March 23, 2008

Retrotech: Captain Power

This blip on the pop culture radar lasted for one season, and was long after my time; in 1988, I was already serving in the military and stationed in Germany. But this show aired on the "american network" on saturday mornings, and at the time, I considered the technology to be groundbreaking. Similar to a home video arcade console from the 70's, the toy fighter jet or laser pistol you've bought to go along with the show fires light beams at the tv screen when enemies appear. What makes it all the cooler is the fact that they can fire back, so you have to dodge your weapon out of harm's way. If you do get hit, the cockpit of your toy blows up. Besides the broadcast show, there were videotapes consisting exclusively of battle action. Relive the thrill here. For the full experience, place your bid here, and fire up the VCR.


Lance Ehlers said...

I presume this show came into existence around the time of the great-in-concept-miserable-in-reality Action Max, a game "console" which used a similar light technology. I bought one on clearance for $30 and played it TOPS 4 times before I stuffed it in the closet.

The game/video for Pops Ghostly seemed really promising based upon the cover photo. I presumed it would be like The Haunted Mansion crossed with a shooting gallery, which is exactly what it was, but on the exceptionally lame end of the spectrum. It was kind of like a playable version of the intro to Lidsville. See for yourself.

Within about 5 seconds, it became clear that to cheat at the game, all you had to do was aim at the big circle in the lower right and squeeze the trigger as fast as possible.

I didn't have the game/tape for .38 Ambush Alley, but judging by the intensity of the police officer in the introduction, it was the best one.

stexe said...

Yeah, it's like 'Dragon's Lair'; the repetition of the video guarantees that anyone with half a brain will get tired of it quickly.
But 'Captain Power' was broadcast, which made it more promising. Every show should have something like this. Think of all the cross marketing potential. Hey, I might even finally sit through an entire episode of "scrubs", provided I get to shoot every member of the cast.
The second captain power link (of the animated fly-through) amazes me because every frame is hand-drawn! Very time consuming. If it came out just a year later, it would've been computer animated.