year was 1990, Sega had just released the first 8
meg cartridge Strider, and the Chicago CES
was brimming with uneducated salesman on the show
floor representing just about every gaming company
in the world. The Genesis conversion of the popular
Capcom arcade game, Strider, was a big success.
So, with all successful ventures, the copycats swarmed
the market. Some with relative success, and some with
dismal results. Swamp Thing, had it been released,
would have belonged to the latter category. However,
the game's representative, complete in suit and tie,
felt the great desire to convince me otherwise...
had casually approached the game, and giving it a
fair shake, I not only watched the 'attract mode'
of the game, but also picked up the controller and
attempted to play the game. Attempt being the key
word. I understand that many games displayed during
the Consumer Electronics Shows are in production,
but this persistent salesman proclaimed that not only
that the game was complete or near complete, but also
that it paralleled with Strider! Now, not only
was this game nothing like the genius behind Strider,
it was literally nothing of value gaming wise, what-so-ever!
The game was a simple side-scrolling fighter in the
manner of Final Fight, but please do not confuse
the reference with a sign of similar quality. This
game was as simple as it was uninspired! Literally
the same type of treatment that other licensed games
were treated in the nineties! Let me refresh your
memory: Blues Brothers, James Bond Jr.,
Lethal Weapon, Frankenstein, Rocketeer,
Home Alone, Back to the Future -- I'll
save you the pain there...
being the polite fellow that I am, I act as if I am
having fun playing the game, and attempt to move on.
If you've ever been fortunate to attend a CES or E3
showing, you know that there is more to see than time
to be found. This poor guy knew NOTHING about games,
but tried his best to convince me otherwise. He threw
out the BIG power phrase of that years show, "It's
8 meg!" Tried as I might, I could not escape this
creepy promoter. As I tried to leave, he actually
grabbed my shoulder, and swung me back to the display
console. He then pushed a controller in my hand, and
challenged me to compete with him. What really made
this event so wacky, was that Swamp Thing was
to be a single player game! He had no character on
the screen, but bobbed back and forth, controller
in hand, making excruciating faces as if involved
in a very challenging game! Occasionally he'd even
cuss to himself in despair or grumble under his own
breath. At this point, a fellow co-worker and friend
approached, and I quickly handed my controller over
to him. I suppose that in retrospect, I wasn't that
good of a friend for doing such a thing, and that
he was more of an associate. However, at that moment,
I had never been so happy to see him! I stated something
silly and unversed like, "Here, try this great game!"
and moved along at a frantic pace.
that evening, I attended an industry party being thrown
by one of the show sponsors. Upon entering the facility,
I was already eyeing the female populous for potential
conversation. I spotted a rather attractive young
lady standing shyly in the corner, so I proceeded
to get us both drinks preparing to introduce myself.
With drinks in hand, I turned around and she was gone!
Before I even had time to react, the mysterious, newly
hired and misguided marketing fellow, approached me
again - or rather pulled into a conversation that
he was conducting w/ another obviously trapped individual.
The individual being the aforementioned woman. I had
just become a victim of 'guilt-by-association' and
knew that my chances of success with this woman were
diminishing fast! He then proceeded to take one of
the drinks from me, and kept it for himself, instead
of being a gentleman and offering it to the lady,
as I had intentioned. Then, as if I were a friend
of this bizarre little man, he then proceeded to try
to get me to compliment the Swamp Thing game
as well as endorse the product to the fellow woman
by boldly stating to us such drivel as, "Tell her
what a great game Swamp Thing really is" and
"Didn't we have so much fun playing the game together!"
this day I often wonder what this gentleman ever wanted
from me. I ponder what 'could have been' with the
aforementioned lady, and now that I think of it, I
have never heard from my 'friend' and associate that
I handed over the controller to that day on the CES
show floor ever again!