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LOOKIT ME IM DANCIN
January 20, 2011 6:40 PM   Subscribe

In Aliens, what was the primary danger Ellen Ripley faced? Was it A. the machinations of the officials of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, B. the attacks and acid blood of the aliens themselves, or C. the bizarre, space-warping doors of the space colony dumping her into pits of death? According to a recently-surfaced prototype of a Famicom (Japanese NES) port of Aliens, produced by Squaresoft, the answer is C!
Sardius of gaming blog Dream And Friends tells us all about it: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

A little secret for everyone who clicked through, most screenshots on the site have funny hover text.
More from Sardius:
How to Make an iPhone Game starring Pikachu and "The Mighty Cat", M. Night Shyamalan Presents: Alf, A comprehensive listing of player death angels from Sega Master System games - "Super Pitfall II" a.k.a. unreleased U.S. port of Japanese hair-tearer Atlantis no Nazo, The horror of 3D Bomberman, The beginning of (Beat) Takeshi's Challenge, All the depressing details of arcade Golden Axe's scoring system, and Japanese Golden Axe was hardcore. And more!
posted by JHarris (37 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, that looks pretty awful.

There was actually a pretty good 8 bit home computer version of aliens though, with IIRC the best version being the Amstrad One.
posted by Artw at 7:11 PM on January 20, 2011


"in the pipe 5X5"
posted by clavdivs at 7:23 PM on January 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Space puppy"????

It's the friggin' cat, ffs!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:42 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nobuo Uematsu even did the soundtrack. Awesome.
posted by mek at 8:18 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, that looks like a total nightmare. Thanks for posting this.
posted by zarq at 8:19 PM on January 20, 2011


"in the pipe 5X5"

That's what he said!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:19 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


As I read it, I wondered about the patience level required to write that. That's a lot of patience.
posted by artlung at 8:49 PM on January 20, 2011


Hah! "This part in the movie can only be seen in the 9-disc Alien Quadrilogy collection."
posted by artlung at 8:53 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


MARINES! We are FAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllliiiiiinng
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:58 PM on January 20, 2011


The Alf link (and blog) is awesome... fuck you Patton Oswald and your its impossible to be a geek nowadays, maybe its cuz you're too busy being Mr. Actor on his Diablo Cody Show guy to pull it off.
posted by stratastar at 9:48 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Speaking as the kid who happily played the admittedly execrable NES adaptations of Terminator 2 and Rambo, I can honestly say that I would've suffered through the Squaresoft Aliens gladly.

But it must be said that Konami's 1990 Aliens arcade game is just as friggin' badass now as it was back then, and it's a shame that it never got ported to either Super NES/Super Famicom or Genesis/Mega Drive. When I initially got into MAME, it was the one of the very first ROMs I downloaded. Hell, I think I'll go play some right now...
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:09 PM on January 20, 2011


I don't I ever beat a game like this as a kid. To people who did: did you get really good at the game, or was it just playing it over and over until one lucky run?
posted by codacorolla at 10:23 PM on January 20, 2011


I don't know*
posted by codacorolla at 10:28 PM on January 20, 2011


I don't I ever beat a game like this as a kid. To people who did: did you get really good at the game, or was it just playing it over and over until one lucky run?

I had a game of Defender that went about an hour or so when I was six.

That was my longest game by about fifty five minutes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:37 PM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Soon, you will learn to hate doors."

(this is fantastic)
posted by Chionophilia at 12:07 AM on January 21, 2011


Pope Guilty: Sorry, not going to believe that. There is some fact missing from there, like maybe that you were playing on an Atari 2600 (that was accidentally set on "Children's Mode").
posted by JHarris at 12:24 AM on January 21, 2011


"They mostly come out at night."

B: Mostly
A: Game over, man.
posted by sourwookie at 12:59 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"in the pipe 5X5"

Not sure if it's related to these, but we used to have some sort of Aliens game for Commodore. The "pipe" was represented as a series of rainbow-colored shapes that formed kind of a twisting tunnel you had to fly the ship through.

I don't know if we ever made it to the planet once. I can't guarantee there was actually any more to the game.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:07 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Guess she don't like the cornbread either!"
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:08 AM on January 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't guarantee there was actually any more to the game.

Oh, there was... there was... a maze with pulse guns, a labyrinth where you suicided your remaining marines in an attempt to escape, and a boss battle with the loader versus queen. Video games were a lot more difficult pre-save game.
posted by minedev at 1:28 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The gameplay video linked to from the site in the FPP makes it even more clear how truly awful the game was.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:31 AM on January 21, 2011


Sorry, not going to believe that. There is some fact missing from there, like maybe that you were playing on an Atari 2600 (that was accidentally set on "Children's Mode").

It was in fact the 2600 version! I don't really know anything about what the settings might be.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:26 AM on January 21, 2011


I would still rather play this than Raiders of the Lost Ark for the Atari 2600.
posted by Splunge at 7:26 AM on January 21, 2011


Wow, fantastic writeup. I love reading contemporary reviews of old games just to see how far along we've come in game design. One way doors to the beginning of the level? Identical doors with no clue which is the right one? Unavoidable damage? No saving, checkpoints, or warp codes? How did we ever play this shit?
posted by Nelson at 7:36 AM on January 21, 2011


I wasn't a big gamer in the days of these types of games, mostly because every game seemed to play exactly like this one. Impossible mazes, weird tricks with the controller, and INSTANT DEATH every few minutes.
posted by xingcat at 7:37 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect that Aliens quotes represent about 25% of my lifetime MeFi favorites meted out.
posted by norm at 7:38 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I agree with norm.
posted by Brainy at 8:12 AM on January 21, 2011


"How did we ever play this shit?"

Eagerly.
posted by JB71 at 8:26 AM on January 21, 2011


I love the fact that Paradroid literally could not be beaten. Old games were a lot tougher than they are now. I still wish I could get all my old C64 games working again - I'd love to see how Neuromancer* and Space Rogue* would hold up nowadays.

*1571 floppy drive represent!
posted by longbaugh at 8:42 AM on January 21, 2011


Video games were a lot more difficult pre-save game.

Mostly. I just got Demon's Souls the other day and died during the tutorial. :(
posted by adamdschneider at 8:43 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The SNES version of Alien 3 was bad assed though. I loved it.
posted by utsutsu at 8:45 AM on January 21, 2011


Take that, Roger Ebert!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:53 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seconding utsutsu. I was a Genesis kid so I had the quite inferior version of Alien 3, but when I learned about emulators I tried the Super Nintendo version and was amazed at how gorgeous it is. And that hive! The hive is one of the most critical parts of Aliens and so difficult to get right in pixels, but Probe got it completely right.

off to look for sprite rips
posted by Brainy at 9:32 AM on January 21, 2011


Looking for Sprite Rips led me to this review of a lot of Alien warrior sprites.
posted by Brainy at 9:34 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amstrad CPC Aliens FTW! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4qd-9CvnlU
posted by beschizza at 2:14 PM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dammit. Also, the video at that URL has inexplicably been overdubbed with the title screen soundtrack; the in-game audio is very creepy, as artw may attest,
posted by beschizza at 2:16 PM on January 21, 2011


I love the fact that Paradroid literally could not be beaten.

Yeah, but the game I remember was also sometimes frustratingly random (there was no guarantee that the robot takeover game was winnable), and successive levels were identical to the first. (Though for reasons related to the randomness, I only make it to the second ship once.)
posted by JHarris at 1:16 PM on January 22, 2011


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