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|Mode(s)||Single-player, two-player co-op|
|Arcade system||Midway Y Unit hardware
Main CPU: TMS34010 (@ 6.25 MHz)
Sound CPU: M6809 (@ 2 MHz)
Sound Chips: Yamaha YM2151 FM (@ 3.57958 MHz), DAC (@ 3.57958 MHz), OKI MSM6295 ADPCM
|Display||Raster resolution 410 x 256(Vertical) Many Colors|
Total Carnage is multi-directional arcade shooter released by Midway in 1992. Ports were released for the Super NES in 1993 and Amiga CD32, Amiga, and MS-DOS in 1994. It shares many gameplay elements with Midway's previous title Smash TV, including two-player simultaneous play, and adds scrolling, large enemy vehicles, the ability to collect and place (using a dedicated button) bombs, and a much wider range of gameplay scenarios.
An evil Middle Eastern dictator named General Akhboob closes off his country to the rest of the world following a war in 1999. Hundreds of reporters flocked to the zone in hopes of getting a real scoop. Unfortunately for them, one of the reporters discovers that there's more than baby milk being made at the 'Baby Milk Factory'.
General Akhboob then captures the reporter, as well as all the remaining reporters in his country. It turns out that General Akhboob has been building an army of mutants and a stockpile of chemical weapons. He's also holding several American reporters and other civilians captive. It is up to the Doomsday Squad, composed of Captain Carnage (Player 1) and Major Mayhem(Player 2), to invade Akhboob's base, wipe out his forces, destroy the mutants, rescue all the hostages and capture Akhboob.
Along the way, Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem fight various mutants and monsters, including a giant cyborg named Orcus; get captured by Ahkboob's soldiers and put through his super-charged electric chair; arrive at the 'Baby Milk Factory' and destroy his nuclear capabilities; and finally confront General Ahkboob himself. Ahkboob transforms into several forms. After his defeat, he attempts to escape by releasing a swarm of clones, but is captured and then executed.
Like Smash TV, Total Carnage features top-down shooter gameplay where the left joystick moves the player and the right joystick shoots. The player can enter a password at the start of the game to warp the player to anywhere in the game. The player gets a temporary shield per bomb drop (in some cases, this might not happen). The weapons have been modified, at death, the user gets a rapid-fire gun instead of the normal gun, the rocket launcher now also shoots ball-bullets and is slower, the game also features two types of a Flamethrower, one that shoots regular fire, one that shoots blue fire at larger ranges. The Grenade Lobber is faster than its Smash TV counterpart, and it shoots blue grenades instead of yellow and grey ones.
Jon Hey followed up his sound creation for Smash TV with the sound and music for Total Carnage. Ed Boon, who created Mortal Kombat for Midway along with John Tobias, was the voice of General Akhboob. The game was developed with most of the people behind Smash TV.
Originally the game was programmed to display one of two endings upon completion of the Pleasure Dome bonus level. 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, programmer Mark 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. The bug went unfixed in Origins.
According to programmer Shawn Liptak, Total Carnage failed to reach the target of 2,000 arcade cabinets ordered. The game's slow sales resulted in lead developer Mark Turmell taking on a different project for his next game, which would become the highly successful NBA Jam.
The game was re-released in 2004, as part of Midway Arcade Treasures 2 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube game consoles. In 2005, an Atari Jaguar version was released by Songbird Productions, nearly ten years after work on the game originally began. It was 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.
- Leone, Matt (January 9, 2013). "The story behind Total Carnage's confusing ending". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
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- "Total Carnage". Hardcore Gaming 101.
- "Total Carnage". Sinclair User: 38–39. July 1992.
- Leone, Matt. "The Rise, Fall, and Return of NBA Jam". 1UP. Retrieved 26 June 2012.