Dig Dug -Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Dig Dug (1982)

Friends, feast your eyes on Christopher Tupa‘s Dig Dug illustration! Not only is it CTupa’s pick for this weeks Retro Arcade Art. Obviously. But it also happens to be one of my favorite video games as well. Much like Pac-Man, there are elements of Dig Dug that match maze games. However in this case you are pretty much making your own maze as you dig through a treacherous underground setting.
Dig Dug - Marquee

Dig Dug was released by Atari in the arcades of North America in May of 1982. However it was actually developed and published by an equally legendary game company – Namco.

Dig Dug -Arcade Flyer Archive

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive

Certainly most of you that frequent the Retroist or enjoy classic gaming will know how this game works. Players are tasked with guiding Dig Dug, as he was known in the first game, as you tunnel through the stratum that makes up each level. The character’s goal is clearing out a collection of motley monsters below the surface of the Earth. With only the aid of an air pump to help him dispatch the beasties as well as boulders scattered about the stage.

Using the air pump, a Player will hit the pump button three or four times, which inflates a foe until it expands so much it pops. If you do not pump the enemy until they explode they will slowly deflate and come after you again. The problem is the Pookas and Fygars rarely come at the Player one at a time beyond the first few rounds. The enemy can even travel through the dirt for a sneak attack, trying to catch you from the left and right as well as up and down. This of course requires a great deal of juggling in the later stages!

Oh, the amount of Pookas and Fygars that met their grim fates over dozens of Saturday afternoons at the Showbiz Pizza of my youth. In truth if we counted them all I would probably be brought up on charges by a video game court.
Dig Dug - Characters

Dig Dug was certainly a hit for both companies. Game cabinets being produced for upright, cocktail and even cabaret units. For those of you that might not have seen a cabaret version. It basically was a smaller upright, designed of course for arcades and other locations where space might be a premium.
Dig Dug - Cabaret

Dig Dug didn’t find success in just the arcades. It had brisk sales for the popular consoles and home computers of the day as well. Ports could be found on the Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800 systems. Besides the Atari computers the VIC-20 and Commodore 64 received ports as did IBM PC and TI-99/4A.
Dig Dug - Atari 2600

Besides the awesome artwork that CTupa provides for his Retro Art Blog entries. I am glad to constantly find out facts I hadn’t known. Case in point that the Intellivision DID receive a home port of the game. It was in 1987 though, programmed by Mark Kennedy…when he was working for Atarisoft I should add.
Dig Dug - Intellivision

Apparently Mark added two Easter eggs to his port. One of them allows you to experience a different title screen. The second though lets you play an entirely second game entitled Deadly Dogs. Which is TRON Deadly Discs but instead of TRON and the warriors of the MCP. You are the hot dogs from Burger Time!

That is pretty crazy, 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 bit about Dig Dug. Why not enjoy this commercial that was originally shown in move theaters?

[Via] Scottith Games

Make sure to also enjoy the earlier entries for the Retro Arcade Art By CTupa!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)

Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast 024 (Splatterhouse)

Splatterhouse - Diary of an Arcade Employee
It is nearly Halloween, so it means we need to talk Splatterhouse! On this 24th episode of the podcast I have chosen the 1988 arcade game by Namco. In addition I share my memories of the Turbografx-16 home version of the game. Furthermore I do cover the confusion of whether it was released in North America at the arcades at all!
Splatterhouse

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook Page. If you need a daily fix you can check out the Official Diary of An Arcade Employee Facebook Page!

Our ending theme entitled “River Raid” was graciously provided by the talented Tony Longworth. You can listen to more of his work on SoundCloud!

Subscribe to the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast:


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Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
Episode Mirror #2 (OGG)

Now in this podcast I mention the custom cabinet for Splatterhouse at Richie Knucklez Arcade Games. You can reach his Facebook Page by clicking that link. In case you want to see that beauty for yourself – be warned the video has an accidental slip of very salty language!

