Category Archives: Midway

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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Mortal Kombat, Arcade

Mortal Kombat is a legendary arcade fighting game, created and manufactured by Midway in 1992.

The game is infamous for a number of reasons.

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Jackie Chan Stuntmaster, PlayStation

Jackie Chan himself was involved in the making of this Canadian PlayStation game, and not just in terms of lending his voice talents.

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Gorf, Arcade

Gorf is an early arcade shooter that feels like a poor relative to many of its peers of the time.

It borrows most of its features from other games (one wave is actually called “Galaxians“) and doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of gameplay, but it did pioneer ONE THING. And that is: in the use of synthesised speech. Gorf was one of the earliest video games to use it (and although clear, it is quite robotic).

As a shooter, Gorf is a challenging, five stage, fixed-screen, mission-based blaster (a VERY vertically squished screen at that, which is what the game was like – it’s not an aspect ratio problem).

The missions are as follows: 1. Astro Battles (Space Invaders clone), 2. Laser Attack (a somewhat original dive bomb attack wave by ten enemies, two of which can fire continuous lasers), 3. Galaxians (clone of Galaxian), 4. Space Warp (shoot enemies while flying down a wormhole), and 5. Flag Ship (shoot through a force field, then shoot the mother ship core – an early boss battle!).

Gorf was developed by Dave Nutting Associates for Midway and was released in 1981.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorf

Total Carnage, Arcade

The spiritual successor to Smash TV (in the same way that Smash TV was the spiritual predecessor to Robotron 2084), and a brilliant overhead shooter with 360 degree blasting action.

Total Carnage is similar to Smash TV in many ways, and retains a lot of its predecessor’s fun factor, but this sequel allows the player to roam a scrolling landscape this time, in search of hostages to rescue, and things to destroy! And Total Carnage really delivers on the destruction side of things, including special sections where you have to blow up as many vehicles as possible for bonus points.

At the end of each section you can also warp into a single-room, Smash TV-like challenge, to earn bonuses and extra lives, but the number of opponents in these bonus rooms can often be overwhelming.

Actually, Total Carnage – as a blasting experience – is overwhelming in the same way that Smash TV is… Blasting through overwhelming numbers of enemies is all part of the appeal.

Midway released Total Carnage into arcades in 1992. Mark Turmell and Eugene Jarvis – who were key members of the Smash TV dev team –  were also designers on this.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Carnage