Retro Gaming 1978 - 1983 Golden Age

Retro Gaming 1978 - 1983 Golden Age

Retro Gaming Golden Age

Technology has opened up a whole range of new possibilities, which still seem endless to us today. The excitement around the first computers and the possibilities of global communication encouraged the development of home systems dedicated exclusively to games. This is how a new and fresh way of presenting, engaging, and interacting with the audience was created. It all started in the 50s of the last century with the beginning of the first video games.

Starting with something we know very well, such as the virtualization of the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game with the Bertie the Brain simulation (1950), we very quickly began to strive for far more ambitious ideas. From textual adventures and sports simulations such as Tennis for Two (1958) and Pong (1972) to exciting space expeditions like Spacewar! (1962), Galaxy Game (1971) and Computer Space (1971), we have finally entered the so-called Golden Age of Video Games. We had no idea what kind of adventures awaited us.

 

ATARI 2600 CONSOLE 1977.

1977. ATARI 2600

In the second half of the '70s, arcades flourished, and one of the most successful giants of the industry was Atari. The playrooms were full of gamers of all ages, but Atari was still looking for something new that would reduce production costs and stay current in the long run, longer than the arcades themselves.

This is how the Atari VCS home console was created, later renamed Atari 2600. It is one of the first consoles of the second generation that came to the United States market in 1977, and a year later to Europe.

The Atari 2600 has laid the foundation for a whole new generation of consoles. He is responsible for popularizing the use of hardware-based microprocessors and the use of removable ROM cartridges on which games were stored. Also, the importance of the success of this console has led to the birth of numerous companies, such as Activision, as well as healthy competition such as Coleco and Mattel console manufacturers.

Although it appeared in the golden era of video games, the Atari VCS experienced a real boom in later years. The arrival of the cult arcade Space Invaders on the console in 1980 created a real boom in popularity, and 2 years later Pac-Man arrived, which quickly became the best-selling game on this console. While the console's hardware has remained the same, thanks to supporting for higher-capacity floppy disks, up to 16K, games have advanced significantly in terms of graphics and gameplay in later years.

Not to diminish the importance, Atari had a solid range of games that required the use of all types of controllers that were either available with the console or came bundled with the game. 9, games arrived on the release - Air-Sea Battle, Basic Math, Surround, Street Racer, Video Olympics, Indy 500, Blackjack, Star-ship, and Combat.

Atari has many merits, and this home console is one of them.

Specifications

CPU 8-bit MOS 6507 1.19 MHz
GPU Television Interface Adapter (TIA) Maximum Resolution: 160 x 192
RAM 128 bytes
ROM Up to 4 KB
CONTROLLERS Joystick, paddle, driving, keyboard and others
NUMBER OF DEVICES SOLD 30 million (until 2004)


1978. Space Invaders Arcade

1978. Space Invaders


From the land of the rising sun and the mind of Tomohir Nishikada, a futuristic achievement arrived on the ar-kade. In the period when it was striving towards the unexplored depths of space, the arcade was hit by a meteor called Space Invaders. It is a shooter of the so-called fixed type, where players control the cannon by moving horizontally at the bottom of the screen to kill aliens that are slowly approaching. The goal of the game is to destroy as many aliens as possible as efficiently as possible to build as high a high score as possible.

During development, game creator Tomohiro had a lot of ideas, such as implementing tanks, planes, and combat stations with more advanced movement and simulation, but gave up because in practice the game was not at a satisfactory level. The main inspiration for the creation of this game was current works of pop culture, such as Star Wars movies, The War of the Worlds novels, and the famous game Breakout.

The simple gameplay of the game proved to be a complete hit. Space Invaders became an instant hit and earned 3.8 billion dollars in 4 years (today about 13 billion). The game helped popularize the Atari VCS console, and in later years it was released for several other home consoles. For many, Space Invaders was a window into the world of gaming, a real little overture shooter. Many famous game designers, such as Shigeru Miyamoto and John Romero, cite this title as a motivation to enter the industry and believe that it started a real revolution. 

 

1979. Galaxy Arcade
 

1979. Galaxian

At a time when the golden age of video games was still in full swing, the Galaxian appeared in the arcades. Behind the game is the Japanese Namco, today known as Bandai Namco Entertainment, who conceived it as a kind of response to the then world sensation Space Invaders. Galaxian came up with similar gameplay mechanics and a simple gameplay approach like the Space Invaders but wore something different.

The Galaxian is in its form a shoot-em-up title, and the main goal is to clear the waves of enemies, which are represented in the form of spaceship formations. Ships are not static, but some can crash into your aircraft and fire projectiles at the same time to damage it. Points are earned for destruction, and with progress, the game becomes harder and the enemies faster. Due to hardware limitations, the aircraft could not fire multiple shots at once, but it was necessary for the fired shot to complete its trajectory first.

Although it looked like a Space Invaders clone, only with colors and more advanced graphics, Galaxian was a real hit. The game was the second highest-earning arcade game in 1980 and was once more popular in Japan than Pac-Man. The success achieved on the arcades, Nam-co did not achieve on home consoles - Atari 2600/5200, Apple II, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, and others.

The Galaxian has received several updated versions and sequels over the years. The 1981 Galaxian 2 had a 2-player mode, but since it was released for "handheld" hardware, it hasn't come to life.

 

1979. Odissey 2 Console
 

1979. Odissey 2

There is something in this name, Magna-vox Odyssey, and 2. If we had lived at that time, we believe that the console would have been bought only because of the tempting name that exudes futurism. Magnavox, together with the far more famous Philips, has created the first commercial home console, and the Odyssey 2 comes as a kind of successor with modernized elements and technological improvements.

The uniqueness that the Magnavox Odyssey brought with it lies in the interchangeable elements of the console, which allowed each game to be a unique experience. The game could have its graphics, gameplay, music, and sound effects, which brought an exceptional amount of potential, and best of all, there was no limit to how many games could be purchased. This is a great feature of a system with 64 bytes of RAM.

In addition to the tempting freedom of choice, this home console brought with it an alphanumeric keyboard that was used to play text-based educational games. There were also joysticks, of course, but they did not stand out in terms of characteristics and appearance of controllers from that era. Speech synthesis was also a unique element on consoles at the time, and it allowed for better immersion into the game world through the audio component.

As for video games, Quest of the Rings is the first game that will be remembered by fans of this console. It had a masterfully built world, colorful colors, and gameplay, which was a novelty at the time. Numerous other popular games have surfaced on this console, such as Frogger, UFO !, Turtles, and K.C. Munch-kin, which was in the public spotlight due to Atari's lawsuit for copying the Pac-Man formula.

Specifications

CPU 8-bit Intel 8048@ 1.79 MHz
GPU Intel 8244 and 8245 VDC Maximum Resolution: 160 x 200
RAM 64/128 bytes
ROM 1024 bytes Cartridges: 2-8 KB
CONTROLLERS Joystick, keyboard
NUMBER OF DEVICES SOLD 2 million

 

1979. Asteroids Delux Arcade

1979. Asteroids Delux

After Space Invaders, Galaxy, and similar titles that had fixed spacecraft with generally static gameplay, Atari’s title Asteroids emerged in the arcades. At the start, it became tempting because the player had to follow the arrival of asteroids and non-friendly spacecraft through both axes. In Asteroids, you take control of a triangular ship, and the goal is to destroy asteroids and spacecraft that sporadically appear on the screen.

