Judge Dredd arcade game - Title Screen

Did You Know About The Judge Dredd Arcade Game?

In October of 1992 Mortal Kombat was released by Midway Games. Did you know however that Midway Games was also working on another title well known for over the top violence? The Judge Dredd arcade game was developed around the same time as Mortal Kombat II. In fact as you can plainly see below, one could spot Goro on a leash. However the game while reaching the prototype stage was ultimately cancelled.
Judge Dredd arcade game - Goro on a leash

Using the same motion capture technology that would make Mortal Kombat stand out. The developers even used the same hardware from Mortal Kombat II. Also of interest is the Judge Dredd arcade game was intended to be a 3 player game. The team even used a control panel from 1988’s Narc when designing the prototype cabinets. Of which there were apparently four made before the game was axed due in part to low test numbers.
Judge Dredd arcade game - Control Panel

The title was obviously part of the beat ’em up genre. Similar in concept to games like Streets of Rage and it’s predecessor Final Fight. Although having said that the Judge Dredd arcade game appears to have had some interesting design choices. For example your attacks weren’t limited to just left and right, but up and down as well. Naturally it gives the brawler more of the feel of a 3D environment.
Judge Dredd arcade game - Block War

Then we have the fact the game captures a lot of what makes the comic book character so awesome. The digitized speech as well as the myriad background nods to the series are evident. In particular, I am rather fond of the ‘No Drowning’ proclamation in the sewer level.
Judge Dredd arcade game - No Drowning

Now when I first stumbled upon video of the gameplay I just assumed it was produced for the Judge Dredd film in ’95. It turns out that is partially true as the film had just been announced. But the fact of the matter is that Midway had struck gold with another film turned video game. That was of course 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day!

[Via] Media Pool

Friends, surprisingly enough the Judge Dredd arcade game was also inspired by the popularity of Konami’s TMNT game. While the game itself never made it to mass production, we have those geniuses at Chicago’s arcade mecca Galloping Ghost to thank for making an actual cabinet. In fact, in the 2015 video below you can hear owner and head guru Doc Mack talking about the game itself.

[Via] Ghost Lord 000

You’ve heard a little about the Judge Dredd arcade game now. Ready to see it in action?

[Via] World of Longplays

Friends, I am certainly thinking about doing a special Diary podcast. Cherry-picking some of the games that were almost released like with Gremlins!

Mortal Kombat Live - Shang Tsung

Mortal Kombat Live Tour TV Interview (1996)

Yes, even in my youth when Dinosaurs ruled the Earth, Mortal Kombat was a pretty big thing. I became a fan of the game rather quickly. It wasn’t the violent martial arts aspect that drew me in. Although I totally did dig playing Johnny Cage, especially using his Shadow Kick move. For myself I was enamored with two elements above all. The mythology of the MK game as well as Goro, who was obviously stop motion animation. Of course this was all back in 1992, four years before the Mortal Kombat Live Tour would be unleashed.
Mortal Kombat Live - MK Live Tour Poster

Now in all honesty, it was 1993’s Mortal Kombat II that really got the ball rolling for Kombat fever. Ed Boon and John Tobias raised the bar on the amount of characters you could play. As well as seriously expanding the mythos of the game universe. Having said that however… the mythology of the game has always been fluid. Mortal Kombat II was a huge success for Midway Games and with it the merchandising began.
Mortal Kombat Live Tour - Mortal Kombat II Magazine

While I will certainly admit to being biased when it comes to characters in the game series. I believe that much of the success of Mortal Kombat II was due to Kung Lao. The former Order of Light warrior who chose to join the White Lotus Society. To better defend Earthrealm against the dark forces of Shao Khan. Of course, Kung Lao, is in fact my favorite Mortal Kombat character. Ever. It might have something to do with being a sharp dresser, not to mention that razor sharp hat he sports.
Mortal Kombat Live Tour - Kung Lao

After the releases of Mortal Kombat III as well as Ultimate MK3. It was time for the game series to step into a new direction. A live action film in 1995 starring the likes of Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Helmed by the future Director of Event Horizon, Resident Evil and AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Paul W.S. Anderson.

[Via] YouTube Movies

You might recall that in 1990, the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles led to a live tour. With comic books, music, toys, and of course video games being so popular. Is it any wonder that the Mortal Kombat Live Tour would come to be?
Mortal Kombat Live - Sonya Blade

To be honest, the show in fact debuted at the Radio Music City Hall in September of 1995. After that it went on a 200 city tour for 1996, featuring none other than Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. No, not as Shang Tsung like he portrayed in the hit film, but as one of the fight coordinators!

[Via] Mortal Kombat Secrets

Obviously to drum up excitement for the Mortal Kombat Live Tour, the cast would appear on local television. Like in this 1996 segment from the KTLA 5 News in Los Angeles.

[Via] Grooveraider

Mortal Kombat Live - Scorpion

Get over here!

