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Q*bert Serial #1 Found!
Dec 13th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

koolmoecraig on the Killer List of Video Games arcade forum recently posted about finding the “first” Q*bert game – one that was still technically a prototype!

He says the following:

I scored probably my ultimate “grail”, the 1st Q*bert machine ever made. Complete with hand-drawn marquee artwork and one-off CPO artwork, the machine was purchased by a Gottlieb executive after being out on test and stored in his basement for the past 30 years. The cabinet is a 9.5 out of 10!

Notice that Q*bert wasn’t even in his final stage at this point. He still looks roughly drawn and more similar to concept drawings. He even looks different on the CPO artwork. Also, the Gottlieb trademark is above the “How To Play” instructions on the left side of the CPO. On production games it’s within the instructions.

The prototype cabinet has stencil painted side art. I assume they hadn’t decided on side art yet. There are no graphics on the monitor bezel. Just black paint on glass.

Lastly, I noticed the Gottlieb trademark on the attract screen itself. I’m pretty sure this is different than production versions but I have to confirm that.




Interestingly, this version does not appear to have the knocker installed… (the arcade version of Q*bert features a physical “knocker” that makes a BANG! sound against some wood in the cabinet when you lure Coily off the pyramid, or fall off the pyramid yourself!)

There’s more photos — including some gorgeous pics of the inside of the cabinet — and discussion on KLOV.

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Jolt Country is presented by Ice Cream Jonsey.
Twitter: @icecreamjonsey

Who Framed Wreck-It Ralph? (As A Launching Point To An Arcade Post)
Jun 8th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

There is a movie in development called Wreck-It Ralph. I hope it makes a billion dollars and everyone involved had that moment where they go see it in a theater and sneak in some scotch to celebrate a job well done, because if I worked on movies I’d totally sneak in a little bit of the old Johnny Dapper when a movie I worked on premiered. I know this because I don’t work in movies and still bring a flask.

I want those things for the crew behind Ralph because I am a liker, and I like things. But then there’s stuff like this promotional poster:

Ha ha! Remember those guys from that game??!

Rather than face the outrage of this insult a moment longer, I took my concerns to Twitter, which left me about a million characters short to express anything meaningful on the subject. Not that I didn’t try.

My pal Jason asked me if I would have thought the same about Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s different, but I sure wasn’t going to be able to express that on Twitter. And please keep in mind that none of this is really as annoying in the real world as a paper cut or a stubbed toe, but let me be a crazy person anyway.

The fun parts, to me, of Roger Rabbit involve the plot of Bob Hoskins trying to solve a crime in this unique world we’re presented with. I don’t want to call Eddie Valiant a classic noir protagonist, because I haven’t seen it enough times to name his characteristics, prejudices and arc by memory, but he does wear a trench coat and is a private eye, so let’s go with that. I like noir. Photographs of Jessica Rabbit literally playing patty-cake is hilarious. Roger Rabbit has an annoying voice, but isn’t annoying. That’s amazing. It really has a great script. I think reasonable people agree it’s a good movie, maybe even a great one. I’m sure it’s hundreds of spots below Seven Samurai and the bed jumping scene of Return of the King on IMDB, but what good, maybe great movie isn’t.

With that in mind, I couldn’t have cared less about all the other cartoon characters they tried to cram into Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

The part where Donald Duck and Daffy Duck engage in dueling pianos was stupid and dragged. Maybe if Elmer Fudd was actually murdering denizens of ToonTown with a sawed-off shotgun that’d be something and a decent use of all the characters the filmmakers licensed, but all the other appearances were fan fictiony. Seeing Dolan Duck in the background of frames 1,023 through 1,046 isn’t just automatically interesting to me.

(Popeye wasn’t in it, I remember. I always liked that. I felt like he was on my side. If you have a guy who eats spinach all the time not do something that apparently every other character who had ever been in an animation cel agreed to then you know he is standing up for his principles.)

I don’t know anything about the movie of Wreck-It Ralph, other than the fact that the plot (an arcade bad guy trying to make good) is perfectly fine on its own. That’s a legitimate idea for a movie, and I am going to try my best to make some kids tonight so I can bring them to the theater and they can enjoy it when it gets released. OK I was gonna do that anyway, bow chicka bow.

But what would be even better than Q*bert and Slick being destitute in a promotional image (and the image is great, don’t get me wrong) would be a Q*bert movie. Written by Warren Davis and/or Jeff Lee. It’s their stuff!

I know I am crazy when it comes to this, and that’s fine. I think that you get a special relationship with the character of Q*bert when you are soaked in sweat on a summer day trying to figure out why your Q*bert machine is spontaneously resetting in a cool basement. You develop a thing for Mr. Do! when you accidentally push it down the stairs to your game room and spend 20 hours over two days trying to get the thing working again. I mean, there was a stretch of time, before Mr. Do! was famous, where kids went into an arcade and sized the thing up. They knew nothing about it. The game became a thing we (well, er, I) still care about 30 years later because it was awesome and amazing and interesting on its own merits. We’re now living in a world where the interesting stuff to consume increased exponentially and I think it’s cheating to shove the heads of Pengo and the Lode Runner down in the water so you can float a little yourself.

So. Maybe Kazutoshi Ueda will get unfrozen from whatever cybernetic think tank the world stashed him into when he was done creating the masterpiece Mr. Do!. Maybe he wants to make a screenplay! Maybe that was his lifelong dream, I don’t know. The character of Bugs Bunny wasn’t going to have possible future films closed to him based on how Roger Rabbit did, but arcade characters have nowhere near that much pull. This is probably it for them. I just think it’d be cool for the people who developed the games in the first place to have their opportunities (as — last I heard — the games Joust and Asteroids do), rather than prop up this other thing, Wreck-It Ralph, that ought to die or flourish based on its own qualities.

… Oh. And regardless of how dramatic I was being over Twitter, I would still maintain that a Food Fight movie staring a kid whose jaw can dislodge to ten times its normal size would be an amazing disaster movie.

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Jolt Country is presented by Ice Cream Jonsey.
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Get Your Goddamn Multi-Q*bert On
Oct 15th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

The Multi-Q*bert board is coming back! I just received an e-mail from Mike Doyle, and the thing is coming back into production, with the intent to get it to people by Thanksgiving. 

All right, just what is the Multi Q*bert board? It allows you to play the following games: 

Q*bert

Q*bert Qubes

Faster, Harder, More Challenging Q*bert

Insector

Curveball

Mello Yello Q*bert 

 

And of course, the standard Q*bert board plays one of those games… Q*bert. I have no idea what Insector and Curveball are like – I could load them up in MAME, but it is sort of more fun to not know at this point, y’know? There is also going to be a bonus game in this iteration of the kit: 7-11 Q*bert. That would be 7-11 as in the convenience store 7-11. What does that have to do with Q*bert? I have no idea, but again, I can’t wait to see how it is different.

The instructions for the kit seem pretty straight-forward, just popping some ROM chips and a few RAM chips. If you’d like to get on the list for them, just write Mike Doyle — which is his site directory name, http://www.members.aol.com/kilkeeslps/ at aol dot com. You’ll get the kit and a shirt. 

For me, personally, the real prize is FHMC Q*bert – I run into the wall on regular Q*bert after 30,000 points, and being able to switch over to a new game in the same “style” would be fantastic. 

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Jolt Country is presented by Ice Cream Jonsey.
Twitter: @icecreamjonsey

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