Carnival (video game)

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Not to be confused with CarnEvil. ‹See Tfd›
Carnival
Carnival.GIF
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega/Gremlin
Platform(s) Arcade, Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Intellivision
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Standard and cocktail
Arcade system CPU: Z80 1.933560 MHz
Display Raster resolution 224 x 256 (Vertical) Palette Colors 64

Carnival is a fixed shooter arcade game created by Sega in 1980.[1] It has the distinction of being the first video game with a bonus round.

Gameplay[edit]

The goal of the game is to shoot at targets, while carefully avoiding running out of bullets. Three rows of targets scroll across the screen in alternating directions; these include rabbits, ducks, owls, and bonus items. If a duck target crosses the bottom row without being shot, it will come to life and begin flying down toward the player. Any ducks that reach the bottom of the screen in this manner will eat some of the player's bullets. Objects also periodically appear among the targets that will give the player extra bullets or points when hit. A spinning wheel with eight pipes sits above the rows of moving targets; these pipes and all targets must be shot in order to complete the round.

At the end of each round, the player receives bonus points for all bullets remaining in his supply. He then plays a bonus round, where a large white bear with a target walks across the screen. Each time the bear is shot, it rears up for a second, then begins walking more quickly in the other direction. The object is to shoot the bear as many times as possible until it escapes off the screen. Following the bonus round, the next wave begins. Later bonus rounds add more bears to the screen.

In higher levels, there are more duck targets and fewer extra bullet targets, putting a premium on accurate shooting. The game ends when the player runs out of bullets.

Technical details[edit]

The controls for the standard upright version of Carnival are left and right directional buttons, and a fire button. The cocktail version replaces the directional buttons with a two-way joystick. Carnival is also one of the few games that has two different PCBs, one for each version; normally a game only has one PCB with a dip switch that sets it to either upright or cocktail mode. The upright and cocktail cabinets each come in two varieties, one woodgrain and the other painted orange and white.

Music[edit]

The tune that plays throughout the game is Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves) by Juventino Rosas, a tune commonly associated with carnivals and funfairs. The game's General Instruments AY-3-8910 chip allowed for a relatively complex rendition of Rosas's waltz with overlaid sound effects. Videogame scholar Andrew Schartmann notes, "as the track makes use of all three tone-channels—using two for the waltz's characteristic oom-pah-pah and one for its memorable melody—the resulting texture is rich enough to do the music justice. And the inclusion of numerous sound effects, including three different duck quacks and a bear's roar, makes for a veritable sonic feast."[2]

Legacy[edit]

Carnival achieved enough popularity in the arcade that it was eventually ported to all three of the major home video game console systems of its time. There were also unofficial clones for home Microcomputers such as Acornsoft's Carousel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Carnival". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013. 
  2. ^ Schartmann, Andrew. Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art. New York: Thought Catalog, 2013.

External links[edit]