Total Carnage

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Total Carnage
Total Carnage arcade flyer.jpg
Developer(s)Midway
Publisher(s)Midway
Designer(s)Eugene Jarvis
Mark Turmell
Programmer(s)Mark Turmell
Shawn Liptak
Artist(s)Jim Gentile
John Tobias
Tony Goskie
Composer(s)Jonathan Hey
Platform(s)Amiga, CD32, Jaguar, Game Boy, MS-DOS, Super NES
ReleaseArcade
  • NA: January 1992
Super NES
  • NA: November 1993
  • EU: 1993
Game Boy
  • NA: February 1994
  • EU: 17 February 1994
Amiga
  • EU: May 1994
Amiga CD32
  • EU: May 1994
MS-DOS
Jaguar
  • WW: 22 September 2005
Genre(s)Multidirectional shooter
Mode(s)
Arcade systemMidway Y Unit

Total Carnage is a multidirectional shooter arcade video game originally developed and published by Midway in North America on January 1992.[1] Set in the fictional country of Kookistan during 1999, players assume the role of Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem from the Doomsday Squad in a last-ditch effort to overthrow dictator General Akhboob and his army of mutants from conquering the world, while also rescuing POWs held by his military force.

Total Carnage was created by most of the same team who previously worked on Williams' 1990 arcade game Smash TV and shares many gameplay elements. Initially released in arcades, the game was ported to the Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar, Game Boy, MS-DOS, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game has been ported to multiple compilations, such as Midway Arcade Treasures 2, Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition and Midway Arcade Origins.

The arcade version of Total Carnage received positive reception from critics, but it was not successful financially. The ports were met with mixed critical response. Designer Mark Turmell would go to work on the highly successful NBA Jam.

Gameplay[edit]

Arcade version screenshot showing Captain Carnage fighting against the first boss, Orcus.

Total Carnage is a multidirectional shooter similar to Smash TV where players assume the role of Captain Carnage (P1) and Major Mayhem (P2) from the Doomsday Squad across three stages, each with a boss at the end that must be fought before progressing any further, in a last-ditch effort to overthrow dictator General Akhboob and his army of mutants from conquering the world by invading Akhboob's "Baby Milk Factory" base, while also rescuing POWs held by his military force as the main objective.[2][3][4][5] The players' characters are patterned after John Rambo while the setting is influenced by the 1991 Persian Gulf War (including the Abu Ghraib Infant Formula Plant).

Players move their respective characters with the left joystick, while the right joystick shoots bullets against enemies.[5] Players can also enter a password at the beginning of the game to warp their player character into any location of the game.[5] Getting hit by enemy fire or colliding against dangerous stage obstacles will result in losing a life and once all lives are lost, the game is over unless the players insert more credits into the arcade machine to continue playing.

The game shares many gameplay elements with Williams' previous title, while also adding new ones as well including two-player simultaneous play, stage scrolling, large enemy vehicles, the ability to collect and place bombs, and a much wider range of gameplay scenarios.

Development[edit]

Total Carnage was designed by most of the same team who previously worked on Smash TV for Williams including Robotron: 2084 co-creator Eugene Jarvis.

Total Carnage was created by most of the same team behind Williams' Smash TV, some of which would also later go on to work at other Midway franchise such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.[1][6] Mark Turmell served as lead developer and programmer of the project alongside Shawn Liptak and Robotron: 2084 co-creator Eugene Jarvis.[7][8] Artists Jim Gentile, John Tobias and Tony Goskie were responsible for the pixel art, while Jonathan Hey was in charge of its sound design.[1][7] Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon was the voice of General Akhboob.[1]

Originally the game was programmed to display one of two endings upon completion of the Pleasure Dome bonus stage. One ending would feature the women and playable characters from Smash TV and was to be displayed if the player collected all the treasures in the dome. A second "bad" ending showed the same screen without the women along with a message challenging the player to collect all the dome's treasure. However, a bug in the game caused the "good" ending to be displayed with the "bad" ending text no matter how many treasures were collected. The bug was uncovered during the testing for 2012's Midway Arcade Origins compilation. In response, Turmell stated that he remembers writing working code for both endings, but was not sure why the code was changed. He suggested that he might have kept the bug as a joke on players and went unfixed in Origins.[9]

Amiga version[edit]

The Amiga and CD32 versions were created by UK-based developer International Computer Entertainment, with Keith Weatherly and Simon Fox acting as programmers of the conversion, while Ellen Hopkins and Mike Jary were responsible for adapting the artwork as well.[10][11] Both Weatherly and Fox recounted the development process and history of the Amiga version between 1993 and 1994 through publications such as The One for Amiga Games and Amiga Format.[10][11] Weatherly and Fox stated that the conversion took over a year to develop with Midway supervising its production and the team originally had plans to integrate elements that were scrapped from the original arcade release but were ultimately discarded in the end.[10][11] Midway provided both artwork and source code of the arcade original to the team at ICE, although adapting the former into the Amiga proved to be difficult, as both Weatherly and Fox stated that the number of colors and animations were reduced to fit the hardware.[10][11]

