STARCADE: THE ARCADE GAMESHOW

Back round 1982, my friend retroWILLIE was going to try out for a TBS gameshow called Starcade at an open audition in San Francisco.  The show was simple enough.  2 contestants answered video game trivia questions, then squared off in timed competitions on various arcade games.  The person with the highest score had a chance to win their own to take home.  Anyway, retroWILLIE dragged me along so we could give it a shot. 

We had already seen a taping of the show before, and were convinced that we could easily beat contestants like the ones you see above!  The audition was basically a personality test to make sure you weren't a total dweeb that would freeze when asked questions, which is pretty much what retroWILLIE did.  I decided to bullshit them a bit, and told them my dream was to be a contortionist when I grow up, just like Yogi Kudo on That's Incredible!  This amazed them and I was one of 6 folks who made it to the next set of tryouts, which I was quickly eliminated from, as I changed my story to wanting to be an Olympic marathon runner.

Ah well, the show was still great fun.  I was thrilled when looking through the extras on the Dragon's Lair 20th Anniversary DVD, and saw they had a complete episode of Starcade on the disc!  This was a whole show dedicated to Dragon's Lair where the contestants were trying to win their own machine!

Contest one, Marisa, tells the host she's from Sacramento (yay!), and was born in Israel.  He asks how long she's been a US Citizen, and she replies, "My whole life!"  Truly dumbfounded, he asks, "How does that work?"  "Well, my dad is a US Citizen, and I was just born there", she answers, as he still doesn't seem to get it.

Meanwhile, Nick is introduced.  His hobbies are, you guessed it... PLAYING VIDEOGAMES.  Hard to believe, huh?

Anyway, no need for a complete play by play, but Marisa ends up winning, which lets her compete in the "Name the Game" challenge, which would be much harder if each weren't a multiple choice.

But check out the groovy prize she's trying for!  Yep, THE BIONIC CHAIR.  It's "ergonomically designed to maximize your videogame enjoyment".  Yeah, if you're Christopher Reeve, maybe.

During the final challenge, she can't score enough points within 30 seconds on Dragon's Lair to win the machine.  What sucks is that even though she doesn't die and does everything perfectly, it's still not enough.  Since the scenes in Dragon's Lair are randomized, the high scoring opportunities are slow to come by.  Poor Marisa got screwed. 

But she shouldn't feel too bad, cause she gets a special shirt from the Dragon's Lair World Champion, who looks to be IN-LOVE!  Let's hope these two got together for a Dragon's Lair honeymoon!

If you'd like to revisit more STARCADE FUN, you can check out the official website RIGHT HERE!

-Robert
webmaster@retrocrush.com

PRINCESS DAPHNE GALLERY
The Great Reason to Finish the Dragon's Lair Arcade Game

When the animated arcade game Dragon's Lair came out in 1983, it was like nothing ever seen before.  Utilizing laserdisc technology, Don Bluth's animation crew was able to make an interactive cartoon that let you help the hero, Dirk The Daring, avoid perilous situations so he could rescue the princess.  And what a princess it was.  Inspired by poses in Playboy magazine, Bluth designed an eye popping lady that seem to poke right out of the screen.  As he mentions in the 20th Anniverary DVD of the game, most illustrators pretend the nipples aren't there when they draw a lady, but he left it in.  "The kids seem to really like that", he adds.  Did they ever.  Now you can enjoy this gallery of Princess Daphne, without the expense of emptying out your life savings in quarters.

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