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 Post subject: [Dossier Space Invaders]
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:48 am 

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[Dossier Space Invaders] The game that revolutionized the industry of electronic games!

By Kobayashi

>> Video <<


Space Invaders is a game more important to the industry of electronic games than you think. Launched by the developer Taito Corporation in the distant year of 1978, it would become the father of all the shoot'em up games and one of the most important and influential of all time!

Absolute commercial success in your time, Space Invaders was the first shoot'em up also known as shmup, genre that includes games in which the protagonist fights against a lot of enemies by shooting them while dodging their shots. A parenthesis here: Spacewars! designed in 1961 is not considered a legitimate or true shmup, since this game only two players, each controlling one ship, one duel against each other not fitting, therefore, the definition of shmup described above. In particular, I consider Spacewars! just a shooter with space simulation elements (there is the presence of gravity element in this game).

Learn about the trajectory of the mega classic Space Invaders following the lines below:

History and Legacy

Space Invaders was created by Japanese designer Tomohiro Nishikado. The first prototype of the game was to shoot people, planes and tanks. However, when Taito saw the prototype said: "You can not shoot people and you shouldn't create an image of war," Nishikado then immediately changed his plans, converting the old characters to monsters, however, he was still trying to decide which focus and direction should give to the game, then was when he heard about a science fiction movie that was being produced in the United States. The movie was Star Wars (1977). Based on this influence he decided to focus the game in space and converted the monsters into space aliens (the invaders that give name to title game).

The inspiration for the design elements of Space Invaders came initially from the novel War of the Worlds by HG Wells. This influence, however, can only be attributed to the mother ship that crosses the screen during the game and that was the first sprite designed by Nishikado in the game. Since the invaders themselves were inspired by marine creatures such as octopus, squid and crabs.

After completion of the final version, the game was released for arcade and turned a huge success in Japan and United States. In Japan, reached the point of causing an unexpected problem: the lack of 100 yen coins (exactly those that were used to play Space Invaders!). Cases were reported to the people who stole to play the game!

Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario's father, considered Space Invaders a game that revolutionized the gaming industry. At IGN, Space Invaders is cited in first place in their list of Top 10 most influential games (see here: IGN's Top 10 Most Influential Games).

With enormous popularity, Space Invaders done Taito Corporation's coffers overflowing money, becoming one of the most successful pieces of entertainment for your time.

The version of Space Invaders for the Atari 2600 console U.S. that would be the first official license of an arcade converted to a home console, dating from 1980, became the first Killer App for a home console selling over a million units and quadrupling 2600's sales! The Atari 2600 version, however, wasn't merely a copy of the original version, because the developers have included several variations of the game (accessible via the select button), which greatly pleased both critics and players.

With the popularity of Space Invaders, other entertainment companies have also decided to invest in this genre, released in the next years other shmups being the most outstanding: Atari's Asteroids, Galaxian, Galaga and Xevious from Namco, Williams' Defender, Scramble, Super Cobra and Gradius from Konami, Irem's R-Type and many others after not only for arcade, but for home consoles too.

It's worth mentioning that Pac-Man (1980), another mega-classic arcade was only released two years after Space Invaders, then in some way, Pac-Man has benefited from the mass of arcades started with Space Invaders.

The Game

The objective of Space Invaders is to contain, through your laser cannon, hateful hordes of space invaders that are attacking the planet Earth and want to invade it at all costs. In the task, you earn points for every attacker killed, and as the aliens are eliminated, their movement on the screen, as well as the songs become faster and faster growing providing moments of adrenaline during gambling (the last alien of each stage, as seen in the video above, is hard, moving too quickly).

By defeating the whole wave of alien enemies on the screen, a new wave appears and so on indefinitely until the player succumb. Yes, the invaders are invincible.

Space Invaders brought important innovations to the world of games that were copied later in countless games:

* It was the first to use the idea of ​​giving a limited number of lives to the players. After losing the last life, the game ended.
* The game popularized the concept of High Scores (best score) and was the first to allow them to be saved in the arcade machine itself, thus encouraging other players to try to overcome it.

The hardware used in Space Invaders was the following:

CPU: 8080 (@ 1.9968 Mhz)
Sound Chip: SN76477 (@ 1.9968 Mhz)
Screen orientation: Vertical
Video resolution: 224 x 240 pixels


Space Invaders received several sequences in the arcades, as well conversions for several home consoles. In the following lines, I will focus only on major sequences released for the arcade:

* Space Invaders - Part II (1980)

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In this first sequel, released in 1980, the color palette was increased, making the game more colorful compared to the first of the series. There were also improvements in the gameplay, besides being the first game ever to insert an intermission between the phases.

* Return of the Invaders (1985)

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Five years after Space Invaders - Part II, Taito launched the third sequence: Return of the Invaders. There have been several significant changes not only in the graphics department and colors, as well as a more complex pattern of movements and attack the aliens.

* Space Invaders '91

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Launched in 1991 and also known as Majestic Twelve: Space Invaders Part IV, this sequence brought several updates to the series, such as power-ups which can be taken to abate the mother ship that crosses the top of the screen. These powerups allow powerful laser shots that devastate many invaders at a stroke; freezing time (an enormous butterfly appears on the screen, as can be seen in the video above) and this time stops the movement of aliens and etc.. A very cool game in my opinion.

* Space Invaders DX (1994)

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This version was a sort of homage to the series, bringing back the classics with a number of new options such as a two-player competitive mode, so the inclusion of a parody, where instead of the standard gun used other characters can be seen in other Taito's famous games like Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid and so on.

* Space Invaders' 95

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Very good game with nice cute graphics, sounds really cool, nice gameplay and bosses in the final stages! And a new super welcome, anytime you have a gun in that, by pressing the fire button and held down, allows you to fire powerful bursts of laser and devastate multiple enemies at once (similar R-Type's charged shoot system)

Space Invaders today:

Space Invaders is present in the current consoles and handhelds like the DS, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3. One of the most famous versions by public and critics is Space Invaders Extreme:

>> Video <<

Other games are Space Invaders Infinity Gene (PSN and XBLA), Space Invaders Get Even (Wii), Space Invaders Revolution (DS), Space Invaders Evolution (PSP) and Space Invaders Extreme 2 (DS)

Like any self-respecting classic, Space Invaders saga has no time to finish.

(English version - sorry for my bad english. The original version in brazilian portuguese can be seen here. .

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