Carrie Fisher at The Sega Center in Fox Hills Mall (1977)

Carrie Fisher in this brief 1977 interview from The Making of Star Wars, where she is seen playing 1975’s Anti-Aircraft from Atari at a Sega Center is going to be one of the coolest things you will see all day!
Sega Center - Carrie Fisher
Filmed at the Fox Hills Mall in Culver City, California – I can’t help but dig the appropriately Star Wars themed cabinets that we can see Carrie playing before the interview begins. These were obviously specially made for the Sega Center arcades as you can tell by looking at the standard edition on the arcade game flyer below – courtesy of The Arcade Flyer Archive.

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive.

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive.


In this clip Carrie Fisher discusses some of the elements of Star Wars that she enjoyed and what she didn’t care for while filming the original movie. I might have to blame this on my advanced age but I do not recall ever seeing this particular clip before from The Making of Star Wars although I believe it might have also been shown when the Fox channel did their little special to celebrate the re-release of the original Star Wars trilogy to theaters…well…the “A few new surprises” or Special Editions I mean.

[Via] Benovite
I found an article from 8 Bit Central that states they believe the Sega Center featured in that interview with Carrie Fisher was later remodeled into a Time Out Tunnel which would eventually be converted to the Time Out arcade. This brand of arcade was able to survive and thrive until around 1995 when after being sold to The Edison Brothers company, they were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – which was then bought by the Namco corporation which is why you can still find Time Out arcades in various malls.
Time Out - Namco - Arcades
I’m not sure what the Time Out arcades were like in your neck of the woods but the one that was in my local mall still had a few arcade games and even one or two classics titles like Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man although the younger children were brought in by the redemption games.

Pole Position with Wheels and Roadie

Pole Position

If you hear the name “Pole Position”, chances are you think of the Namco video game. Sadly, that is never the first thing that comes to my mind – I instantly hear the theme tune to the short-lived 80’s cartoon from DIC Entertainment.

This isn’t a terrible thing for me as I love the song but it does have an annoying habit of staying with me for hours until something else comes along to distract me. Have a listen below.

The crime-fighting story of Tess, Dan, Daisy, Wheels and Roadie had nothing to do with the video game though the show creators wanted the name so badly that they licensed it from Namco. I suspect they came up with that catchy theme tune and didn’t want to give it up!

The two cars, Wheels and Roadie were really cool. They were both able to transform with gadgets such as water ski’s and hover jets and the computers could be removed from the car dashboard and carried around.

For 13 episodes in the mid-80’s I was hooked on this show but watching an episode on Youtube has me wondering what kept me captivated. At least my older self can enjoy some of its quirks, such as the episode names which all have a Hitchcock connection – Dial M for Magic, To Clutch a Thief and The Thirty-Nine Stripes all sound vaguely familiar!

Steelehouse Productions Presents: Pac-Man The Movie (Fan Film)


Where do I begin to describe everything that is right about this fan film trailer by Writer/Director James Farr and Steelehouse Productions’ for Pac-Man the Movie? I suppose I can’t do the trailer justice so just go ahead and watch it…make sure to read the ticker at the bottom of the news broadcast!

[Via] Machinima’s YouTube Channel

After the trailer ended I felt an overwhelming sense of despair. This is a fan film trailer. Never will I be able to step up to the box office and ask for a ticket to Pac-Man the Movie. I’ll never learn if Pac-Man and his handlers help to make the world a better place.

I’m thinking that James Farr needs to sit down with Namco and throw this trailer up on Kickstarter so they can get the necessary funds to make this film a reality!

You can find out a bit more on the creation of this trailer over at Project Yellow Sphere. Here is an excerpt from their page:

“THE GREATEST 80S MOVIE NEVER MADE

In the 80s, it was all about Pac-Man.

PAC-MAN was the very first arcade game we ever played. It was the first Atari 2600 cartridge we ever owned. It was the first Saturday morning cartoon we watched religiously, and to this day, our favorite (yet sadly discontinued) brand of pasta. We grew up with this character. Spent countless hours with him. But in all that time, the one thing we wanted the most … the one thing we fully expected … never happened. Why, we wondered, did they never make a PAC-MAN MOVIE?

The answer to that, of course, is breathtakingly simple. PAC-MAN made no sense.”

I would like to give a big thanks to Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance for the heads up on the trailer!