Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Konami's video game adaptation is faithful to Aliens. Err...

"It's game time."

As James Cameron's 1986 action juggernaut is one of my all-time favourite films, I have expended much energy to ensure this will be conducted with unequivocal eloquence.

Konami's 1990 arcade interpretation displays pixels that delivers an experience of fabulous flatulence.

Its brutal portrayal of unrelenting authenticity cannot be properly appreciated, until now.

57 years in the making, expect a feature buried in several so pretty please with acid on top, savor every last drop and spread the word like butter.

Without unzipping one's banana, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

I couldn't fix the images that are too big for the page so I left them nice and legible.

For reference purposes, the longplay is shoulder deep in paradise.

It will demonstrate that when some aliens are killed, they'll magically turn into the sprites of regular walking types.

See for yourself.

Before we snort scan lines, have a laugh, er look, at the arcade flyer.

The earnings are out of this world!

And that means?

If the intention was to deliberately choose models that look nothing remotely like Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn, this kicks ass.  I cannot work out if the alien is an offensive joke or a crude cardboard cut out.  Whatever the unexplained reality, it's more cringing then running fingernails down a blackboard.

Look man.  I only need to know one thing, where they are.
Right on Vaz.

Although digitising whatever sound or picture was already old news, it was still very trendy so unsurprisingly, the intro employed the same technique with a series of stills.

Check this out.

It can only be taken from the moment when a beastie tries to force entry into the APC but little did he know that Hicks likes to keep his shotgun handy, for close encounters.

Hello Mr. Marine, I'm craving for a little lead in my diet, can you help me out?
One problem though, the graphic isn't exactly the same as the still which begs the question, where did they lift this from?

At 0:22, we hear 'somebody' making an unimportant announcement.

Clearly Bishop was pissed.

You don't need a motion tracker to deduce your char is not Ripley, but instead a marine.
'The nightmare is just about to begin .... again ...'
How can something begin 'again' when you've never experienced it in the first place?
Usually I can't talk about Jaws: The Revenge without vomiting blood but Ellen Brody manages to relive flashbacks of Martin taking out the beast.  Also, John Woo's Hard Target also deserves a mention as Van Damme's Chance Boudreaux recalls all kills that Lance Henriksen's villain Fouchon arranged.

Yeah, they both weren't there.

From here on in, we frown at scrambled beeps, freaky murmurs, unnatural ambience and bungled chaos.

I'm really not running a bypass, it's fucking scary.

Who the hell are we supposed to be? 

If the above is indeed Warrant Officer E. Ripley, then I've acted with... questionable judgment.
So we have the unwilling candidates of Drake and Vasquez because although others become available, your immediate weapon is the M56A Smart Gun.
As I lead the squad of ultimate bad asses, I'm going with neither.
Maybe Apone knows?

Assholes and elbows.
Thanks a lot Serge, but we're still Sixpence None the Richer.

Let's briefly jump formats.

On the left is 'Repley', as seen in the 1987 MSX game of 'Alien 2' and a mannequin with adjustable joints.
Yeah, spot the fucking difference.
At least the marionette from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had a wooden excuse. 
As co-operative madness is available, we may as well embrace this functionality. 

If our imagination is broadened to Hudson, I know exactly what he'd say.

How do I get out of this chicken shit outfit?
At 01:05, I'm genuinely shaking my head in disbelief at the next round of bullshit.

Ignoring her very bright outfit, admire some interesting shit as 'Newt' throws her bunny, claims it back and jogs on.

Hmmm, I remember something different.

Casey doesn't have bad dreams because she's just a piece of plastic.
After Newt is taken away to be cocooned, Casey loses her head and drowns.
It's amazing this was her only acting performance.  She became a teacher, presumably hired to scream at kids.

Believe me, the erroneous engine is just warming up.

While the xenomorphs look pretty decent, why did they have to be PINK?
I mean seriously, is that the best they could come up with?
Sure, it's not 'pink pink', but it's still pink.
Look at Newt and/or xeno, as they seem to be confused about traffic congestion.
Well what did you expect, a speech laid out in iambic pentameter?

Up until 01:32 we see several brown eggs either grounded or falling from the sky, miraculously hatching into full grown members of the pink brigade.

Alien genesis (an expert's guide).

Egg is laid, egg hatches, facehugger launches and orally rapes an unfortunate, facehugger keeps host alive by feeding him/her oxygen, embryo is laid inside throat, facehugger comes off by itself and dies.  Soon after, the perfect organism is born.

So having considering all of that, adult aliens DO NOT come from this or any other egg.

To be completely fair, actual eggs and chest bursters do occur but that doesn't right the above wrong...

The film is far from perfect as the nightmare sequence features a terrible oversight.

