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!

Inferno - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Inferno (1984)

Friends, do you remember Inferno from back in 1984? Manufactured and distributed as well by the legendary Williams Electronics. This is another pick from Christopher Tupa for his Retro Arcade Art project that I have not had the pleasure of playing before. With Inferno you certainly have a mix of Wizard of Wor in addition to some Crystal Castles.

Furthermore the control scheme for Inferno has just a hint of Williams’ 1982 arcade hit Robotron 2084!
Inferno - Inferno arcade cabinet

I should add that most of us do not remember the game. That is of course because it was never widely distributed and it is also believed that only 6 arcade cabinets now exist. Although you can freely find it on MAME as well as the Internet Arcade Archive!

As for the gameplay, you are tasked with dispatching enemies found in the worlds of the Grand Lizard. These enemies which are small multi-colored and known as cyclops, can be shot with your laser.
Inferno - Cyclops

Doing so will destroy their bodies and leave their black souls behind. Which will then attempt to run into the open maw of the Grand Lizard at the top of the screen. You can make contact with the fleeing monsters and absorb their souls.
Inferno - Grand Lizard

Or instead attempt to follow them into the Grand Lizard’s waiting mouth to do battle in the Inferno Wave. Which is essentially a free for all with every bad guy aiming to take you down!
Inferno - Inferno Wave

In addition to the Cyclops you must also contend with the Tankov. A sentient tank threat that requires you to blow off its treads while positioned on a lower level of the maze. Then get on an equal level with the demonic tanks remains and shoot it again.

I’m not quite certain how to describe the character of the Nymph. Perhaps it best you just read the description from the game yourself?

Inferno is yet again another example of what made the Golden Age of Arcade games so great. The sometimes throw everything at the wall elements frequently worked in the games favor. Of course sometimes that didn’t work as well. But here we are 33 years later, enjoying CTupa’s artwork that was based on a game that never was widely released, right?

Now remember that 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!

Now that you know a little about Inferno, why not watch the game in action?

[Via] JSBO

Be sure to check out the earlier entries for the Retro Arcade Art project by CTupa!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)

Crystal Castles Arcade Flyer (1983)

Crystal Castles - Atari - Arcade Flyers Archive
Oh the many fond memories I have of playing this classic Atari Trak-Ball arcade game at my local Showbiz Pizza. The first time I got to see this game in action wasn’t at the arcade actually but the TBS arcade game show Starcade, I was immediately hooked by it’s rather cartoon-like visuals and jaunty opening tune.

[Via] Adam Nedeff

Thanks to The Arcade Flyer Archive we can take a look at some of the various flyers that Atari released to Arcade owners to get them excited about their new game.

Crystal Castles B - Atari - Arcade Flyers Archive

Crystal Castles Info - Atari - Arcade Flyers Archive

That second Flyer image though makes me think one thing…Bentley Bear is drunk!
Bentley Bear Is Drunk