As birthday fever dies down, I tell you what I've been doing for most of my nights this week-- rockin' and sockin' zombies in Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Brother, have you heard the good word about this fine, fine Sega Genesis and SNES game, released in 1993?
One thing you might not know about me-- I am a tenth degree black belt at a certain number of Sega Genesis games released in the early 1990's. At this young age, I developed a surgeon's own precision at titles like Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition, Paperboy II, all the Sonics, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Lethal Enforcer, Afterburner II, Desert/Jungle/Urban Strike, among others. I may be completely hopeless at modern video gaming when it comes to controlling "the camera" or using joypads to direct lifelike characters around an open world gaming environment, but I will put myself toe-to-toe with your most insane power gamer when it comes to any of those titles, or sidescroller/ run-and-gun games in general. My parents were ultra frugal when I was growing up, but Christmases and birthdays for four or five years after the purchase of a Sega Genesis console always yielded one or two video games among the other presents. I can remember going to Toys R Us in Rivergate when the exterior decor was still dominated by those multicolored striped panels and Geoffrey the Giraffe's looming presence, and picking out the hang tags for these cartridges to retrieve the physical property in a locked box at the front of the store. Thinking about a game like Jurassic Park retailing for enough money that it had to be kept under lock and key....crazy!! What a trip.
I'm sure we got this game around 1994 (we were big on the sale rack games), and the box I have still has the manual and a number of handwritten level codes in the back of it. We used to play THE FOOL out of this! Meaning I would play and Sus would watch, in the den of our old house/my current house, drinking Grape Kool Aid that was 90% sugar and eating fudge revel ice cream, zapping zombies into the after-afterlife with little squirt guns, battling mummies, space aliens, chainsaw maniacs...you name it, this game has it. Weapons include six packs of sodas, plates, popsicles, ray guns, bazookas, weed-whackers, holy crosses....I mean, it's kind of amazing the variety of things you can try to chuck at the undead. Each level has a number of hapless innocents (cheerleaders, babies, an overweight tourist couple, army men, a mean schoolmarm, etc) that you have to rescue from the marauding monsters by getting to them before the creepies do! And just look at the titles of the levels. Here's the first fifteen:
- Zombie Panic (Bonus Level: Day of the Tentacle)
- Evening of the Undead
- Terror in Aisle Five
- Lumberjack Hedgemaze Mayhem
- Weird Kids on the Block
- Pyramid of Fear
- Dr. Tongue's Castle of Terror
- Titanic Toddler
- Toxic Terrors (Bonus Level: Mushroom Men)
- No Assembly Required
- Weeds Gone Bad
- Mars Needs Cheerleaders (Bonus Level: Cheerleaders Versus the Monsters)
- Chopping Mall
- Seven Meals for Seven Zombies
- Dinner on Monster Island
You already want to play this right?
Around the same time, the cable channel American Movie Classics (AMC), Sci-Fi channel, and TNT's late night programming with Joe Bob Briggs and I think later William Shatner (right?) would show movies like Them!, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, The Incredible Shrinking Man...a lot of the source material for this kitsch-a-palooza. Not to mention MST3K! And The Twilight Zone. And Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1994, at the formative age of 9, I was as well versed as any child of the fifties' or video store habitué in the culture of schlock horror or just plain horror, even, so I remember this game particularly fondly as being "right up my alley" in the best of ways. And by "my alley" I mean a dark, sinister space between buildings where you may or may not get body snatched. I hope my kids are as wing ding as I was as a little gal! Or am now! Haha.
I've been having so much fun playing this over again, but I have to admit, without the cheat codes, this game would be TOO. FLIPPING. HARD. Example, the Sandworms in Level 25? TAKE FIFTY PLUS HITS TO KILL. I was throwing soda cans at them and Matthew was counting down like it was a hot dog eating contest. "TWENTY! TWENTY ONE! TWENTY TWO!" he called out as I shrieked in the background and made some unlady like comments about the Sandworms' family background. If I didn't have infinite lives thanks to the Game Genie, I would be baldheaded this morning from the amount of hair torn out and tears shed over the 90th time I was killed. A plus though? THE MOST ACE SOUNDTRACK. It's so good! I wish I had a cd of it. Check out this playlist of memorable tunes from the game:
Fabulous. Just fabulous. I've made it to level 28 of the 55 (!!) level strong game, and hope to finish it before the week it out!
So! Are there any games you remember fondly from this golden age of nineties' Sega and SNES titles? What kind of spooky horror or sci fi did your impressionable young mind witness at a tender age? Have you played this game? What'd you think?
That's all for today, but I'll see you guys back here tomorrow for Photo Friday! Have a great Thursday (we're almost to the end of the week!). Til then.