Together Retro Game Club: Zombies Ate My Neighbors / Silent Hill 2

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For the month of October, we are having another Horror Double Feature, with 2 games published by Konami, 1993’s homage to B-movies, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and 2001’s survival horror classic Silent Hill 2.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors Overview

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a 1993 isometric run and gun style game developed by LucasArts and published by Konami on the Super NES and Genesis/Mega Drive. In PAL territories, it is known simply as Zombies.

zombies-screens

Gameplay

Playing as either Zeke or Julie, you are tasked to find 10 “victims” in each level before all the various B-movie monsters do. Every victim you do not save brings your total count down for the next level, and losing all 10 is game over. Even your arsenal is unconventional. You will be using squirt guns, soda can grenades, martian bubble guns, bazookas, clown decoys, silverware to stop werewolves, even potions that will turn you into a super powerful purple monster. Levels include suburban areas, shopping malls, hedge mazes, spooky castles, ancient pyramids, toy factories, and many more. Bosses include gigantic babies, sandworms, vampires, and even the evil Dr. Tongue.  As you complete the levels, look for secret bonuses that might appear the more you kill one type of enemy or do a lot of damage in a level…….

Ports

Both ports play nearly the same, except that the Genesis/Mega Drive version has all the information on a black bar off to the right, cutting off a small portion of the screen, while the SNES has all of its info overlayed across the top of the screen, with the victim radar accessible by pushing the L or R button. ZAMN would appear on Nintendo’s Virtual Console service in October 2009 just in time for Halloween.

Legacy

A 1994 SNES sequel, Ghoul Patrol, started out as a completely different game, but was made into a sequel to ZAMN running on the same identical engine. It was not as well received as the first game. It was also released to Virtual Console in 2010. A password (BCDF) entered in ZAMN would take you to a level called Day of The Tentacle, which was also created by LucasArts. In 1997, LucasArts created Herc’s Adventures for the PS1 and Saturn, which has the same gameplay as ZAMN but with a Greek mythological theme. Years later in 2007, a game on the Xbox 360 called Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia was supposedly inspired by ZAMN’s classic B-movie theme and gameplay.

Silent Hill 2 Overview

Silent Hill 2 is the 2001 sequel to the original Silent Hill, released in 1999. It was developed by Team Silent, who was based at Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, and was released by Konami. In the sequel, which has little to do with the first game except for the common setting, the American town of Silent Hill, James Sunderland arrives in Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his wife Mary, who died 3 years earlier. She is waiting for James in their “special place”, which confuses James, as the town of Silent Hill itself was considered their special place.

silient-hill-screens

Gameplay

As James, you will be exploring Silent Hill with nothing but a flashlight for illumination and a radio which detects monsters by emitting static, notifying him of their presence. There are many puzzles to be solved, many which require items and keys to complete. A menu accessible by the pause button displays James’ inventory and health, similar to the Resident Evil series of games. There are also 6 distinct endings in this game, three of which can be obtained by completing the game the first time, and the next 3 requiring a second playthrough and completion to see.

Ports

The Xbox port was released a few months after the PS2 original in December 2001. It was known as Silent Hill 2: Saigo No Uta (The Final Song) in Japan, Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams in North America, and Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears in Europe. It has a new ending and a new scenario in which you can play as Maria before James arrives in Silent Hill. This port would be re-released to the PS2 and was also ported to the PC in 2002 as a “Director’s Cut” edition. It also received an HD remaster along with Silent Hill 3 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, the 2 games are part of the Silent Hill HD Collection.

Legacy

Team Silent would stay on to make 2 more games in the Silent Hill series, Silent Hill 3 in 2003 and Silent Hill 4: The Room in 2004. Team Silent disbanded after Silent Hill 4, but its members worked for other developers such as Climax Studios, Double Helix Games, Vatra Games, and WayForward Technologies. Some of these developers made future Silent Hill games, such as Silent Hill: Origins in 2007, Silent Hill: Homecoming in 2008, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories in 2009, and Silent Hill: Downpour in 2012.

Discussion

Finding something in either game that might have been scary? Please join us in the forums and share your experiences.

5 Comments

  1. Ksloth says:

    Wow, 2 excellent games. SH2 just absolutely wrecked my brain when it first came out. I played through it on the PS2, in the dark, with volume up, and I would have to take breaks every hour or so and just turn on all the lights, switch to a TV channel, etc. That game is like a slow adrenaline trickle from the moment you start playing it.

  2. JuanBoti says:

    Great Article – I never knew Zombie Ate My Neighbors had a sequel!!! I loved that game.

  3. SNKnicotine says:

    SH2 completely blew me away, just as you thought you were approaching the end, a new objective would come up that would drive you deeper in to the haunting town. I think the scariest part of the game was the end boss when she morphs into the demon in the upside down cage.

    Rifle spam FTW!

  4. efeff says:

    Its a shame what happened to the Silent Hill and Resident Evil franchises…

  5. Rokogu says:

    Great article! I definitely need to pick up ZAMN, it looks like it would make a great Halloween tradition.