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When you're in the presence of greatness, it's difficult not to be awed, humbled, and overcome with emotion in the face of such sheer power. What power, you say? Why, Space Invaders, of course! Known for launching arcade gaming's golden age and turning video games from a dying art into a household necessity, Space Invaders is the forerunner of modern shooters. It was so novel in the year of its release, 1978, that it revitalized the arcade industry to the point of causing a shortage of Japanese Yen coins used in playing the game and liberated producers and suppliers of arcade games from depressing deficits into amazing revenues, ultimately collecting over one billion dollars worth of quarters and close to half a billion dollars profit for Taito, the manufacturing company.
To the untrained eye, Space Invaders might seem like a fairly boring game: pixilated aliens in 5 by 11 rows slowly descending from the top of the screen while the player's ship fires lasers at them from below. Really, what's all the fuss about?
The fuss is that Space Invaders popularized many core concepts such as high scores, fictional worlds, futuristic weapons, destructible barriers, and extra lives that are still being used in today's modern shooters. The game begins with the player moving his ship horizontally across the bottom of the screen. This is the only movement allowed, as the player cannot move upwards to meet the aliens. The aliens start from the top and slowly descend towards the bottom. Occasionally, some of the aliens will fire projectiles which the player must dodge in order to survive. To aid him, four bunkers are placed in the line of fire to serve as destructible shields. The objective is to prevent the aliens from reaching the bottom of the screen by destroying them one by one with the ship's laser.
As the number of extraterrestrials decreases, the speed in which the remaining aliens descend increases. The accompanying audio also quickens, creating an adrenaline rush that probably contributed much to the game's popularity. The player succeeds and proceeds to much harder levels if he manages to destroy all the aliens. However, the number of levels is infinite, and the only real objective at that time was to achieve the highest score to earn you bragging rights in your local arcade shop. The game ends when the player loses all his lives or the aliens succeed in reaching the very bottom of the screen.
While modern games might be infinitesimally better in both gameplay and graphics, they all pay homage to Space Invaders, the one that started it all. With the availability of Space Invaders online, as well as the Space Invaders NES rom, the game ensures that it will never be buried in the sands of time. It holds a special place in older generations and is still capable of providing countless hours of enjoyment even today.
Are you ready to try some more Nintendo games online? We suggest adventure island 1 or that old classic alien shoot'em up, nintendo galaga if you haven't tried either in 20 years or so. Another fun choice you probably remember is the ninja gaiden rom or your favorite mutant turtles in the tmnt game.