Another fine moment in luxurious, over-lit cityscapes, this one brought to you by Taito’s Silent Dragon, a mediocre 1992 beat-em-up. It’s clear that, along with flying cars, and complete cybernetic body replacement, another thing the past-us expected current-us to achieve by now was a power source capable of illuminating the entire world indefinitely.
Bob is showing off with his subpixel animation. You know, brothers…
At the big VGJunk site today: arcade action, pure and simple in Taito’s 1990 action game Thunder Fox! Drive a jeep, clonk people on the head with a rocket launcher, but never, ever wear a shirt. Read all about it here!
Article about the Rastan Saga. Features animated gifs and stupid jokes. Enjoy X
Taito mugs: drink your joe with Doh ⊟
I’ll take one of each, please. Or maybe just a bunch of Arkanoid mugs. At $8.90 each, I might actually be able to afford one of these! They ship in September, which also happens to be when my birthday is.SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
Celebrating arcade game logos, day four. Who’s next? Taito, and I have to say that, like Konami, this was a bit of a disappointment. Taito was one of the oldest arcade developers in existence, starting in the early 70s. They gave the world Space Invaders and Elevator Action and Bubble Bobble and… Well, I could spend an entire post talking about the great games Taito put out during their heyday, but the point is, they had a lot of good games. They also had a lot of mediocre games. Taito had a lot of games.
But if there was one of the giant arcade companies who seemed reluctant to put much effort into their logos, it looks to be Taito. So many games relied upon demos or intro stories to sell themselves without a thought to the title itself. Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, Rastan, Chase H.Q., The Ninja Warriors, Operation Wolf… There’s a staggering number of legendary games that just chose a font, slapped on some colors and left it on a black screen, sometimes to be accompanied by some sort of picture. Often the fonts themselves weren’t even that interesting; Arkanoid is probably the most intriguing of their “lazy” designs and even that wouldn’t entice me—although the captivating advancements they made on the Super Breakout formula (showed off aptly in their demo play sure did.)
There are some standouts in the legacy of Taito logos. (After all, they say even a broken clock is right twice a day.) Many of these are from shoot-em-ups, which Taito churned out aplenty in the late 80s and early 90s—and many of them were partially or wholly developed by other companies such as Toaplan, so they may not count. Twin Eagle, with its stony, nearly medieval font, unusual subtitle of “Revenge Joe’s Brother” and actual eagle perched atop the world, is not only memorable but fascinating considering it has you piloting a modern day helicopter against all manner of enemies. Not all their shooters were so lucky. Flying Shark is included in this post because it stands out from the crowd, but that doesn’t make it a good logo; quite the contrary, the mottled camouflage throughout is an example of over-decorating with a muddied, dreadful result. On the other hand, Volfied, the successor to Qix that would inspire a generation of porn-reveal drawing games like Gals Panic, achieves a lot in its simplicy, bending the (already unusual) font and drawing a line through it to represent the game. Crime City’s success comes mostly from its sharp contrast of colors (the bright red of its hand-drawn title against the cooler greens and blues of the city in the background) which is eye-catching amongst the competition.
As is often the case with other companies, some of Taito’s best results come from virtually unknown titles. Maze of Flott invokes not only colored and jumbled letters, but an image of the world in the background and a string wrapped around the letters in “Flott.” What’s that string for, you’re left to wonder. Is it a throwback to the tale of the Labyrinth of Crete, part of the game mechanics, or something else? You’ll just have to play and find out, won’t you? Runark, known as Growl in the states (and given a similarly-themed logo for its title there) is as ostentatious a logo as the game it belongs to: a fast-paced beat-em-up with over-the-top action. Games like these help to cement that Taito did have some exceptional logos in its time—but you have to look a lot harder for them than you would with some other companies.
New scratch-made sprites of the Crime Fighters and two of their enemies hit the site, along with Tony “Shucks” Gibson from Crime City and the heavyweights from Final Fight. All of the Crime Fighters characters have recreated version of their palettes in the fighting sprite GFX Generators and the naughty lady also has a sprite based on her art for the game’s Japanese flyer. Tony Gibson comes with a luxurious mullet.
(backgrounds from Final Fight, Street Fighter Alpha 3, KoF ‘98, Street Fighter Alpha 2)
adversary - Pocky & Rocky (Natsume - SNES - 1993)