Mappy - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Mappy (1983)

Namco’s Mappy is not just the latest pick of for the Retro Arcade Project. It also happens to be hands down one of my favorite arcade games of all time. In fact you might recall that I shared my love for it on Episode 18 of the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. While possessing cartoonish characters as you can plainly see in Christopher Tupa’s artwork. The game is quite challenging. Not to mention that I feel that Mappy happens to be one of the most overlooked offerings of the platform genre.
Mappy - Arkadia Retrocade

Besides of course sporting a rather unique arcade marquee. Mappy has a rather interesting cabinet design as well. Obviously a little more squat than your typical arcade games of the day. However in addition to that marquee it certainly makes it stand out.
Mappy - Arcade Cabinet

The gameplay for Mappy is rather simple actually. The Player takes on the titular role, a mouse who also happens to be a member of the Micro Police. His task is to retrieve all of the stolen artwork and electronic equipment in each house. Pilfered I might add by the Meowkies gang. Which of course are bandit cats. In addition they are led by Nyamco or as his cronies call him – Boss The Big Bit! I must add that much like Pac-Man the names of your enemies differ depending on which region you are playing it.
Mappy - Cast

Mappy moves up and down through the house by way of trampolines. Using the joystick the Player is able to determine which floor of the house that Mappy lands on. The Meowkies do this as well and are hot on the trail of the mouse cop. While our hero in fact carries a billy club, he sadly doesn’t use it to protect himself. Coming into contact with a Meowkie or Nyamco will of course cost the Player a life.

In Mappy you have to be careful how many times you jump on those trampolines. Each time you land and are launched into the air. The trampoline will change color. Our hero can use a trampoline three times but if you try a fourth time it will break and you will lose a life. While bouncing up and down on the trampoline at the very least, the Player needn’t worry about losing a life when passing his foes.

While our little hero doesn’t use that club to protect himself – he does in fact have a way to defend himself. An unorthodox way to dispatch those cat burglars. Mappy can use the doors throughout the houses. Opening a normal door, causes the Micro Policeman to be violently pushed back a little. Coming into contact with a Meowkie in hot pursuit will stun the kitty. Allowing Mappy to get by safely. However if the Player opens a power door – which flash in multiple colors. It releases a microwave that travels across the screen and pushes any foe it comes in contact with off the screen.
Mappy - Door Wave

However this doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t soon be back. The only way for Mappy to finish the stage is to pick up all of the stolen items in each house. Although having said that there are bonus stages after 2 to 3 rounds. In these stages you must attempt to pop as many balloons as you can before the music is finished. While there are no enemies to speak of in this stage, you will in fact have to be on the ball to complete a bonus round.
Mappy - Bonus Stage

By the way, if you are wondering about the name of this game. It is commonly believed that Mappy is a derivative of mappo. Which is actually a slang term, some see as an insulting name for a policeman.

Now that the basics of Mappy are out of the way. How about watching the game in action for yourself?

[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!

Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art Project as well!

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!
(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!

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at 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!

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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.