Life Force - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Life Force (1986)

Christopher Tupa has certainly chosen a classic title for this Retro Arcade Art offering. Although in this case Life Force was not a game I played in the arcade. Indeed I hadn’t even heard of it until it was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. While that may be so, Life Force is a shining example of the multi-scrolling shooter genre!

Right off the bat we have an interesting fact for you. When the game was originally released it was known as Salamander. In fact it was considered to be a spin-off of the popular arcade game Gradius. When released in the United States it gained the Life Force moniker. Later the re-release in the arcades of Japan took the new name as well as in Europe, where the game was known as Life Force: Salamander!

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive.

In the game, Players take control of the Vic Viper. A legendary series of ‘space ships’ that Konami has used in numerous games. Everything from Super Bomberman R to Yu-Gi-Oh! as a matter of fact. In Life Force a second player is able to take control of a ship known as Lord British.

Of course you might be asking yourself where the action takes place? In the North American version, Konami added a bit of text at the beginning of the game. Explaining that the Player was entering a giant bio-mechanical being, known as the Sentinel XR1. Radiation has caused a tumor to grow and activate the XR1’s antibiotics, which will see you as an enemy. With the added mandate that you must you must save the life force of the being at all costs!
Life Force - Sentinel XR1 Text

So basically the Player is thrust into an incredibly hostile version of 1966’s Fantastic Voyage. Not only must you contend with flying enemies, exploding obstacles, and enemy fire. But the landscape itself will attempt to thwart you, expanding or altering it’s shape. If a Player isn’t on their toes they might find themselves slamming into a wall that wasn’t there before.
Life Force - Body Defenses

Did I also mention that Life Force is both a horizontal as well as vertical shooter? Every other stage, of which there are six, changes to a vertical view. The gameplay then of course becomes something similar to Capcom’s 1942!
Life Force - Vertical

Now there is a lot against you in the game and you will certainly be hard pressed to keep up. Thankfully the Vic Viper has some pretty impressive weaponry to say the least. Much like Gradius, Players are able to pick up a variety of weapons and upgrades.
Life Force - Vic Viper - Weapon Selection

Now that you know the basics of Life Force, why not watch a full longplay?

[Via] World of Longplays

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!

Did you know there was also an OVA for Life Force/Salamander?

There certainly was and it was released on VHS and Laserdisc between 1988 and 1989. Three episodes in fact, although these aren’t considered canon. It’s still fun however and has many elements from the arcade game in the series.

[Via] Alex Hoch


Cuphead Announcement Trailer Is Stunningly Beautiful

The Upcoming Cuphead was originally announced back at E3 in 2015. StudioMDHR certainly turned more than a few heads with the below teaser. I was of course blown away by its mix of Fleischer Studio inspired art style. As well as what I have to say looks to be a platformer with shoot ’em up game elements!

[Via] StudioMDHR

As I just mentioned, the game was announced in 2015. Although it was revealed to Microsoft’s E3 2014 press conference. Furthermore Cuphead was expected to debut in 2016. In the early part of October 2016, StudioMDHR announced that Cuphead wouldn’t debut until mid-2017. The reason being was a sound one I believe. Instead of forcing themselves to a strict deadline, which would of course mean the excising of certain parts of the game. They wisely decided to delay so that their full vision for the game would be kept intact when it is released on September 29th of this year.
Cuphead - Don't Deal With the Devil

The systems it will be readily available for include the Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam. I will have to admit that I was rather shocked that the title wasn’t being offered to the Playstation. However I wouldn’t be too surprised if a little down the road it doesn’t make its way over to the Sony fans.
Cuphead - Carnival

Brothers Jared and Chad Moldenhauer are the lead game designer and art director for Cuphead. They started working on the idea for the game back in 2010 in fact. Featuring hand-drawn animation and watercolor backgrounds, the audio includes original jazz recordings.

I should mention the story for Cuphead involves the titular character losing a bet with the Devil himself. Judging from that 2015 E3 teaser our hero and his pal Mugman decide to fill up with some liquid courage and try to repay that debt. Doing so involves overcoming 30 boss battles. Which is five more than the Guinness World Record says a shoot ’em up has challenged Players with so far.

