Ever wanted to play the part of a giant monster wreaking havoc on an
unsuspecting town, a la any B-Grade monster movie you've ever seen? You
can, thanks to this 1986 Bally-Midway release. The game was released in
an upright cabinet, accommodating three players simultaneously.
The game features three main characters, all of whom can work
cooperatively with or competitively against the others:
- George - A scientist with a bad reputation, he
sought to develop a vitamin that would unlock the potential of the human
body. He finally produced a compound which he called the
"Mega-Vitamin". He decided to test the new formula on himself.
Unfortunately, instead of turning him into a super human, it turned him
into a giant gorilla with a mean streak! As a monster, his special
abilities allow him to jump and climb better and faster than the others.
Players playing George use the leftmost controls.
- Lizzie - A college student on spring break, she decided to
spend her vacation at the lake. Unfortunately, the lake was recently
the recipient of some very heinous radioactive waste. She dove in as a
human and emerged as a towering Lizard with an uncontrollable hunger! As
a monster, her special abilities make her the quickest and most agile of
the monsters. Players playing Lizzie use the center controls.
- Ralph - A businessman in the sausage industry, he sent
for rare and exotic ingredients from the Far East to "spice up" his
Super Dogs. Unbeknownst to him, the ingredients mixed in just the right
proportions created a powerful and dangerous formula. In a meeting to
demonstrate the new Super Dog product, he consumed the first one and
turned into a giant wolf with an attitude! As a monster, his special
abilities makes him the strongest of the monsters. Players playing Ralph
use the rightmost controls.
You start the game with a monster and a damage meter. This meter
measures how much health you have left. When the damage meter turns
completely black, your monster falls to the ground and changes back into
human form. If you have additional credits, you can turn back into the
monster. Otherwise your human alter-ego walks to the side of the screen
(naked, incidentally, with hands placed strategically to cover naughty
bits) and disappears.
The game has a series of 768 (!) levels. Each one is different and
depicts the downtown area of a city, complete with buildings, vehicles,
and in some cases, metro transportation. The object of the game is to
level each city by destroying the buildings. To do this, the player
jumps onto the side of a building, climbs up the side, and punches the
building. This leaves large, gaping holes in the structure. Eventually,
the structure becomes so weakened that the building topples to the
ground. The level is over when all buildings have been destroyed.
This game contains the Midway "Join The Action" feature, which allows a
player to come into the game at any time provided that there is an open
character to play and that the proper coins have been deposited.
During the game, there are a number of things which attack your
monster. Each time they hit you, they reduce your health. They are:
- National Guardsmen - These guys lie in wait inside
the buildings, and when the opportunity arises, stick their head and
torso out a window. They can either shoot at you with their rifles or
throw sticks of dynamite at you which explode upon contact.
- Helicopters - Swarms of helicopters fly around the
city. They can either strafe you with their chain guns or drop bombs on
you. It's best to destroy them before they have the opportunity to do
- Tanks - These large, lumbering vehicles drive
around on the ground firing shells at you. If a shell hits you, it will
knock you down, and if you're on the side of a building at the time,
well... you get to take the express elevator down.
- Cops - These cop cars move similarly to tanks, but
they are much faster and can fire shells more quickly. They give
themselves away with their siren when they enter your area.
- Snipers - These paratroopers parachute in onto the
top of the tallest building and lie in wait until the right moment, then
pop up and let you have it with an automatic machine gun. Very nasty.
- Lightning - How about an Act of God to top
everything else off? Yes, apparently The Big Man doesn't like you
messing around with the natural order of things, as thunderclouds will
occasionally appear at the top of the screen, lazily floating along and
periodically lobbing lightning bolts in your general direction.
During your impromptu excursions into "urban renewal", you'll find that
the buildings contain a number of items which can either increase or
decrease your damage points, or increase your
score. There are also a number of special items.
- Turkey - A big turkey sits cooling on a window
sill, just waiting to be gobbled up.
- Fruit - A basket of fruit is out ripening in the
- Hamburger - An edible, even without ketchup.
- Milk - They're right. It *DOES* do a body good!
- National Guardsmen - If you're careful, you can
pluck these guys right out of their windows and chow down. Cuts down on
the airborne missiles, and gives you health to boot!
- Flower Pot - A big sunflower sits in a pot. Knock
it out of the window for points.
- Money - Grab the cash for points.
- Safe - Punch the safe to send it sailing to the
ground. Grab the cash inside for points.
