Arcade Flyer Art Saturday: Devastators

devastatorsafas.jpg Konami released Devastators into wide release in 1988. Capitalising on the popularity of Contra, Devastators took on the similar plot device of two guys taking on hordes of enemies. It was set in the far flung future of 1989 and involved a Middle Eastern dictator who had taken over a small country. The country in turn hires the two main characters to save them and according to the flyer, these badasses were "the best, most efficient, ruthless, disciplined and most expensive 2-man team of freedom fighters in the world." Man, that's a whole lot of adjectives. In a different take on the normal side scrolling shooter, Devastators was a vertical shooter, designed much like the vertical shooting levels of Contra. The player characters were viewed from the back, eternally walking into the horizon while the background scrolled by in a forced perspective. It was controlled with a joystick and two buttons and could accommodate two players at a time. Each player had a small arsenal consisting of a machine gun and some grenades and additional rocket launchers could be picked up along the way that would lock on to enemies and armoured vehicles. Levels covered such staples as the desert, the jungle and the beach with each one ending with a boss battle. Each level was timed and if you didn't make the end of the level before time was up, it was game over.

The art for this one, much like the game, was pretty typical for it's time period. The "two guys against the world" theme was used often in games like Contra, Double Dragon and others. The main character in the front is unmistakably modeled after Sylvester Stallone's Rambo character who's game (coincidentally?) also made use of the vertical scrolling technique. Unlike some of the flyers we've featured, this one is actually very well rendered with none of the bizarre body proportion issues that we often see.

This one also has a lot more text than usual, really pushing the whole plot of the game. Because these flyers were meant to entice arcade owners to purchase these machines for their properties, the text was usually some sort of pun that tried to let people know how much money they could make. The Devastators copy does mention money, but only within the context of the game itself. It also heavily pushed the whole team aspect of the game, no doubt trying to allude to the fact that a partner game would mean more quarters in the box. Still, the whole thing reads and looks like an action movie poster that it was obviously trying to mimic.

For the GLORY, the MONEY... and to feed the BEAST inside of their body!!!!!/blockquote>As I have always said, nothing says hardcore action like capital letters and five exclamation points. NOTHING!!!!!


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