The dynamics of the gameplay is a strong point in Asteroids due to the increase in weight, which is gradual, but also very noticeable. As you destroy them, asteroids become smaller and faster and require more precision from players. Two types of aircraft appear during the game, larger and smaller. Larger targets are inaccurate, while smaller aircraft are more accurate. Over 40,000 points, there are no more big ships, only smaller ones that are more and more precise and that are starting to shoot directly at the player. At the same time, the number of asteroids is increasing.

The game is created in a level format. When all the asteroids and spacecraft are cleared, a new set of large asteroids appears, marking the beginning of a new level. In later levels, players have a set of extra lives (3-5), and new ones every 10,000 points. The maximum number of points is 99,990 points when the machine shuts down. There is no such restriction today.

Like all arcade games, Asteroids is ported to home consoles, primarily to the Atari 2600, and then to 8-bit hardware, where it is refreshed with colored textures and soundtrack.

 

1979. Microvision Portable Console
  

1979. Microvision

Microvision the world's first portable console. Milton Bradley wanted to bring something completely different to a market dominated by arcades, and consoles were just beginning to conquer homes.
 
This portable console was also adorned with replaceable cartridges that were quite different from those on other consoles of the time. Interestingly, the processor was not in the console but in the game cartridge itself, so the Microvision only had a controller and panel in its case, along with batteries that served as the only power source.
 
The idea behind this console was great but ahead of its time. Portability and cartridges were the only strengths of this hardware, but the small screen and the market of the then giants of the industry stood in the way of an unfortunate fate. We must not forget Microvision because it is the mother of all portable consoles, from which Nintendo's Game & Watch system was later born, only without all these shortcomings.
 
Poor support did not allow the console to come to life, with a special way of producing cartridges. This led to a small number of games released for Microvision - only 12 of them. Connect Four, a classic table game for 2 players, Pinball and Phaser Strike, an exclusive Star Trek game released at the same time as the Star Trek movie, left a striking mark.
 
Microvision had a resolution of only 16X16 pixels.
 
 
1980. Pac-Man Arcade
 

1980. Pac-Man (Puck-Man)

 
You've probably heard of this title. Pac-Man is a game that ignited arcades with its simple but quite addictive style of play. As a Pacman, you will chase a maze with four differently colored spirits that can easily reach your head, or you with them, if you are skilled enough. The main goal of the game is to collect all the "dots" in the maze and not come into contact with any of the ghosts because then you lose your life. When you run out of all your lives, the game is over.
 
In Pac-Man, the weight gain with progress is emphasized, to give the player more challenges and make the path to victory more difficult. Aggravating circumstances come in the form of faster spirits and shorter duration of special effects.
 
This title is accompanied by the artificial intelligence of the enemy which seems to have been ahead of its time. The colorful spirits did not only aim to eat you, but each had its way of "hunting" and functioning. The red spirit is the one that directly chases Pacman, the pink and blue ones are always positioned so that they push him into a corner, and the orange one either chases him or runs away.
 
Pac-Man made his debut in 1980 in Japan as an arcade game, and later that year appeared in the United States, where he also recorded huge success. In the years since its release, Pac-Man has been ported to some home devices and computers, where great success has been achieved, but different from platform to platform.
 
The game was originally called Puck-Man, but the name was changed because many mistakenly wrote: "F" instead of "P" for the first letter.

Pac-Man earned as much as $ 14 billion by 2016.

 

1980. Mattel Intellivision Console
 

1980. Mattel Intellivision


During the Golden Age, Atari found himself at the very top of the industry, as the uncrowned king of video games, fierce and unstoppable.

That is why the competitor Mattel Intellivision was created, a home console that came in response to the Atari 2600, to introduce the concept of intelligent television to the small door. This console comes a year after Atari's, so Mattel had time to figure out how he could overcome it.

Interest in this home device skyrocketed, not only because of the set of 12 games and a better graphic presentation than the opponent but also because of the accessory that was not even included in the package on the way out. Mattel had a great advertising campaign, where he announced the keyboard along with the console, which will appear later. Many bought Intellivision to use the home console as a PC with the arrival of the keyboard, but since Mattel gave up on the idea a few years later, no one succeeded. This is the first 16-bit console with a more powerful processor and at the same time the first to offer human voices in real-time.

However, the console remained current until the early '90s and had a pretty good lifespan with about 3 million devices sold. In terms of technology, the graphics drew towards a 3D look, and the sound was much cleaner, with golf games as the main comparison, as those on Intellivision had a much clearer sound of hitting the ball and swinging the bat.

Utopia is one of the most important titles of this device, as it is considered to be responsible for the creation of the simulation of building elements. Let's not forget the World Series Major League Baseball, which is considered to be the first sports game with a 3D presentation, statistics, and the option to change players on the court.

Intellivision is the first console with a 16-BIT processor


Specifications

CPU 16-bit GI CP1610
GPU Standard Television Interface Chip (STIC) Maximum Resolution: 160 x 192
RAM 1.4 KB
ROM 7 KB Cartridges: 4-24 KB
CONTROLLERS D-pad controller with 15 buttons
NUMBER OF DEVICES SOLD 3 million(1980-83)


 

1980. Centipede Arcade

1980. Centipede

Despite a somewhat unusual theme that moved away from the recognizable space travel in the arcades of the time, Centipede soon became one of the most successful titles from the Golden Age of video games.

Centipede is a classic horizontal shooter of the fixed type, where your goal is to shoot a giant centipede that is slowly approaching your cannon at the bottom of the screen, and of course, collect as many points as possible. Each destroyed segment of the centipede brings you points, but it also leaves behind mushrooms, which block your fire.

With each killed centipede, a new one appears at the top of the screen, which is gradually faster than the previous one. In time, you will also encounter other disgusting creatures, such as fleas, spiders, and scorpions, which have different patterns of behavior and bring more points. If any of the mentioned creatures touch your cannon, Bug Blaster, you lose a life. You win extra lives every 12,000 points.

The mind behind this "bug trap" is Donna Bailey, one of the few women video game designers at the time. Inspired by the arcade hit Space Invaders, she moved to California to start working for Atari. With playful pastel colors, her idea was to make a game that would appeal to both male and female audiences.

Her wish came true. Centipede was one of the first arcade titles with a significant female audience. His incredible popularity brought him the title of the second most successful Atari arcade in the Golden Era.

Centipede left a big mark in the history of arcade video games and was later ported to many home consoles and computers.

The world record was set in 1984 and amounts to 16,389,547 points

 

1980. Phonix Arcade

1980. Phonix

It can be said with certainty that the most common genre of Golden Era games was the genre of fixed shooters. The main character/object is located at the bottom of the screen and can move horizontally.

However, not all games of the genre were the same, but the developers wanted to introduce something new and attractive to the casinos with each new title. Thus, in 1980, the game Phoenix emerged from the ashes of a Japanese studio. In this game, waves of enemies appear that players must destroy with their ship. As a form of variation, enemies will run into your aircraft in an attempt to destroy it, but this time you also have a shield at your disposal as additional protection.

The shield has limitations when used, as it is not possible to control the aircraft during use. You should not overdo it, as you have to wait as long as 5 seconds before reactivating it. You start with 3 or 6 lives, depending on the weight you choose.

