Dark Invader is a first person shooter, using a laser and mechanical "pop-up" alien space ship 'targets.' Not quite a video arcade game, but it fits best under the arcade game category.
Description from Bill Heine, the designer of Dark Invader (how cool is that?):
In 1977-78 (was it THAT long ago??) I worked in R&D, Games Division at
Ramtek, and was the designer of the "Dark Invader" arcade game. At that
time, Ramtek was looking for an alternative to the video arcade game because
of the intensive competition, and the blatant copying of successful game
ROMs. The answer seemed to be a return to the old mechanical arcade games
with a microprocessor twist.
Dark Invader is a first person shooter, using a laser and mechanical
"pop-up" alien space ship 'targets'.
'Dark Invader' uses a 5mw helium-neon gas laser (mfg. by Metrologic) and a
spinning a front surface mirror (mounted on the gun) to create the laser
beam 'scanning' effect. The alien space ships are actually heavy gage wires,
bent into interesting shapes, and painted in fluorescent colors. The wires
are spun under UV lamps, and the ships swirl and pulsate because of the
stroboscopic effect. Very cool.
To achieve the look of 'deep space', the player looks through a viewing port
at a partially front-surfaced mirror, down into the body of the cabinet. A
lot of forced perspective is used in the targeting matrix grid, and the
Because of the viewing port, only the player can see the action. When we
tested the prototype at the Santa Cruz (California) Beach Boardwalk Arcade,
kids would all be stacked up trying to grab a peek through the port, at what
was going on. Part of the fascination of the game.
The rest of the game is programmed just like a standard video game (the same
Ramtek (Zilog Z80) board used in 'M79 Ambush' and other Ramtek games),
including attract mode, scoring, lighting and sound effects for laser fire,
explosions, etc., provided by a TI Sound Effects chip (forgot the number).
Weights and Measurements:
Disclaimer: These are approximate weights and measurements taken from actual games or the manufacturer's literature. Occasionally