+Ryan Witmer Posted October 4, 2022 Share Posted October 4, 2022 Finally! This is going to be a fun one, I think. This idea came from two different places. First was last year's @ZeroPage Homebrew stream where he was trying to come up with Christmas, or at least winter themed games for a holiday show. I got to thinking about it, and realized that I couldn't come up with a single Christmas game for the 5200. Even winter themed games were hard to come by, I could only come up with RealSports Curling and that's kind of a stretch. So, I resolved myself to fix this problem. To create the much-needed Christmas game for the 5200. Enter my second idea. I had long been toying with the idea of doing a film adaptation. Now, obviously there are a ton of legal issues involved with this, so I thought it might be fun to adapt a movie in the public domain. It was then that inspiration struck, as I remembered that the 1964 holiday "classic" Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was in the public domain! Much like how Shimmer is both a floor wax and a dessert topping, my game could be both a Christmas game and a film adaptation! Two great tastes in one project. As a huge Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan, this is a movie I'm already very familiar with, so I started coming up with some basic ideas before I even rewatched the film for research. The idea I'm running with right now is for something very much like Jungle Hunt. A series of mostly independent screens with completely different game play on each screen. The screens will roughly follow the plot of the movie, with certain liberties taken here and there. I'll sum up the plot here: The children of Mars are depressed, or something. So Kimar, who seems to be the Martian leader, consults a wise old Martian for help. He learns that the children of Mars are moody because they don't have Christmas. Kimar hatches a plan to travel to Earth and kidnap Santa Claus so they can force him to bring Christmas to Mars. During the mission they meet Billy and Betty, a pair of Earth children who somehow get caught up in the whole mess. Kimar and his gang grab Santa, bringing him and the Earth children back to Mars. One particular Martian named Voldar keeps opposing Kimar every step of the way, believing that this whole Christmas thing will turn the people of Mars soft, into Martianmallows, if you will. Voldar is basically the movie's villain. Santa and the kids are put to work on Mars making toys, alongside Kimar's children Bomar and Girmar. Kimar builds a toy machine for Santa to help him, since he lacks his usual workshop and elves. Then there's Dropo, who seems to be some kind of servant to Kimar, as the "funny one." He develops an obsession with Santa and starts dressing up as him. Voldar sneaks in to disable the toy machine and finds Dropo in Santa garb, and decides to kidnap him thinking he's the real Santa. More hijinks ensue, and in the end Voldar is defeated in an epic toy battle, Dropo becomes the Santa Claus of Mars, and Santa and the children return to Earth in time for Christmas. Lots of great material to work with here! After a few viewings, I've come up with a rough five-stage plan which is of course subject to massive change: 1: North Pole Escape Early in the film, Billy and Betty are brought to the north pole by the Martians on their way to grab Santa. They escape the ship after Dropo released them and try to reach Santa's workshop to warn him. In the movie they are pursued by Voldar and the mighty robot Torg. A "polar bear" also gets involved. For this screen, I'm imagining some kind of maze chase where the kids have to evade Voldar, Torg, and the "polar bear" and reach Santa's workshop. In the movie, the kids are actually caught by Torg, but I'll take some creative license here. There's a part in the movie where Voldar follows the kids' footprints, so maybe I could work that in somehow. Voldar also gets scared off the by "polar bear" so that's another interesting angle. Torg fears nothing. 2. Airlock Escape On the way to Mars, Voldar tries to kill Santa and the kids by shooting them out of the airlock, but they escape due to Santa's magical ability to traverse air ducts or something. I think there's something workable here. 3. Martian toy shop This is just screaming out for a Pressure Cooker style order-fulfillment game, where you control the kids trying to correctly manage toys as they come out of the machine. 4. Voldar's cave After Voldar kidnaps Dropo, he takes him to a cave hideout which is locked by something called a nuclear curtain. I don't know what that is, but it sounds awesome. Dropo later escapes the cave, and I think there could be stage here involving these nuclear curtains. 5. Kids vs. Voldar Of course, the final showdown has to be here. This stage would involve the kids fighting Voldar in the toy shop to complete the cycle. After that, the game would loop with more difficulty, as good games do. So that's my rough plan. I should also mention that I'm planning to do this on a 512KB cartridge. This will allow me to make all kinds of cool intermission scenes, possibly with stills from the movie. I'm very much looking forward to it. I don't expect to be able to start any coding until at least after PRGE. Still working out design stuff. Each phase of the game can be worked on in isolation though, so it should be an interesting project. 16 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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