Difference between revisions of "Vanguard"

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[[Image:Vanguard - 2600 - USA.jpg|thumb|256x256px|2600 box art.]]
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[[Image:Vanguard - ARC - USA - Cabinet.jpg|thumb|256x256px|Arcade cabinet.]]
  
'''''Vanguard''''' is a scrolling shooter developed by [[TOSE]] and published by [[SNK]] in [[Arcade|arcades]] in [[1981]]. It was later ported to the [[Atari 2600]] by [[David Payne]] and the [[Atari 5200]]. In the game's story you pilot a space ship through a chain of caves to defeat the Gond, a villain trying to wipe out space colonies. Each part of the cave system is named and include the Mountain Zone, Rainbow Zone, Styx Zone, Stripe Zone, Bleak Zone, and to the City of Mystery. Each zone is occupied with a different type of enemy ship and has natural hazards that must be avoided. Your ship steadily loses fuel which is replenished by successfully destroying enemy ships. In the arcade, Vanguard uses a joystick and an unusual 4-button firing configuration, one for each direction. It also was one of the first scrolling shooters to scroll in multiple directions over the course of the game. The tune that plays when you start the game is lifted from [[Jerry Goldsmith]]'s [[Star Trek: The Motion Picture]] soundtrack, and the tune that plays when you touch the energy block is [[Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men)]] from the [[Flash Gordon]] film.
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'''''Vanguard''''' is a scrolling shooter developed by [[TOSE]] and published by [[SNK]] in [[Arcade|arcades]] in 1981. [[Centuri]] distributed the game in the USA. It was ported to the [[Atari 2600]] by [[David Payne]] in 1982 and to the [[Atari 5200]] in 1983. In the game's story you pilot a space ship through a chain of caves to defeat the Gond, a villain trying to wipe out space colonies. Each part of the cave system is named and include the Mountain Zone, Rainbow Zone, Styx Zone, Stripe Zone, Bleak Zone, and to the City of Mystery. Each zone is occupied with a different type of enemy ship and has natural hazards that must be avoided. Your ship steadily loses fuel which is replenished by successfully destroying enemy ships. In the arcade, Vanguard uses a joystick and an unusual 4-button firing configuration, one for each direction. It also was one of the first scrolling shooters to scroll in multiple directions over the course of the game. The tune that plays when you start the game is lifted from [[Jerry Goldsmith]]'s ''[[Star Trek: The Motion Picture]]'' soundtrack, and the tune that plays when you touch the energy block is [[Queen]]'s ''[[Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men)]]'' from the ''[[Flash Gordon (film)|Flash Gordon]]'' film.
  
I first played Vanguard in the mid-1980s on my family's Atari 2600. My family and our neighborhood friends pretended it was like Star Wars and made believe we were characters like Yoda and Luke. For years I assumed Vanguard was an exclusive Atari title, and it wasn't until years later that I learned it was originally an arcade game.
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I first played ''Vanguard'' around 1986 on my family's Atari 2600. My family and our neighborhood friends pretended it was like ''[[Star Wars]]'' and we were characters like Yoda and Luke. I remember being really impressed by the art on the 2600 because it gave me a sense of wonder about what was further down the tunnel. At the time, I assumed ''Vanguard'' was an exclusive Atari title, and it wasn't until years later that I learned it was originally an arcade game.
  
 
==Status==
 
==Status==
I used to own Vanguard on the 2600, but no longer. My high score is 76,870.
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I used to own ''Vanguard'' on the 2600, but no longer. My high score as a child was 76,870, but I haven't really made an effort to beat it.
  
 
==Review==
 
==Review==
 
* '''Overall:''' 4/10
 
* '''Overall:''' 4/10
 
* '''Best Version:''' Atari 2600
 
* '''Best Version:''' Atari 2600
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 +
{{Spoilers}}
  
 
===Good===
 
===Good===
 
* The game is a pioneer in the scrolling shooter genre with alternating scrolling directions. This not only makes the play more interesting, it's also impressive on a technical level.
 
* The game is a pioneer in the scrolling shooter genre with alternating scrolling directions. This not only makes the play more interesting, it's also impressive on a technical level.
 
* Having synthesized speech was still very notable for arcade games in 1981.
 
* Having synthesized speech was still very notable for arcade games in 1981.
* The Atari 2600 port's design to alter your ship's speed based on whether you're shooting was a nice tactical mechanic since it couldn't recreate the 4-button firing of the arcade layout.
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* The Atari 2600 port, since it couldn't recreate the 4-button firing of the arcade layout, alters the game slightly to have you shoot by default in the direction you're moving, but lets you press the fire button to stop shooting and move faster. That was a really clever tactical mechanic.
 
* The cavern walls in the Atari 2600 port use wonderful rainbow bands that are visually appealing.
 
* The cavern walls in the Atari 2600 port use wonderful rainbow bands that are visually appealing.
* The game's box art is pretty great.
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* The 2600's box art and manual is pretty great.
  
 
===Bad===
 
===Bad===
 
* The game's graphics are pretty bad. Drawing cavern walls with boxes was cheap even by the standards of 1981. [[Donkey Kong]] came out this same year.
 
* The game's graphics are pretty bad. Drawing cavern walls with boxes was cheap even by the standards of 1981. [[Donkey Kong]] came out this same year.
* The game only has two alternating cave systems, both of which are nearly identical. It would have been fairly simple to add several to give the game more depth.
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* The game only has two alternating cave systems, both of which are nearly identical. Even if the designers kept reusing the same stages, they could have come up with plenty more systems and that little bit would have given the game more depth.
 
* I don't like how enemy shots block your own.
 
* I don't like how enemy shots block your own.
 
* The Atari ports don't accurately handle the 4-button firing mechanic of the arcade, so you're forced to move in the direction you want to shoot which alters the strategy.
 
* The Atari ports don't accurately handle the 4-button firing mechanic of the arcade, so you're forced to move in the direction you want to shoot which alters the strategy.
* The Atari 2600 port doesn't show your position in the current cavern which is important tactical information, but it does add a pause between each section which is helpful.
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* The Atari 2600 port doesn't show how far you've made it in the current stage which is important tactical information, but it does add a pause between each section which is helpful.
  
 
===Ugly===
 
===Ugly===
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===Box Art===
 
===Box Art===
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
Vanguard - ARC - USA - Marquee.jpg|The North American arcade marquee.
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Vanguard - ARC - USA - Marquee.svg|The North American arcade marquee. A bit dull, but it uses a nice typeface, and an interesting use of a non-standard rainbow.
Vanguard - 2600 - USA.jpg|The 2600 box art has a lovely painting of your ship firing at enemies down a tunnel that's both industrial and cavernous. The art is very impressive and perfectly depicts the game. This is my favorite.
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Vanguard - ARC - USA - Side Art.jpg|The cabinet's side art features a man in a space suit being surrounded by snakes while flying saucers appear from a wormhole with Gond in the background. It's pretty trippy, I'll give it that!
Vanguard - 5200 - USA.jpg|The 5200 is more like the arcade flyers. It shows a simpler ship firing at enemies in a more [[TRON]]-like environment. While I don't care for the art as much, the custom lettering is much better.
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Vanguard - 2600 - USA.jpg|The 2600 box art has a lovely painting by [[Ralph Angus McQuarrie]]. Your ship is firing at enemies down a tunnel that's both industrial and cavernous. The art is very impressive and perfectly depicts the game. This is my favorite cover.
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Vanguard - 5200 - USA.jpg|The 5200 shows a simpler ship firing at enemies in a more [[TRON]]-like environment. While I don't care for the art as much, the custom lettering is much better.
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
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Vanguard - 2600 - Manual.pdf|2600 manual.
 
Vanguard - 2600 - Manual.pdf|2600 manual.
 
Vanguard - 5200 - Manual.pdf|5200 manual.
 
Vanguard - 5200 - Manual.pdf|5200 manual.
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Vanguard - ARC - Japan - Ad.jpg|A Japanese ad for the arcade game. It features an old man shooting lasers from his eyes (or into them?).
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Vanguard - ARC - USA - Ad - Centuri.jpg|The US Centuri ad is mostly a description of the game,
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Vanguard - ARC - USA - Ad - Cinematronics.jpg|The US Cinematronics ad for a different cabinet style.
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Vanguard - ARC - Germany - Ad.jpg|The German ad has the cabinet with a lot of screenshots.
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SNK - ARC - Japan - Promo.jpg|Japanese [[SNK]] ad with ''[[Satan of Saturn]]''.
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
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===Videos===
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* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g] - Atari 2600 commercial.
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* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g] - Arcade game play.
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* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g] - Atari 2600 game play.
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* [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g youtube.com/watch?v=4MwVWsHBm5g] - Atari 5200 game play.
  
 
==Titles==
 
==Titles==
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==Links==
 
==Links==
* [http://www.mobygames.com/game/vanguard mobygames.com/game/vanguard] - MobyGames.
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{{Link|MobyGames|http://www.mobygames.com/game/vanguard}}
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_(video_game) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_(video_game)] - Wikipedia.
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{{Link|Wikipedia|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_(video_game)}}
* [http://www.vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php?title=Vanguard_(A26) vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php?title=Vanguard_(A26)] - VGMPF Atari 2600 soundtrack.
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{{Link|StrategyWiki|https://strategywiki.org/wiki/Vanguard}}
* [https://tcrf.net/Vanguard_(Arcade) tcrf.net/Vanguard_(Arcade)] - The Cutting Room Floor.
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{{Link|VGMPF|2=http://www.vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php?title=Vanguard}}
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{{Link|TCRF|https://tcrf.net/Vanguard_(Arcade)}}
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{{Link|AtariAge|2=https://atariage.com/software_page.php?SoftwareID=1424}}
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{{Link|TVTropes|https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Vanguard}}
  
  

Revision as of 10:26, 6 June 2019

Arcade cabinet.

Vanguard is a scrolling shooter developed by TOSE and published by SNK in arcades in 1981. Centuri distributed the game in the USA. It was ported to the Atari 2600 by David Payne in 1982 and to the Atari 5200 in 1983. In the game's story you pilot a space ship through a chain of caves to defeat the Gond, a villain trying to wipe out space colonies. Each part of the cave system is named and include the Mountain Zone, Rainbow Zone, Styx Zone, Stripe Zone, Bleak Zone, and to the City of Mystery. Each zone is occupied with a different type of enemy ship and has natural hazards that must be avoided. Your ship steadily loses fuel which is replenished by successfully destroying enemy ships. In the arcade, Vanguard uses a joystick and an unusual 4-button firing configuration, one for each direction. It also was one of the first scrolling shooters to scroll in multiple directions over the course of the game. The tune that plays when you start the game is lifted from Jerry Goldsmith's Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack, and the tune that plays when you touch the energy block is Queen's Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men) from the Flash Gordon film.

I first played Vanguard around 1986 on my family's Atari 2600. My family and our neighborhood friends pretended it was like Star Wars and we were characters like Yoda and Luke. I remember being really impressed by the art on the 2600 because it gave me a sense of wonder about what was further down the tunnel. At the time, I assumed Vanguard was an exclusive Atari title, and it wasn't until years later that I learned it was originally an arcade game.

Status

I used to own Vanguard on the 2600, but no longer. My high score as a child was 76,870, but I haven't really made an effort to beat it.

Review

  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: Atari 2600

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game is a pioneer in the scrolling shooter genre with alternating scrolling directions. This not only makes the play more interesting, it's also impressive on a technical level.
  • Having synthesized speech was still very notable for arcade games in 1981.
  • The Atari 2600 port, since it couldn't recreate the 4-button firing of the arcade layout, alters the game slightly to have you shoot by default in the direction you're moving, but lets you press the fire button to stop shooting and move faster. That was a really clever tactical mechanic.
  • The cavern walls in the Atari 2600 port use wonderful rainbow bands that are visually appealing.
  • The 2600's box art and manual is pretty great.

Bad

  • The game's graphics are pretty bad. Drawing cavern walls with boxes was cheap even by the standards of 1981. Donkey Kong came out this same year.
  • The game only has two alternating cave systems, both of which are nearly identical. Even if the designers kept reusing the same stages, they could have come up with plenty more systems and that little bit would have given the game more depth.
  • I don't like how enemy shots block your own.
  • The Atari ports don't accurately handle the 4-button firing mechanic of the arcade, so you're forced to move in the direction you want to shoot which alters the strategy.
  • The Atari 2600 port doesn't show how far you've made it in the current stage which is important tactical information, but it does add a pause between each section which is helpful.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Videos

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Vanguard
Japanese ヴァンガード Bangado Vanguard

Links

Link-MobyGames.png  Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-StrategyWiki.png  Link-VGMPF.png  Link-TCRF.png  Link-AtariAge.png  Link-TVTropes.png