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Author Topic: 2011/10: Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Super NES) - Piranhaplant  (Read 20710 times)
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JonLeung
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« on: October 01, 2011, 12:06:15 AM »


For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Piranhaplant's Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Super NES) maps.

Zombies are really popular, in movies and video games, and seem to be more so in recent years.  Sure, they're "just" reanimated corpses, but they bring to light a number of fears that people in modern societies have, like overpopulation, disease, violent mobs, biohazards and possibly bioweaponry.  Many fantastical monsters, if they ever existed in real life, could probably be taken down easily with today's weapons.  But what if the monsters were so numerous, or they are/were your loved ones?  Not so easy to fight them, is it?  And large mobs of zombies make great video game enemies, because you can have tons of them at any time, they don't need fancy A.I., they're easy to design, and from the player's perspective, it somehow seems satisfying (perhaps pandering to our own sick desires) to mow down a bunch of human-like beings that aren't actually (or no longer) considered "human" enough to evoke any sympathy.

Everywhere and anywhere in video games, you can find the walking dead.  Island resorts aren't even safe.  You've got some dead rising up in malls and city streets.  And let's be frank; westerns and tactical FPSes aren't the kinds of games where you expect zombie spin-offs, but there have been those too.  You can never be sure that the zombie sub-genre could ever be left for dead.

Before Capcom struck gold with zombies back in 1996, LucasArts and Konami released Zombies Ate My Neighbors on the Super NES in 1993.  As you strive to save every suburban resident, evil forces are out to stop you.  There's the maniacal Dr. Tongue, along with vampires, giant babies, chainsaw-wielding psychopaths, ants, and of course, zombies.  In over four dozen levels, most that are titled like B-movies, you might want some help to save all your neighbors.  That's where Piranhaplant comes in.  This is the first Mapmaker Of The Month honour for Piranhaplant, which is overdue.

So to recognize the effort put into mapping this delicious game, Piranhaplant's Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Super NES) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for October 2011.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 09:25:12 PM by JonLeung » Logged
Paco
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 03:07:28 AM »

So to recognize the effort put into mapping this delicious game, Piranhaplant's Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Super NES) maps will be known as Maps Of The Month for September 2011.

Isnt it Maps of the Month October?

I played this Game once in my Youth and came until Level 30 or so at first Try. Cheesy

Awesome Maps you made there Piranha. ^^
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Legends never dies.
Piranhaplant
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2011, 06:16:30 AM »

Wow, thanks for the honor! And its the first game I mapped too.
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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 07:42:22 AM »

I remember this game looking very fun in Nintendo Power but I never got the chance to play it. Your maps are great and about as complete as they possibly can, and they really make me want to try it. I also can't believe how many puns they managed to make for the level names!
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Will
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 01:51:55 PM »

Good choice and just in time for Halloween. This game easily catches me with its comical, cartoony, spooky elements. There's absolutely nothing in the game that grosses me out, not even the chainsaw psychos. I'm reminded of the freaky, zany and adventurous series of Sam & Max Freelance Police. Mind you this game has a lot of familiar LucasArts materials such as Purple Tentacle and Ozoo the Clown from "Maniac Mansion 2 Day of the Tentacle". With so many levels in the game, you'd think there would be a level editor released. I hope in future that its sequel "Ghoul Patrol" can be mapped. Congrats Piranhaplant, you've earned it.
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 02:21:19 PM »

It's really too bad that Lucasarts is only concerned with Star Wars nowadays. There was a time that almost any game they produced was instant gold.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
JonLeung
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 04:42:09 PM »

Actually, Will, the lesser-known Ghoul Patrol has been mapped, by gRE3N744.  If this is the entire game, it's kind of short especially compared to the original, with only 18 stages, and five of those are boss stages.  Those bosses look big and bad - check out the ghost pirate boss in 3-5...kind of reminds me of LeChuck from the Monkey Island series, also by LucasArts.

And Terra, I agree.  LucasArts used to be such a great studio.  I guess they go with what makes the big bucks.  If you were looking out for the bottom line, are you going to release a game featuring Darth Vader or Bobbin Threadbare?  Exactly.  The episodic Sam & Max games and Tales Of Monkey Island, both by Telltale Games, are very well done, so they're in good hands, but it still would be nice if LucasArts could do more than just what sells (i.e. Star Wars).
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gRE3N744
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 08:08:12 PM »

I ran around the maps with a WTW code & looked around the net to see if there were any secret stages but couldn't find any so I am pretty sure that is the entire game. A little info I came across about Ghoul Patrol a few years ago.


