Bubbles - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Bubbles (1982)

Bubbles! Another classic arcade title released by William’s Electronics in 1982. The company was totally on a roll with their games. Each and every release seemed to be a classic between ’82 and ’83. Joust, Moon Patrol, Sinistar and Robotron: 2084 to name a few. Christopher Tupa certainly picked one of my favorite arcade games for his latest Retro Arcade Art project. However, depending on if you go by the fans of classic arcade titles on the internet. It certainly seems that CTupa and myself might be in the minority when it comes to our love of Bubbles!

When Bubbles was being developed, a simple goal was in mind. According to co-creator John Kotlarik: “What I was trying to do with Bubbles was come up with a non-violent, clean game (no pun intended)”.

One would be hard pressed in fact to argue that an anthropomorphic soap bubble isn’t a clean cut gaming icon, right?
Bubbles - Title Screen

Furthermore, Kotlarik as well as William’s Tim Murpy and the legendary Python Anghelo were succesful in injecting personality into the soapy protagonist. Including of course the adding of non-violent nature to Bubbles gameplay. I mean what is the main goal of the game but the cleaning of a dirty kitchen sink?
Bubbles - Bubbles Face

While unlike the standard titles from the Golden Age of arcade games. The Player has no ability to fire a projectile at their enemies nor even any way to truly defend themselves from threats. The Player merely has an 8 way joystick to help navigate past those foes and other deadly obstacles.

In Bubbles the Player starts off as a tiny bubble. Insignificant perhaps but passing over – cleaning – the equally tiny ants and grime will help the Player to grow in size. Eventually forming that smiling face you can see in the image above. Which also allows the the protagonist to make contact with the likes of scrub brushes and sponges without losing a life. Instead of sadly popping – the bubble will bounce back and lose some of it’s size.
Bubbles - Razors

Of course hazards such as the razor blades will always cost a Player a life. Which in turn begs the question of whose sink you cleaning. Maybe Hannibal Lecter?

With Bubbles you must also contend with a pesky roach infestation. The Player is only able to safely touch these foes if they’ve picked up a broom. Which is done by scooping up the cleaning ladies that appear during the stage.
Bubbles - Cleaning Woman

Finishing a level requires the Player to grow in size enough to obtain that smiling face. In which case the center of the drain flashes green. Allowing a Player to skip to the next level. On the other hand if all objects that provide points have managed to slip down the drain or even been cleaned up by those brushes. The Player loses a life and has to replay that stage again.

I mentioned what seems to be a dislike of Bubbles at the beginning of the post. It might very well in fact be a small but vocal group. But of those Players that remember the game that I questioned last week. I will say again – CTupa and myself seem to be a small few who have a fondess for the game.

By the way the first time I played the game myself was at that fabled Showbiz Pizza of my youth. Having said that though, ours wasn’t lucky enough to have one of the beautiful Duramold cabinets. Besides the unique cabinet the control panel also offered different control panel artwork.

Bubbles - Duramold Cabinet - Bubbles Tribute

Friends, this image is courtesy of the Bubbles Tribute page.

Bubbles - Duramold Controls

With a little knowledge of Bubbles under your belt. How about watching the game 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!
Retro Arcade Art - Christoper Tupa

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!

Sinistar wallpaper

Sinistar Arcade Flyer (1982)

Sinistar is an absolute classic of the arcades back in my youth and still popular in culture if South Park’s Imaginationland and the popular World of Warcraft are including them in their works. The game was developed by Sam Dicker, Jack Haeger, Noah Falstein, RJ Mical and Richard Witt. The voice of Sinistar was done by John Doremus, who had become well known for his radio show “The Passing Parade” and in 1964 his company created the idea for in-flight music on airlines.

As always a huge thanks to the Arcade Flyer Archive for this wonderful collection of scanned Sinistar images.

Thanks to GlassDarkly for uploading these great segments of interview with RJ Mical from the William’s Greatest Hits 1!

Arcade Classic Sinistar Now Available for the Atari 5200

5200 Sinistar

Fast-paced space shooter, Sinistar, is NOW available in cartridge form for the Atari 5200. This game was an arcade classic (at least in my book). The game was finished back in the day for the 5200, but was never released. Now, thanks to the work of dedicated fans, the game has been released in a limited run. So check out the gameplay video below and then order your copy today.