Beezer - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Beezer (1982)

Friends, have you ever heard of Beezer? It was an arcade game produced and manufactured by Tong Electronic Inc. although it was distributed by Intrepid Marketing. I will admit that until Christopher Tupa contacted me the other day about his Retro Arcade Art. I certainly had not heard of Beezer before either!
Beezer - Marquee

Now I will jump into what the game play for Beezer is like in just a second. Of course first I need to talk about Tupa’s new art project. I am sure many of you longtime fans of the Retroist are quite familiar with CTupa’s fantastic artwork. He has not only graciously shared his work on the site in the past but even provided illustrations for various Retroist podcasts. Case in point the second of the famed Halloween Specials!


For Retro Arcade Art by CTupa, the artist will be sharing one new illustration a week for the foreseeable future. Furthermore they are all based off the Golden Age of video games. Indeed, a time when a single quarter was the key to protecting the universe or simply becoming a busy bee.

While some of the games that CTupa has chosen in the coming weeks are more mainstream, he made sure to pick unknown titles too. Like Beezer of course. Which as a matter of fact was a conversion kit. Meaning when arcade operators back in the day noticed a machine not being played as much, instead of shelling out the coin to get a brand new arcade cabinet. They could pick up Beezer. With a quick swap of a PC board, the control panel which included a trakball. The applying of cabinet decals and finally replacing the marquee and bezel, instead of a Galaxian you would have a Beezer!
Beezer - Conversion Kit

The goal of Beezer is to maneuver through a honeycomb, avoiding contact with the other bees. Our hero must attempt to trap said bees by turning three-sided walls within the honeycomb. Creating a six-sided trap, which will dispatch an enemy caught in it.
Beezer - Trap

However the traps can work on Beezer as well, which will result in the loss of a life. This can happen when the Queen appears in the honeycomb. She not only can move the three-sided walls herself but lays eggs. These eggs will hatch and naturally become more enemy bees to contend with.
Beezer - Queen Egg

Thankfully for Beezer if he eats those eggs first, he in fact becomes super-powered. Which as a result allows him to eat the enemy bees instead of trying to trap them! In addition our hero can move through the hive himself by way of “caves”.

Now why not take a few minutes and check out the game play for Beezer?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

Do you love Tupa’s Beezer artwork? Know the perfect arcade fan that needs it? Then you are totally in luck as the artist is selling each of the Retro Art Arcade offerings. 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 and even listen to his podcasts!

Atari 2600: Galaxian Commercial (1983)

Last week I ran the Arcade Flyer for Galaxian. Today I was pulling out a box from the closet that contained some Atari 2600 cartridges and I found one for Galaxian. I honestly didn’t remember ever owning this…so this might be a case where in High-School I bought one of my friend’s collections and it sadly was just never put in it’s proper place.

I’ve remedied that situation this afternoon and I have to say it’s a pretty good port of the classic arcade game.

I do know for a fact I had never have seen this awesome TV commercial for the Atari 2600 home port until now! You will notice they are showing the game play from the Atari 5200.

Now let’s take a moment to check out some nice box art, for the Atari 2600 we have:

Normally the Atari 2600 and 5200 were at least similar in design, I think the 5200 wins with this artwork, if I owned a van this would be painted on the side of it.

As always a huge thanks to AtariAge for the box art and to Dig That Box RETRO for uploading the commerical over on YouTube.

Galaxian Arcade Flyer (1980)

Though published by Namco in 1979 in Japan, Galaxian, was released in the United States by Midway in 1980. While the game was highly popular it’s sequel from 1981 is better known, that is of course Galaga. There was a third game in the series released in 1984 entitled Gaplus.


It’s funny. In my neck of the woods, I didn’t get to play Galaxian until I first saw Galaga. This particular Galaxian machine was at a gas station and while playing it I kept thinking, “What a rip off of Galaga!”.

A huge thank you as always to the Arcade Flyer Archive!

Retro vs Remake: Legion of Galaga

"Let's blow these things and go home!"

Today’s Retro vs Remake games: Galaga vs Galaga Legions/DX

While technically not the first fixed space shooter, Galaga was probably one of the most successful ones. The sequel to space shooter Galaxian, Galaga shares many things in common with its predecessor but also features some neat new innovations.

Gameplay is pretty simple: you move along the bottom of the screen, firing your ship’s gun at the alien formations that move around at the top of the screen. No, this is not Space Invaders, the aliens will actually try to actively attack you by dive-bombing your ship and firing shots of their own. There are even “boss” enemies at the top that swoop down to try and capture your ship. (If you let them, then you have a chance to recapture it and get a dual-ship;) There are also challenge levels every four levels where enemies fly across the screen in predefined formations and you get bonus points for each enemy you hit and an even larger bonus if you destroy every enemy in each “wave” and/or stage.

After its initial success in the arcades, Galaga spawned a couple sequels and in more recent years, several remakes.

The most recent and notable remake is Galaga Legions. This XBLA/3DS game takes the core concept of Galaga (shooting aliens) and completely turns it on its head.

The first noticeable change in Legions is your ship. Not only can you move your ship anywhere on the screen, but in addition to your standard fighter, you now have two small, indestructible satellite ships attached to each side that fire smaller shots along with your main guns (which now fire a continuous barrage rather than individual shots). These satellite ships can also be positioned independently around the screen and will fire a continuously in the direction they’re facing. This adds a unique layer of strategy to the game that is otherwise lacking.

Enemy formations have also gotten a complete overhaul. It is very rare that you will see the standard five row pyramid from the original. Instead, massive swarms of enemies swoop in from all over the screen. To balance the seemingly impossible odds, nearly every enemy swarm has a “core hive” somewhere in the formation. If you destroy the core, every enemy attached to it is automatically destroyed. Another helpful feature are the “trace lines” that briefly appear before each wave showing you the path of each enemy formation.

Another new gameplay feature is the “black hole” object. This object occasionally appears and begins to suck everything on the screen into it. If you manage to destroy the hole, any enemies that were caught in its vortex will become your allies and swarm all around you, destroying any enemy in their path (destroying themselves in the process). This feature seems to replace the “boss galaga capture/dual ship” trick from the original game.

The visuals in Legions are stunning, especially when you have masses of enemies on the screen, your ship is firing at full power and you have turned enemies swarming all around you. While impressive, it can also be distracting and difficult to tell what is going on around you when the screen is full or laser blasts and explosions.

Legions is an excellent game with a definite old-school feel, but the massive shoot-fest also seems to take away any strategy found in the original and turns it into a game of pure reflexes and pattern memorization. Then again, that’s how many arcade games played as well. All in all, I’d have to say I liked the original Galaga best; its elegant simplicity beats the sensory overload of Legions.

What’s your pick? Galaga or Galaga Legions? Vote for your favorite in the comments.