RoboCop (1988 video game)

RoboCop is a beat 'em up/run-and-gun arcade game developed and published by Data East in 1988, based on the 1987 film of the same name.[6][7] It was sub-licensed to Data East by Ocean Software, who obtained the rights from Orion Pictures at the script stage.[1][8] Data East and Ocean Software subsequently adapted the arcade game for home computers.

RoboCop
RoboCop arcade flyer.jpg
North American arcade flyer
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)
Data East
  • Data East
    (MS-DOS/NES/Apple II)
    Ocean Software
    (Amiga/Atari ST/C64/CPC/ZX Spectrum)
    Erbe Software
    (MS-DOS/MSX)
    Tandy Corporation
    (TRS-80 CoCo)
    Game Boy
Designer(s)Yoshiyuki Urushibara
Programmer(s)Ryōji Minagawa
Artist(s)Tomoo Adachi
Composer(s)Hiroaki Yoshida
Hitomi Komatsu
SeriesRoboCop
Platform(s)
Release
  • Arcade
    • WW: November 1988
    Amstrad CPC
    • EU: December 1988
    Apple II
    • NA: December 1988
    Commodore 64
    • EU: December 1988[1]
    • NA: 12 December 1989
    MSX
    • EU: December 1988
    ZX Spectrum
    Amiga
    Atari ST
    MS-DOS
    NES
    • JP: 25 August 1989[3]
    • NA: 19 December 1989
    • EU: 25 April 1991
    TRS-80 CoCo
    Game Boy
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, run and gun
Mode(s)Single-player
Multiplayer (not in all versions)
Arcade systemData East MEC-M1[5]

The game was a critical and commercial success. The arcade game was the highest-grossing arcade game of 1988 in Hong Kong, and reached number-two on Japan's monthly Game Machine arcade charts. On home computers, the game sold over 1 million copies worldwide, and it was especially successful in the United Kingdom where it was the best-selling home computer game of the 1980s.

GameplayEdit

 
Arcade screenshot

The gameplay is similar to Data East's arcade game Bad Dudes Vs. DragonNinja, released earlier the same year.[9] Robocop is includes elements from both beat 'em up and run and gun games.

ReleaseEdit

In 1988, Ocean adapted Data East's Robocop arcade game for 8-bit home computers, converting much of the arcade game while also adding original content to make it different to the arcade original.[8] This version was produced for the Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Tandy Color Computer 3, Amstrad CPC, and IBM PC compatibles, meaning that home computers ended up with two different versions of Robocop for North American and European audiences.

Ports for the Apple II, IBM PC compatibles, Amiga, and Atari ST, NES, and Color Computer 3 followed in 1989. The Apple II and IBM PC ports were developed by Quicksilver Software, while the Amiga and Atari ST versions were developed directly by Ocean. The NES version was developed by Sakata SAS Co, and Ocean developed and published a version for the Game Boy in 1990. A port of the game for the Atari Jaguar was planned but never released.[10][11]

Data East published the game in North America.

ReceptionEdit

RoboCop was a commercial success in arcades, especially in Hong Kong where it was the highest-grossing arcade game of 1988.[18] In Japan, Game Machine listed RoboCop on their February 1, 1989 issue as being the second most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[19]

On home computers, the game sold over 1 million copies worldwide. It was especially successful in the United Kingdom, where it was the best-selling home computer game of the 1980s.[8] The ZX Spectrum version in particular was the best-selling home video game of 1989.[20] The ZX Spectrum RoboCop was one of the biggest selling games of all time on that platform and remained in the Spectrum software sales charts for over a year and a half;[21] it entered the charts in April 1989, and was still in the top five in February 1991.[22] It also topped the UK multi-format charts for six months,[23] breaking UK chart records.[24]

The arcade game was critically well-received.[9] The ZX Spectrum version also achieved critical acclaim, receiving a CRASH Smash award from CRASH,[25] 94% in Sinclair User[14] and Your Sinclair gave 8.8 out of 10,[26] also placing it at number 94 in the Your Sinclair official top 100. The overall opinion was that it captures the original material, with smooth scrolling and animation, sampled speech and sound effects highlighted.

