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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!