I was going through some older games on the MAME cab to see which arcade game from the 70's I felt like writing about and given that one of the all-time great arcade games was from the 70's AND starts with the letter A it didn't take long at all to come across Asteroids.
Well, I'm pretty sure everyone currently reading this is quite familiar with the arcade classic Asteroids so I won't bore you with my thoughts on that game other than to say that I am a fan and unlike some I've spoken to I prefer the sequel Asteroids Deluxe to the original. But no - this post is to give a shout out to an Asteroids clone called Meteor. There were a few clones and bootlegs of Asteroids when it became popular and they all play pretty much identically to the original, but it was the go-get-'em attitude of the sales staff at HOEI International that really turned me on to Meteor. I envision the brainstorming session to produce the flyer for Meteor went a little something like this:
Manager of Flyer Production: "OK Marvin. We've got this game Meteor that we ripped off from that new game Asteroids and I've never seen either one because that ain't my job. What is my job is getting these flyers out the door to move these units. So what have you got so far? What's the point of the game?"
Flyer Engineer: "To destroy salling meteors"
MOFP: "To destroy what?"
FE: "Meteors. As they sall by. And destroy salling UFO too."
MOFP: "You mean SAILING meteors? I mean sailing is an odd fucking choice of words to describe a meteor, but it makes more sense than SALLING. Pretty sure salling isn't a real word. Let's just make it 'Destroy deadly meteors'."
FE: "Yes sir, we'll make that change."
MOFP: "OK what else? How do you destroy the meteors? Are you firing up at them like Space Invaders or what?"
FE: "No sir. You fire in all directions."
MOFP: "All directions? Are you sure about that? I've seen video games and you're usually at the bottom shooting up at things."
FE: "Yes sir. In this game the space ship rotates 360 degrees so you fire in all directions."
MOFP: "OK well confirm that with the guys downstairs. Make sure it is OUR spaceship that rotates and not the enemy UFO and then make that point clear on the flyer because that is gonna to throw a lot of people off. And spice it up with some impact buzzwords like NEW! EXCITING! EMERGENCY! ESCAPE! and use lots of exclamation points - that kind of stuff. That it?"
FE: "We also want to include a picture of the evil galactic emperor that sent the UFO and meteors to destroy us. As you can see from the sketch he is a reptilian being from..."
MOFP: "WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Goddammit Marvin, you may be a hell of a programmer but you don't know shit about making a sale. You think guys want to see lizard aliens? No! Listen. Change the lizard to a hot lookin' broad - and make sure her tits are showing and BAM we're done! What other new games we got? I'm on a roll!"
FE: "Um - her... tits sir? You mean you want us to have her wearing a tight uniform that accentuates..."
MOFP: "Who cares about the uniform? A couple of leather straps and a choke collar and the uniform is good to go man. Marvin. Let me be clear. When you come back in here this afternoon with the mockup of the flyer in your hand, it better have a hot blonde... no... make that brunette... It better have a hot brunette on it with both her tits out or you can start looking for a new fucking job. Now get out of my office."
And the rest was history.
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