Food Fight (video game)
|Developer(s)||General Computer Corporation|
Atari 8-bit family
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Cabinet||Upright and cocktail|
|Arcade system||Atari 68000|
|Display||Raster, standard resolution, horizontal|
Food Fight (also styled as Charley Chuck's Food Fight) is an arcade game released by Atari, Inc. in March 1983. The player guides Charley Chuck, who is trying to eat an ice cream cone before it melts, while avoiding four chefs bent on stopping him. The game sold 1,951 video game arcade cabinets.
Food Fight was ported to the Atari 7800 console in 1987, and also released as an Atari 8-bit family cartridge styled for the then new Atari XEGS the same year. A port for the Atari 2600 was canceled.
In Food Fight, the player controls a young boy named Charley Chuck. The object of the game is to eat an ice cream cone located on the opposite side of an open playfield. The ice cream is slowly melting, and must be consumed before it melts completely. Standing between Charley and the ice cream are four chefs named Angelo, Jacques, Oscar, and Zorba.
The chefs appear from holes in the floor of the level and will chase after Charley. The chefs are identified by the shape of their toques: Angelo's is short and rectangular; Jacques' is curved; Oscar's is big and round; and Zorba's is tall and slender.
Scattered throughout the level are piles of food, such as pies, peas, tomatoes, and bananas. Both the player and the chefs can grab food from the piles to throw at each other. The supplies of most foods are limited, but watermelon, which appears either on special levels exclusively or with other foods in later levels, is unlimited in supply. If the chefs are hit by food thrown either by the player or by other chefs, they are taken down for a few seconds. If the player is hit, a life is lost. The player also loses a life if a chef touches Charley, if Charley falls through an open hole, or if the ice cream melts before it is eaten.
Points are scored for each chef hit by food thrown by the player (up to 1,000 points each), luring a chef over an open hole and for each remaining pile of food on the level. The ice cream is worth 500 points multiplied by the level number, up to a maximum of 25,000 points from level 50 onwards to the last regular level, level 125.
Sometimes if the player has at least one close call with a chef and flying food during a level, the game plays back an instant replay of the entire level while music plays. In the Atari 7800 port, it is possible, though rare, for Charley Chuck to be hit by food or a chef during the instant replay. When this happens, the game displays "ALMOST MADE IT" and restores the life that was just lost.
Food Fight was developed by General Computer Corporation (GCC), the company that designed the custom chips of the Atari 7800 and produced Midway's Ms. Pac-Man. Like Ms. Pac-Man, GCC's connection to Atari was born out of accusations of copyright infringement. The company had produced a kit that would speed up Atari's Missile Command arcade machines, but with General Computer claiming the copyright for the modified game. Fearing for its intellectual property rights, Atari sued GCC for USD$15 million. The case was settled out of court, with Atari contracting GCC to produce video games for them, including Food Fight and Quantum.
In an interview Jonathan Hurd said everyone at GCC contributed to the development. The initials of the people who were most heavily involved in creating Food Fight are in the high score table.
According to Hurd, there's one serious bug in the game: if the cone is eaten at the last moment in a round that triggers an instant replay, the game resets.
The world record high score for Food Fight using the game's default settings is 103,103,100 points, set by Ken Okumura in January 1984. Under tournament settings, the world record is 1,234,100 points, set by Jon Dworkin in June 2001.
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