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

USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”

There comes a time, when we heed a certain call…

http://youtu.be/OoDY8ce_3zk

Not only a fine singer and performer, both with the Commodores and with his solo career, Lionel Richie will forever be remembered for his involvement with USA for Africa’s 1985 song “We Are the World,” which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson.

USA-Africa-shirts

Man, can I just say that in 1985 I was ALL about Africa? I mean, I had the white sweatshirt that Kenny Rogers and others are wearing in the video. I had a poster of the whole chorus of singers on my bedroom wall.
Poster
I had (still have) the 45 single. I FORGOT I had the 45 and eagerly purchased a second copy of it when I found it at the local Salvation Army.
World-45

Produced by Quincy Jones, the idea to record the song (and the entire album) stemmed from singer Harry Belafonte’s desire to record something that would benefit the nonprofit United Support of Artists for Africa, which focused its efforts on alleviating starvation in Africa. Kenny Rogers, who I previously talked about in regards to his work and friendship with Lionel, was also instrumental in bringing the project together; he helped to rally the efforts of other singers and also provided Jones and company the use of his Lion Share Recording Studio, although the main group recording of the seminal song would later take place at A&M Recording Studio in Los Angeles.

richie_rogers_USA

The single for “We Are the World” sold more than 20 million copies. You may be surprised to know that “We Are the World” actually came to fruition a year after the celebrity-heavy Band Aid song in the U.K. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” I never realized that, I thought it was the other way around. Although, perhaps “…Christmas” just gained more prominence here in the States because of the success of the multi-artist “…World” recording. Or maybe I just have a crap memory!

Years later, while watching MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour, comedian Kevin Meaney did a hilarious reinterpretation, karaoke-style, of the song. He really nails his imitations of some of the singers. While the below clip is not from the MTV show (based on the curtains, I think it’s from an ’80s episode of The Tonight Show), it still captures the fun. His karaoke starts at the 2 minute mark.