Texas Chainsaw Massacre
|The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
||Wizard Video Games
|Ed Salvo (released version)
Robert H. O'Neil, Bob Davis, & Ken Williams (prototype
|Based on the 1974
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
||Texas Chainsaw Massacre (c)
Vortex 1974 Wizard Video Games
to 2600 Software