horror gaming: Zombies Ate My Neighbors!

What would you say if I were to mention a mad scientist named Doctor Tongue? and what would you say if I said he created a ton of monsters inside his evil castle, only to unleash them on nearby suburban areas – terrorizing the innocent civilians? Throw in two teenage friends into the mix, who had just witnessed these attacks from said monsters and thus decide that they must save their neighbors from certain death. Well, I’d say you’re probably playing a game from my childhood: Zombies Ate My Neighbors. This game is known as a “run and gun” game, which essentially means what it sounds like – basically, just run around and shoot the fuck out of enemies! It was developed by LucasArts [who are known for the Star Wars games] and was actually published by Konami [who later went on to make the Silent Hill games] for both The Super Nintendo and The Sega Genesis back in 1993.. I was [and still am] a Nintendo fan at large, so naturally; I played it over on the SNES!

The player[s] take control of heroes Zeke and Julie [see above] for the sole purpose of rescuing the neighbors from both monsters and zombies from classic horror movies. Aiding them in this task are a variety of weapons [such as the water gun in Zeke‘s hands, or even cans of soda..as grenades!]  that can be used to battle the numerous enemies. The game has elements and various aspects of horror movies [which are referenced in the game – more on this later.] and because of this, some of the more violent content had been censored in certain parts of the world, such as in Europe and Australia, where the game is known only as Zombies. Another cool thing is that although it wasn’t as huge of a success, Zombies Ate My Neighbors also spawned a sequel, calling itself Ghoul Patrol re-starring both Zeke and Julie who find themselves traveling through five [new] worlds to save their town from a horror exhibit come to life. This sequel was released a year later in 1994. [I never got to play the sequel, sadly]

Back to Zombies though, Our titular characters have to navigate through neighborhoods, shopping malls, pyramids and haunted castles. Along the way, they find themselves fighting against a variety of horror-movie monsters, including [but not limited to] a vampire, werewolves, huge demonic babies[seriously though] squid-men, evil dolls [that are identical to Chucky], aliens, UFOs, giant ants, blobs, giant worms, and of course: zombies. The other awesome in-game referencing horror movies are the level titles. Below, I’ve written a list of the level names, along with the bonus levels. [try and see how many horror references you catch!]

  1. Zombie Panic [Bonus Level: Day Of The Tentacle]
  2. Evening Of The Undead
  3. Terror In Aisle Five
  4. Lumberjack Hedge Maze Mayhem
  5. Weird Kids On The Block
  6. Pyramid Of Fear
  7. Dr. Tongue’s Castle Of Terror
  8. Titanic Toddler
  9. Toxic Terrors [Bonus Level: Mushroom Men]
  10. No Assembly Required
  11. Weeds Gone Bad
  12. Mars Needs Cheerleaders [Bonus Level: Cheerleaders Versus The Monsters]
  13. Chopping Mall
  14. Seven Meals For Seven Zombies
  15. Dinner On Monster Island
  16. Ants
  17. Office Of The Doomed [Bonus Level: Someplace Very Warm]
  18. Squidmen Of The Deep
  19. Nightmare On Terror Street
  20. Invasion Of The Snakeoids
  21. The Day The Earth Ran Away
  22. Revenge Of Dr. Tongue [Bonus Level: The Son of Dr. Tongue]
  23. The Caves Of Mystery
  24. Warehouse Of The Evil Dolls
  25. Look Who’s Shopping
  26. Where The Red Fern Growls
  27. Dances With Werewolves
  28. Mark Of The Vampire
  29. Zombie House Party
  30. The Horror Of Floor Thirteen
  31. Look Who’s Coming To Dinner!
  32. Giant Ant Farm
  33. Fish & Crypts [Bonus Level: Curse Of The Pharaohs]
  34. I Was A Chainsaw Maniac
  35. Boardwalk Of Terrors
  36. Monster Phobia
  37. Labyrinth Of Horrors
  38. Monsters Of The Blue Lagoon
  39. Destroy All Vampires
  40. Pyramid Of Fear Two
  41. Martians Go Home!
  42. Spikes
  43. Super Fund Cleanup Site
  44. The Curse Of Dr. Tongue
  45. Danger In Picnic Park
  46. Day Of The Chainsaw
  47. Gridiron Terror
  48. Curse Of The Tongue [Credit Level: Monsters Among Us]

In each of above the 55 + stages, the player[s] have the goal of rescuing the surviving neighbors by walking into them, thereby “saving them”. When all the neighbors are “saved” [or killed, though at least one neighbor has to be saved] a door will open which brings you to the next stage. If the player does not find a neighbor in fast enough time, an enemy will kill them when walked into, stopping them from being saved for the rest of the level. [or until you’ve received an “Extra Bonus Victim” token]  Each level has [at most] ten neighbors to save, and each neighbor type is worth a different amount of points, which is broken down into sections below:

top row – left to right: evil teacher, baby, barbeque guy, tourists, trampoline girl                                                                        bottom row – left to right: soldier, inner-tuber, explorer, dog, cheerleader

Cheerleader1000 points

Baby700 points

Dog500 points

Explorer500 points

Trampoline Girl300 points

Tourists200 points

Inner-tuber 100 points

Soldier100 points

Evil school teacher10 points

Barbecue Guy05 points


Ultimately, the game Zombies Ate My Neighbors is totally worth your while: it has tongue-in-cheek humor, it has horror, and it has awesome competitive play for you and your friends! If you have a Nintendo Wii and a credit card, the game is on the Virtual Channel for only 800 points! [which equals out to roughly $8.00]  So do yourself a favor, and pick this game up: you won’t be disappointed!

surprisingly, this is the art that was used for the Mexican box-art of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I’d love to have this framed and put behind my TV!

THANKS FOR READING.

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2 comments

  1. this is such a freaky game! the music went so well with the creepy feel! the levels with the worm monster was ridiculously hard to get through, but so worth it! very weird article warren well done!

    Like

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