Here's another (in)famous project I came up with on Ghostbusters.net this summer.
In March 2009 I bought a game for my GameCube called Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure. I'd been warned about its reputation being almost on a par with Pac-Man and E.T. for the Atari 2599.95. Imagine my surprise when I took it home and found that it was...shock! awe!...actually rather good!
But I felt something was missing from it. It needed at least one more game. That's when I came up with the idea for a minigame celebrating the late, lamented Ghostbusters Spooktacular attraction at the old Universal. I think the firehouse facade still stands, but I can't be sure of that.
First, I'll give all of you a (very) brief refresher on the real-life attraction:
This right here is all you need to know. Here are the ghosts' names, a few of which are mine:
The Flying Hobo, who rides a barrel (at least that's what it looks like. He's outlined in red for the benefit of a GB.net user who didn't know what I was talking about when I first had the idea for this thing
Slimer (of course!)
Killer Jack, the evil clown
The Three-Headed Monster (I still don't know everything about this guy. He was in the show for...what, all of 3 seconds.)
Gozer the Gozerian, accompanied by the Stay-Puft Man (not pictured).
When you play Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure on each difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard) for the first time, the Ghostbusters minigame is free, but it's because of an in-story scenario. As soon as you get halfway through the game (4 stamps and 8 letter-tiles), a huge lightning storm will suddenly kick up out of nowhere, bringing with it ghosts of all shapes and sizes. For example, the Jurassic Park ride gets terrorized by skeletal dinosaurs, a ghostly shark destroys the boats in Jaws, the ghosts of the Universal Monsters send the Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Creature walkarounds running for their lives, and all other havoc goes on. Then, everyone just stands there watching as they all congregate towards 55 CPW.
The ghost attacks continue as Woody Woodpecker races down the street in a security go-cart, weaving left and right like a madman, and just about knocks you over when he finds you. His feathers have all gone white, he's so scared! He presses a button, and the ground opens up, revealing a rail that wasn't there when you last looked.
"We've been hoping we wouldn't see a day like this," he says, and one of the building facades opens up. Behind it is a secret garage where the Ecto-Tram waits.
"The Ecto-Tram is a secret project developed we've been working on. We found out a while ago that Universal Studios was built over the gateway to the Spirit World, and we wanted to be prepared in case they found a way out. I thought it would make for a nice Ghostbusters-themed attraction...except, well, this Proton Cannon here isn't a toy--it's the real thing!"
Of course, every subsequent time you play the game, you then have to purchase the Ghostbusters costume for $4800.
Here's where you get in for the minigame. The building seen here kinda looks like 55 Central Park West, doesn't it?
WOODY WOODPECKER: I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news: I've just heard that our Ghostbusters haunted-house attraction has been invaded by real ghosts! The good news: We've modified the tram with a Proton Cannon that will allow you to beat these spooks. Now listen carefully, 'cause the Proton Cannon is not a toy. Use the Control Stick to move around inside the Tram. Use the X button to turn 90 degrees to the right, and the Y button to turn 90 degrees to the left. Use the L shoulder-button to lock on to a ghost, and the R shoulder-button to fire. Use the Z button to switch from Single-Shot to Proton Beam. Use the A button in Boss mode to fire a Ghost Trap. The Cross-Pad allows you to put on your Ecto-Goggles. Watch the Cannon Thermometer--if you overheat, you won't be able to shoot for 30 seconds. Oh, and, remember--if anyone asks you if you're a god, say yes.
---------------------------------------------- Camera script:
LEVEL ONE: THE SEDGEWICK HOTEL MUSIC: Elmer Bernstein's "Ghostbusters Instrumental theme"
--Camera begins BEHIND tram, pitched slightly up
--Camera CUTS IN FRONT OF tram as it goes into the elevator.
--Camera IN FRONT OF tram as it comes out of elevator. --Camera/Tram Seat TURNS 90' to the LEFT as ghosts emerge from hotel rooms. --Camera/Tram Seat CHANGES BACK to FRONTMOST position as Tram goes into elevator
--Camera remains STATIONARY BEHIND tram --PAN UP on Slimer as it flits around the chandelier --CLOSE UP on Slimer as it flies away from chandelier and towards camera --Camera IN FRONT OF tram, then WHIPS AROUND, FOLLOWING the ghost trap as it shoots out of the tram's front. --Camera BOOMS UP AND OUT a bit (just a bit!) before the battle with Slimer begins, but NOT QUITE BIRD'S EYE VIEW: it's more to give player a better view of the ballroom and to consider the best shooting angle. --At the end of the level, we move to a CLOSE UP on the Player's foot--an ESTABLISHING SHOT of the trap pedal
END OF LEVEL --------------------------------- LEVEL TWO: CREEPY CIRCUS
MUSIC: A mashup between Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" and Julius Fucik's "Entry of the Gladiators.
--Camera starts with a PLAYER'S EYE VIEW as the ferris wheel climbs up --Camera moves BEHIND tram as it moves along track, and remains IN THIS POSITION for the teacup ride --Camera moves IN FRONT OF tram as it ascends the rollercoaster track --Camera moves to FIRST PERSON PERSPECTIVE as it plummets down and falls through the "broken" part of the track --RUSH IN to COMPLETE DARKNESS, which lasts for a few seconds --Normal camera angle is SUDDENLY REVERSED as tram moves along the track UPSIDE DOWN (i.e. on the ceiling--NOTE: Up and Down on the control stick are INVERTED as a result) --Behind the tram, the camera does a SLIGHT CORKSCREW MANEUVER as the direction changes --Camera LOOKS AT tram as it spins on the fireball machine, then goes to a PLAYER'S EYE VIEW (1st person) as tram enters warp tunnel (this is to show off a suitably flashy teleportation effect)
BOSS LEVEL: THE BIG TOP
--Camera angle--WORM'S EYE VIEW on Killer Jack (the clown) when it first emerges --Camera moves OFF TO THE RIGHT and UP slightly; remains like this throughout--it's like the Slimer battle, but turned 180'
END OF LEVEL
LEVEL THREE: RUNAWAY TRAIN
MUSIC: Something speedy and fast-paced yet mysterious.
