when in the mindset of these guys, not to feel the kind of ebullience and generosity of spirit that they embody. And we knew absolutely nothing about so-called “rules” of writing. 2/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 2

“We were guided by one thing: what made us laugh? I remember at one point looking across the table from each other and saying “Maybe someday somebody might even READ this script!” We had NO idea that they’d be so beautifully embodied by the great @alxwinter and Keanu Reeves. 3/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 3

“And of course, George Carlin, who we all so dearly miss. To me, the fans of this movie are like family. We never thought it would even get MADE, let alone find a home with people. 4/”
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 4

“Chris and I have often said to each other: if all we did in our career was put the phrase “Be Excellent To Each Other” out into the world, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Sometimes when work is tough, or things don’t land the way I’d hoped, I think about that and feel ok. 5/5″
Bill & Ted - Ed Solomon - Script Page 5

Ed Solomon is of course correct. That is an absolutely exceptional comment to have put out in the world. One to remember as well, friends.

You’ve had a chance to glance at the original script pages for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. So “Party On” with the mall sequence from the film!

[Via] Zachary Ruetz

Chack'n Pop - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Chack’n Pop (1984)

Have you ever heard of Taito’s Chack’n Pop? Until Christopher Tupa chose it for his latest Retro Arcade Art project, I certainly had not. Right off the bat, Chack’n Pop has some interesting history. While the title screen reads it was a 1983 title, it has been reported that it actually was released in 1984. A cross between Bomber Man and Arabian, Chack’n Pop certainly stands out!
Chack'n Pop - Title Screen

Interestingly enough while no sequels to the game would be released. Taito did actually keep some elements of the title, namely the characters. For example two of the characters appear in 1995’s Bubble Memories – The Story of Bubble Bobble III, namely the Monstas and Mightas. In addition Mr. Chack’n has joined the bad guys in that sequel! As well as nods in Bubble Bobble with Level 29 being based on the stage design of Chack’n Pop, and this is only naming just a few of the references.
Chack'N Pop - Bubble Bobble - Level 29

Now then, the premise of the game is that Mr. Chack’n must regain the hearts of Miss Chack’n. Stolen by the Monstas and secreted away to an underground maze.

Thankfully for the players, you have bombs at your disposal to take out the enemies. However you can only use two, hurling them in separate directions at any time. You have to be careful though as the bombs can take you out as well. Of course making contact with a Monsta will result in a loss of life as well.
Chack'n Pop - Bombs Away

Those very bombs must also be used to break open the cages the Mighta’s have used to trap the hearts. If the Player frees all the hearts, they can escape through the upper right exit, assuming it hasn’t taken too long and the Mightas have sealed the maze.

In Chack’n Pop our main protagonist can get around the maze in unique ways. For one thing he can walk on both the floor and ceilings of the outcroppings.
Chack'n Pop - Ceiling

For climbing up to and over said outcroppings in a stage, Mr. Chack’n is able to extend his legs. It in fact effectively replaces the need for a jump button.
Chack'n Pop - New Heights

Not only does the Player have to worry about the Mighta attempting to seal the maze. If they take to long, eggs hatch more Monstas which easily will swarm the player. It appears however that there is a power-up that occasionally appears. Picking it up with allow you to run into your foes and defeat them, similar of course to power pellets in Pac-Man.
Chack'n Pop - Power Up

I have already mentioned that I didn’t even know this game existed. Just one of the many joys of having CTupa doing these art projects. I will definitely be adding Chack’n Pop to my list of games to cover on the Diary podcast.

You know some of the game mechanics of Chack’n Pop now. Ready to see it in action?

[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!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!

I have found no evidence of it but I assume Chack’n Pop influenced Lionel Ritchie’s Dancing on the Ceiling

[Via] Lionel Richie Vevo

Scopitone - jukebox

Behold The Beauty Of The Scopitone Jukebox!

Friends, working with the Projectionist, I certainly have developed a love for film itself. As well as a desire to fill the Retroist Vault with all manner of coin-operated amusement machines. The other day while checking out some older gaming magazines I came across a British jukebox. This of course was an 80’s jukebox that played music videos. However this it turns out is not in fact a new idea. Case in point the Scopitone Jukebox!
Scopitone - Tel A Sign - Chicago

I did my very best to try and find some footage of those British video jukeboxes. Sadly I couldn’t find a single video. It did lead me though to a much earlier version of the device. The Scopitone jukebox. A 60’s coin-operated amusement machine that showed music videos, on 16 mm film.
Scopitone - Film Reels

Now to be truthful, it wasn’t just working with the Projectionist all these years that made me fall in love with film. I have obviously mentioned on various podcasts as well as posts that film has always been intriguing to me. The Scopitone jukebox is something entirely different than I’ve ever seen before though!

While the Scopitone jukebox reels can obviously be considered a precursor to what we would call the music video. While being low budget they still managed to attract all manner of popular singers. Neil Sadaka, Nancy Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, and Julie London to name a few. I particularly enjoyed the 16 mm reel featuring The Exciters singing Tell Him while visiting…a local zoo?

[Via] History Comes To Life

Now when a patron inserted their quarter into the Scopitone jukebox and selected which song they desired. Within the machine a rotating mechanism would spin to the correct 16 mm film selection. Then an arm would swing down with the projection mechanism, the light would be bounced off a mirror to be displayed on the screen.
Scopiton - Jukebox Playing

Ready to see the Scopitone jukebox in action?


The 16 mm film reel that is displayed in the video is of Joi Lansing, singing Web of Love!

[Via] JimVid 1

You want even more fantastic Scopitone jukebox musical entertainment? Then how about Bobby Vee’s The Night Has A Thousand Eyes?

[Via] Lucy Huto

Floppotron - Toto - Africa

Marvel At The Floppotron Playing Toto’s Africa

Friends, just a couple of weeks ago the Floppotron uploaded a brand new video. While in the past the Floppotron has covered the likes of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams as well as even Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. This go around it performs Toto’s Africa!
Floppotron - Scanner

What is the Floppotron you might ask? Well, it just happens to be 8 hard disks, with 64 floppy drives, and 2 scanners. Of course all of that working together happens to create beautiful music from every genre. TV and movie themes, video game music, and popular 80s songs can be performed by the Floppotron.

Yeah, Vic…we know what it is made up of but how does the Floppotron play music?!


That is a good question. Honestly the easiest way to describe it is, just head over to Silent.Org and let Pawel Zadrozniak explain it, as he is the creator of it. In a nutshell however using an application that Pawel wrote in Python 2.7 – the devices are triggered, with speed determining the pitch of the device, like the hard disks.
Floppotron - Hard Disks

Pawel states on his site that he uses the columns of floppy drives, in fact in stacks of eight. To simulate everything from a piano as well as string instruments. While I will certainly admit that some of the mechanics go over my head. At the very least I do know I highly enjoy the music it plays.

Now how about you enjoy the Floppotron playing Queen’s The Show Must Go On!

We have to give a huge thank you to Travis Falligant for the heads up on this excellent video! Travis is not just a friend of The Retroist and myself but has constantly shown his love of pop culture. The talented artist has given us Friday the 13th coloring pages as well as the mash-up of The NeverEnding Story and The Breakfast Club!