Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Photos - Electrocop (1989)

Some screenshots from Epyx' 1989 Lynx launch title, Electrocop. If I remember correctly, the game was originally titled Impossible Mission, which really makes more sense, since it plays very much like a 3D version of the action-adventure classic. No doubt Atari was responsible for the name change. They always had a way with bland, generic videogame titles, didn't they?

I've written about this game at least twice before in recent years, so it's no surprise this was a favorite game of mine. It was a fantastic thrill ride 20 years ago, an amazing display of 3D technicolor graphics and relentless tension. In 1989 and 1990, having an Atari Lynx was a thing of pride, a rare achievement. You wanted great games to impress all the other kids who had Gameboys. And they were surely impressed and amazed, every single one.

Greg Omi crafted a masterful three-dimensional landscape. There was nothing else remotely like it at the time, and I didn't anticipate that this was where games would later evolve. But I did imagine what 3D game worlds like this could be. Those dreams wouldn't be realized until Super Mario 64 and Tomb Raider....seven years later. And no handheld game could match Electrocop until the arrival of the Playstation Portable. Now that's visionary.

These screenshots were taken on the Handy emulator, which has a neat "lcd" mode that simulates the look of the Lynx screen. It's a rather cheap effect but it works nice, and captures the feel of these old handheld games. Without this filter, the graphics don't quite look the same. Enjoy!

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