Release[edit]

Total Carnage was first released in arcades by Midway on January 1992.[1] In late 1993, The game was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System by Black Pearl Software and published by Malibu Games.[5] This version mimics the dual control aspect of the arcade original by mapping the console's four main buttons (A, B, X and Y) like a D-pad, enabling the player to shoot in one direction while running in another.[2] On February 1994, a Game Boy port of the title was released by Malibu Games across North America and Europe.[5] In mid-1994, it was also ported to the Amiga and Amiga CD32 by International Computer Entertainment.[5][12][13] Around the same time period, a MS-DOS conversion by British developer Hand Made Software was released as well.[5][14] The original arcade game was first re-released in 2004 as part of Midway Arcade Treasures 2 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube game consoles.[5] In 2005, an Atari Jaguar version by Hand Made Software that previously went unpublished was released worldwide by Songbird Productions, nearly ten years after work on the game originally began.[5][15][16] The arcade version was later re-released in 2006 as part of Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition for the PC and in 2012 as part of Midway Arcade Origins for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Cancelled ports[edit]

Versions for both the Sega CD and Sega Genesis were in development by Black Pearl Software and planned to be published by Malibu Games but neither port were officially released to the public for unknown reasons, despite being advertised and previewed in a few video game magazines.[17][18][19][20] A prototype cartridge of the Genesis port is currently under ownership of video game collector Jason Wilson.[21]

Reception and legacy[edit]

RePlay reported Total Carnage to be the third most-popular arcade game in the United States in May 1992.[47] According to Liptak, Total Carnage failed to reach the target of 2,000 arcade cabinets ordered.[6] The game's slow sales resulted in Turmell taking on a different project for his next game, which would become the highly successful NBA Jam.[6]