The readers of YS voted it the 9th best game of all time.[27]

The title theme of the Ocean Software versions (composed by Jonathan Dunn) has become well known for its serene, calm tune, which heavily contrasted the tone of both the actual game and the source material; the version of the theme heard in the Game Boy port was later licensed by European kitchen appliance company Ariston for use in a series of TV adverts.[28] The song was also used as the theme song for Charlie Brooker's documentary, How Videogames Changed the World,[29] and was one of Brooker's selections on Desert Island Discs. It was also used as the music for the Internet short, "Dilbert 3"[28] and was sampled in Lil B's song, "In Down Bad", from his mixtape "White Flame".[28][30]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Mason, Graeme (January 19, 2014). "The making of Robocop - Thank you for your co-operation". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ The Retro Brothers (October 4, 2009). "ZX Spectrum Games - Robocop". zxspectrumgames.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on 2018-09-09. Retrieved 2018-09-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "FAMICOM Soft > 1989". GAME Data Room. Archived from the original on 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2018-09-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "GAMEBOY Soft > 1991". GAME Data Room. Archived from the original on 2018-09-09. Retrieved 2018-09-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Data East MEC-M1 Hardware (Data East)". system16.com. 2015-02-12. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2018-09-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "RoboCop - The Future of Law Enforcement". arcade-history.com. Archived from the original on 2018-09-12. Retrieved 2018-09-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Kenjō, Kōji (October 1988). "Video Games - ビデオゲーム新作インフォメーション". Micom BASIC Magazine (in Japanese). No. 76. The Dempa Shimbunsha Corporation. pp. 268–269.
  8. ^ a b c Mellor, Robert (January 2008). "The Making Of: RoboCop" (PDF). Retro Gamer. No. 46. Future Publishing. pp. 62–65. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2018-09-05. Lay summary.
  9. ^ a b "Arcade Action: RoboCop". Computer and Video Games. No. 86 (December 1988). November 1988. pp. 149–52.
  10. ^ "Atari Jaguar Sector II Forum Link". jaysmith2000.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2006. Retrieved September 5, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Atari Jaguar Lost Games". janatari.de. Archived from the original on 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Robocop". Ysrnry.co.uk. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "The World's Largest Arcade". ACE. No. 20 (May 1989). 6 April 1989. p. 23.
  19. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 349. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 February 1989. p. 25.
  20. ^ "The Best Games of '89". Computer and Video Games. No. 98 (January 1990). 16 December 1989. p. 9.
  21. ^ "The YS Complete Guide To Shoot-'em-ups Part II" Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine from Your Sinclair issue 56, August 1990; retrieved from The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years
  22. ^ "The YS Rock'n'Roll Years - Issue 62". Ysrnry.co.uk. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "All Formats Top 20". Computer and Video Games. No. 95 (October 1989). 16 September 1989. pp. 66–7.
  24. ^ "All Formats Top 20". Computer and Video Games. No. 94 (September 1989). 16 August 1989. pp. 58–9.
  25. ^ RoboCop Archived 2018-08-28 at the Wayback Machine review from CRASH issue 59, December 1988; retrieved from CRASH Online
  26. ^ RoboCop Archived March 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine review from Your Sinclair issue 39, March 1989; retrieved from The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years
  27. ^ Your Sinclair magazine issue 93, Future Publishing, September 1993, page 58
  28. ^ a b c Person, Chris (February 16, 2012). "What do Robocop, Washing Machines, Dilbert & Lil B have in Common?". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved October 25, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ Whitehead, Dan (December 5, 2013). "TV review: How Videogames Changed the World". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2016-10-25. Retrieved October 25, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ Rougeau, Michael (February 16, 2016). "Gameboy "Robocop"'s Theme Song Also Sold Washers, Made Dilbert Homicidal And Got Sampled By Lil B". Complex. Archived from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved October 25, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit