March 26, 2008

Exidy, Inc.: Purveyors Of The Exceptionally Strange

Man, oh, man! Did Exidy, Inc. create some weird-ass games during the golden years of the video arcade or what? Their first and most most popular optical light gun game was Crossbow (1983). Your mission is to protect a D&D-like party of slobs from the murderous ghosts, chimps, pterodactyls, archers, flaming chunks, buzzards, etc, etc, etc, as they march slowly toward the lair of the sinister, smiling bastard who shoots lightning bolts from his eyes. Yes, the visuals alone elevate Crossbow to an esteemed position in the pantheon of electronic weirdness, but like all the Exidy games of that time, it is the SOUNDS which put it over the top. Just listen to the carnage in the video below. They've managed to make the deaths of those whom you have been entrusted to protect INCREDIBLY entertaining and shocking at the same time. Crossbow was the first arcade game to use fully digitized sound and speech. From my experience, the fastest route to the smiling bastard is to choose the paths in the following order: red, red, red, green, red, red. Three years later, having disbanded with the altruistic notion of protecting on-screen characters, Exidy released Chiller, a sadistic gore-fest which holds the distinct honor of being the very first video game banned in the UK. Check out the video below and see if you can figure out why. Those were the two big ones, but the other games they released all had the same demented, politically incorrect flavor to them. Who Dunit has jive-talking pimps & murderous children, Cheyenne has whores & cranky Indians, Combat has a booby trap which cruelly launches soldiers to their deaths, Top Secret is like a horrific Spy Hunter...I love 'em. Below I've included links to the M.A.M.E. ROMs for most of the Exidy games. To play them, get the latest release of M.A.M.E. (version 0.124 as of this writing) and drop the .zip files directly into the "roms" folder--no need to unzip. For the light gun games, you'll need to adjust each game's preferences to allow you to use your mouse. The Macintosh version of M.A.M.E. can be found here. And should you require it, here's a handy video tutorial which walks you through the process of setting up M.A.M.E. 32 (the version I use) on your machine.

1 comment:

stexe said...

Dear Exidy Inc.,
For as long as I can remember, I've harbored fantasies of mutilating people with firearms, as they scream and writhe helplessly, while shackled to the wall of my basement. However, I've never followed through on this, for fear of being ostracized by my community. But thanks to "Chiller", I can now do the deed at my local arcade.
Many thanks,
-Timmy, age 7