Python Vladimir Anghelo was an artist and game designer best known for his work on Physical Pinball Tables
and Video Games
. Born in Transylvania, Romania in 1954, Python showed amazing aptitude for art at a young age, and was enrolled in the Nicolae Tonitza Art School for prodigy children. After his family emigrated to the United States at the age of 17, Python worked as a Disney
animator until 1979, when he joined Williams Electronics
due to the potential of video gaming.
At Williams, Python worked on a variety of games, with most of his output in their pinball tables. In 1994, after the cancellation of The Pinball Circus
(an experiment in creating a pinball machine in an arcade video cabinet), Python joined Capcom
to work in their newfound pinball division. After developing Flipper Football
, he left with the dissolution of Capcom Pinball, and would later work at Bay Tek Games.
Python described himself as "a wild and crazy guy"; his friends and colleagues describe him as a never-ending font of inspiration, full of energy and original perspectives. In 2010, Python underwent treatment for Stage 4 cancer; though he had apparently made a full recovery, it returned in 2013, requiring additional treatment. He passed away on April 9, 2014.
He was featured in a video interview with the Discovery Channel
, "Python's World"; it can be seen here
. His website is at http://pythonanghelo.com
Python Anghelo's body of works include:
- Bubbles (1982, Williams)
- Joust (Williams, 1982)
- Sinistar (Williams, 1982)
- Star Rider (Williams, 1983)
- Comet (Williams, 1986)
- High Speed (Williams, 1986)
- Pin*Bot (Williams, 1986)
- Big Guns (Williams, 1987)
- Cyclone (Williams, 1988)
- Taxi (Williams, 1988)
- Police Force (Williams, 1989)
- Bad Cats (Williams, 1989)
- Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
- Bugs Bunny's Birthday Ball (Bally, 1991)
- The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot (Williams, 1991)
- Popeye Saves The Earth (Bally, 1994)
- The Pinball Circus (Midway, 1994; unreleased)
- Flipper Football (Capcom, 1996)
Python Anghelo and his works demonstrate the following tropes:
- Amusement Park: Python likes amusement parks and carnivals, and several of his games (such as Comet, Cyclone, and Pinball Circus) use them as settings.
Python: "To me, a pinball game is like an amusement park where you are the ball."
- Brutal Honesty: "I’d rather have people hate me for the truth than like me for a lie."
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Python can come off like this at times.
- Creator Killer: The rumored "Zingy Bingy" project was allegedly this for Python and Capcom Pinball. According to Mark Ritchie and composer Bryan Hansen, "Zingy Bingy" was a pornographic-themed pinball game; players would use penis-shaped flippers to shoot the pinball into vagina-shaped saucers, while breast bumpers knocked the ball around.
- Doing It for the Art
Python: "I use my art when I do a pinball game; it’s not just me making money. Or doing a stupid f***ing thing, I have social responsibility."
- Man Child: Python once described himself as "53 going on 17".
- The Nicknamer: During productions of both Bugs Bunny's Birthday Ball and The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot, Python called John Trudeau "Dr. Flash", a nickname that stuck with him for the rest of his career.
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: Python was known within Williams for waiting at least three days before the deadline to get the artwork done.
- Shapeshifting: A regular motif in his non-game artwork.
- Shown Their Work: In preparation for his work on Comet (a pinball machine about a roller coaster), Python went to Great America and paid them two thousand dollars to reverse the front seats on a roller coaster, just so he could observe the riders' reactions.
Python: "...when we went down I see these people screaming like they were getting murdered or having multiple orgasms."
- Sir Swearsalot: Most evident in his audio interviews.