I said chest, not stomach control.
After an attack from some 'green' huggers, we switch to a vertical perspective and fight the first boss at 01:44

Yep, that's exactly what we expected.
A two legged mutant chicken with an elongated neck who then launches plasma energy.
Another to occasionally do this was Data East's Robocop 2.

In truth, you were temporarily playing Cabal.

A taxi pick up later, "Come on!"

After those words of encouragement at 02:30, it's an APC charge.

I applaud the slight injection of variety but 02:38 demonstrates this alien would make a rubbish Wayne Sleep impersonator.

If you like that, you're gonna love this.

"Quick, hand me a needle and thread?"
"Why?  This is hardly the time for darning."
"Don't fuck about, just do it."
(Sighs)  "Alright calm down.  Anything to stop you throwing a terror tantrum."
"Thanks and call me Paradroid, but I've got a feeling that my sides are about to split."
"I'll probably regret asking but..."
"Because of this at 03:03."


I'm not even going to extend the common courtesy and label it an 'alien' as it's more like an Air Screamer from Silent Hill (which I'm sure is a coincidence).

Konami like all this kidnapping shit as Turtles (April), The Simpsons (Maggie) and Vendetta (Kate) will concur.

Do you know what's weirder, but not quite as funny?

Another winged 'monster' appears as a boss in the boring Alien vs. Predator on SNES.
At least from 03:08 until 04:10, the motion tracker waters the hallucinogens but that soon dissipates as perverted winged smileys, steam spurts, slugs and zombies throwing grenades assault our senses.

Wha-wha-wha WHAT?  ZOMBIES?

This shit is good.  Oh it's really fucking good.

At 06:14, here comes the bouncing ball, the bouncing ball, the bouncing ball, here comes the bouncing ball, [insert name here] catch the ball.

Acid for blood is fine but heaven sent acid-faced blobs quite frankly just isn't on.

06:35 means we have no choice but to face our spherical fears.

Wait a minute, what the fuck is that projectile thing lagging behind?

Oh yeah, how silly of me.

Some unrelated relevance.

The Best of Doves - The Places Between
Monet - Dandelions
Castevet - Obsian
Others enjoy more ridiculous firepower.

Allosaurus or T-Rex?  Who cares?
Whatever it is, such a monstrous beast spewing fireballs in Time Soldiers is apparently realistic.
The C64 version improves upon the arcade by launching anorexic sticks of chalk.
Many enemies from Sega's Space Harrier curiously fire sherbet filled confectionery.
To think, I used to like flying saucers...
After chest bursters and zombies, a hefty supply of face huggers emerge from an oil barrel.

It's amusing, it's great and I'm reaching the end... of one's tether.

Shit floats, and so do zombies as their offspring attempt to scupper progress.

Please admire incy wincy spider as he crawls on the floor.

After Namco's controversial arcade original, Splatterhouse 2 on Mega Drive went all family friendly.  While the third improved matters, did I like the 2010 reboot?  Did I Rick!
This boss is comparable to the above but completely rips off Carpenter's 1982 body shocking classic The Thing...
"You gotta be fuckin' kidding."
Sorry Palmer, I'm afraid not.
Holy Power Loader Batman, I actually remember such a mechanism at 08:45.

Yes Robin, but demolition balls at 08:51 didn't even make the Special Edition...

They repeated the same obstacle a year later, albeit in more acceptable circumstances.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtle in Time, 1991 (Arcade)
Bossman Doyle used his own 'variation'.

Violent Storm, 1993 (Arcade)
Night Slashers, 1993 (Arcade)
Data East's superior monster movie themed side scrolling brawler was a 3P triumph.
King Zarutz suggests a less obvious beast and his pins look more like ED-209.
Before our hydraulic friend literally does a disappearing act at 09:24, even the bio-weapons division would heave at this not so magnificent specimen.

We experience glowing bio-mechanical growth and colonists giving birth but at 10:42, things go vertical for the final time as a three stage boss comes into view.

Look at it.  For Christ's sake, just at look it, just take a look.
If the peculiar eruption of eggs wasn't enough, our hearing tackle digest a 'human' roar at 11:58.
Poor bastard.
We take the wagon for another spin.

Drunk with hysteria, Newt jumps for joy at 12.35.
As for you in the APC, wipe that smug smile off your face before I knock it off.
As the girlie is never seen again, the point of this rescue was because...

I know that aliens are not of this earth but climbing out of another dimension (12:47), just pisses in the wrong urinal.

At 13:18, we've had oil barrels so why not have parasites appear from broken television sets.

It makes all the sense in this fucked up world.

Is this a pair of lungs I see before me?  It is.

Displaying a vaginal opening and using several of 'something' encased in bubbles as a shield is more popular than toothache.

Fuck it -  I may as well breed chocolate bars from my ass.