The strongest point in Phoenix is ​​the concept of levels. Each is divided into 5 different rounds that must be passed to move on to the next one. In the first and second rounds, it is necessary to fight with alien birds that attack like kamikazes. In the 3rd and 4th rounds, eggs come from which larger and much more resistant enemies hatch.

The final, fifth round in each level represents the fight against the alien mothership. The ship will attack with rockets, and enemies from previous rounds will circle it.

This is the first time that in video games the boss clash, or queen, is encountered as a separate encounter, making it significant for the arcades and Atari 2600 console for which Phoenix only appeared.

The first game to have a boss skirmish

 

1980. Rally-X Arcade

1980. Rally-X

Namco had a lot of innovative ideas in his age of prosperity. Thus, a unique maze chase racer, Rally-X, appeared in the playrooms.

Although Rally-X for arcades sold very poorly, with its gameplay, graphic presentation, and interesting style, it gained a strong status among nostalgic people, who remember it fondly.

What makes Rally-X special? Instead of the classic racetrack, the game puts you in an intertwined scrolling maze. By driving the blue formula one car, your goal is to collect the yellow flags, while avoiding all those annoying red vehicles.

Players can move in 4 directions, but the map of each level provides a different experience, with a handful of obstacles and dead ends. You need to collect a total of 10 flags in each level, and if you are successful enough, you can try bonus rounds later.

As you progress through the game, red vehicles become more numerous and more aggressive, while fuel is an additional factor that you must pay attention to.

Many considered Rally-X a superior game than Pac-Man, but in practice, it was not enough to outdo Pac-Man, who remained the most popular in his era.

The first game to have a bonus level

 

The roots of the Giants of Today

Capcom (1979) Logo
 

Capcom (1979)


Japanese greats have their roots in the Golden Age of video games. Founded in 1979 by Kenzo TsujimotoCAPCOM has slowly but surely climbed the ladder of the video game industry during the year. From its humble beginnings with arcades like Little League, Fever Chance, and Vulgus, CAPCOM has quickly made inroads with its revolutionary franchises. Street Fighter, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and Devil May Cry are getting sequels to this day, and it doesn’t seem to us like they’ll stop any time soon.

 


Activision (1979) Logo
 

Activision (1979)


Dissatisfied with the conditions in Atari, developer David Crane and associates split, to make and release their games for the then-popular home console, the Atari 2600. Thus, the famous publishing studio, Activision. Activision, in a way, achieved its initial goal. In the early years, he developed and released numerous titles for the Atari 2600, such as Fishing Deby, Boxing, and Kaboom! Unfortunately, just a year after their big hit Pitfall, Activision was hit by the collapse of the video game industry. That did not stop him, however, as evidenced by his influence on today's gaming scene. Some of the most notable releases are Call of Duty, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, and Destiny franchises, as well as Ax: Shadow Die Twice. Activision today operates within Activision Blizzard and holds the famous franchise's World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and others.

 

Electronic Arts (1982) Logo


Electronic Arts (1982)


Founded by Apple worker Trip Hawkins, Electronic Arts is considered a pioneer in the gaming industry of early home computers, such as the Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, and Apple II, with an emphasis on promoting its programs and designers. of the earlier EA releases is Archon: The Light and the Dark, MULE, and Populous, and today it is considered one of the most successful gaming companies in America and Europe, right behind Activision Blizzard. Some of her most famous franchises are Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Star Wars, FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live, NHL, and EA Sports UFC. We must not forget Apex Legends, a battle royale title that has recently recorded over 100 million unique players.

 

 

1981. Donkey Kong Arcade

1981. Donkey Kong

 

Many will be surprised by the fact that Donkey Kong is 40 years old. Although there are plenty of Donkey Kong games today, the first encounter with this crazy monkey was in the early 80s with the Nintendo arcade of the same name.

 

Unlike many other arcade titles from this time, Donkey Kong is one of the platform’s early pioneers. The protagonist, later known as Super Mario, has to climb up platforms on a construction site to save a lady in trouble. The problems are created by the savage Donkey Kong, who throws various obstacles to avoid, and as the progress progresses, the challenge becomes greater. The objects are in the form of barrels and enemies, together with a gap between the platforms. You can also destroy objects with a hammer and later collect items such as hats and bags, which brings you extra points.

 

Divided into various stages and levels, Donkey Kong once held the title of the most complex arcade game on the market. The players were intoxicated by her mechanics and the fact that in addition to chasing the score, they finally have a specific goal to save the princess. The formula of the game was also attractive because it draws inspiration from popular works, such as King Kong, Beauty, and the Beast, and others. She garnered a lot of media attention, but also trouble in court with a charge of copyright infringement by Universal City Studios.

Donkey Kong, the title in which we probably first met Super Mario, brought a lot of novelties and undoubtedly helped Nintendo to build itself into the giant it is today. Kong is a villain here, but that did not stop him from winning the hearts of many and later appearing in a different edition.

 

 

1981. Frogger Arcade

 

 

1981. Frogger

After an endless invasion of space shooters, Konami presented us with something completely different. Instead of war with intergalactic alien empires, in this arcade, you play the role of a cute frog who wants to return home safely. From such a simple idea came one of the most significant and popular games of all time - Frogger.

The object of the game is to bring the frog family to the houses at the top of the screen. On your way, you will encounter a handful of dangers. You will have to cross the busy highway first, avoiding cars, trucks, and bulldozers, and then the river, using logs and turtle shells as platforms. When you safely translate 5 frogs, you move on to the next level, which becomes more difficult.

Although you can't shoot or kill your opponents, there are dies ahead. The American magazine Softalk described Frogger as "one of the most morbid arcades of the Golden Age", because of the various ways in which our unfortunate frog can get hurt. Collision with a car, jump into the water, contact with snakes, otters, and crocodile jaws jump into a house with a crocodile, contact with a diving turtle, collision with the edge of the screen while driving a log, alligator, or turtle, jump into a busy house, jump into bushes the end of the house and the expiration of time - all these situations will kill our busy amphibian.

Due to its innovative gameplay, Frogger quickly became one of the most well-known arcade titles in the history of video games. This is evidenced by its incredible success and the number of extensions for more modern consoles. Similar to the Centipede on-letter from 1980, Frogger attracted a large part of the female audience.

Frogger was one of the first arcades to use 2 processors.
The world record was set by Pat Lafayette in 2017, and it amounts to 1,029,990 points.

 

1981. Defender Arcade

1981. Defender

Atari has enriched the Golden Age game market with another space shooter, with Defender being the game with which the scrolling shooter genre has become generally accepted.

If you think that hype around a game has only become popular in the recent past, you are mistaken. Even before Defender came out, a lot of dust arose because Eugene Jarvis, one of the Pinball programmers from the Williams Electronics studio, was working on it. Defender drew inspiration directly from his older brothers, the games Asteroids and Space Invaders.

The wait for this title paid off in March 1981, as the game received a standing ovation at the expense of the audio-visual component and gameplay. All this has led to Defender selling well as an arcade system, with over 55,000 devices sold.

