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

Atari 2600: Defender Commercial (1982)

Back in the day, I played a lot of the Atari 2600 port of Defender. It was definitely one of my favorite of the 2600 game titles and I still get a kick out of pulling it out and giving it a spin, though now I get to see all of it’s pixel glory on a big screen.

Another fan of the game back then was my Cousin, Brandon, we were best friends and though he lived quite far from my neck of the woods his Family always visited about once every other month. We would set up the 2600 in the living room on my ‘writing’ desk and we would take two chairs and put them back to back. One of us would be the Pilot…and the person in the second chair would be the Engineer.

I’m not sure that Atari had this in mind when they ported the arcade classic…but it made the game better, you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

What I didn’t see back in those days though was this charming commercial on TV.

Now if you still play your Atari and if you visit the Retroist I’m sure you do, take a moment to get some tips from the Retroist’s own How to Beat Video Games: Defender for the Atari 2600 post from a couple of years back!

Thanks to AtariAge for the box scan up top and to aperturegames for uploading the commercial over on YouTube!