Fun facts about arcade video game characters in 'Pixels'
If you go
"Pixels" opens Friday, but will start playing in theaters Thursday night. Here's a look at where it will be playing in York County.
On Thursday, the movie is playing at Regal Cinemas, 455 Town Center Drive, West Manchester Township at the following times: 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. . The film will also be playing in 3D at 7:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
On Friday, "Pixels" is playing at Frank Theaters Queensgate Stadium at the following times: 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The film will also be playing in 3D at the following times: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Call it a blast from the past with a modern twist.
"Pixels," the newest film by Columbia Pictures, is based on the premise that if you share your culture and way of life with someone else, it can help establish peaceful relationships. But that doesn't turn out so well for the United States.
In 1982, amid what was known at the golden age of video arcade gaming, NASA sends a time capsule to outer space. Some way or the other, aliens take the images of Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong as a declaration of battle, not an olive branch. They come back to Earth, setting off an epic battle between alien video game look-alikes and Earth-bound gaming nerds who were brought together to save the world.
Here are some fun, historical facts about the characters in "Pixels."
Space Invaders was released in 1978 by Japanese video game developer Tomohiro Nishikado.
-According to urban legend, the game was so popular upon its release that it caused a national shortage of Japanese Yen and more money had to be printed to meet players' demand.
-Some of the game's inspiration came from a dream Nishikado had about aliens appearing in the sky instead of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
-The game, whose players control a laser cannon at the bottom of the screen and shoot at five rows of aliens above, was one of the best-selling of the arcade "golden age." Four years after its release, it grossed $2 -billion in quarters. It is said to have sparked a renaissance for the video game industry, known now by popular computer and console games like "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield."
Pac-Man was released in 1980 and was created by Toru Iwatani, also a Japanese video game designer.
-The game was based on the concept of eating, and the title was Pukkuman in Japan, which was drawn from a phrase describing the movement of the mouth while taking a bite of food.
-Iwatani has said that a pizza missing a slice inspired the character's shape.
-President Ronald Reagan once sent a congratulatory letter to one player in 1982 for setting a record score.
-Pac-Man is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
Donkey Kong was released by Nintendo in 1981.
-In the game, Mario, or "Jumpman," has to rescue a woman in distress from a giant ape Donkey Kong. But first he has to go through several obstacles. That premise laid groundwork for future video games to use storytelling.
-As the game was being developed, low pixel resolutions limited the creator's ability to design Mario. So instead of drawing a mouth, he got a mustache and, unable to animate hair, Mario got his cap.
-In its first two years in the United States, Donkey Kong earned $280 million.