Retro Coin Op Synopsis
To pull the arcade out of its mid-80’s crash, it took a monster hit…literally. Rampage starred three gigantic monsters, an army of soldiers and a city full of helpless civilians. And in a welcome switch, you actually got to play as the monsters. The game combined classic giant monster movies like King Kong and the Godzilla series with a twisted sense of humor and an undeniable spirit of fun, giving gamers a reason to come running back to their neglected local arcades.
Up to three people could join in one game of Rampage, each taking the part of one titanic beast—George the Ape, Lizzie the Lizard or Ralph the Wolfman. In reality, these monsters were actually mutated humans, a fact revealed a bit later in the game.
The only object was pure, unadulterated mayhem. Each level represented a part of a major or minor city in North America (85 cities and 768 levels in all), and each had to be flattened before you could move on. By punching holes and cracks into the several skyscrapers on the screen, the buildings crumbled to the ground. Once the town was razed, the monsters simply moved on to the next street.
Standing in the way of the destruction were the forces of humanity, which, for some reason, only consisted of the National Guard and a few police officers. Soldiers popped out of building windows to fire bullets or lob dynamite, tanks shelled your monster hide, helicopters strafed from above and cop cars fired blasts as they drove along the street below.
The more hits George, Lizzie and Ralph received, the more their “Damage” meters inched down to empty. Once all health was gone, the monsters shrank back into their human forms, naked and embarrassed, to slink off the screen while covering their naughty bits with a well-placed hand or two.
The Guard wasn’t the only threat to the beasts’ health, either. As George, Lizzie and Ralph punched holes in buildings, various items would appear. Some would restore health—milk, turkeys, fruit, human beings, etc.—but other items like cacti, toilets and light bulbs would give them either a bad tummy ache or a violent electric shock. For a quick pick-me-up, there were always plenty of Guardsmen and civilians to chew on.
Every screen of Rampage was filled with comical eye candy, from the monster’s expressions of joy, pain and confusion to little throwaway gags like a fisherman catching a mermaid (and an edible mermaid, to boot). Add that to the fact that the game encouraged join-ins and continues, and Bally Midway had a gargantuan hit on its hands. Rampage was converted to every home system of its time, allowing fans to destroy cities from the comfort of their own homes.
It took another 11 years, but the company finally released a sequel, Rampage World Tour, in 1997. The silly, destructive gameplay remained the same, but in addition to a more 3-D look, the game now took on an international flavor as George, Lizzie and Ralph wreaked havoc from London to South America and beyond.
In 1999, Rampage 2: Universal Tour was released, adding new cities, special attacks and three new monsters—Boris the Rhino, Curtis the Rat and Ruby the Lobster. And the reign of terror continues…
Arcade Machine Release History1986 - Rampage
1997 - Rampage World Tour
1999 - Rampage Universal Tour
Arcade Game Sub Categoriesfighting