--BIRD'S EYE VIEW as tram speeds along and FLIES OFF RAIL. --Camera "watches" the ghost train hurtle along a ghostly track for 3 seconds --CLOSE UP/BIRD'S EYE VIEW on tram as it shoots trap like a grappling hook, allowing the train to "tow" it onto another rail --Camera remains BEHIND the PLAYER throughout--this accounts for ALL angles, and gives the best shots at the Hobo, who FLIES ALONG the TOP of the screen as if on wires ------ --SWITCHED TRACKS?--
--If the player fails to shoot the switchtrack ghosts, the camera does a WORM'S EYE VIEW as the tram falls off the rail and the trap's cord breaks ------
LEVEL THREE: HAUNTED CASTLE
MUSIC: A remix of the Sega Genesis game's "Castle" theme
--Camera LOOKS AT castle doors from a distance as they open --Camera BEHIND player as tram tracks through hallway --Camera BOOMS UP and PANS DOWN as tram enters Great Hall/exits Great Hall and moves up the staircase --Player ROTATES 90' TO THE LEFT, camera moves into FIRST PERSON position --Player ROTATES 90' TO THE RIGHT (i.e. back in normal position), camera moves BEHIND tram --Camera ZOOMS OUT and observes tram as it CORKSCREWS down the "spiral staircase" --Camera ZOOMS BACK IN and remains BEHIND tram as it moves through the sewer-like Dungeon Hallway
BOSS: THREE-HEADED DRAGON
--Camera maintains position DIRECTLY BEHIND TRAM throughout.
END OF LEVEL
LEVEL FOUR: TEMPLE OF GOZER
NOTE: There is a short-ish "hallway" separating the tram and the Temple.
--CINEMATIC SEQUENCE 1--
--GOD'S EYE VIEW on the Temple --Camera CUTS to a CLOSE-UP on the opening doors, and MOVES BACK slightly (as if terrified) when Gozer emerges --Camera remains SLIGHTLY DETACHED from Gozer as she utters the line "Are you a god?" --CLOSE UP on PLAYER, who indicates "no" --BIRD'S EYE VIEW as Gozer shoots lightning at the tram, which is now "stuck"
--END CINEMATIC SEQUENCE 1--
--Camera remains BEHIND tram until Gozer goes from 300 to 150 HP.
--CINEMATIC SEQUENCE 2--
--FULL-ON PANORAMIC VIEW as Mr. Stay-Puft rampages through Universal Studios.
--END CINEMATIC SEQUENCE 2-- From this point on, ONLY HIS HEAD is visible as it PEEKS OUT from behind the temple. --Camera reverts to its BEHIND-THE-TRAM position until conclusion.
--CINEMATIC SEQUENCE THREE--
--GOD'S EYE VIEW on explosion, replicating the end of the first film. --ON 55 CPW'S DOORS as they open and the tram emerges--dented, scorched, and covered in marshmallow --CLOSE UP on jubilant Player, pumping fists up and down in triumph --RPJ's "Ghostbusters" theme music begins as we FADE TO RECORDS SCREEN
You're trapped on the third floor, and Slimer's in the ballroom. Meanwhile, ghosts--roamers, tablecloths, and skeletal maids--are attacking the tram, so you'll need the Proton Cannon to zap them away. The perspective changes every so often, from an over-the-shoulder view to looking directly ahead of you as track and tram position to give you better firing-lines. Nothing too difficult here, as this is your introduction to the gameplay.
Again, nothing too dangerous. He's mostly an annoyance, flitting about and eating. The trick is to look at what he's going to eat next and blow it up just as he's about to go for it, but first you must lay your trap down. A cutscene establishes this by having your avatar destroy a wedding cake, sending Slimer reeling. Whittle him down to 0 and capture him!
What's this? You've stepped into something out of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, or even Killer Klowns from Outer Space, except it's all brightly lit and stuff...yeesh! Where are the Egg Pawns when you need them? Oh well, you'll just have to fight your way out. You'll soon learn that you can use the amusement park's rides and games to KO ghosts and cause splash damage. You'll need this new skill against...
It all started with a badly-timed Heath Ledger joke...now Killer Jack has emerged from the sideshow and is attacking you with his squeaky-hammer. Be alarmed, 'cause he packs quite a punch. A punch? That's it! Shoot the hammer-games to send the weight up to the bell, knocking him silly. When he's dazed, you can hold him in your Proton Beam. Careful, or else he'll wise up and get out of the beam...
The Runaway Ghost Train level. By the way, this is just my initial concept of how it might work. I fear I still have a ways to go until the final concept draft...
Here, you have to defeat the ghostly Hobo before the train pulling you reaches the end of the line. Be very careful, as there are ghosts who reside near the track switches. Destroy them before they succeed in switching the track, sending you plummeting into the abyss below.
NOTE: You should be able to deal 35 points damage each time you encounter the Hobo. The "Hobo Encounter" legends on the walkthrough represent his appearances after you succeed in hitting him each time. I want to say that he'll try to hit the tram every so often, which leaves him open for you to blast away.