Tuesday, December 26, 2006


First off I don’t really like videogames. But it’s true that I spent most of 1988 in the basement watching my brother play R-Type. (That and SuperContra.) There was just something so science nerd about it. Games like R-Type had that “Heavy Metal” styled sci-fi bug out that our pubescent brains required but it also seemed somewhat educational. It was like a psychedelic Giger classroom film.

Stage 1 – Love the intro riff

I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t really play the games. I sucked at them. The whole hand-eye coordination thing was just too much. Sensory overload. And all those freakin’ tricks – hold down this button and press up ten times while shaking the controller – I just couldn’t deal. But my brother was good. Damn good. He could clear every level that I couldn’t and he could do it fast. So, I just sat back with a Mountain Dew and watched. For hours I watched.

Stage 3 – That impossible ship!

And R-Type was the best game to just stare at. First off R-Type had perfect graphics. The game looked like one of my ColorForms come to life. Like something I’d draw with magic markers. Something painfully bright. I mean look at that green! But it wasn’t just the graphics on R-Type but the throbbing synth score. It was so Japanese. Take a killer Kraftwork pulse and mix in some Herbie Hancock shit. Irem always had that fusion thing – if it didn’t sound like it was going to spin off into a sax solo than it didn’t sound right.

Stage 5 – the colonoscopy

For some reason my brother only won the game once. Or twice. It took like five hours and eight cans of Dew. And at least a pack of Oreos. We were all worked up when he hit that last stage. Sweat beading. Hands shaking. I was jumping out of my seat. But then it was over. The last boss wasn’t some monstrous ro-beast, just a fetal Cthulhu in its nest. Man did that ever suck.

Stage 8 – what a finish

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I won the game more than twice, but as you note the final stage was such a horrible conclusion that it likely left me looking for a new game.