Crystal Castles - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Crystal Castles (1983)

Christopher Tupa has certainly chosen an arcade classic with Crystal Castles! His pick for this week’s Retro Arcade Art is another favorite of mine. Developed and released by Atari back in July of ’83. Crystal Castles is an isometric 3D maze game with elements of Pac-Man. While the protagonist of Crystal Castles might seem cartoonish, the game is anything but child’s play!
Crystal Castles - Arcade Marquee

Crystal Castles may indeed have some elements of 1980’s Pac-Man. It however in fact started out as being a 3D version of another very popular Atari game. In this case I am referring to the 1979 title – Asteroids.

While it might be a little hard to believe that Crystal Castles started out as an intergalactic shooter. I think it’s more than fair to say that the change in gameplay was a wise choice. With it’s fantasy elements I feel it certainly helped to make the game stand out. Besides, the character of Bentley Bear is more endearing than a starship, right?
Crystal Castles - Bentley Bear

CTupa’s latest pick for his Retro Arcade Art project marks the first title to feature the trackball. Which puts it on par with other Atari arcade classics like Missile Command, Centipede, and Marble Madness. In addition to allowing on the fly precision control while helping Bentley Bear through the 3D mazes.
Crysal Castles - Trakball

The trackball games also were known to cause severe pinching in some cases. At the very least I can attest to this when I frequently played Crystal Castles at my local Showbiz Pizza!
Crystal Castles - Arcade Cabinet

The gameplay is pretty simple. The Player attempts to help Bentley pick up the number of gems that are strewn across the maze floors of each level. All the while avoiding coming into contact with various and colorful foes. Gem Eaters, Ghosts, Skeletons, Nasty Trees, ravenous Crystal Balls, as well as Berthilda the Witch. Who enjoys nothing more than chasing poor Bentley Bear around the 3D maze once a stage is cleared of gems.
Crystal Castles - Berthilda

On each stage the Players are in kind of a race to pick up as many gems as they can. Some of the foes like the Nasty Trees, Crystal Balls, and of course the Gem Eaters – will devour any of the colorful gems they travel over. Any contact with a foe will normally result in the loss of a life. However in the case of the Gem Eaters, when they are pausing to swallow a gem. If Bentley runs smack into them he will actually defeat this particular foe.
Crystal Castles - Gem Eater

In truth, Bentley does not have a lot to protect himself with. However he is able to jump over enemies, which in some cases stuns them. This in fact is easier said than done. All too often if you aren’t careful with the trackball you will leap to safety, only to crash into another enemy. In most mazes there is also a magical hat. Once Bentley dons the oversized wizard’s cap he can race through enemies without fear of losing a life. This of course only lasts for a very limited amount of time.
Crystal Castles - Magic Hat

There is one other bad guy that Bently must be wary of. That is naturally a swarm of very, very angry bees. While the bees do not care a fig for all of the gems in the mazes. They do everything they can to protect the honey pot that temps Bentley with a quick 1000 points. Much like the Nasty Trees, the swarm of bees will literally attempt to track down the Player. Making them very dangerous.
Crystal Castles - Honey

Now that you know the basics of Crystal Castles how about seeing the game 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!

Saturday Night Live Sports Featuring Eddie Atari (1981)

There are many names that rank as legends in the Golden Age of arcade and video games. Ralph H. Baer, Nolan Bushnell, Allan Alcorn, Walter Day, Billy Mitchell, and Todd Rogers to name just a very few. But there is one name that seems to have been all but forgotten these days, a young man who was once a champion and received national attention on the likes of Saturday Night Sports…
Joe Piscopo - Saturday Night Live
…I’m of course talking about the once legendary Eddie Atari. The man who pioneered the “Italian Maneuver” and some of you might recall when back in 1976 during an Asteroids exhibition he hit his hyperspace button and disappeared for two complete years.
Yes, it turns out we just thought that Atari released Asteroids back in 1979. Being such a rising star it is absolutely hard to believe that anyone could have forgotten the name of Eddie Atari…as well as the tragedy that Saturday Night Sports reporter Matthew Laurence and head anchor Joe Piscopo witnessed on that evening back in 1981 during this live interview.

All my silliness aside, Eddie Murphy is on fire and this skit is worthy of your attention not just to help bring a smile to your face but as a nice reminder at how big arcade games were at the time to enter into such popular television shows like Saturday Night Live!

Hot Wheels, Atari Style!

Have you ever wanted to re-live those Atari 2600 classics in the form of car liveries? If somehow you answered YES to that question, then Hot Wheels created these Atari-branded diecasts just for you! I’m completely smitten with these – the 2013 SDDC exclusive Asteroids “Beach Bomb” pickup above is all sorts of desirable, especially that arcade game packaging. The general release cars below for Tempest, Pong, Breakout, Centipede and Missile Command all lose the special packaging but are still great creations with fantastic artwork and I’d love to own the series.

And that 2600-branded GMC Motorhome with wood panels… on my…

HotWheels Atari

Learn more about the SDCC Asteroids vehicle over at Collecting Toyz. Read more about the rest at You Found a Secret Area!.

Atari 2600 Asteroids Wallpapers

When Flack recently mentioned this minimalist Atari Wallpaper for Yar’s Revenge in his post about his Yars’ Revenge Cartridge, it got me thinking. Didn’t I do a bunch of these that I did not post. The answer is yes, so here is the first of what I hope will be a few new/old Atari 2600 wallpaper posts. Starting with one I did for the classic, Asteroids.

and one I already had posted, in black.

or perhaps gameplay footage is more your thing…

atari 2600 asteroids wallpaper