Translations from Game Lab Vol. 203 -- July 2012 Issue


Photo Caption: Its the Law of Inertia!

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic Game inferno

~Part 16~

Mana's Hardware Collection

(left)
Super Galaxian

Company: Epoch Company
Release Date: Mid June 1981
Retail Price: 8,800 yen

(right)
Scramble

Company: Tommy
Release Date: March 20, 1982
Retail Price: 7,980 yen

The Original 3 Types of Shooting that Caught my Attention

Last time I introduced the Japanese masterpiece "Crazy Climbing," but I have one more Japanese made game I definitely want to introduce. It was "MOON CREASTA" that exhibited a new concept of alliance to some degree.

A Japanese Product's Alliance Shooting that Adopted a Sense of Inertia

At that time there was a great number of games like "Galaxian" that depicted "a player operating a ship and taking down aliens", and you could power up 3 kinds of allied ships with aircraft number 1 (A small tight turning ship with beam gun 1), and aircraft number 2 (a well balanced ship with beam gun 2).

Then there was the newest thing, the adoption of "Law of Ineria" at the time of alliance. As one would expect everyone was interested in focusing on what the maker of "Crazy Climber" would come out with. Also, inertia only worked when "MOON CRESTA" allied, so there was still normal movement on the typical shooting screen. You could say this system was thoroughly thought out. The reason is because being in the state of inertia would make it too difficult and would have hurt the nature of the game. Actually the law of inertia was adopted after JALECO's release of the Famicom game "Iczelion," but it used constant inertia movement. Because of this, when trying to play, you feel like you're experiencing some sort of mysterious sensation like you're intoxicated in pseudo 3D. I remember a lot of people in my area threw it out because they weren't able to operate it very well.

"MOON CRESTA" also had one more new attribute. That is your rival had a name. Until then they were generally only named invaders or aliens; nobody really thought about it. However, in "MOON CRESTA" the first rival was Cold Eye, which looked like an eye, and the opponent that looked like a meteor was named Meteor. Moreover because of that you could start to gain an affection for even your rivals. I became a captive to this video game so I would often go to the Game Center [to play it]. For some reason it didn't gain much popularity in the world, but you could say "MOON CRESTA" was a revolutionary commemorative work for the world of shooting games.

Now I would like to touch on when Epoch company released "Super Galaxian". This was an LSI game where the aliens from "Galaxian" appeared, but the alliance system was already equipped into this piece. All the good points of both [allies] seemed to have been planned out. Although the unit design was simple, it also had futuristic beautiful points -- thats something a hardware collector such as myself doesn't overlook.

New Characteristics from 2 Arcade Games

With the exception of "MOON CRESTA" there was another game with a certain newness that had me in a daze. The first was the hidden masterpiece, ATARI's "Missile Command". This game's new attribute was that the joystick was a trackball.

I use a trackball on the PC I use for music work. It helps me do work quickly, so I have become completely captivated by the trackball. ATARI had quite a good focus of attention by adopting the trackball into games in 1980. At that time the trackball controller was sensational. However, after that not many trackball games were ever released. Its too bad, maybe it was no good because it was just too new for its time.

Finally I'd like to introduce another masterpiece shooting game from the early day's, Konami's "Scramble". I'm not exaggerating when I say the basic concept of this work used Horizontal Scroll Shooting.

While exchanging attacks with your rival in outer space you could voluntarily send out crushing missiles from the front and beneath, but the new attribute of "Scramble" was that this game brought the concept of fuel into the game world. Because of this combat had a realistic feeling to it. When you ran out of fuel, you would have to be careful when the fuel meter would urge you to "Replenish!," but I mean it when I say it created a lot of tension at this time when you would have to retreat! If you weren't successful in replenishing the fuel in time you would fall down and crash into rocks.

By the way, in the last final screen in "Scramble" you could push your way into a maze in an underground city. Without going through this obstacle you could not pass to the next level -- even now I still have a little bit of trauma from it. None the less, I love "Scramble" so much that I even have an LSI version of the game. Its the best being able to play the LSI "Scramble" game at any time anywhere I go.

Mana-Sama

Footnote:

I understand the concept of the Law of Inertia in "MOON CRESTA", but when I play games I often wonder "Would that even work in outer space?" The [Moi dix Mois] 10 year anniversary commemoration album "Reprise" will be released July 11. It contains re-recordings of the most popular songs voted on by fans and contains the recording of my newest song "Je L'aime"! I would be happy if you picked up a copy. (Mana)

Translations by Sarah @ Mana-Sama.net