Sinistar - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Sinistar (1983)

Sinistar! For this week’s Retro Arcade Art pick, CTupa has certainly picked a classic. Furthermore this legendary arcade title was the subject of the 15th episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee Podcast. And really when you get down to it. It has indeed hard to deny the importance of Sinistar as an arcade icon.

I honestly believe that there is no other game, from the Golden Age of Arcades. That causes you to start panicking, your palms to sweat like Sinstar does. Think about it for a second. While Donkey Kong is busy tossing barrels at you, he stays put. The ghosts from Pac-Man certainly can give chase but at the very least you have the power pellets to ward them off.

Sinistar however seems to take pleasure in your impending doom. Announcing his arrival and taunting the Player as well. Before of course rushing towards your tiny space vessel in an attempt to eat you in a single bite. The speakers on the cabinet vibrating as it lets loose a mighty roar. Which I can truthfully say made me jump the first time I heard it in my youth.
Sinistar - Boom

Not that the Player is totally defenseless of course. Thanks to shooting the various floating planetoids in a stage, you receive Sinibombs. Easier said than done as mining these planetoids generally will let those bombs float out into space. Where the red enemy Worker drones hastily scoop them up…to build the fearsome Sinistar. The Player can blast the drones with their fire button and reclaim the Sinibomb if they are quick enough.
Sinistar - Red Enemy Drones

Throw into that mix the Warrior vessels. Who are constantly dogging you, taking aim and blasting your ship into atoms. The Player can destroy the Warriors by shooting them as well. However in later levels they kind of swarm you and it’s hard to dodge and shoot back at the same time. Back in the day I think this was considered one of the toughest games at my local arcade.
Sinistar - Warriors

Friends, you generally play a round just valiantly trying to keep alive. On the run. There are so many times you will release your payload of bombs to see them intercepted by a Worker or Warrior. However thanks to the scanner at the top of the screen you can attempt to fly away and mine more planetoids. As well as constantly keeping an eye on the location of Sinistar!
Sinistar - Run

When Williams Electronics released Sinistar to the arcades in 1983, they already had a slew of classics under their belt. The previous year they released the likes of Joust as well as Robotron: 2084. Throw in Moon Patrol and Bubbles, you have a pretty stellar line up. I must add that the game also had one of the most beautiful environmental cabinets ever produced!
Sinistar - Rear of Cabinet

The design elements on the cabinet are astounding, such as the engines at the rear of the cabinet. Not to mention how its very design really gives you an immersive experience. Especially with the rear speakers behind your head while playing. It is a version of the arcade game I didn’t even know existed until we got it at the Arkadia Retrocade.
Sinistar - Front of Arcade Cabinet

You have some info on how Sinistar works now. So why not watch the game in action for yourself?

[Via] World of Longplays

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!

Jungler - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Jungler (1981)

How many of you Arcade Addicts out there played Jungler back in the day? While I was indeed familiar with Christopher Tupa’s pick for this week’s Retro Arcade Art. I will certainly admit that I never had the privilege of playing Jungler in the arcades of my youth.
Jungler - Marquee

Jungler happens to be one of the many maze games from the early 80s. Obviously Pac-Man is the most famous of that genre. However back in 1973 Atari heped start the arcade maze craze with Gotcha!

While Jungler was developed by Konami it was in fact Stern that produced the game. You might now Stern for it’s arcade classic titles like Berzerk, Scramble, Tutankham, as well as Pooyan. The goal of the game is to control your white colored snake (Jungler?) as it navigates a maze.
Jungler - Screen 1

The problem is you have three other snakes in the maze with you. They want nothing more than to catch and devour you. The enemies comes in three different colors as well as lengths. The green snakes are shorter than Jungler and if a Player makes contact with the head it will safely devour them. A yellow snake is the equal length of the Player. While you will be able to eat them- they won’t cost you a life if you make contact in the maze. The red snakes however are longer than the Player and will result in death if it catches you.
Jungler - Red Snake

This isn’t a game though where you just have to constantly be on the run from your foes. Not at all. Jungler as it turns out happens to be able to shoot at the enemy snakes. Each successful hit will shorten a snake by one segment. Of course the enemies will do this randomly as well so you always have to be on your toes.

