Elevator Action

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Elevator Action
Elevator Action.png
Arcade flyer featuring the cocktail table version of the game and in-game screenshots.
Developer(s) Taito
Publisher(s) Taito
Composer(s) Yoshio Imamura
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1983
Genre(s) Action,
Side-scrolling,
Platform game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players
Cabinet Upright
Display Raster, standard resolution 256 x 224 (Horizontal) Colors 64

Elevator Action (エレベーターアクション Erebētā Akushon?) is a 1983 arcade game by Taito.[1] It debuted during the "Golden Age of Arcade Games". Innovative in gameplay, the game was very popular for many years.

In the game, the player assumes the role of a spy who infiltrates a building filled with elevators. He must collect secret documents from the building and traverse the 30 floors of the building using an increasingly complex series of elevators. The player is pursued by enemy agents who appear from behind closed doors. These agents must be dealt with via force or evasion. Successful completion of a level involves collecting all the secret documents and traversing the building from top to bottom. In the lower floors of the building, the elevator systems are so complex that some puzzle-solving skills are needed.

The game was available as a standard upright cabinet The controls consist of a 4-way joystick and two buttons, one for "shoot" and the other for jumping and kicking. The maximum number of players is two, alternating turns. The graphics are extremely simple, 2D color graphics and in-game music was composed by musician Yoshio Imamura. The game was followed by a sequel, Elevator Action II (also known as Elevator Action Returns).

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of Elevator Action

The player assumes the role of Agent 17, codename: "Otto", a secret agent for an unspecified organization or government.[2] As Otto, the player enters a 30-story building from the roof and must collect a series of secret documents hidden inside. Red doors indicate the location of these documents, and Otto must use the building's elevators and escalators to reach them while avoiding or defeating the enemy agents trying to stop him. Once Otto has all the documents, he must reach the basement and escape in a waiting car to advance. Each level contains a section in which the lights are out, making it difficult to see the enemy agents unless they are in an elevator. Beyond this section, the player must navigate a complex series of elevators to avoid agents, retrieve the last documents, and reach the basement exit.

Otto can move left or right and jump; when in an elevator or at one end of an escalator, pushing up or down will move him one floor in that direction, however, pushing down will not cause Otto to drop to a knee while in an elevator. He can fire his pistol at enemy agents, up to three rounds at a time, and drop to a knee to avoid enemy agents' high shots when not in an elevator. In addition, Otto can ride on top of an elevator car (but not have control of it) and, if the car is above him, jump across the empty shaft. He can defeat enemy agents in four ways: shooting them, getting close enough to jump at and kick them, shooting out an overhead light so that it falls on them (which temporarily knocks out the building lights), or crushing them with a moving elevator.

On higher levels, the enemy agents will shoot more frequently and their bullets will travel faster. They will drop to a knee or assume a prone position to avoid Otto's shots, but cannot jump over low bullets. If the player takes too much time, indicated by a hurry-up alarm sound and sped-up background music, the enemy agents become more aggressive and the elevators become slow to respond to the player's joystick movements. If the player tries to use the basement exit without collecting every document, Otto will be automatically transported back to the highest floor that still has an unopened red door.

A port to the original Game Boy includes the ability to acquire different weapons, such as a machine gun that fired more rapidly.

Release[edit]

Like many games of this era, Elevator Action was ported to some home systems in 1985 for personal use. It was ported to the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Sega SG-1000. Sony published a mobile version of the game. On March 5, 2007, the NES port of Elevator Action was released on the Wii's Virtual Console.

A port was planned for the Atari 2600, but never released. However, a prototype of the game was illegally published by CGE Services Corp. and sold in Classic Gaming Expo 2001.[3] There are some issues with collision detection, and the game is only 95% complete, leading many to speculate that the video game crash of 1983 was a key factor in its non-release.

A remake of the game by Square Enix, titled Elevator Action Deluxe, was released on PlayStation Network on August 31, 2011. The game contains single player and multiplayer modes, as well as the original arcade version.[4]

The original Elevator Action has been included in various compilations, including:

Reception[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Elevator Action was followed by Elevator Action Returns in 1994 and Elevator Action EX in 2000.

Two games for Palm OS, Agent Z and its sequel, Agent Z 2 by Ellams Software, are based on Elevator Action. Dexter's Laboratory: Robot Rampage! released for Game Boy Color in 2000, is based on Elevator Action II.

In 2007, 505 Games released a game similar to Elevator Action for the Wii, titled Spy Games: Elevator Mission (Elevator Combat in Europe).

Revealed at AOU 2009, Elevator Action: Death Parade is a lightgun shooter that uses elevator doors when changing scenarios.[6]

A game titled Elevator Action Episode-ZERO (エレベーターアクション Episode-ZERO?) was released for mobile phones in Japan.

In popular culture[edit]

The title of the dojin game ElePaper Action is a parody of Elevator Action's title. The game's credits sequence features a mini-game similar to Elevator Action. Some chapters in the Hellsing manga are named Elevator Action. The "Nintendo punk" band 14 Year Old Girls did a song about this game, titled "Elevator Action".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elevator Action". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 5 Oct 2013. 
  2. ^ "Elevator Action". MobyGames. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013. 
  3. ^ "Atari 2600 - Elevator Action (Atari)". AtariAge. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  4. ^ "Square Enix shocks world with Elevator Action reboot on PSN". GamesRadar. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Elevator Action Deluxe Has Machine Guns And Multiplayer". Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Elevator Action Arcade Shooter Has Great Name, Even Better Gimmick" from Kotaku.com

External links[edit]