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

Moon Patrol - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Moon Patrol (1982)

With Moon Patrol being this week’s Retro Arcade Art pick. Christopher Tupa has once again chosen a game from William’s Electronics. Already with the artist’s new art project we have covered the likes of Sinistar and Inferno from William’s. Moon Patrol is an arcade classic and one that I might add I covered in the very first episode of the Diary of an Arcade Employee podcast.

There is so much to love about Moon Patrol. It’s sci-fi setting of course is a great place to start. I can certainly tell you how impressed I was the first time I stepped up to the machine. Seconds later I found myself cruising in my moon buggy across the lunar surface. In an attempt to reach check points before the timer has reached zero. Doing my best all the while to leap craters in the moon and boulders strewn about the landscape.
Moon Patrol - Crater Jump

Or of course you can just blast those rocky formations with the cannons on the front of the moon buggy.
Moon Patrol - Boulder Blast

However when playing Moon Patrol the player has to keep an eye on the skies as well. Because that is where the enemy space ships will show up. Harrying the Player with bombs from above. Thankfully your roof mounted cannon can blow them out of the sky if your shot connects.
Moon Patrol - Bombers

This swarming tactic is indeed deadly. Not that the alien ships will actually swoop down low enough to crash into your moon buggy. They do not need to do so as in fact the Tri-Orb crafts hurls missiles in front of you. These blast open new craters in front of your moon buggy!
Moon Patrol - New Crater

Moon Patrol‘s rules are very easy to pick up. Mastering the game however is a totally different ball of wax. Or perhaps moon cheese in this case? While blasting or leaping over the boulders takes a steady eye…what do you do when you find yourself caught in an avalanche?
Moon Patrol - Boulders

While the Player is racing across the lunar surface they must also beware of carnivorous plants. They lay in wait at the bottom of certain craters and will reach up to snatch your moon buggy. You can blast them with a shot from your front mounted cannon but must still deal with crater. Furthermore on certain stages you must contend with rocket cars who will smash into you from behind.
Moon Patrol - Space Plants

Now then, that is a lot to take in. I realize this but if you are going to play Moon Patrol there is more. Players must also try to nimbly jump over patches of mines.
Moon Patrol - Mines

As well as the sentient tank sentries left on the course in some stages. While, the good news is they are stationary. The shells they shoot at your moon buggy will stop your own shot so you have to quickly fire off another to blast the tank.
Moon Patrol - Tank

Now then, you know a little of Moon Patrol, so why not watch it in action?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

Retro Arcade Art - Christoper Tupa
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!

Need more Moon Patrol information?


Perhaps you have already listened to the Diary episode for Moon Patrol? Well, I was fortunate enough to be invited to give my thoughts on the game just last month on the Ten Pence Arcade Podcast. An exceptional podcast by Victor Marland and Shaun Holley. It focuses on the Top 50 arcade games of all time. As voted on by the listeners of the podcast!
Moon Patrol - Ten Pence Arcade Podcast

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!

Inferno - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Inferno (1984)

Friends, do you remember Inferno from back in 1984? Manufactured and distributed as well by the legendary Williams Electronics. This is another pick from Christopher Tupa for his Retro Arcade Art project that I have not had the pleasure of playing before. With Inferno you certainly have a mix of Wizard of Wor in addition to some Crystal Castles.

Furthermore the control scheme for Inferno has just a hint of Williams’ 1982 arcade hit Robotron 2084!
Inferno - Inferno arcade cabinet

I should add that most of us do not remember the game. That is of course because it was never widely distributed and it is also believed that only 6 arcade cabinets now exist. Although you can freely find it on MAME as well as the Internet Arcade Archive!

As for the gameplay, you are tasked with dispatching enemies found in the worlds of the Grand Lizard. These enemies which are small multi-colored and known as cyclops, can be shot with your laser.
Inferno - Cyclops

Doing so will destroy their bodies and leave their black souls behind. Which will then attempt to run into the open maw of the Grand Lizard at the top of the screen. You can make contact with the fleeing monsters and absorb their souls.
Inferno - Grand Lizard

Or instead attempt to follow them into the Grand Lizard’s waiting mouth to do battle in the Inferno Wave. Which is essentially a free for all with every bad guy aiming to take you down!
Inferno - Inferno Wave

In addition to the Cyclops you must also contend with the Tankov. A sentient tank threat that requires you to blow off its treads while positioned on a lower level of the maze. Then get on an equal level with the demonic tanks remains and shoot it again.

I’m not quite certain how to describe the character of the Nymph. Perhaps it best you just read the description from the game yourself?

Inferno is yet again another example of what made the Golden Age of Arcade games so great. The sometimes throw everything at the wall elements frequently worked in the games favor. Of course sometimes that didn’t work as well. But here we are 33 years later, enjoying CTupa’s artwork that was based on a game that never was widely released, 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 little about Inferno, why not watch the game in action?

[Via] JSBO

Be sure to check out the earlier entries for the Retro Arcade Art project by CTupa!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)

1981 Video Games

Care for a Glimpse of some 1981 Video Games at 7-Eleven?

It is a fact that the internet can be a most wondrous thing. Like when it gives us the opportunity to travel back to 1981. To get a fleeting glimpse at what video games were being offered at a 7-Eleven at that point in time. As in this case the video uploaded by Scott Evans acts as veritable time machine to glimpse some 1981 Video Games.

In addition to seeing and hearing for yourself that the kids of 1981 were definitely jockeying to get their initials on the high score board. It also seems they are more than a little curious as to why they are being filmed.

1981

As can be seen the kids are patiently, or not in some cases, waiting their turns to play. Furthermore you will even hear one of them asking another if they want to play doubles. Which is answered with a resounding, no. Thanks to the use of the convex mirrors situated in the store, we also are granted a few glimpses of the layout of a 7-Eleven back in 1981.

Of course the sight and sounds of some of the titles of the Golden Age of arcade games is the real draw. Seeing these kids enjoying the likes of Atari’s Tempest, Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, as well as Williams Electronics’ Stargate.

I can only wish however that the video was a bit longer. But by all means I am extremely grateful that it exists at all to say nothing of the quality of the video itself. However after watching the video a couple of times in a row. I do find myself completely trying to decipher what this young boy’s T-shirt says.

Is it possibly “Lord Highscore”?

Here is a question though- since this is in fact 1981. Why don’t these kids have their Super Slurpee scratch off cards?