The erotic opening is almost identical to a boss from Aicom's Pulstar.

"They're coming outta the walls.  They're coming out of the goddamn walls."
No Hudson, they're coming through the goddamn glass (15:28).

At 18:17, insanity threatens to seep through every orifice.

Squeaking like petrified mice, they grow upon receiving punishment.
These were first seen as normal enemies during the final APC section.

What is this?  Some kinda sick joke?

There's a worm at the bottom of the garden, and his name is wiggly woo.
Not content with painting them pink, they further lampoon H.R. Giger's iconic design by attaching a tail limper than ancient celery.

We reach 19:03 and what time is it kids?
And what are they doing?
Come on boys and girls, don't be shy as we're past the watershed.
Okay, they're gestating and shooting acid blobs from their ass.

I've got chills, they're multiplying.  And I'm losing self-control.  'Cause the power, you're supplying.  It's electrifying.

We're fully charged and ready to attack from 20:03 until 20:45.

My incandescent rage has reached chest-bursting point.

"Bishop, I want this arcade destroyed as soon as you've finished playing.  Is that clear?" Ripley warns pensively.
"Mr. Burke gave instructions that it be kept free from harm and in safe storage for return to the company labs,"  Bishop replies. "He was very specific about it."

After finding that Burke was head designer, Ripley isn't the best pleased...

"Bad call?"
(Grabbing him by the shirt and shoving him against the wall)
"This game is horseshit, Burke!  Do you have any idea what you have done here?"
"Well, I'm gonna make sure they nail you right to the wall for this!  You're not gonna sleaze your way out of this one!  Right to the wall!"
Ripley's revelation travels fast.

"I say we grease this rat-fuck son of a bitch right now."
"It just doesn't make any goddamn sense." 

No fucking shit Hicks.

It wasn't sabotaging certain freezers, jettisoning the bodies or even making up any story he liked that angered Hudson.  No, what really boiled his egg were flying demons, the bouncing ball and zombie machine-gunners.

Fuck.  He's dead.  You're dog-meat pal!
"They cut the power."
"What do you mean 'they' cut the power?  How can they cut the power man they're animals."

Well I don't know, but somebody did at 21:51, and there's no point in asking the Queen because she's also in the dark at 21:55.

Ah great, LV-426 is back online at 22:00.

Of course it's not exactly how it happened but I suppose that would be impractical.

Considering how aliens bring eggs on, they must have applied more stick to their bodies than flypaper.

Let's have a scan at how this battle was interpreted in future pixels.
Alien vs. Predator, Capcom 1994 (Arcade)
Aliens Trilogy, Probe 1996 (PS1, Saturn and DOS)
The fantastic reality...

Why doesn't Ripley just blow away the Queen when she had the chance?  Okay, there would be no power loader fight but you know what I mean...

I was going to save this for my next feast of coincidence because it's possibly the most eccentric rip off in entertainment history.

It's back to bollocks for the penultimate part but look at this from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was released in 1991.

How these aliens emerge only happens in this short stage.

Skeptics will point out that the alien pool is mobile and appears from nowhere.

Does that matter?  Not really.  If anybody scoffs, try and deny the remarkable similarities.  

Recycling takes place with the insect thing (25:03) and the Queen makes her escape.

Before tying up the final loose end, the C64 version deserves 11/10 for its efforts.

Aliens US Version, Electric Dreams 1987

However, look at her Royal Highness on C64 and laugh... hard.

Capcom portrayed the bitch 'slightly' better.

From 26:05 to 28:30, the final confrontation was handled brilliantly.

As the loading lock exit is incorrectly already open, why isn't this effect translated to gameplay?

Her grey tongue is pretty bizarre but when compared to the MSX...

The same boss is used at the end of each stage so it's wrong to even call it the Queen.

I've heard of penis extensions but that is just taking the Bishop.

Giving credit where credit's due, the arcade ending is brief but excellent.

Even the Sulaco looks good.

Finally, the congratulatory message is rather weird.

Surely it should read 'and the last of their kind' etc etc as the omission of word insertion between 'their' and 'flung' struggles to make sense.

Back with the C64 again.

While the quote timing is wrong, what an effort.

Not bad for a... human.
The C64's final transmission.

"Hey Ripley, have you ever been mistaken for a man?"
"No, at least not until now."

In spite of a drastic improvement towards the end, a medley of outrageous drug-induced fuck ups simply cannot be defended.

In all probability, Director S. Okamoto and his team just didn't care.

I know what you're all thinking.  What about Sega's Alien 3: The Gun?

To a certain extent, I agree.

However, Aliens offered the perfect licence but Alien 3, well, didn't.

The best thing about the SNES variation was hearing Hudson's immortal line after dying.

I must go as hypersleep is a selfish necessity.

1 comment:

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