The game itself takes you into space (or city) where you encounter the task of fighting aliens and protecting astronauts. For that, you have at your disposal an aircraft with which you need to follow the changing terrain by flying high, left, and right. The fight against aliens takes place in two phases, with the first where astronauts should be protected from abduction, and the second in case of failure, when the planet explodes and when a clash with warlike mutants begins. The conflict with the mutants is much more difficult, but if the player manages to survive, the planet returns to normal. In addition to the single-player mode, there was also the option of asynchronous multiplayer, where players do not play at the same time.

Although quite complex at first glance, the game Defender has left an indelible mark in the history of video games, as evidenced by the fact that after the arcade it appeared on more than 14 different consoles.

 

1981. Scramble Arcade

1981. Scramble

After Frogger, Konami continued to successfully break into the world of gaming. Their next achievement was the hit shooter Scramble, which, like many arcades of the time, was inspired by the endless beauty of the universe.

Scramble is considered the first shooter to carry the horizontal, side-scrolling mechanics of moving the screen and displaying scenes. In the game itself, you take control of a spacecraft that needs to fly on changing terrain and avoid falling or colliding with enemies. Several weapons are available, in the form of cannons and bombs, each controlled by a separate button. An additional element that contributes to the challenge during the game is the aircraft's fuel, which is slowly disappearing and can be supplemented by destroying special packages.

Scramble takes us on an adventure divided into 6 sections. In the final section, there is a base that needs to be destroyed, after which we start the game from the beginning, only with increased weight. The goal is to collect as many points as possible for ranking. Points are awarded per second spent in the game (10 points) and per destroyed enemies and fuel.

This title went great in arcades in the USA, but it was not ported to a large number of devices, especially the current ones, but in the new millennium it became part of the arcade collections, where it found its place on PC, Nintendo DS, and PS2.

 

1981. MS-DOS

1981. MS-DOS

Unlike many games and home consoles from the Golden Age, we are now writing about one program, crucial for the emergence of modern computers. MS-DOS, or Microsoft Disc Operating System, is the first Remon-da operating system that IBM used in its first computer. In essence, MS-DOS is an operating system that dealt with disks and has no graphical interface, but is exclusively textual.

MS-DOS lived through various versions until 2000 and is still used today by nostalgic people around the world, although it was quickly surpassed by operating systems that have a graphical user interface (GUI), such as Windows XP and others. Traces of this first Microsoft operating system are still present on computers such as Command Prompt or Windows Command-Line.

Today, we are used to managing Windows with mouse clicks, and in MS-DOS, navigation was done using a special set of text commands for scrolling through files, performing various functions, and the like. The first operating system was tied to Intel's 8086 processor and was designed to run on any computer that owned it. MS-DOS has undoubtedly laid the foundations for future generations of computers on which the present stands.

Maybe not directly, but MS-DOS has allowed games to develop even better over the years. Maybe not at the very beginning, but this operating system has enabled various titles to see the light of day and illuminate the faces of millions around the world during its lifetime. One of the first games on this operating system is Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0, which although with a weak color palette, offers advanced simulation with changeable weather conditions and a day-night system.

THE FIRST VERSION OF MS-DOS WAS WRITTEN IN ASSEMBLER X86 PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE AND HAS 13,587 LINES OF CODE

 

1981. Castle Wolfenstein Arcade

1981. Castle Wolfenstein

And here is something that is still popular today, the theme of the Second World War. Although, what makes this title more interesting is that it is the first-ever title in, as you can read, the long-running Wolfen-stein series.

The early beginnings of this series did not have Blazkowicz as the main protagonist, but it was a character named Wolfenstein, an allied prisoner who manages to escape from his cell. As is usually the case in WWII, to survive he must kill Nazi soldiers. It does not classically take place, but the players have the option to sneak around and falsely present themselves as Nazis. The game world is procedurally generated, with about 60 rooms in the castle full of soldiers. You have a solid number of weapons at your disposal, but there is not enough ammunition to eliminate all the enemies, so you must resort to sneaking and avoiding the guards.

To win the game, you have to survive and escape from the castle, but that's not the end. As the levels change, the gameplay can be restarted, with additional difficulty levels, of which there are as many as 8. In addition to influencing the emergence of modern shooters, Castle Wolfenstein brought addictive gameplay to players on Commodore 64, Apple II home consoles with simple graphics and effective mechanics. , Atari and MS-DOS computers, where it was once the best-selling game.

Castle Wolfenstein was developed by Muse Games during the Golden Age of video games and released Beyond Castle Wolfenstein in 1984. The series later went on hiatus but was brought back to life during the 1990s thanks to the idSoftware studio. In the decade behind us, we have seen a lot of Wolfenstein games, completely modernized, but related to the past in terms of atmosphere and mechanics.

FIRST GAME BASED ON STEALTH MECHANICS


1981. Wizardry Arcane
 

1981. Wizardry

With about 50 iterations, the Wizardry series can be described as very successful and popular in the world of video games. He has his roots in the Golden Age when he made his debut on the gaming scene with the title Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. This is one of the first games to transfer the role-playing system from Dungeons and Dragons to computers and consoles.

The game initially takes you to a text menu where you need to create a group of six characters, with a selection of a total of five races - human, elf, dwarf, gnome, and hobbit. Then it is necessary to choose which class they belong to and whether they are good, evil, or neutral. Once the selection is made, the adventure can begin. Get ready for an expedition in a massive dungeon with ten interchangeable levels.

By exploring the maze and killing enemies, you gain experience (XP), which can then be used to strengthen your team. On each level, you need to find an elevator or stairs that lead you to the next. Your adventure will not be easy at all, however.

There is no option to keep progress inside the dungeon, any death will weaken you well. Due to this element, as well as a lot of in-depth mechanics, it takes over 100 hours to pass the game!

Epic fiction has always been extremely popular in gaming circles, so the original Wizardry game very quickly won the hearts of many players. This is evidenced by the successful sale in the first six years after its release, with over 1.5 million copies sold. 

 

1981. Galaga Arcane

1981. Galaga

This arcade is one of the shoot-em-up style games, where the player controls a horizontally fixed aircraft with the task of getting in the way of the Galaga forces that want to destroy the world. Much like in the Galaxian, planes land from the top and sides of the screen and pounce on the player. A novelty is a special type of alien that can capture your ship, which takes one life. By releasing a captured ship, the spacecraft can be transformed into a dual fighter with additional power.

Transformations are also present in the enemy, who become more aggressive and faster with new types of destructive attacks.

Namco continued his journey to the top with Galaga, and part of the success is the addition of a break like in Pac-Man, and bonus levels from Rally-X, which was certainly tempting to see in a game of a different format.

Since its release in 1981, Galaga has appeared on several devices and consoles, as well as on the modern PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Despite its dominance in arcades, the game remained quite popular years later, even after the collapse of the industry, either in its original or refreshed format.

ONE OF THE BEST RATED ARCADE GAMES OF ALL TIME

 

1981. Ms. Pac-Man Arcane

1981. Ms. Pac-Man

General Computer Corporation decided to keep the famous Pac-Man branding. Thus, only the abbreviated "Ms." was added after the title of the original, and Ms. Pac-Man, one of the first arcades with a female protagonist.

Interestingly, although Namco is not behind the game, Ms. Pac-Man managed to surpass the original. Critics have characterized it as superior to the original, with much better graphics for arcade systems.

