Was looking at G&W titles, and came across Tropical Fish, a single-screen release from 1985
In it, the not-named shopkeeper (or perhaps just a guy with a lot of goldfish) must shuttle hopping fish across from one set of aquariums to the other on the opposite side of the room. Very much like Fireman and other similar G&W titles. If any fish fall on the floor they get snatched up by the protagonist's hungry cat.
What's notable here, for us, is that the cat is named, and he is Alarm Cat, doubling as the game's alarm feature.
You know where else Alarm Cat shows up? Motherfucking Greenhouse! It's Stanley's cat!
Can we then infer that this unnamed protagonist of Tropical Fish is in fact Stanley, affecting a new job, as Mario often did in the early years?
Sometime in 1983 (still trying to track down more specifics) a game was released for the Commodore 64 called Super Pipeline.
It features a little Itallian-looking man, "Foreman", protecting sewer pipes from baddies and critters and making sure continued water flow went through to fill up barrels. Of water. I'm not sure. Basically, it's a mashup of concepts from the early Donkey Kong & Mario Bros arcade titles. Things are a little different; Foreman has a (nail?) gun of some sort, you can get little crewman that you both use to repair pipes and take hits for you, you climb around pipes. It's a little like a platformer bolted onto a tower defense, now that I look at it. A lot more innovative than the Jumpman series, which basically just removed DK from Donkey Kong and ran with it before Nintendo had solid trademark lawyers.
The story, roughly, quoted from the little manual card I was able to track down: "All you have to do is keep the pipeline in good condition until the barrels are full. The water tank holds enough water to fill all barrels and then some spare. Simple eh! If the pipeline develops a leak, the water will spill out and be lost. You play Foreman who's job it is to defend the pipeline and get any leaks fixed by a workman who needs taking to the site before he'll start. The pipeline runs through many hostile lands populated by evil insects and terrible tools. You have the only gun, so the workman looks to you for protection."
"You, as Foreman, must now begin your task of defending the pipework supply line against the attacks from the manic power drills as they cause leaks and protect your workmen from gnawing caterpillars and ferocious hammers. Fix any leaks as quickly as possible by taking (at least) one workman to the leak.
Protect him until he's finished hammering and the flow will be restored. If you fill the barrel you've won this stage."
Two years later, in 1985, Super Pipeline II was released.
It basically improves the formula in every way. Gone were the ladders on the right side of the screen, allowing the full playing field to house the pipes. The array of baddies & critters was increased, there were now visual indicators on how full your barrel(s) were, there were neat little level transition animations, the art was slightly improved (as much as it could be on the platform), the works. All in all, a much better experience.
I should note that if these seem impressively robust for C64 games, it's because they were tapedeck releases, which could hold a ton more data than floppies.
These do both have two-player modes, but I have no idea what those entail.
Anyway, I thought this little series of games was pretty neat, and was a nice change of pace from the outright Mario/DK clones that popped up during that era. Also, the main character being an Itallian-looking Foreman who fends off living tools puts me in mind of one Foreman Spike, so perhaps we could class this as an early appearance
I found online that someone had got authorization to make a modern version of the game, and they even put up some videos back in 2012, but I don't know if it ever got finished or released.
Some more videos of Banana Kingdom. Definitely seems less involved than Jungle Fever.
Looks like there's a series of gates at the bottom that are arbitrarily assigned different inputs for different "minigames". In the video above they seem to be adjusting the slots roll, trying to get 777 (and failing).
Below, you can see them using the gates to determine your bomb fuse's path along the amidakuji up to Final Kong. Which is an interesting concept, but seems kind of simplistic in execution.
Found some videos of Jungle Fever, the first of Jungle Beat's arcade sequels.
Most people seem to be recording just the tail end, as the arcade flyers depict scenes of earlier bosses and other minigames:
I find it fascinating that you maneuver DK around by pachinkoing your medallions through the appropriate directional arrow gates. It's kind of ingenious, really. It's fascinating to see how they designed all the levels and minigames and bosses(!) around the control schema, and have a legit full game with multiple worlds, animal buddies, power-ups, and bosses housed in a fucking pachinko/coindozer mashup.
Also found some videos of Banana Kingdom, the second arcade sequel to Jungle Beat.
It is, in my opinion, less interesting, as it seems more of a digital slots machine housed in a coindozer, and isn't doing as much with the format as Jungle Fever does. Granted, there's less videos of this one, and they're mostly of people showing off their haul and less gameplay.
The arcade flyers for it support my theory though, as they show off various slots scores and have very few minigame screens on them
Anyway, as we never really got much info on these, I thought I'd share! I'd love to get my hands on a Jungle Fever cabinet someday. Banana Kingdom is unfortunately huge, and, given what I've seen in the videos, looks like it would hold less interest for me anyway.
Yep, you read that heading right – an advanced Windows version of the seminal Nintendo arcade classic, Donkey Kong. Take a bow on a job well done, Mr. Justin Bohemier! When our very good friend Aaron Clement (from Press Play On Tape Podcast fame) gave us the heads up on this game, we thought we would do the same by sharing it with the rest of you. Before Ninty’s lawyers issue a cease and desist, make sure you grab your copy of Donkey Kong Advanced now!
So you may ask, what’s new in this version of Donkey Kong Advanced? Since you asked nicely, here you go:
Levels are different, some are completely new, while others have the same level structure with some differences
New switch, laser, and key system to save Pauline
Mario (Jumpman) can jump off high platforms and land without killing himself (yahoo!)
New heart bonus items are worth 2000 points but are tricky to get
Barrels rebound off the floor higher than before – so watch out
Hitting barrels with the hammer doesn’t pause the game during the explosion
Level 4 is icy – there is a special shoe item to pickup that makes it not slippery
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2017 17:14:11 GMT by I.M.Gibbon