Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fangoria February - Zombies: Undead or Alive!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!


Welcome everyone to FANGORIA FEBRUARY! This is a month long event in which I will be sifting through a gigantic stack of these awesome old magazines. Pulling out all the interesting parts and posting them online for everyone to see. Sometimes these articles will be long sometimes they will be sort but they will always be true to the source material. Please keep in mind that the point here is not to replicate and post entire original Fangoria articles, but to instead celebrate what made this magazine so great, and look at some of the odd advertisements, contests, and other things that showed up throughout its long history. To kick off FANGORIA FEBRUARY we are going to take a look at the PC only video game ZOMBIES: UNDEAD OR ALIVE! Enjoy and be sure to check back every day throughout the month of February for more great Fangoria content!
Click for Larger Image!
So you think that zombies in video game started with Resident Evil? Think that the current trend of sticking them into everything came about because of that extra zombie mode in Call of Duty? You have much to learn, my young Jedi. Zombies have been in video games for almost as long as there have been video games. Beast Busters was an arcade rail shooter in 1989,  years before the Sega's popular 'House of the Dead' series. The Evil Dead was turned into a horror adventure game for the Commodore 64  in 1984, long before the subsequent Evil Dead games on the Dreamcast and Playstation 2. Even the original Nintendo Entertainment System had games featuring zombies, such as 1990s Zombie Nation. So to say that zombie related video games is a current trend of only the past couple of years is pretty much flat out wrong.

Click for Larger Image!
And then we have  Zombies: Undead or Alive!, a 1989 video game developed for the PC. A game so obscure that it does not have a Wikipedia page dedicated to it. In fact, I was only able to find it two other times while doing a Google search for it. The first is a very brief mention of it being ported to the Commodore 64, but apparently that version of the game never even got into production and only a PC version of Zombies: Undead or Alive! was ever released. The only other place the game shows up is on this old magazine advertisement, a full page advertisement by PSI showcasing Zombies: Undead or Alive! and a game called Cyber Cop.

Believe it or not, I think I am the only person on the entire internet who has taken the time to write more than a brief sentence about Zombies: Undead or Alive! ... it is kind of unfortunate that I do not have any more details to go on than this single advertisement. Well here is what I know about the title, it was developed by PSI (Pedersen Systems) for the PC as a way to push the 'next generation' of graphics cards for computers. Zombies: Undead or Alive! along with Cyber Cop were both planned for, but never released on the Commodore 64.

"The Emergency Broadcast System reports that North City is in a state of siege. Reports are surfacing that secret military experiments with bio-chemical toxins near the North City Cemetery have created Zombie-like creatures. These creatures thrive on human flesh. North City is in chaos. You must survive for 12 hours and reach the North City Army Base Safety Zone before relief arrives, or... be eaten!"

This is the informational blurb that, I assume, sums up the games plot. As for technical specs, it has 128 different residential and military screens, 3-D Spritable Characters, and features fast paced arcade horror action.

That is about all the information I can dig up (pun intended) on Zombies: Undead or Alive! If anyone happens to have a copy of this game laying around or remembers playing it way back in the day please leave something down in the comments section. I am really interested in hearing more about this old PSI title.

4 comments:

  1. Was recently reading one of my copies of Gorezone and saw the same advertisement. I have scored the internet for anything else on it but can't find anything more helpful than this article. I would love to get my hands on a copy of this game to be able to play it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the delay in replying back! I searched all over for content on this game as well and could never seem to find much on it. I'd like to get a ROM of this title at some point. If you ever find anything be sure to let me know!

      Delete
  2. Hi:
    I just ran across this post. "Zombies: Undead or Alive!" was never fully completed. Pedersen Systems went bankrupt during development. The game was designed for the PC and not (to my knowledge) for Commodore.I did the design for their advertisements, game packaging, etc. "Cyber Cops", also for PC only, was completed and published. (I may still have a copy somewhere). Most of the artwork has long since been discarded. But, I do have some of the original artwork, including the above Zombies original airbrushed cover art, which I will probably be sending to auction next month. If I can find some of my original files, I'll add to this comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be awesome. I would love to see the original artwork for that advertisement!

      Delete