The gameplay itself is practically identical to that in the original Pac-Man game. The player should swallow the yellow dots and avoid the monsters, or eat them when they turn blue. Nevertheless, Ms. Pac-Man differs in many ways from the hit from 1980. There are 4 labyrinths with different colors and better variations, monsters behave smarter, there are 2 tunnels, the loss of life animation is different, and the sound effects with music are completely new.

The excellent sale with over 125,000 arcade units was marked by legal loopholes about franchise ownership. General Computer Corporation did not ask Namco for the rights to create this game, which did not prohibit its publication, but instead used it, earning a large sum of money. Fantastic success has been achieved on the consoles, as Ms. Pac-Man sold well decades later. This game is among the top 20 best-selling games for Genesis consoles.

ONE OF THE FIRST GAMES WITH A FEMALE PROTAGONIST


1981. TURBO Arcade

1981. TURBO

SEGA has been around for 60 years, but during the Golden Age of the Games, it was not overly exposed with its achievements. The exception is her arcade racer Turbo.

In Turbo, the goal is to race through various urban and rural areas with Formula 1-like vehicles, of which there are about 30 in the race. Opposing vehicles need to overtake, stay in the lead before time runs out, and avoid colliding with other cars. You also have to avoid ambulances at all costs, because you lose your life when you come in contact with them. In addition to the changing landscape, the game also had changeable weather conditions.

Opponent vehicles have a mostly predictable form of driving, but due to the surprise factor, certain vehicles can make sudden and unexpected turns. After the release, the game was greeted with applause, thanks to the graphics characterized as ahead of its time, and the praise was also given to the three-dimensional graphics with increasingly challenging gameplay mechanics.

The game is created for arcades in three formats, standard upright, mini format, and seat with a cockpit for driving. All three had a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and transmission. In addition to arcades, Turbo has achieved solid success on both Colecovision and Intellivision home consoles.

THE CREATOR OF THE GAME, STEVE HANAVA, SPENT A MONTH IN THE HOSPITAL DURING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME DUE TO STRESS AND TIRES


1982. ColecoVision Console
 

1982. ColecoVision

Home consoles from various manufacturers have slowly but surely filled the market with tempting offerings, most of them have not come close to offering the experience offered by stronger arcade systems. In August 1982, Coleco tried to bring the arcade experience into homes with a more powerful piece of hardware, called ColecoVision, and thus dethroned the industry giants Atari 2006 and Intellivision.

ColecoVision carried with it a controller similar in design to Mattel's Intellivision device, and in addition to the standard, there was an accessory in the form of a steering wheel for playing racing games, as well as a keyboard that converted the console into a computer.

Probably the most addition to ColecoVision is its Atari 2600 expansion module, the so-called Expansion Module # 1. As its name suggests, ColecoVision with this add-on becomes compatible with Atari 2006 cartridges and controllers, which is why it was once considered the system with the largest selection of games. That is why it is considered the first clone of Atari's popular console. As you can guess, Atari and Coleco fought in court because of this.

ColecoVision had a pretty solid start, with over half a million devices sold by Christmas 1982, but due to the collapse of the industry in the following years, sales dropped significantly, only to be completely withdrawn from the market by 1985. ColecoVision arrived with a catalog consisting of 12 games and a dozen more games announced soon after its release, and a total of 145 titles have been released for the console so far. Here we can count the arcade racer Turbo (playful steering wheel), Frenzy, and Burger Time.

Specifications

CPU 8-bit NEC D780C-1@3.58 MHz (Zilog Z80)
GPU TMS9928A / TMS9929A Maximum Resolution: 256 x 192
RAM 1 KB \ 16 KB
ROM 8 KB Cartridges: 4-32 KB
CONTROLLERS Joystick, keyboard roller, driving, super action, additional extensions
NUMBER OF DEVICES SOLD 2 million (1982-83)

 

1982. Dig Dug Arcane

1982. Dig Dug

Namco was interested in producing maze arcade games. That's how Dig Dug was created, a swimsuit in which you control the character of the same name.

Dig Debt can also be described as a strategic digging game, but in the meantime, you have to defend yourself from crazy enemies. There are red Pookas reminiscent of tomatoes, as well as Frygars, green dragons that spitfire. Although it sounds a bit bizarre, you defeat enemies by pumping them with air.

The game is divided into levels, and in each, the titular character meets a group of opponents who need to be defeated to advance. The more time you need to eliminate them, the more aggressive and faster they will become, and with further progress through the levels of difficulty, they will grow exponentially.

The rules around the gameplay sound very simple, but in practice, it is extremely innovative, because you can make your underground labyrinths. In that way, various chances are opened for destroying opponents, especially rocks, because bonus points are obtained for eliminating more enemies with the same rock.

As is the case with earlier Namco games, Dig Dug was well received by critics and audiences alike. Addictive gameplay, cute characters, and strategic elements are the strongest features of this title, which is why it has remained popular both in the arcade sense and in the form of numerous editions for home consoles and digital platforms.


1982. Jungle Hunt Arcane

1982. Jungle Hunt

It's time to park your spacecraft and relax in the idyll of a beautiful tropical jungle. The break will not last long, however, because the family of hungry cannibals is eagerly waiting for you at dinner, and there is even a beautiful young lady who will keep you company. If you don’t want to become dinner, run!

Jungle Hunt is Tait's tense scrolling platform, where you control an anonymous explorer who tries to free his darling while saving a living head from crocodiles, rolling rocks, and cannibals. Together with Moon Patrol which was released the same year, Jungle Hunt is one of the first games with the parallax scrolling technique, which creates a sense of depth in 2D space over the background scene.

Jungle Hunt, originally released as Jungle King, had a slightly shaky beginning. Namely, due to the similarities with the famous savage from the jungle, Tarzan, the game was renamed, while the main character underwent a complete transformation. So he became a researcher with classic safari clothes, while the vines were changed to look more like ropes.

To reach your darling, you have to climb the vines, swim across a river full of crocodiles, and climb to the top of the volcano. Timing is extremely important, both when crossing from one vine to another, and when skipping a volcanic landslide. When you finally save the lady, the game rewards you with a kiss and a message: ‘‘ Congratulations! I Love You !!!

Interestingly, Jungle Hunt appeared in another release in the year of its release - Pirate Pete. The game had the same gameplay, with the entire visual style receiving "pirate treatment".

The Jungle Hunt was later ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and ColecoVision consoles, as well as Apple II and Commodore 64 computers.


1982. Donkey Kong Junior Arcane

 

1982. Donkey Kong Junior

One of the most popular games of all time got its sequel during the Golden Age. Donkey Kong got a successor, Don-key Kong Jr.

Unlike the original, in which Donkey Kong was the savage kidnapper and Mario (aka Jumpman) the protagonist, the sequels re-turned. Mario is a villain, while young Kong is our hero who must save his father. Behind this game is also Shigeru Miyamoto, who left the gameplay in the platformer format. The game consists of 4 stages in which Junior can jump, run and use vines to climb up.

To reach his father, Junior must eliminate various types of enemies, which he can defeat by jumping, avoiding, and knocking fruit on their heads. You lose your life when you touch an opponent or water when you jump from a great height, or when the timer expires. To save your beloved father, you must collect enough keys to unlock the cage in which he is imprisoned.

Miyamoto originally had the idea that Donkey Kong himself would be the star of the game, but due to his size in game design, this was not feasible. So it was decided that the main character would be his son who would fight to free him from Mario's cage.

