On The End Of A Quill

On The End Of A Quill

Friday, July 15, 2011

Video Game Ads from comic books of the early to mid 80s, Part 1

I have a large selection of comics going back a number of years, and while thirty years ago kids seemed to be excited by remote control cars, offers of posters of John Travolta, or body building equipment?? Eventually video games start to creep into these pages. So the next number of posts will focus on the ads from the early eighties to the late nineties. It gives me an excuse to use my scanner (yes, it does work) and to look over some classic Swamp Thing and Legion of Super Heroes comics. Aah, the days when Marvel and D.C. didn't need an earth shattering event every six months to screw with continuity and generally mess up their universes.

Atari presents Mario Bros. from 1983. It promises exciting two-player action for your Atari 2600 and 5200 in an arcade port of some sort of plumbing simulator, it'll never catch on.

Wow, Frogger was so popular it had to be released on no less than 8 different systems! The Sega arcade hit from 1983 really could not be avoided (insert traffic reference here). At least they show an actual screenshot from the Atari 5200 version in this ad rather than a sneaky artists impression of what the game kind of looks like that some ads go for. Which of the eight versions is the best? Hell if I know! You wonder why there was a videogame crash!

Here is a spread for Frogger from a year earlier for your Atari Video Computer System. This contains the artists depiction of the game in action. This must have driven Frogger fans into a near frenzy. It's just like the arcade!! Coming Soon! Parker Brothers promised, with little indication that it would spawn (get it?) so many Froggers.

Burger Time was another conversion of an arcade hit, this time by Data East, that would be coming soon to pretty much any system you could possibly have connected to your monitor or TV. It does come with a health warning though, "Graphics vary by system". Why be a knight or a space marine, when you could be a chef flipping burgers?

Look, it's pretty straight forward, you either bump'em or jump'em, there is no third option. Race'em? Don't be stupid, where's the fun in that exactly? Mattel Electronics bring another Data East coin-op to the home with versions for both the Intellivision and the Atari 2600.

Mattel bring Advanced Dungeons and Dragons to your Intellivision. Ignore the archer with the impossibly wide stance trying to down the big green monster and look at that screenshot. Is that a snake? jewel? castle? wolf? Use your imagination... but I don't think the Intellivision control pad has enough buttons to keep up with my imagination!

The sequel to the first AD&D, Treasure of Tarmin would be released by Mattel not long after the first game, which was called Cloudy Mountain apparently. Again for this ad, ignore the archer surrounded by nasties, holding a bow that's taller than he is, and look at that in-game screen. Is that a spider? a Catoblepas? a blue polyhedral dice eating monster? Holy crap it's like Doom with arrows.

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