Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zombie Nation!

It's Halloween week, so we'll get back to our current cover-to-cover project next weekend.  Today it's time to celebrate the season with this vintage magazine ad for Meldac's Zombie Nation:

I really like the physical models built for the photograph -- today it seems everyone uses in-game images or CG artwork, but back in the early 90s someone had to sit down and build this zombie trio by hand, throwing in what appear to be a Hot Wheels car, a model train crossing sign, and a dollhouse TV set for good measure, all set up in front of a "real" 2-D background, i.e., not composited in Photoshop.  I like that one of the zombies resembles Tor Johnson, and that the most skeletal one has such good posture.

I also appreciate the background reference to classic Japanese art and the original concept -- the game casts the player as the disembodied floating head of a deceased Japanese warrior, though the written ad copy doesn't mention this at all.  I am pretty sure Meldac grafted the whole zombie theme on for U.S. marketing purposes, as the game itself is a bizarrely illustrated side-scrolling shoot-'em-up that doesn't specifically bring zombies to mind.

But there they are -- THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING!!!! complete with Devastating Graphics and Pounding Sound.  By 1990 standards, of course -- Ground Shaking NES Action tends to register fairly low on the Richter scale.

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