Category Archives: General Computer Corporation

Ms. Pac-Man, Arcade

The 1982 sequel to the smash hit Pac-Man originally started out as a third party modification kit for Pac-Man machines, developed by General Computer Corporation, and called ‘Crazy Otto‘.

After legal action from Atari, GCC was forced to present Crazy Otto to Midway, the North American distributor of Pac-Man, who bought the game and developed it into Ms. Pac-Man.

Further complicating the story, apparently Midway did this without Pac-Man‘s original owner Namco‘s consent, which caused some licensing issues later. The truth is by no means clear, but in the murky world of video game licensing it is sometimes the case that people sell and exploit rights to products they have no right to.

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Desert Falcon, Atari 7800

Desert Falcon is an obscure isometric shooter with an Egyptian theme, released exclusively for the Atari 7800 in 1987.

You play as a falcon, flying diagonally over the landscape, shooting stuff as you go, in a way similar to that seen in Sega‘s classic coin-op, Zaxxon.

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Food Fight, Arcade

Atari‘s Food Fight is an interesting arcade game. It was initially developed by a ‘rival’ company, GCC, who were involved in a legal battle with Atari. The legal dispute was settled out of court, leading to an agreement that GCC would produce games for Atari, and Food Fight was one of the games made for that deal. It was released into arcades in March 1983.

Food Fight is a neat food-throwing game and in it you play a small, blonde kid called Charley Chuck (unfortunately not the mad-haired UK comedian). The idea is that you simply have to reach the on-screen ice cream cone, before it melts. Standing in your way are a bunch of chasing chefs who will kill you if they touch you. They can also pick up and throw food at you, just as you can do to them. There are holes in the ground too, which you must avoid falling into.

As you’d expect: early levels are straightforward. Later levels – anything after level ten – are much more difficult. You have to do some serious ‘jinking’ to get past the chasing chefs and onto the cone.

Food Fight also had a unique joystick that allowed the player to run and aim very quickly, which helps when playing on an actual arcade cabinet, but makes emulation somewhat tricky.

There are 125 levels in total and later levels are insane, as you’d expect. After a certain point, though, you can’t really do much apart from run and try to reach the cone. Food Fight is a simple, classic, cute game, but with limited longevity.

I would love to see someone take the Food Fight characters and concept further, with a more involving sequel! 🙂