Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Movie Monster Game

The Movie Monster Game
Commodore 64
Epyx: 1986
1 Player

Back when I was about knee high to an artichoke, my father bought our family's first home computer:  The Commodore 64.  My only experience with computers before this was the Atari 2600.  Now, I love me some Atari, but THIS.....this was something special indeed.  64K of RAM!   In the immortal words of Joey Lawrence....WHOA!

It didn't take me long to start compiling a large catalog of games.  There have been MANY favorites (of which you can be sure I will write about!) but there was a certain appeal that The Movie Monster Game had......perhaps it was the fact that I could now control 8-Bit incarnations of some truly awesome monsters, including the King of all Kaiju's.....GODZILLA!   Forget King of the Monsters, forget Nintendo's want oldschool Kaiju action?  Check out TMMG.   

Now back in the day, games weren't slick and streamlined like they are now.  There were no CD-ROMS and load times took what seemed like forever.  Back in the day, in the time that it took to load a game, you could order a pizza, have it delivered, have dinner and STLL have to wait about ten minutes!   Okay....perhaps that's a little exaggerated, but you get the idea.  Anyway, my point is that some companies tried to be creative in finding ways to keep you occupied whilst waiting for your game to load.  Epyx, did it best with this game.  The load screen was the inside of a movie theater and while the game was loading, it would show "trailers" for upcoming games.  Granted the trailers were actually just a picture, but still, it was a cool little slide show.  

Now, onto the good stuff!  The game allows you to select from a variety of Monsters: 

 Godzilla (The King of the Monsters....YEAH!)
 Spectra (a giant mosquito/wasp)
 The Glog (Big green blob with crimson red peepers....he was awesome!)
 Tarantus (giant spider....)
 Mr. Meringue (The Stay Puft Marshmellow Man's cousin....)
 Mechatron (the token giant robot)

You could also select which city you wanted to decimate, including:

New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow

And as if that wasn't enough, you actually could select differnt storyline/missions:

Escape - simple enough to understand....get your ass our of dodge!
Lunchtime - Again, no surprises here....mangia!
Landmark - destroy a city's famous landmark!
Search - Being a kaiju and a parent is hard work....apparently you've managed to lose your young one, so start searchin' the town!

The mechanics of the game itself are quite simple.  Walk around town, use your special power (radiactive breath, spit goo, laser beam, etc) destroy buildings, army tanks, jets, helicopters and soldiers.  The view is a slightly isometric, giving a nice 3D feel to the game.  Depending on whether you complete your mission or are defeated you will get various ending screens.  This game isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, so you'll get a chance to see PLENTY of these closing screens.  The good news is that the next monster movie is always ready to go, just awaiting your selection.

The instruction manual was also pretty great because it gave a listing and synopsis of movies that were inspiration for this game.  

If you wanna try some great retro kaiju fun, then get yerself a Commodore 64 and a copy of MMG off of E-bay.   Or download an emulator.  You can find this game for download on a few different sites including my favorite:

This is a great game for a lazy, rainy sunday afternoon.  Best played with a friend, a bottle of soda and some popcorn or candy!  

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