After the arcades, Nintendo brought this title to its numerous home consoles, primarily to the NES, where Donkey Kong Jr. enjoyed the greatest popularity.

RECORD IN DONKEY KONG JR. HOLD MARK KEEL WITH 1,412,200 POINTS

 

1982. Pitfall! Arcane

1982. Pitfall!

Pitfall! is a platform that originally appeared for the Atari 2600 released by Activision. Yes, that Activision. Accompanied by the titular hero Pitfall Harry, your goal is to tour the jungle in 20 minutes and find treasures like diamond rings, bags of money, and gold bars (is this the jungle or Fort Knox?), While avoiding quicksand, rolling logs, crocodiles, snakes, scorpions, and other things that want to kill you.

The game is divided into alternating segments, the so-called "flip-screens", of which there are a total of 256. Harry will have to rely on speed and precise timing to keep his head alive, and collect treasure along the way. The game ends when you collect all the treasure, lose all 3 lives, or when time runs out.

Pitfall! had very positive reviews on the way out, and today is considered one of the best and most influential games of all time. It is also considered one of the most successful titles for the Atari 2600, with over 4 million copies sold. Pitfall! has laid the foundation for all modern platforms.

The adventures of Pitfall Harry have also been transferred to MSX, Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit computers, as well as home consoles ColecoVision and Intellivision. A large number of sequels appeared after the collapse of the video game industry, on systems such as NES and Sega Genesis.

 

1982. Commodore 64

1982. Commodore 64

The hybrid of computers and consoles made a real mess in the market in 1982, primarily because it was much more advanced in terms of graphics and sound. Also, the Commodore 64 was not distributed through intermediaries, but it was possible to buy it in a regular toy store.

When the Commodore 64 appeared, the market was crowded, with the Atari 8-bit 400, Atari 800, and Apple II as the biggest rivals, which it easily surpassed both in terms of technology and in terms of affordability with a much lower price. This home computer was produced until 1994, and in the meantime, it gained numerous successors and competitors, who still could not match the popularity, although they brought a lot of improvements with the advancement of technology.

The Commodore was very easy to use, with the Commodore Basic operating system as the base. Users were able to write their commands and programs while handling floppy disks and cartridges.

The Commodore family expanded in later years, with systems like the Commodore MAX in Japan and the Commodore 64 Games System, advertised as gaming consoles.

A large number of games from the Golden Age were ported to the Commodore 64, and in later years new titles appeared that had not been available on arcades until then.

Its importance is evidenced by the fact that over 10,000 programs, video games, and additional tools have been written for it. During its decade-long stay on the market, Commodore 64 reached as many as 17 million devices sold, which surpassed all previous competitors.


Specifications

CPU 8-bit MOS 6510/8500@ 0.985 MHz/1.023 MHz
GPU VIC-II Maximum Resolution: 320 × 200
RAM 64 KB
ROM 20 KB
CONTROLLERS Joystick, Floppy drive, mouse, printer, modem, and others
NUMBER OF DEVICES SOLD 17 million


1982. Moon Patrol Arcane

1982. Moon Patrol 

The universe has been and remains a current topic in various spheres of entertainment. Thus, by 1983, many games with the theme of exploring space outside the planet Earth were born. Moon Patrol puts you in the role of a police officer in Luna City, and your task, as the name suggests, is to patrol the lunar surface.

The gameplay takes place by driving the vehicle from left to right on the screen, which makes Moon Patrol a side-scrolling game. During the patrol, you will encounter various objects, craters, and mines along the way that must be avoided. Along with them, there are enemies in the form of tanks and UFOs that can be eliminated by firing from cannons while driving.

There are a total of 26 "levels", named after the letters in the alpha-beta, with a division into five major phases that are represented by a new theme and background. The presentation of the game is also a part of collected points, remaining lives, as well as progress through a certain level. An indicator of oncoming enemies is also available to you so that you can more easily defend yourself from their attacks.

Praise goes to the technique called "parallax scrolling", which is seen here for the first time in side scrollers. This technique represents the movement of background images slower than the movement of the camera, which creates the illusion of depth in the 2D scene.

After the original arcade developed by the Japanese studio Irem, Moon Patrol was ported to many home consoles, with positive reactions from fans, especially on the Commodore 64 device, where the game made great use of its sound capacities.


1982. Tron Arcane

1982. Tron

Another game inspired by a successful film that appeared before the unfortunate collapse of video games is Tron, an indispensable work of pop culture in the '80s. Walt Disney Production gave the green light to create an arcade game that Billy Adams was working on.

The game is made up of four segments, related to events and characters from the film of the same name. Tron offers a total of 12 levels, named after the then known programming languages ​​(BASIC, FORTRAN, PASCAL, and others), in which you need to collect points.

In the I / O Tower segment, players guide Tron to a glowing circle on the tower from the movie, which needs to be done for a certain amount of time, killing Grid Bugs enemies along the way. The MCP Cone segment is modeled on the final battle from the film, and it is necessary to break through the rotating shield that protects the MCP Cone. In Light Cycles, there are elements of Snake games, where Tron competes with yellow opponents whose vehicles need to be guided into walls and buildings while avoiding them. In the end, there is a game of guiding a red tank through a maze called Battle Tanks, in which it is necessary to destroy enemy blue tanks. At higher weights, instead of tanks, much faster Recognizers come, who are also ready to collide with a player.

This arcade is not ported to consoles (except for the Xbox 360), so the standard way to play is to use an 8-diagonal joystick, a joystick fire button, and a rotating sight element.

Tron sold well for arcades, with $ 45 million earned by the end of 1983. In the same year, the sequel Disc of Tron appeared, which was supposed to be part of the original in the form of the fifth segment, but was not completed on time, and was omitted.

TRON ARCADE MADE MORE MONEY THAN THE FILM ON WHICH IT IS BASED

 

1982. Popeye Arcane

1982. Popeye

In 1982, Nintendo revived the sailor Popeye, a popular comic book hero, who made his debut in the world of gaming in the arcade platformer of the same name.


The goal of the game itself is for Popeye to collect objects, hearts, notes, and letters through the fields, which his faithful Oliva throws at him. In the case of an arcade device, the control is performed by a 4-way controller and one push button that is used for strokes. Unlike many games of that time, in Popeye, there is no option to jump, but you could only move up the stairs, which are scattered throughout the levels. With the kick option, Popeye can destroy bottles and skulls that can harm him, and he can break spinach packages to enter a state of invulnerability. It is interesting, and a little disappointing, that the blow cannot be used to attack Baja, who is constantly giving trouble to the brave sailor.


In the game, you will have the opportunity to see other famous characters from comics and cartoons, such as J. Wellington WimpySwee'PeaSea Hag, and her vulture Bernard.


Popeye took advantage of the success provided by Donkey Kong, one of the first platformers, but managed to bring some novelties, though not too revolutionary. On the gameplay side, the game offered a lot of fun, but the visual format can be described as lagging at the time it appeared.

 

1982. Q*bert Arcane

 

1982. Q*bert

Although there were very few of them, in the era of arcades, there were many games that tried to give a sense of 3D perspective. In 1982, Studio Gottlieb brought the Q*bert arcade machine, which with isometric graphics gave a pseudo-3D effect, the so-called 2.5D.