I was quite shocked while doing research to learn that Jungler did not receive a port to the popular home consoles of the day. It did have versions on both the Arcadia 2001 console in 1982 as well the Tomy Tutor a year earlier. On the other hand it at least got a handheld version thanks to Gakken.
Jungler - Gakken

As I previously mentioned earlier in the post. Jungler was a game that just wasn’t found in my neck of the woods. Thankfully I was able to play it when the Game Room dropped on the Xbox – a classic gaming option I might add that should have stuck around.
Jungler - Arcade Cabinet

Ready to see Jungler in action?

[Via] H. Gallo 64

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!

Don’t forget to review CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project!
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)

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)

Retro Video Games

Check Out The Funko Retro Video Games Mystery Minis!

Is there a better location to open up Funko’s new Retro Video Games mystery minis than the Arkadia Retrocade? From the arcade cabinet design of the packaging as well as the choice of iconic video games represented. I say it is in fact another example of why Funko is going to take over the world! So let us take a few moments and check out the Retro Video Games mystery minis!
Retro Video Games

First of all, the arcade itself didn’t pick up these blind boxes. These particular Retro Video Games collectibles all belong to Rhi, one of my co-workers at the arcade. Having said that…I will be totally shocked if the arcade doesn’t end up getting the full set.

Funko has yet to to fail to deliver the goods. With the likes though of Centipede, Q*bert, Dig-Dug, Frogger, and Mega Man. As well as our childhood icons from Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man, I think you’ll agree they knocked it out of the park.
Retro Video Games - Pac-Man

I would add that the Retro Video Games Mystery Minis are a bit larger than the typical Funko mini offering. They don’t quite reach three apples high, but these Concord grape soda bottles should prove my point.

Also of interest is that while they are certainly blind mini boxes. You will in fact not pull a Q*bert out of a Dig-Dug box, etc. I have to say I really love this. It will help in filling out your collections quite a bit.

Of the 12 boxes that Rhi opened last evening. I think it is safe to say that Centipede is one of my favorites. The sculpt truly captures the menace of the side art from that classic game.

In addition to the joy of seeing the Retro Video Games mystery minis opened. It was Earl Green that had the bright idea of comparing them to the classic Coleco Doney Kong PVC collectibles.

If you are ready to add Funko’s Retro Video Games Mystery Minis to your own collection. You can totally hop on over to Amazon right this second and place your order!

Inside Atari

Celebrate Atari Day With This 1981 Inside Atari Promo Video!

Goodness gracious. I was so busy celebrating my Wife’s birthday that I neglected to share an Atari Day post! So let us celebrate a belated Atari Day by watching this 1981 promotional video entitled Inside Atari.
Inside Atari

This is most certainly a nice piece of history for the legendary company. By 1981 Atari had three separate divisions going full bore. They had their arcade division releasing titles that helped make the Golden Age of Arcades so memorable. As well as the home console division with the Atari VCS or 2600 as it became known once the 5200 was released a year later – which sold like hotcakes. Atari had as well at this point released the Atari 400 and 800 home computers.

Things were looking absolutely grand for Atari in 1981. Which is why Inside Atari was regularly seen at consumer electronic shows. To say nothing of course of aiding in the wooing of potential investors.
Inside Atari - Global Reach

In addition to Inside Atari coming across as a visual pep rally. There are some wonderful nuggets to be gleaned. For example in this screenshot you can see some rom chips for Defender, Pac-Man, Yar’s Revenge, and Graves Manor.

That last one is more than a little noteworthy as it is one of the four original names for 1981’s Haunted House !

Furthermore if you look quickly you can spy some interesting artwork on display. Like this piece for the port of Pac-Man. Which I might add I had not seen before until the release of Tim Lapetino’s stellar Art of Atari tome last year.

All in all Inside Atari runs about five and a half minutes. So obviously it will not be the most in-depth exposé on the workings of the company. It will however give you that perfect snapshot of the glory days of Atari as an entertainment juggernaut.

[Via] Dig That Box RETRO

I hope you enjoyed watching Inside Atari. But remember that every 26th of the month is when we celebrate Atari Day!

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.

To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!