Ready Player One - Back to the Future

New Ready Player One Trailer Brings The Retro!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, was a book that celebrated its love of retro pop culture. Perhaps it went beyond celebration and into proudly flaunting it. So many references to 80s films, TV shows, and video games are in the mix. It should come as no surprise that I fell in love with it upon picking it up. And now we have a live action film set to debut in 2018. Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg who knows a thing or two about 80s movies, right?

[Via] Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready Player One received a quite lengthy teaser earlier this year. Even then it was giving retro fans a glimpse at what was in store. Quick shots of everything from The Iron Giant, Joust, The Road Warrior, and many more. All of these elements are the digital representations of those people living in the online world of the OASIS. As you saw in the trailer it is basically the ultimate virtual reality simulator. Furthermore it is mixed with an advanced version of the internet. Certainly the dystopian aspects of the Ready Player One universe make it clear why people would spend all their time in the OASIS.
Ready Player One - The Stacks

Earlier today the full trailer for Ready Player One dropped. It too -like the teaser is full of Easter eggs. So I decided to point out a few of the worthy tips of the hat to some of the pop culture goodness. However…as a matter of fact we are going to start with a mystery. While the symbol on Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) backpack certainly looks familiar. I am afraid I can’t place it. How about you?
Ready Player One - backpack

Ready Player One - Backpack Symbol

Here is a better look

Far easier to spot in the Ready Player One trailer is the ’66 Batmobile. Which is located in the bottom as well as the Speed Racer‘s Mach 5. Of course we shouldn’t forget the fact that Ryu is walking past the legendary vehicle!
Ready Player One - Mach 5

The digital avatar of Wade Watts or Parzival as he is known in the OASIS – is decked out in some awesome retro gear. It was in fact Owen Treolo on the I Grew Up Star Wars Facebook page that pointed this out. Parzival is sporting the holster from none other than Han Solo of Star Wars fame. In addition his belt buckle is sporting the Thundercats insignia. To say nothing that he has wisely chosen Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future as his ride. Wade obviously has good taste in pop culture!
Ready Player One - Thundercats

In this digital night club scene, we have none other than Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. I wonder if she is working there or just getting herself some digital liquid refreshment?
Ready Player One - Lara Croft

And while this motorcycle scene is exciting it also features the monster truck known as Bigfoot. As well as an almost hidden reference to 1987’s Robocop. You can see the Delta City billboard in the background!
Ready Player One - Bigfoot

Obviously around the same scene, it appears that King Kong is making his presence known. I can’t help but wonder if the mighty ape won’t try to stop the racers as they attempt to win the copper key?
Ready Player One - King Kong

In this scene we have a mighty charge of characters. I was certainly surprised to see who was leading the rush into battle. We have 1991’s Battletoads. Behind them appears to be one of the ostrich riding knights from Joust!
Ready Player One - Battletoads

Not to be outdone in the call to battle of course. We have Tracer from Overwatch who appears to be backed up by Chun-Li from Street Fighter.
Ready Player One - Tracer

While The Iron Giant makes an appearance in this full trailer. It looks like he is joined by someone piloting a Gundam. While I am not positive I assume this is a reference from 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series?
Ready Player One - Gundam

So there you have it, friends. Just a few of the pop culture nods that made me excited. I’m very much looking forward to Ready Player One when it hits theaters next March. While I’ve drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid, it’s safe to say that there are many who are less than impressed. Which is understandable. Naturally. In fact the Retroist wrote a fantastic article about it all.
Ready Player One - Poster

Did I mention that in the new Ready Player One trailer – Chucky from Child’s Play shows up?


Who knew that Chucky had such mad ninja skills?!

Update: I totally missed a glaringly obvious nod to the 1992 Mortal Kombat series. When in the trailer we are told of the hidden Easter Eggs we see what certainly appears to be a shrine to the gaming series. Including in the shot are statues of Raiden as well as Scoprion and Sub-Zero. This I should add is all courtesy of Bloody Disgusting and I obviously feel like a fool for not catching it!
Ready Player One - Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat: Hospitality?

After beating your opponent to a within an inch of their life in Mortal Kombat, talented players could press a combination of buttons and joystick moves that would launch a “fatality”. These pre-programmed finishing maneuvers were considered to be so violent at the time that, after much moral outrage, a Congressional hearing was held. Mortal Kombat’s fatalities are considered to be the reason ESRB game ratings were developed.

Over the years, different variations of fatalities were introducted into the series, including “Animalities” (turning your opponent into an animal), “Babalities” (turning your opponent into a tiny baby), and a “Friendship” (in which the opponent’s life is spared). The Mortal Kombat series contained lots and lots of hidden finishing moves, but here’s one I never saw: Hospitality?

hospitality

I hope Sub-Zero uses his best manners at their little gathering, otherwise Raiden is liable to zap his head off — poor etiquette, by almost anyone’s definition.