Crossbow - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Crossbow (1983)

Exidy released Crossbow into the wilds of the arcades back in 1983. However that isn’t where I first encountered it. It was probably a couple of years later, after the video game crash of ’83. Where I had my first chance to play Crossbow was at a local grocery store. In my entire life I’ve only had the opportunity to play this arcade classic a handful of times. But it certainly left a mark in my memories, which is why I’m glad Christopher Tupa chose Crossbow to be the subject for his Retro Arcade Art project this week.
Crossbow - Exidy - Marquee

Obviously, like the title of the game suggests, the gameplay revolves around using a crossbow. Especially since the controller for the game is an actual replica of the medieval weapon.
Crossbow - Arcade cabinet

It was when I had my first chance to play the game, after a group of teenagers had walked away from it, that I realized it had a sword and sorcery element to it. Players have to do their best to protect a band of four adventurers from the dangers of each level. Whether that be objects such as boulders falling from the sky, lightning bolts, scorpions, ghosts, and gorillas to name a few.
Crossbow - Jungle

Being 1983 I was already a huge fan of Dungeons and Dragons so the fantasy elements were right in my wheel house. At the beginning of the game you will normally start with three adventurers. A swordsman, an Amazon with short sword and shield and a Dwarf with a mighty axe. I will give you three guesses as to whom I made sure to protect the most!

On various stages, after completion you will in fact gain another adventurer to add to your fellowship. Gnomes, wizards, gladiators and more will join your quest to stop the evil Master of Darkness. Thankfully your adventurers can protect themselves a little but not enough that you can ignore dangers headed their way.
Crossbow - A Gnome

Crossbow had another element of D and D to it as well. Players are able to choose which route they want to travel. Ranging from a desert landscape, a village, ice cave, jungle, volcano, a bridge spanning a river, a castle entrance and of course the interior of the castle.
Crossbow - Path Selection

Much like 1987’s Operation Wolfby Taito, Crossbow uses a light gun to allow Players to hit their intended targets. Albeit one that as I’ve already mentioned resembled an actual crossbow. The game cost 50 cents a go which is why I wasn’t able to play it as much as I liked. Nor was I very good at it, hitting my own adventurers as much as their foes.

With a bit of the basics of Crossbow out of the way. Ready to see 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!

Fantasy Zone - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Fantasy Zone (1986)

Sega’s Fantasy Zone is CTupa‘s pick for his Retro Arcade Art project for this week. This is a game that while I knew about it didn’t have the chance to play it in the arcades. The very first encounter I had with Fantasy Zone was in fact on the Sega Master System. One of numerous titles that in High School I was able to rent and play on the weekends with one of my best friends. I will admit however that I wasn’t exactly enthralled by the cutesy style of Fantasy Zone at first.
Fantasy Zone - Sega Master System

It wasn’t until I had a chance to play the game for myself that I noticed how awesome it was. Cute as well as brightly colored backgrounds aside, Fantasy Zone is a frantic scrolling shooter.
Fantasy Zone - Frantic Shooter

The backstory for the game involves the ship a Player will pilot, known as Opa-Opa. The Player is tasked with beating back an alien invasion to the Fantasy Zone. All in the attempt to bring back peace to the land and it’s inhabitants. You don’t believe me? See for yourself!
Fantasy Zone - Backstory

To do this however means that the Player must take out a certain number of enemy spawning bases. Which can be tracked by the line of colored boxes at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will trigger a Boss Battle and very quickly these become prime examples of the difficulty of Fantasy Zone.
Fantasy Zone - Bases
Fantasy Zone - Boss Battle

Thankfully very much like the main protagonist from CTupa’s earlier pick Chack’n Pop. The cartoonish Opa-Opa has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. For example if you fly to the bottom of the stage and touch the ground, the Opa-Opa will engage…feet. Allowing you to stroll across Terra firma if you so wish.
Fantasy Zone - Feet

Keeping with some of the cartoon-like aspects of Fantasy Zone, the fact that the Opa-Opa is kept aloft by both an engine and wings shouldn’t shock you.

Playing Fantasy Zone gives you WINGS!

In the game at the very least there are shops you can visit. By way of balloons that appear at the start of each level. Paid for by the gold coin dropped by your enemies. Yellow balloons allow the option of switching weapons as well.
Fantasy Zone - Shop Balloon

Fantasy Zone - Weapon Upgrade

Learn from the mistakes of my youth, friends. Fantasy Zone is an absolutely fantastic arcade title. It has certainly received not just ports to the popular home consoles of the day. But sequels as well such as Fantasy Zone II – The Tears of Opa-Opa, Fantasy Zone: The Maze, and Super Fantasy Zone to name a few.

Now that you know the basics of Fantasy Zone, why not watch it in action?

[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!
Retro Arcade Art - Christoper Tupa

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

Pengo - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Pengo (1982)

Pengo is the subject for this week’s Retro Arcade Art, proving that CTupa has good taste as well as being a talented illustrator. Pengo is an absolutely charming maze game although one with a twist. It was developed by Coreland Technology, a subcontractor for Sega. In fact Sega is the one that released Pengo to the arcades back in September of 1982.

I mentioned of course that Pengo is a maze game. A maze of frozen blocks of ice at that, with the addition that Players can alter that maze as they play. Pengo will push an ice block it comes in contact with, when the action button is pressed. If there is nothing blocking its path it will slide across the stage until it hits the edge of the screen or another ice block.
Pengo - Push Ice Block

Another action Pengo can take is to destroy those ice blocks. When performing the same action in fact, if the ice block is made stationary. It will crumble and disappear. A useful action to take indeed when attempting to evade the Sno-Bees that stalk you.
Pengo - Cracking Ice Block

However as you can see in the screencap those crafty Sno-Bees can do the very same thing. Much like in Atari’s Dig-Dug, when a lone enemy realizes they are it. They will hurriedly try to escape, by heading to one of the four corners of the screen.

In Pengo the Player will lose a life if the Sno-Bees come in contact with our adorable protagonist. So naturally that is why you will spend so much time in the game gleefully hurling those ice blocks against your foes. Not only is destroying all Sno-Bees the way to successfully end the round…it’s addictive.

Of course destroying the enemies at the start of a game doesn’t mean you’ve cleared a stage yet. You see the truth of the matter is there are eggs hidden within the ice blocks in a level. Take out one Sno-Bee and the eggs will begin to hatch. However you will see their location flash at the start of the stage. Which means if you are quick you can take them out while running around the maze.
Pengo - Eggs

If Pengo touches the edges of the wall and uses the action button, any Sno-Bee that is touching the edges will be stunned. Which will allow a Player to crush them easily with an ice block if one is available. Or even run over the enemy and take them out without losing a life.
Pengo - Wall Shake

You now know a few of the basics of Pengo, so why not watch 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!