Q*bert is an action game with elements of solving puzzles, in which the protagonist of the same name has the task to change each cube on the pyramid shown on the screen to a given color. You change the color of the cube with the contact, and you only move to the next level when you make the right color combination.

Jumping out of the dice means the death of the character, and at the same time, you need to avoid enemies that will constantly cause you trouble. There’s the purple Coily snake that will constantly chase after the Q*bert, as well as the green Slik and Sam creatures that disrupt your color configuration. It can be temporarily removed from danger by jumping on multicolored discoid surfaces.

Points are collected during the game with each color change, elimination of enemies, and there are bonus points for each completed level.

Q*bert has brought great novelty to arcades, as well as huge market success. At the time, it was characterized as the most innovative game, with the expectation that it would push Pac-Man from the first place in terms of popularity.

The creativity and success of the arcade game were later transferred to various consoles, with a large number of sequels and modern iterations.


1982. Xevious Arcane

1982. Xevious

The popularity of the game Scramble, which if you remember was a horizontally scrolling shooter, led to the emergence of the game Xevious, a vertically scrolling shooter in which you control a Solvalou spacecraft to save humanity and prevent the destruction of planet Earth.


There are two weapons available, a zapper that fires missiles at flying enemies and a blaster bomb that is in charge of enemies on the ground. Variations through the gameplay are present in the form of the layout of the opponent's units, hidden towers, and mother ships, which will present you with the greatest challenge. For diversity, there are 16 areas at play, from forests, plains, and roads, to rivers and military bases. The areas change, and as you go through everything, a new circle begins with a weight greater than the previous one.


Xevious is considered a game that laid the foundations of vertically scrolling shooters, and its popularity was transferred from the arcades to the world of home consoles. The biggest success was the PC version, followed by Famicom, which sold 1.26 million copies, and the NES version, with one and a half million cartridges sold.


At the very peak of Xevious, players just couldn’t separate themselves from his arcade cabinets. With its detailed graphics, original elements, and challenging gameplay, after the initial sale, it managed to catch up even with Space Invaders.


He also earned numerous sequels over time, and the latest release is Xevious Resurrection for the PlayStation 3.

 

 

1982. Pole Position Arcane

 

1982. Pole Position

 

The collaboration between the two giants of the Golden Age of video games, Namco and Atari, in late 1982 spawned a game that only a year later won the title of the most popular arcade and most influential racetrack of all time.

It is a racing game called Pole Position, created by a team that worked on the space sensation Galaxian from 1979. The gameplay in this game brought a real innovation for its time with driving on a track based on real-life - Fuji Formula 1 track in Japan.

In Pole Position, you control the car with the task of going around the lap around the track as quickly as possible in the first run (from 57 to 120 seconds), to qualify for the race. After successful qualification, it's time to measure your strength with 7 processor-guided opponents. The goal is to stay at the top of the race, and the victory is achieved by completing all 4 laps in the first position. During the game itself, it is important to avoid collisions with other vehicles, as well as with billboards that are located right next to the race track.

Graphically, the Pole Position is extremely likable, and for its "realistic driving style," it received a standing ovation. Enriched with vivid colors, he delighted the players with his pseudo-3D perspective related to looking back, which precisely simulated the gradual distance of the vehicle from the objects left behind.

Arcade cabinets came in two editions. The first cabinet was of a standard design, while the second was a cockpit cabinet, resembling a real car. Both had a steering wheel, gearbox, and accelerator pedal, while the cockpit also had brakes.

In 1983, the sequel to Pole Position II was launched, which did not receive significant improvements, but only add content in the form of 3 new tracks and changed car colors.

Pole Position was ported to the Atari 2600 and 5200 and other systems, and even got its cartoon. 



1982. ATARI 5200 Console


1982. ATARI 5200


The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, or Atari 5200, is a console created as a direct competitor to Intellivision and ColecoVision. Although advertised as a more modern and powerful system, it came with a processor and graphics chip identical to those in 8-bit Atari devices, the biggest downside is that it was not compatible with the Atari 2600 game library. As for the controller, there was an analog joystick with a numeric keypad that had additional keys for pause, reset, and start.

The hardware innovation with the Atari 5200 was a simple shift between watching TV and playing the game thanks to the part that dealt with automatic switching to the signal from the console. The controller, which was the target of criticism, also contributed to the bulky design of this console, so for a while, they thought about making a more compact device without a unit for storing the controller, but Atari gave up on that idea.

About a hundred games have been released for this home device, including some of the most successful titles from the new era, but unfortunately, these were just ordinary ports, with no improvement over previous versions.

The success of the Atari 5200 is practically negligible, as the console barely managed to reach a million copies sold, significantly weaker than its predecessor, which sold 30 million copies. Due to the failure of the console due to poor design, a poor offer of games and novelties, Atari withdrew 5200 from sale after only 2 years and announced Atari 7800.


Specifications

CPU 8-bit MOS 6502C@ 1.79 MHz
GPU ANTIC and GTIA Maximum Resolution: 320 x 192
RAM 16 KB
ROM 2 KB Cartridges: 32 KB
CONTROLLERS Joystick, trackball
NUMBER OF DEVICES SOLD 1 million

 

1983. Sinistar Arcane

1983. Sinistar

The arcades have advanced in a very short time, both in terms of gameplay and in their visual presentation. What were once humble beginnings with space shooters like the pioneers of Space Invaders, games like Sinistar have brought a far more tense experience with free movement and multi-directional firing. With its challenging gameplay and unforgettable titular character, Sinistar quickly conquered the arcades.

Developed by Williams Electronic, Sinistar belongs to the twitch game genre, with gameplay that tests the speed of player reaction. By riding your spacecraft, your goal is to collect special crystals, which later turn into the so-called Sinibomba. This bomb is extremely important because you need it to fight Sinistar, the main boss of the game. The game is divided into several zones that change as the player progresses, and each is characteristic in its way.

It is interesting that the enemy aircraft, in addition to attacking the players, also collect the mentioned crystals and thus build, and at the same time defend sinister Sinistar. Once alive, players are alerted with threatening messages, such as "Beware, I live", "I am Sinistar!", "Run coward" and the like. The development team gave the exact amount of bombs needed to destroy the boss - 13. If you thought the game was too difficult, keep in mind that Sinistar can be repaired by worker aircraft during combat.

Although he received a lot of praise for his weight and presentation, Sinistar did not find himself outside the arcades in his time. A port for the Atari 2600 was in development, which was later canceled, and first appeared on consoles in 1996 at SNES.

SINISTAR IS THE FIRST GAME WITH STEREO SOUND

 

1983. Dragon’s Lair Arcane

1983. Dragon’s Lair

On June 19, Cinematronics unveiled its beautiful Dragon’s Lair arcade, which blurs the boundaries between video games and animated films. Namely, this nostalgic adventure is the first arcade that used exclusively interactive animated sequences instead of classic computer graphics.


In the game, you take on the role of a brave knight Dirk, who tries to save his dear Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Sinj. Your task is to guide our hero through the endless chambers of the giant castle, help him fight against various creatures and finally find his way to the princess.


The gameplay of Dragon’s Lair is very unique and represents the forerunner of modern, and sometimes hated “quick-time events”, which require players to react quickly to situations on the screen. Missed timing leads you to certain death. If by any chance you play the perfect game, you can finish the whole Dragon’s Lair in just 12 minutes.


