Zaxxon - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Zaxxon (1982)

No doubt about it, friends. Zaxxon, the isometric Sega space shooter from 1982 is a classic. As well as being an incredibly challenging arcade title. Furthermore it was the first arcade game to use axonmetric projection. Which is of course how Zaxxon got it’s name and helped it stand out in arcades!
Zaxxon - Arkadia Retrocade

Christopher Tupa has done a remarkable job of selecting games for his Retro Arcade Art project. Twenty-eight pieces of retro inspired art that focused on a classic arcade title. Many of them were quite unknown to me until I saw his work. It has been my pleasure to present the basics of the game to showcase his artwork for the last 28 weeks. Zaxxon happens to mark the last offering in CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art, however he certainly chose an important game to finish on.

Very much like Crystal Castles and even Q*bert, the isometric viewpoint takes some getting used to. In fact with it being the first arcade title to use it, it adds to the difficulty of the game by quite a bit. Players must attempt to pilot a spaceship through an enemy fortress, dodging many defenses and finally facing off against an evil robot, naturally named Zaxxon!
Zaxxon - Zaxxon Robot

Like many of the classic arcade games, that is easier said than done. Especially when you take into account the need to slip over and under electrical barriers. Thankfully the Player does have an altitude meter on the left hand side of the screen.
Zaxxon - Altitude Meter

Although for myself, I certainly used the shadow under the spaceship and where my shots were hitting to judge if it was safe to pass under a barrier or opening in the fortress wall.
Zaxxon - Spaceship Shadow

In Zaxxon when assaulting the space fortress, a Player will need to avoid a multitude of threats. Missiles launching from the fortress floor. Turrets firing towards your spaceship, stationary objects too, like radar dishes, fuel dumps and grounded spaceships. Obviously if you come in contact with any of these, you are treated to a fiery explosion and lose a life. Add to the mix that you must keep an eye on your fuel gauge and you can see why this game can be very tough.

Of course you can fill up your fuel meter by picking off those red fuel depots. Actually, I have always thought the hardest part of the game is after you clear a fortress. Because that is when you take on an opposing fleet of spaceships. I have a very hard time actually landing a shot on the enemy without getting hit myself. While crosshairs will appear when you have an enemy within your sights, I suppose I’m just not quick enough and get picked off.
Zaxxon - Enemy Planes

After making it through both the heavily armed fortress defenses and attacking fleet. Players will arrive at the headquarters of the villainous Zaxxon robot. Which is basically just another space fortress but at the end of that…awaits that deadly robot. Six direct hits upon the evil automaton’s missile is needed to defeat your foe.
Zaxxon - Zaxxon Robot Hit

Ready to see Zaxxon as well as Super Zaxxon 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!

Furthermore, I would like to remind you that I have covered Zaxxon in the Diary of an Arcade Employee podcast as well.


Flicky - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Flicky (1984)

For this week’s Retro Arcade Art project, Christopher Tupa, has chosen another favorite of mine. Sega’s Flicky, which was originally released to the arcades in 1984. However if I am being honest, I in fact didn’t know anything about the game until we managed to get the cabinet for the arcade. This was a couple of years back now and one thing is for sure. Flicky has one of the cutest cast of characters you have ever seen.

While Flicky was developed by Sega it was released in the states by Bally/Midway. The game is a side-scroller in addition to being a platformer. Think Super Mario Bros. or even 1980’s Space Panic. The goal of Flicky is heartwarming as it is simple. Players guide the titular hero around the stage to pick up her lost chicks, which are called PioPios or chirps.

Furthermore, the PioPios that the Player comes in contact with will trail behind their Mother in a row. The end goal being to get all those little chirps to the exit on the level.
Flicky - PioPio Chain

This is easier said than done of course, as you must also be wary of the cats on the prowl. If they manage to snag a PioPio as you are racing around the level, the chirp will be left behind. Not eaten I thankfully need to add, but you will have to attempt to pick the chick back up. Which can easily result in a loss of your life as the cats are trying to leap up and take Flicky out.

Our protagonist does indeed have a way to defend herself. That is thanks to the many items scattered about the stages. Telephones, coffee cups, flower pots as well as bottles. You pick up these items like you do with the PioPios. Just come in contact with them, however when you jump you will toss them in front of you. When an object hits a prowling cat they will be knocked end over end, hopefully buying Flicky enough time to reach the exit before the cat returns!
Flicky - Cat Knocked Over

Besides the constant menace of the cats. The Player will have to be careful of the green iguanas to boot. This threat can also be dispatched with a thrown object. It can become a bit much to say the least. Attempting to keep those chirps together so you get a better score while avoiding the enemies.
Flicky - Iguana

There are bonus rounds in the game, I think that are designed to show you how rotten the cats are. Flicky is given a net and must attempt to catch the chirps that have been catapulted into the air!
Flicky - Bonus Round

Enough of the basics of Flicky, ready to see the game in action?

