Monday, December 8, 2008

I'll Get Every Last One of Them!

These take me back.

Back in the days before my hometown had a proper movie theater, my parents would take me to a multiplex at Tennant Station in Morgan Hill. For ever so brief a time, that theater had a cabinet for Badlands in its lobby and I’d drop a quarter or two into before a screening of something like Cop and 1/2 or Blank Check. I suppose I should note that Badlands has lingered with me longer than those two films. Hell, I even wrote the Wikipedia page for it. It’s a laserdisc game, by which I mean it’s a game that looks cool but isn’t all that much fun to play. Games in the vein of the more famous Dragon’s Lair presented at least TV cartoon-quality graphics but essentially were lessons in timing: an animated sequence plays one way or the other, with a good ending or a bad ending, depending on whether players know when to push what button when. Not a whole lot of skill involved. Furthermore, Badlands wasn’t so much in the vein of the Dragon’s Lair as it was the medieval-themed Dragon’s Lair dressed in Spaghetti Western drag — or at least how some makers of anime envisioned the Old West. (See similar cases Ninja Hayate and Time Gal — pretty much what you would expect.) Regardless, I initially thought Badlands was the coolest thing ever, thanks in no small part to the fact that even the death scenes were entertaining. Fortunately, some wonderful soul has seen fit to compile them.

True to life in that there’s a lot of ways to die, but less so in the sense that many of them in Badlands involve space monsters and dinosaurs, for some reason. I’m not sure I exacted vengeance on any of the outlaws that gunned down my lady and the youngins much less felled the game’s big bad, Landolph. (I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be “Randolph.”) Also, it’s pretty clear that neither of my parents ever watched me play the game, as it’s violent enough that Mappy or Our Run or even Street Fighter would have made for a more appropriate in-lobby timekiller.


  1. The first gunshot sound effect in that last video you embedded sure caught my ear. That's the same gunshot used for all of the late Lee Van Cleef's characters in the Man With No Name westerns. I'd know that sound anywhere - I've only been watching The Good, The Band, and The Ugly since I was six.

  2. Wouldn't surprise me. These kinds of games are pretty much just homage layered on homage.

    Also: Is this Jesse?

  3. i havent played this game but i was watching it and the west stuff and then that lady turned into a monster or somethign and i was like WHAAAAAAAAT?!