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

A Saturn Bomberman preview

Saturn Bomberman

One of the many Tumblr blogs I follow is Old Game Magazines which offers me an endless supply of nostalgia for the video game magazines I read in my youth. A recent image from the blog caught my attention – a preview of the then-upcoming Saturn Bomberman from issue 48 of Mean Machines Sega in October 1996.

Saturn Bomberman Preview

I remember reading everything I could find about this game, even though I had little chance of ever owning the machine to play it on. Fortunately I had a friend who would go on to buy the machine and the game and I wasted very little time in visiting and having him fire up the new “10-player widescreen mode”.

What came next was extraordinary. I was used to playing SNES Super Bomberman 3 on my 4:3 19″ TV screen, so the jump to 32″ widescreen with 10 players all fighting (bombing!) for screen space was nothing short of memorizing! We played that game, 2 humans teamed against 8 CPU’s for months and we still occasionally fire up the Saturn to have another stab at it.

My one regret is that I never got to play with 9 other humans. 4-player Bomberman on the SNES was hilarious, nuanced, tactical, exciting and above all a huge amount of fun so scaling that up to 10-players must have been amazing. Perhaps one day I’ll play in that game…