[Via] Dangorou Nishida

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!

Fantasy Zone - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Fantasy Zone (1986)

Sega’s Fantasy Zone is CTupa‘s pick for his Retro Arcade Art project for this week. This is a game that while I knew about it didn’t have the chance to play it in the arcades. The very first encounter I had with Fantasy Zone was in fact on the Sega Master System. One of numerous titles that in High School I was able to rent and play on the weekends with one of my best friends. I will admit however that I wasn’t exactly enthralled by the cutesy style of Fantasy Zone at first.
Fantasy Zone - Sega Master System

It wasn’t until I had a chance to play the game for myself that I noticed how awesome it was. Cute as well as brightly colored backgrounds aside, Fantasy Zone is a frantic scrolling shooter.
Fantasy Zone - Frantic Shooter

The backstory for the game involves the ship a Player will pilot, known as Opa-Opa. The Player is tasked with beating back an alien invasion to the Fantasy Zone. All in the attempt to bring back peace to the land and it’s inhabitants. You don’t believe me? See for yourself!
Fantasy Zone - Backstory

To do this however means that the Player must take out a certain number of enemy spawning bases. Which can be tracked by the line of colored boxes at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will trigger a Boss Battle and very quickly these become prime examples of the difficulty of Fantasy Zone.
Fantasy Zone - Bases
Fantasy Zone - Boss Battle

Thankfully very much like the main protagonist from CTupa’s earlier pick Chack’n Pop. The cartoonish Opa-Opa has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. For example if you fly to the bottom of the stage and touch the ground, the Opa-Opa will engage…feet. Allowing you to stroll across Terra firma if you so wish.
Fantasy Zone - Feet

Keeping with some of the cartoon-like aspects of Fantasy Zone, the fact that the Opa-Opa is kept aloft by both an engine and wings shouldn’t shock you.

Playing Fantasy Zone gives you WINGS!

In the game at the very least there are shops you can visit. By way of balloons that appear at the start of each level. Paid for by the gold coin dropped by your enemies. Yellow balloons allow the option of switching weapons as well.
Fantasy Zone - Shop Balloon

Fantasy Zone - Weapon Upgrade

Learn from the mistakes of my youth, friends. Fantasy Zone is an absolutely fantastic arcade title. It has certainly received not just ports to the popular home consoles of the day. But sequels as well such as Fantasy Zone II – The Tears of Opa-Opa, Fantasy Zone: The Maze, and Super Fantasy Zone to name a few.

Now that you know the basics of Fantasy Zone, why not watch it in action?

[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!
Retro Arcade Art - Christoper Tupa

Pengo - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Pengo (1982)

Pengo is the subject for this week’s Retro Arcade Art, proving that CTupa has good taste as well as being a talented illustrator. Pengo is an absolutely charming maze game although one with a twist. It was developed by Coreland Technology, a subcontractor for Sega. In fact Sega is the one that released Pengo to the arcades back in September of 1982.

I mentioned of course that Pengo is a maze game. A maze of frozen blocks of ice at that, with the addition that Players can alter that maze as they play. Pengo will push an ice block it comes in contact with, when the action button is pressed. If there is nothing blocking its path it will slide across the stage until it hits the edge of the screen or another ice block.
Pengo - Push Ice Block

Another action Pengo can take is to destroy those ice blocks. When performing the same action in fact, if the ice block is made stationary. It will crumble and disappear. A useful action to take indeed when attempting to evade the Sno-Bees that stalk you.
Pengo - Cracking Ice Block

However as you can see in the screencap those crafty Sno-Bees can do the very same thing. Much like in Atari’s Dig-Dug, when a lone enemy realizes they are it. They will hurriedly try to escape, by heading to one of the four corners of the screen.

In Pengo the Player will lose a life if the Sno-Bees come in contact with our adorable protagonist. So naturally that is why you will spend so much time in the game gleefully hurling those ice blocks against your foes. Not only is destroying all Sno-Bees the way to successfully end the round…it’s addictive.

Of course destroying the enemies at the start of a game doesn’t mean you’ve cleared a stage yet. You see the truth of the matter is there are eggs hidden within the ice blocks in a level. Take out one Sno-Bee and the eggs will begin to hatch. However you will see their location flash at the start of the stage. Which means if you are quick you can take them out while running around the maze.
Pengo - Eggs

If Pengo touches the edges of the wall and uses the action button, any Sno-Bee that is touching the edges will be stunned. Which will allow a Player to crush them easily with an ice block if one is available. Or even run over the enemy and take them out without losing a life.
Pengo - Wall Shake

You now know a few of the basics of Pengo, so why not watch 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!