Mutant League Football
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|Mutant League Football|
North American cover art
|Designer(s)||Michael Mendheim (lead)|
|Programmer(s)||Gil Colgate (lead)|
|Artist(s)||Arthur Koch (lead)|
Mutant League Football is a video game that was released in 1993 for the Sega Genesis. It has long been believed that the game was designed using the Madden '93 engine, but was actually made from scratch, and features a different take on football, where the games resemble a war as much as a sporting competition.
Electronic Arts ported the game to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as part of EA Replay. It was released in the United States on November 14, 2006. The PSP allowed a higher resolution for the game than seen on the Genesis, therefore bringing greater graphics to the game when played on a television screen via the new PSP Slim & Lite's output capabilities.
The game deviates from usual American football simulations in several ways. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where radiation has caused the human race to mutate and the dead to rise from the grave. The game instruction manual states that the exact causes of the upheaval have been lost or corrupted, due to (among many things) the chaos of an alien invasion, spin control, a sloppy filing system set up by a temp, and what appears to be barbecue sauce.
Land mines, fire pits, and other hazards (such as arenas being open to interplanetary space) litter the field, which can be made of rock, ice, toxic waste or rubber, and players can lose health or die during the run of play (upon which they will fumble). Teams have special Nasty Audible plays, which may be violent if not lethal, and may constitute cheating. Examples include exploding balls, invisibility, electric shocks, jet packs, or attacking the referee or opposition quarterback en masse, with the intent of killing him. Killing enough players may force an opposing team to forfeit, should it find itself with an insufficient number of players to continue (killed players may remain dead for only a single play, a match, or an entire season, depending on settings chosen by the player or players).
Each team can bribe the referee twice per game (once in each half), after which the bribed referee will award arbitrary penalties in favor of the team which bribed him (e.g. a 5-yard penalty for crying), at the expense of the opposing team. The team being penalized may kill the referee (via a "nasty audible") at the expense of another penalty for "Ref Bashing". Referee deaths may also occur accidentally, with such causes including being caught in the middle of a pileup or nudged into a mine, and these are not penalized. In the event of a referee's death, a replacement is immediately provided. Other penalties include offsides (encroachment also counts as this penalty), illegal kicks, delay of game, quarterback bashing, and pass interference. All of these penalties are 5-yard penalties except pass interference, which is an automatic first down.
Game modes can take place in the form of a single match or a full-season mode. Winning the championship game in season mode results in the losing team exploding spontaneously, and the winning team's MVP perishing by induction into the "Hole of Flame", the induction ceremony of which entitles the game referees to snatch the MVP and stuff him into a firepit.
Teams are composed of aliens, skeletons, robots, trolls, and superhumans. Seven players are on the field for each team, instead of the usual eleven. Many of the teams are based on real life teams, with names like the Deathskin Razors and the Midway Monsters. Players also have similar parody names, like Bones Jackson (Bo Jackson), K.T. Slayer (Lawrence Taylor), Joe Magician (Joe Montana), Scary Ice (Jerry Rice), and Grim McSlam (Jim McMahon). However, despite all the death and destruction, the competition aspect is still high, and requires much strategy, especially compared to games like NFL Blitz.
- Darkstar Dragons
- Killer Konvicts
- Misfit Demons
- Psycho Slashers
- Screaming Evils
- Slaycity Slayers
- Terminator Trollz
- Turbo Techies
- Deathskin Razors
- Icebay Bashers
- Midway Monsters
- Rad Rockers
- Road Warriors
- Sixty Whiners
- Vile Vulgars
- War Slammers
- Toxic All-Pros (made up of the best players from the Toxic Conference)
- Maniac All-Stars (made up of the best players from the Maniac Conference)
- Galaxy Aces (made up of the best players of the entire league)
This game was followed by a spinoff titled Mutant League Hockey. A basketball game, Mutant League Basketball, was in development, but it was never released. These games were also used as the basis for an animated series called Mutant League, which aired from 1994 to 1996.
In the Xbox 360 version of the video game Madden NFL 09, there is an achievement worth 50 gamerscore titled "Midway Monster". The achievement is unlocked by creating a player named "Bones Jackson" and placing him on the Chicago Bears.
A "spiritual successor" called Mutant Football League was developed by Digital Dreams Entertainment for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4. This re-imagining was led by Michael Mendheim, the original creator and lead designer of the Mutant League series. A port to the Nintendo Switch was released in September 2018.