American animator Don Blut, who spent 10 years in the Disney studio, is responsible for the fantastic visual style and animation. He has worked on famous cartoons such as "Sleeping Beauty", "The Jungle Book" and "Robin Hood", but also his projects from the '80s and '90s, such as "The Secret of NIMH '', '' All Dogs Go to Heaven '' and '' Anastasia ''.


The incredible success of the game has opened the door to numerous extensions and ports to other systems, such as the Commodore 64NESGame Boy, and Sega Genesis, but also the Playstation 4Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

WITH PAC-MAN AND PONG, DRAGON’S LAIR IS ONE OF 3 ARCADES KEPT IN THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM IN AMERICA

 

1983. Mario Bros. Arcane

1983. Mario Bros.

After the great success that Donkey Kong had in the arcades, Nintendo also introduced us to Mario Bros., introducing us to the most famous duo in the world of video games, the brothers Mario and Luigi. Their journey begins in the sewers of New York with the task of finding strange creatures that have mysteriously appeared.

Mario Bros. was modeled on the earlier arcade hit Joust, created for 2 players at the same time.

The monsters the brothers will run into are Shellcreeper, Sidestepper, Fighter Gly, and Slipice. To fight these monsters, Mario and Luigi have to use different tactics, and there is NO option among them to jump on them. The option of jumping on monsters as a form of fighting is implemented only in the next Super Mario games. Instead, the brothers hit the enemy here by jumping into the platform below them. Of course, the goal is to defeat all the enemies in the so-called phase, or level to move on to the next one. The left and right edges of the screen are not walls, but using the wraparound technique, the characters appear on the other side.

The success in the arcades was solid, but Mario Bros. found its place on home consoles of the time, as well as on later Nintendo systems, and even the Switch. What deprived this game of greater success was its emergence before the collapse of the video game industry at the end of 1983.

Mario Bros. serves as a kind of bridge between the Donkey Kong and Super Mario titles. With the first one, we shyly went into platforming, Mario Bros. was somewhere in between, while Super Mario of titular character soared into the virtual heavens. Mario Bros. you can now play on the Switch, and it’s a lot more interesting compared to the Donkey Kong, which is honestly quite heavy, even today.

 

1983. Track and Field Arcane

 

1983. Track and Field

In his time, the legendary Konami created Track & Field, an arcade dedicated to the 1984 Olympic Games. She appeared a year earlier in playrooms, and later for several home consoles (Atari, Commodore 64, NES). The arcade was of an extremely simple format and contained 2 buttons for running and one for acting as a form of control over the athlete.

In Track & Field you can try your hand at a total of 6 sports disciplines - 100-meter race, long jump in which you need to press a button on time, javelin throw, 110-meter hurdles race, hammer throw, and high jump.

In each discipline, success is determined based on time spent or skill level, which gives the right to qualify for further rounds, or relegation, which takes one life. In addition to the option for single-player play, there was also multiplayer for up to 4 players, with competition in pairs.

Track & Field is responsible for the mass popularization of the Olympic Video Games in the future. The most important successor to this title is the 1984 Hyper Sports, the arcade behind which also stands Konami. Hyper Sports brought new disciplines, such as swimming, archery, and weightlifting, while the set of controls remained the same format.

In addition to the original idea and gameplay that laid the foundations for a completely new genre of video games, Track & Field received praise for its rich graphics and fluid animations.

TRACK & FIELD IS THE FIRST "OLYMPIC VIDEO GAME"

 

1983. Star Wars Arcane


1983. Star Wars

Six years after the great success of the first episode of the original trilogy, Atari brought Star Wars to the playrooms, an arcade that quickly won the title of one of the best games of the Golden Age. Atari did his best to give us the entire Star Wars experience, as in the game you can even hear the voices of the main actors from the legendary movie - Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and others.

Star Wars puts players in the shoes of the famous protagonist, Luke Skywalker, with the mission of piloting an X-Wing spacecraft, in the first person. During the game, the main goal is to survive as long as possible, either by destroying enemies or their shots. As a form of protection, the player received 6 shields that mark lives.

The game consists of waves, and each wave has three phases of combat. In the first phase, the players meet Darth Vader and his subjects near the Death Star. In the second phase, it is necessary to fly on the surface of the star in search of a weak point, where the player's aircraft is attacked by artillery bunkers and lasers that can be destroyed. The third phase consists of navigating through a narrow space that leads to a weak point that needs to be hit. After the end of the third phase, the game starts a new round with more weight and more aggressive enemies.

As expected, Star Wars was declared one of the most successful arcades in 1983 and was praised by critics for its fast-paced challenging action and smooth animations, which pushed the boundaries of the hardware at the time. Star Wars has also been quite a success with home consoles, and on the Amiga and Atari ST, you could also use a mouse as a controller.


1983. Star Trek Arcade

 

1983. Star Trek

Like Star Wars, Star Trek got its arcade through SEGA Electronics, inspired by the eponymous film and TV series. As a first-person space simulation, Star Trek was once considered an arcade with the most complex vector graphics.


According to the narrative, the players control the Starship Enterprise and defend themselves from the Klingon invasion. The gameplay itself offers a view from several positions, but it is not a pure shooter, but there are also strategic elements. During the game, you need to pay attention to the shields, warp energy, and torpedo projectiles, which you often have to replenish at the stations, if the Klingons do not destroy them.


There is only one ship at your disposal, but there are shields that protect you from enemy attacks, and so through 40 different levels of simulation. Enemies are divided into red, purple, and white Klingon ships, yellow nomads that leave mines, and antimatter disks.


There were two variants of arcade cabins - standard and deluxe semi-open cockpit cabins. The deluxe version is modeled on the chairs from the 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture movie.


Star Trek has also moved to many home consoles, but it has achieved the greatest success in arcades, where it once attracted huge crowds of eager fans of the franchise.

 

 

25 most successful arcades of the Golden Age


Year Game
1980 Pac-Man
1978 Space Invaders
1981 Donkey Kong
1982 Ms. Pac-Man
1979 Asteroids
1981 Defender
1979 Galaxian
1983 Hyper Olympic (Track and Field)
1982 Donkey Kong Jr.
1982 Mr. Do!
1982 Popeye
1982 Jungle Hunt
1981 Scramble
1981 Super Cobra
1981 Frogger
1980 Centipede
1983 Dragon's Lair
1982 Pole Position
1982 Dig Dug
1981 Tempest
1982 Tron
1982 Q*bert
1982 Robotron: 2084
1981 Asteroids Deluxe
1980 Missile Command

 

The collapse of the video game industry


Everything beautiful has its end, so at the end of 1983, the Golden Era turned into a collapse of the video game industry. This period is known as the "crash of video games" or "Atari shock" and lasted for about two years, until, 1985 when the second generation of console gaming was completed.

The fall of the industry affected all the greats, and many companies were brought to the brink of complete bankruptcy. The crash was markedly abrupt, as industry profits fell by about 97% by 1985, from $ 3.2 billion to $ 100 million.

The industry's return to its feet and re-emergence began in 1985 with Nintendo's NES system. The rise was slow and difficult, as the consequences were felt years later, and many companies withdrew from the industry, such as Magnavox and Coleco. Thus began the rise of computer games, led by developers and publishers like Activision.

And so we entered a new chapter in the history of video games ...

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