- Poison - A tiny skull and crossbones. Bad.
- Cactus - Doesn't go down nearly as well as the fruit does.
- Toilet - A disgusting porcelain contraption. With
the lid down.
- Bathtub - Almost as disgusting as the toilet. Comes
equipped with a ring that even the scrubbing bubbles have nightmares about.
- Bathtub with Man - Occasionally you'll come across
a bathtub with a guy in it. If you don't reach in quickly to grab and
eat him, he'll turn the shower nozzle in your
direction and knock you off the building with a blast of water.
- Dynamite - Once you find this, you have only a
second to leap to safety away from the building before it detonates.
Otherwise it'll explode in your face and send you down to crack the pavement.
- Toaster - The electric variety, except this one
seems to run directly off the 19.9kV street line. If you're patient,
toast will pop out and you can eat it for health, but leave the
- Light bulb - A large bulb of the 1MW variety. Grab
it while it's on and the filament won't be the only thing that glows.
Grab it when it's off for points.
- Neon Sign - Same principle as the Light bulb.
Found on the sides of buildings (in your way).
- Reporter - The Weekly World Examiner sent out their
hack photographer for some snaps of you. He appears first only as a
head, then sticks his whole body out to take a snap. Grab him and eat him
quickly before his flash goes off, blinding you and sending you back to
- Damsel/Dude in Distress - These people hang out of
their windows and wave for help, obviously attracting attention to
themselves (stupid thing to do around 50 foot tall monsters).
If you successfully grab one, the National Guard will hold its fire as
long as you're clutching it. (Helicopters will still buzz you with guns,
though). Eventually, the damsel/dude will cuff you on the chin and run away.
Eat 'em for a big score. Each monster has only one person it can hold on to:
- Lady in Nightie - George. It's a Fay Wray/Jessica
- Bald Guy in Boxers - Lizzie. Who knows? Maybe
she's got a thing for Patrick Stewart or something?
- Businessman - Ralph. Must be the guy at Ralph's
sausage company that had him fired after the Super Dog fiasco.
- Truck and Taxi - Rubber necking at the carnage on
Main Street. Give 'em a little taste of what you'd like to give 'em in
- Train - Only shows up on levels that have tracks on
them (duh). If you've got a fellow monster playing with you, you can
play a quick game of "Pass the Train" for bonus points.
- Sewer Worker - Pops his head up every once in a
while from a manhole. Punch the manhole while he's taking a peek to send
the manhole cover flying.
The upright cabinet contains a Wells-Gardner 19" Color Dual Sync
Horizontal monitor (part# 0017-00003-0465). The control panel consists of
three sets of controls: one Monroe 4/8-Way Joystick, one white push button
(Start/Jump), and one red push button (Punch), one set for each player.
The "monoboard" PCB is mounted on a panel directly in front of the coin
door/box area (as viewing the game from the rear). To the left, mounted
on the side of the cabinet is the "Sounds Good" audio PCB which runs
into the dual power amp directly above it.
The 10 switch DIP switch bank is located in the lower left-hand quadrant
of the "monoboard" PCB:
Game Difficulty Level
|Switch 1||Switch 2||Option|
- Off - Player retains accumulated score if he/she continues before
Game Over timer runs out
- On - Score returns to zero when player continues game
- Off - Regular Play
- On - Free Play (No Attract Mode)
Coins Per Credit
|Switch 5||Switch 6||Option|
|Off||Off||1 Coin/1 Credit|
|On||Off||2 Coins/1 Credit|
|Off||On||1 Coin/2 Credits|
- Off - Sounds during Attract Mode
- On - No sounds during Attract Mode
- Off - Game play mode
- On - Test mode (service button advances level)
- Off - Normal Video
- On - Freeze Video
Other Things of Interest
Rampage is one of the few games that rewards you with a free credit for
completing a large number of levels. After 128 levels, you are rewarded
a free credit. The humorous thing is that even good players can't go
longer than about five levels or so without having to pump in another quarter,
so an average player would spend about $6.50 to get that free credit. :-)
Rampage has so many neat little tricks and humorous sidebars that
they're too numerous to mention. Next time you play one, try timing your
flowerpot, safe, or manhole cover punch. If a tank, helicopter, or
cop car is in the path of the falling object, it's history.
A couple of my favorite newspaper headlines (seen between levels):
- "Property Values at All Time Low"
- "National Guard Looking For Volunteers"
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