I’m sure we still remember Mario, Pac-Man and well, Lara Croft but if our memory is verging on the iconic mascot, chances are a Space Invaders comes immediately to mind. Developed by Tomohiro Nishikado, as a Japanese arcade game in 1978, the game-changing vertical shooter rewrote old rules and was later licensed for production in the United States.
Check out these interesting facts about the legendary Space Invaders!
- It was the first game to save and achieve high scores.
- In 1978, the microcomputers available could not handle the complex tasks of designing and programming the game, so Nishikado had to design his own hardware and tools to make the Space Invaders see the light of day.
- The music style in Space Invaders utilized a first of its kind interaction with the on-screen animation to influence the emotions of the player.
- Space Invaders was a pioneer shooting game in the arcade game market, which was the skeleton of the future shooting games we see today.
- While creating Space Invaders, Tomohiro Nishikado, was influenced by Breakout, Star Wars and The War of the Worlds.
- Rumor has it that the game was so popular that it caused a yen shortage in Japan. The rumor however, was false. The coin shortage at the time was simply because of a reduction in production of the coins during 1978 & 1979.
- The game was originally released in a cocktail-table arcade game format and was converted to cabinet format for the Western release.
- As seen by the design, the aliens were modeled after octopuses, squids and crabs!
- The game became so popular that the media began to speculate whether arcade games would rot the minds of the players and also coined the phrase (and apparent fear) of ‘Space Invaders wrist’ – which occurred from playing the game for too long.
- Were it not for a few famous interstellar fantasy worlds, the game might have been called “Plane” Invaders. It is indebted to Star Wars and H.G. Wells in this regard. Nishikado at some point had to turn to an old standby in The War of the Worlds, basing the design of his invaders on the squid-like creatures portrayed in the H.G. Wells novel.
- Space Invaders is known as a killer app, which is a video game that had a massive impact on the sales of their associated game consoles. Other killer app games like this are Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 and Halo for Xbox.
- For over a decade a French, street art legend known as Invader, has been slapping tiled images, taken from classic coin-op games in precarious places around the world, from bridges in New York, to suburbs in Paris and landmarks in Los Angeles inspired by the blocky stars of Space Invaders.