Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Zombies Ate My Neighbours", 1993.

A game no Hallowe'en would be complete without, a paean to a century of B-movies and a return visit from distinguished extinguished development house Lucasarts, who we commemorated earlier this year. This scan is from Retrogamingaustralia and it was worth borrowing, because the game is awesome.

"I LAUGHED. I CRIED.
I SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER."

-Anita Placetohide
Amityville Herald

Only Konami could bring something so demented and sick to your Super NES and your Sega Genesis. Action! Adventure! A real scream! A must see!

"55 levels of sheer terror.
Not a dry seat in the house."

-Washington Post Mortum

"MORE FRIGHTENING THAN YOUR MOM AT A THRASH CONCERT.."

-Slash Meehup - Rolling Tombstone

Thrilling performances by two teenage stars who must save cheerleaders, babies and BBQ-happy neighbors from every monster that ever stalked the cineplex.

"Somebody help me! Help me please!"

- B.A. Goner - New York Times Up

Fifty-five B-horror movies rolled into one are now slaying in your neighborhood. Scream to the sounds of "Hedgemaze Chainsaw Mayhem," "Mars Needs Cheerleaders" and "Weird Kids on the Block." Find your way through a "chopping" mall, a grocery store, mysterious monster islands, a haunted house and your own Zombie infested backyard. Run, swim and trampoline over hedges to escape hordes of Zombies, Chainsaw Maniacs, Mummies, Evil Dolls, Lizard Men, Blobs, Vampires, Giant Ants, Martians and more. Or take them out with your uzi squirt gun, exploding soda pop, bazookas and weed wackers. In a pinch use one of your collectible power-ups like secret potions and bobo clown decoys. Go it alone or as a Zombie squad of two. The game goes on and on and on. Run for your life! It just won't die!!

So much to say, but so little needs to be said. The ad demonstrates a Lucasfilmian wit above and beyond what we see in most Konami ads -- is it possible they marketed it in-house? Or is it just that they have so much to work with? Of course kids wouldn't appreciate the nods to movies from the '50s or the references to the Washington Post, New York Time Out and Rolling Stone (well, unless they're real keeners) but the stylish silliness has them square in its uzi sights. (Ah, and Amityville, we haven't seen you since Jaws!)

This great game had a Day of the Tentacle easter egg (not just the bobo clown decoys) and enjoyed a Genesis-exclusive sequel, Ghoul Patrol. We wouldn't really see another game revisiting this territory until Destroy All Humans, and even that has a much narrower (if deeper) point of reference. If you pop open only one game in an emulator today, make it this one.