Retroist Tempest Podcast

Retroist Tempest Podcast

On this episode of the Retroist Podcast, I talk about the 1981 arcade classic, Tempest. I begin the show by talking about how terrible I am at Tempest, how I spent quarter after quarter on it, never improving, but somehow just getting more infatuated with the game.

Then I move onto the game itself. I talk about the game’s creator David Theurer and the company he worked for, Atari. After coverings those two gaming icons, I jump into the development of the game, gameplay and much more.

Tempest is an iconic game, easily one of the top 20 arcade games ever made. So if you ever never played it, I hope I can persuade you to check it out.

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Listen and download the Retroist Tempest Podcast

Production Notes

I had a bit more in my story about watching people play and how I could stand at arcades for hours. Felt unneeded.

Removed a section on scoring in the game.

Removed my discussion of strategy. It was almost 3 minutes long and when I was listening to it, even I felt lost. Plus why would you listen to someone who is terrible at a game talk strategy? Lots of better sources for that online.

Removed a section where I discuss the cabinet art. Was only about 40 seconds, but wasn’t useful.

I recorded myself emulating Tempest very poorly, but as audio, it was not compelling. So I removed that.

The technical overview was a mess. So I cut it out, but added some stuff from it into the end of the show. Listen to me step all over myself trying to say words.

Show audio includes two commercial for Atari. One for Atari overall that is narrated by Jack Palence and another for the Atari Jaguar and Tempest. Music is my go to standard by Peachy. Sad Toyz is played under my story and the Power Closing Loop plays under the closing of the show.

The show should be appearing on Apple Podcasts now. Thanks to Lisa for helping sort that out.

In this episode, art is from a piece done for me by Christopher Tupa. Christopher was the original artist for the Retroist Podcast and his art graced most of the first year of shows. I had done a poster based on the art you are seeing above that I never released, but I think it could make for interesting episode art here on the site. I would love to hear people’s opinions on which art they prefer for episodes. The one above or the font treatment.

Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great week.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Glad to see a new episode.

  2. Played Tempest at a pizza place when I was a kid. I could never figure out the dial and what I needed to do. Stuck to Asteroids for that reason.

    1. For me and so many others, this game was a leap too far. Different gameplay, different controller, just required a next level leap. Weird that decades later, I still can’t make that leap.

  3. Great show! I loved this game but never really understood the concept and, like most it seems, I wasn’t very good at it. I love vector graphics. I had a friend who owned a Vectrex game system that I pined for. He of course loved my Atari 2600. I guess its human nature to want to what you can’t have. As far as the art, I love the paintings but the font is more eye catching if that’s what you’re going for.

    1. This is the third comment i got that prefer the text version. I wonder if I could make the title on the painting stand out more without being as flashy? Or maybe I am just trying too hard for something I should not be focused on.

      I owned Vectrex briefly a few years ago. Bought it as a garage sale. It worked for about a month. I sold as is to someone with the skills and patience to fix it. I regret it.

  4. Combiming them might be a happy medium. The charm of the painting with the visual pop of the font. That’s something that’s always held me back from purchasing old game systems and arcade machines. A company called 1up has been making smaller scale arcade machines that have been tempting.

  5. Watch out for spikes! No quarters needed! I used to play it at the mall circa 1980. One of my faves!

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