Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Company: Wizard Video Games
Model #:
Ed Salvo (released version)
Robert H. O'Neil, Bob Davis, & Ken Williams (prototype version)
Year: 1983
Based on the 1974 horror movie


Violence and videogames.  Today these two go together like peanut butter and jelly (red oozing jelly), but that wasn't always the case.  Back in the golden age of videogames, depicting violent acts done to people was strictly a no-no.  Only non-human objects like planes, flying saucers, robots, or insects could ever be shot at.  This seemed to work just fine for most people, but there was always a fringe element that wasn't satisfied with shooting at robots or giant spiders.  They wanted to see the characters in their games get stabbed, shot, and horribly butchered just like in their favorite movies.  Fortunately for these people there was Wizard, a company who specialized in games for the adult gamer.


While most companies were trying to limit the amount of violence they put in games, Wizard was actually trying to make the most violent games possible.  Not only were their games violent, but they were proud of it!  Wizard advertised themselves as the first company to produce violent and adult videogames in an attempt to fill a niche market since they had no way of competing with the big guys.  Although they were able to produce two violent games based on popular horror movies (Halloween and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre), their first adult game (Flesh Gordon) never made it out the doors.


While the concept of horror movies turned into videogames may have been unique, the games themselves were horrible!  Much like Mystique, Wizard figured that a fringe group of people wouldn't care about the quality of the game as long as it had the forbidden element they wanted.  Unfortunately things didn't quite work out the way Wizard had planned and they quickly folded after releasing only two games.  Wizard's main problem was that normal stores refused to carry their games (nothing like Texas Chainsaw Massacre sitting next to Smurfs in your local toy store), and the few stores that did carry the games hid them behind the counter to keep them out of the reach of minors.  Also adding to Wizard's woes were groups of people protesting the extreme violence of the game, pressuring the few shops that carried their games to stop selling them.  So now even if you wanted the game, they were almost impossible to find.  This was the final nail in Wizard's coffin (hmm. maybe they should have made a game about that).


As the name implies, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is based on the 1974 horror movie of the same name.  You play the role of Leatherface, the crazy cannibalistic serial killer who must hunt down and butcher all the people trespassing on his property.  Your goal is to kill as many people as possible before your chainsaw runs out of gas.  Good clean family fun for all ages!


While your victims may not be able to defend themselves from your deadly chainsaw, there are a number of obstacles that can get in your way.  Cow Skulls, Wheelchairs, and thickets (which can be destroyed by the chainsaw) all can get in Leatherface's way, slowing him down and allowing his potential victim to escape.  To kill a victim, simply run up to them and rev your chainsaw.  If successful, you will be rewarded with some of the cheesiest death animation ever seen in a videogame (people were actually protesting this?).  However revving your chainsaw eats up gas, so only do so if you're right on top of a victim.  Even when not in use your chainsaw consumes some gas by idling, so don't just stand around!  When all three gas tanks are empty, Leatherface will be powerless and one of your potential victims will run up and kick you sqaure in the nuts!  Too bad you weren't wearing a cup.


Now at this point your probably thinking "cow skulls and wheelchairs? What the hell?".  If you've never seen the movie before these hazards may not make any sense, so allow me to elaborate.  In the movie, one of the main characters (Franklin) was wheelchair bound so that explains where that came from.  The cow skull is probably a reference to the old slaughterhouse where the main characters unwittingly pick up Leatherface as a hitchhiker.  Of course this doesn't explain how a cow skull would slow you down, perhaps you trip over it?


While Texas Chainsaw Massacre is cute for a few minutes, the thrill of being able to butcher people wears off fast.  Unfortunately when this gimmick wears off you can clearly see how poorly designed this game really is.  However, did you know that this wasn't Wizard's first idea for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre themed game?  A prototype has recently surfaced containing a totally different design for the game.  Apparently Wizard went with this idea over the other because it was more violent, and after all that's what people wanted.  Which one is the better game is really a toss up, it's like having to decide if you want to be stabbed or crushed to death.  Both are excruciatingly painful and ultimately no fun at all


Version Cart Text Description
?????? Texas Chainsaw Massacre (c) Vortex 1974 Wizard Video Games Alternate Version


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