In a coin-op feature, Sinclair User rated the arcade game 96% and called it a "classic cartoon style cathartic experience", dubbing it the "best game of 1992".[36] In 2009, the game's trademark was abandoned.[48]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ GamePro scored the SNES version two 4/5 score for graphics and fun factor, and two 3.5/5 ratings for sound and fun factor.[30]
  2. ^ Nintendo Power scored the Gameboy version 2.8/5 three times for play control, challenge, and theme/fun, and 2.5/5 for graphics/sound.[33]
  3. ^ Nintendo Power scored the SNES version 3/5 twice for graphics/sound and play control, 3.3/5 for challenge, and 2.9/5 for theme/fun.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Total Carnage". arcade-history.com. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b Total Carnage instruction manual (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, US)
  3. ^ Total Carnage instruction booklet (Game Boy, US)
  4. ^ Total Carnage game manual (Atari Jaguar, US)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bobinator (4 May 2017). "Total Carnage". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on 11 November 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Leone, Matt (2010). "The Rise, Fall, and Return of NBA Jam (Page 2)". 1UP.com. IGN. Retrieved 1 November 2019. Check |archive-url= value (help)
  7. ^ a b "Total Carnage – The Makers of Smash T.V. Have Created a New Arcade Game That Lives Up to Its Name!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 29. Sendai Publishing. December 1991. p. 134.
  8. ^ Midway (January 1992). Total Carnage (Arcade). Midway. Level/area: Total Carnage Design Team.
  9. ^ Leone, Matt (9 January 2013). "The story behind Total Carnage's confusing ending". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d Byron, Simon (August 1993). "Work in Progress – More Guts Than Most – Total Carnage". The One for Amiga Games. No. 59. EMAP. pp. 38–39.
  11. ^ a b c d Mead, Rob (March 1994). "The Next Big Thing? – Total Carnage". Amiga Format. No. 57. p. 40.
  12. ^ "Reportage – ECTS: C'est fort en Amiga – Agenda CD-32 – Mai". Amiga Dream (in French). No. 7. Posse Press. May 1994. p. 27.
  13. ^ "Reportage – ECTS: C'est fort en Amiga – Agenda Amiga – Mai". Amiga Dream (in French). No. 7. Posse Press. May 1994. p. 29.
  14. ^ Underdogs (2009). "Total Carnage". Home of the Underdogs. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  15. ^ "TOTAL SURPRISE FOR JAGUAR FANS". Songbird Productions. 22 September 2005. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  16. ^ Hawken, Kieren (July 2013). "Minority Report Special: Jaguar – Total Carnage". Retro Gamer. No. 118. Imagine Publishing. p. 45.
  17. ^ "News – Carnage Hall". Sega Power. No. 46. September 1993. p. 13.
  18. ^ "Total Carnage – Get Ready for the Mother Of All Battles". Game Players. No. 35. Signal Research. December 1993. p. 133.
  19. ^ "Just Review It: Sega CD – Total Carnage". Sega Visions. No. 16. Infotainment World. January 1994. p. 53.
  20. ^ "T-HQ adds "PGA Tour Golf III" to multiproduction licensing deal with Electronic Arts and 1995 T-HQ product release schedule". TheFreeLibrary.com. Business Wire. 23 January 1995. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  21. ^ Wilson, Jason (25 November 2010). "FS: Genesis/SNES/32x PROTO MADNESS!". nintendoage.com. Bucket Head Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 18 July 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  22. ^ Alan Weiss, Brett (1998). "Total Carnage (SNES) – Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  23. ^ Phillips, Adam (June 1994). "System Spotlight – Total Carnage". Amiga Computing. No. 74. Europress, IDG Media. pp. 154–155.
  24. ^ Bradley, Stephen (May 1994). "Game Review – Total Carnage (A1200)". Amiga Format. No. 59. p. 72.
  25. ^ Campbell, Stuart (May 1994). "Game Review – Total Carnage". Amiga Power. No. 37. pp. 52–53. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  26. ^ "AUI Entertainment Now! – Total Carnage". Amiga User International. Vol. 8 no. 6. AUI Limited. July 1994. p. 104. Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  27. ^ Suck, Michael (July 1994). "Review – Total Carnage – Chili con Carnage". Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 89. Tronic Verlag. p. 50.
  28. ^ "Amiga CD32 bunt gemischt – Neu-Silber – Total Carnage". Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 89. Tronic Verlag. July 1994. p. 91. Archived from the original on 4 January 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  29. ^ "Replay – Game Boy – Total Carnage". Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 89. Tronic Verlag. July 1994. p. 120.
  30. ^ Y. Pout, Willy (January 1994). "Super NES ProReview – Total Carnage". GamePro. No. 54. IDG. p. 88.
  31. ^ Lowe, Andy; Ellis, Les; Douglas, Jim (November 1993). "Total Carnage". GamesMaster. No. 11. pp. 40–42. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  32. ^ Nini, Nourdine; Prézeau, Olivier (April 1994). "Super Nintendo: Moi Vois, Moi Tue! – Total Carnage". Joypad (in French). No. 30. Yellow Media. pp. 90–91.
  33. ^ "Now Playing – Total Carnage (Game Boy)". Nintendo Power. No. 58. Nintendo of America. March 1994. pp. 102–107. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Now Playing". Nintendo Power. No. 55. Nintendo of America. December 1993. pp. 102–107. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  35. ^ Pilet, Stéphane (April 1994). "Tests – Super Nintendo: Total Carnage". Player One (in French). No. 41. Média Système Édition. pp. 94–95.
  36. ^ a b Jammed, John (July 1992). "Coin Ops – Total Carnage – A Welcome to the... Williams". Sinclair User. EMAP. pp. 38–39. Archived from the original on 30 December 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  37. ^ Neumayer, Manfred (February 1994). "Rom Check – Super Nintendo – Total Carnage". Video Games (in German). No. 27. Future-Verlag. p. 89.
  38. ^ a b Geltenpoth, Markus (June 1994). "Action Review (A1200/CD32 Speziell): Schieβ oder stirb! – Total Carnage". Amiga Games (in German). No. 21. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. pp. 20–21.
  39. ^ Löwenstein, Richard (May 1994). "Total Carnage – Action total? – A 1200 Speziell". Amiga Joker (in German). No. 47. Joker-Verlag. p. 38. Archived from the original on 14 June 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  40. ^ Löwenstein, Richard (July 1994). "Amiga CD-Joker – Total Carnage". Amiga Joker (in German). No. 48. Joker-Verlag. p. 76.
  41. ^ Byron, Simon (May 1994). "Review – Total Carnage". The One for Amiga Games. No. 67. EMAP. pp. 58–59.
  42. ^ Nuttall, Andy (June 1994). "Updates... – Total Carnage (A500)". The One for Amiga Games. No. 68. EMAP. p. 77.
  43. ^ Overman, Jim (April 1992). "An operator's video picks of the show". Play Meter. Vol. 18 no. 5. p. 52.
  44. ^ a b Gerhardt, Roland (July 1994). "Amiga 1200 CD 32 Review – Total Carnage". Play Time (in German). No. 37. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 123.
  45. ^ "Review – Total Carnage – SNES". Power Unlimited (in Dutch). No. 7. March 1994.
  46. ^ Arethius (9 June 2006). "Test – Total Carnage (Jaguar)". ReVival (in French). No. 31. ABCD Dire. pp. 28–29.
  47. ^ "The Player's Choice - Top Games Now in Operation, Based on Earnings-Opinion Poll of Operators: Best Video Software". RePlay. Vol. 17 no. 8. RePlay Publishing, Inc. May 1992. p. 4.
  48. ^ "TOTAL CARNAGE – Trademark Details". justia.com. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2020.

External links[edit]