As "Zombies" designer Mike Ebert explains:

   "What happened is they had another game that was kind of lost and struggling, so they changed it into "Ghoul Patrol" and called it a sequel to ZAMN in hopes that it would actually sell. It really never was supposed to have anything to do with Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I was shocked when I first saw it in the test department and the characters looked like the Z.A.M.N characters".
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Piranhaplant
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 01:17:30 PM »

With so many levels in the game, you'd think there would be a level editor released.

There are actually 2 level editors for this game. One limited and difficult to use one you can find here, and one that I coded, found here.
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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
gRE3N744
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 02:03:14 PM »

There are actually 2 level editors for this game. One limited and difficult to use one you can find here, and one that I coded, found here.

I've known about the 1st 1 for years but I'd never heard of yours untill now. How long ago did you make yours? I started using the other 1 about a year ago but only did 1 level with it cause it was such a hassle to use. I just opened up yours and can instantly see that is infinitly better in every way, think I might actually continue now, thanks for that.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 02:05:48 PM by gRE3N744 » Logged
Piranhaplant
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 08:24:37 PM »

I've been working on my editor for about a year and a half now. Just like you, I found the existing editor difficult to use and limited as far as what can be edited. The reason most people haven't heard of mine is because I haven't advertised it or released it anywhere. Anyone who knows about it probably found it through a Google search or was referred there by me.
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Games I have mapped--Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES), Mario Party 3 (N64), Super Mario Bros Deluxe (GBC), New Super Mario Bros. (DS), Mario Kart DS (DS)
JonLeung
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 06:10:20 AM »

This is a pretty cool, when "Maps Of The Month"-honouring topics bring about a lot of neat new information we can all learn.

Though I'm curious, did anyone catch all the zombie game references I hid in the original post?  Tongue
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gRE3N744
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 02:50:29 PM »

Though I'm curious, did anyone catch all the zombie game references I hid in the original post?  Tongue
I don't care much for modern games so I'm not sure that I caught them all but I did notice a number of them in 1 paragraph.
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JonLeung
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 12:33:32 PM »

Zombies are really popular, in movies and video games, and seem to be more so in recent years.  Sure, they're "just" reanimated corpses, but they bring to light a number of fears that people in modern societies have, like overpopulation, disease, violent mobs, biohazards and possibly bioweaponry.
...
Everywhere and anywhere in video games, you can find the walking dead.  Island resorts aren't even safe.  You've got some dead rising up in malls and city streets.  And let's be frank; westerns and tactical FPSes aren't the kinds of games where you expect zombie spin-offs, but there have been those too.  You can never be sure that the zombie sub-genre could ever be left for dead.

Before Capcom struck gold with zombies back in 1996, LucasArts and Konami released Zombies Ate My Neighbors on the Super NES in 1993.  As you strive to save every suburban resident, evil forces are out to stop you.

"Biohazard" is the original/Japanese name for "Resident Evil" (which takes away the mystery in the first game, but seems to be increasingly fitting as the games become less "horror" and more "action").  "Frank West" is the name of the hero in the first Dead Rising game, and spin-offs of the second.  The "westerns and tactical FPSes" I mentioned are a reference to Red Dead Redemption (and its DLC pack, Undead Nightmare) and Call Of Duty: Black Ops (and its map pack, Rezurrection), which, though I've never played those games, I feel are kind of silly and make me wonder how zombies can continue to be this marketable if they keep showing up in any kind of game.  Haven't we reached zombie saturation yet?  And yes, I know it should be spelled "Left 4 Dead", but I wasn't going to make it that obvious.

How many did you catch?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 12:39:58 PM by JonLeung » Logged
JonLeung
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 01:27:37 PM »

Apparently old news, but there is a Zombies At My Neighbors film in the works.  I guess they're doing it while the zombie genre is still hot.

This article, and a related video discussing the project that I saw earlier, emphasize that Zeke and Julie will be in it, as the script currently stands.  Hopefully besides zombies there are also at least some of the other creatures.  The mix of monsters is what made the original game unique.  And, of course, the variety of weapons to use, neighbors to save, and settings/locales.  There may not have been much opportunity for humour within the game itself, but you could tell that it wasn't being too serious with its B-movie-like titles, so it really does set itself up for a film based on it to be a comedy.
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