I have also read that Jared and Chad have stated they are aiming for old school difficulty. While I’m hoping they aren’t going as old school as Capcom’s Mega Man I will buy this game no matter what. My love of animation that I share on the Toon In posts demands I play this game even if I’m horrible at it.
Cuphead - Devil

I ask you to look at these beautiful screencaps of the game in action. That anything is possible in a cartoon feel really shines through!


Certainly a lot of work has gone into Cuphead, the team has expertly crafted a title that wears it’s love of the Fleischer Studios on its sleeve. In addition StudioMDHR has a merchandise page that is suitably retro of course. Pins featuring the likes of Mugman and Cuphead are available. As well as sweaters, T-shirts, stickers and even posters. All looking like they were plucked right out of the animated shorts of the 1930s!

[Via] StudioMDHR

Now while we patiently await the release of the game…

Why not delve into those very shorts that inspired the creation of Cuphead?

For your viewing pleasure, we present 1939’s Small Fry from the Fleischer Studios!

[Via] Disney Short Film

Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast Episode 022 (Street Fighter II)

Street Fighter II is the subject of the 22nd Diary of An Arcade Employee Podcast! On this episode I talk about the impact and legacy of Capcom’s 1991 and 1992 arcade phenomenons Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. Also of note is my good friend and fellow arcade employee, Andy Pickle, is back as a special guest on the show to discuss his own memories with the legendary game. As always I’ve made sure to share some vintage audio treats for your listening pleasure!
If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook Page or you can check in on the Official Diary of An Arcade Employee Facebook Page for your daily fix.

Our ending theme entitled “River Raid” was graciously provided by the talented Tony Longworth, you can visit his official site by clicking that link and make sure to hop on over to his SoundCloud Page!

Subscribe to the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes and why not leave us a rating if you enjoyed the show? (MP3)

Directly Download the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
Episode Mirror #2 (OGG)
Street Fighter II - Arcade Flyer Archive
A big thanks as always to Arcade Flyer Archive for that awesome flyer!

With These Mondo Enamel Pins You Can Show Off Your Love For Mega Man!

When Capcom unleashed Mega Man on the Nintendo Entertainment System they easily created one of the longest gaming series as well as a lasting icon. On various and multiple consoles across the World – the Blue Bomber – has been featured in over 50 games since 1987.

Mondo has a little something to help fans of the Mega Man series show off their devotion to the character with three enamel pins that are available for pre-order. Besides the Mega Man 1-Up icon, you also can pick up an energy tank pin and one of Mega Man jumping – all three designed by artist Jay Shaw!
Mega Man - 1 Up

All images courtesy of Mondotees.Com

All images courtesy of Mondotees.Com

Mega Man Jumping Pose - Mondo
By the way, the reason that Mega Man was nicknamed the Blue Bomber is thanks to Nintendo Power.

Mega Man II - Nintendo Power

They jokingly applied that nickname to the character as a nod to Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots – the blue robotic boxer’s name is the Blue Bomber. Readers of the magazine just kind of started using the nickname and before you knew it – Capcom started using it as well!
Rock Em Sock Em Robots

Now perhaps Mondo can do something about the catchy theme and intro I have stuck in my head from the Mega Man animated series!

[Via] SillyJakeChan

Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast – Episode 011 (Ghosts ‘N Goblins)

Welcome friends to the eleventh episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast! Each show I will not only discuss a particular classic arcade game but share some behind the scenes information of what it’s like to work at a retro arcade. Since it’s October it felt like we should talk about Capcom’s 1985 arcade hit “Ghosts ‘N Goblins”!

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook page.

Our new ending theme entitled “River Raid” was graciously provided by the talented Tony Longworth, you can visit his official site by clicking that link or hopping over to his Soundcloud Page!

Subscribe to the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes(MP3)

Directly download the Saturday Frights Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1(MP3)
Episode Mirror #2(OGG)