Zombies Ate My Neighbors is your classic Zombie game created by LucasArts and published by Konami. Scores of B-movie monsters, from the titular zombies to stock werewolves, mummies, chainsaw maniacs, and even weirder and more obscure beasties, have overrun suburbia, and two ordinary teens must race through maze-like levels to rescue all the neighbors before the monsters catch them. Huge levels, lots and lots of enemies, creative weapons, and tons of B-movie references abound. This game is basically a parody of Devil World/Dark Adventure, a previous Konami arcade game, and in turn had a Spiritual Successor in the form of Ghoul Patrol, which was significantly less popular. Also inspired a later game loosely on Greek Mythology called Hercs Adventures as well as the Xbox 360 game Monster Madness.A movie based loosely on the game is currently in production. Seriously.
This game provides examples of:
Abnormal Ammo: Where else can you kill a giant worm with kitchen plates, or destroy a UFO with soda cans?
One gun from Ghoul Patrol gives you homing energy or spirit bullets.
Badass Normal: You know any other teenagers that can save 680 people, across the world, across time, destroy two globe-destroying monsters and their thousands of minions with nothing but squirt guns and whatever was in the kitchen?
Black Blood: The red blood that oozes down the screen when you get a Game Over is recolored purple in the Super Nintendo release.
Creepy Doll: The killer doll enemies; some marketing genius had the idea to give them axes, too...
Cutting the Knot: Keys are limited and doors are aplenty, but if you got ammo left for your bazooka, you can blast down specific walls to bypass the doors and save your uses of keys.
Darker and Edgier: The sequel took itself far more seriously and wasn't as arcade-fun as the first.
Your mileage may vary. Ghoul Patrol was focused much more on being more of an action/platformer as opposed to an arcade action game. There are many difference between the two, but the basic gameplay is still the same.
Decoy Neighbors: In some levels the neighbors who look like a pair of tourists will turn into werewolves when approached.
Guide Dang It: Some weapons are obvious choices for certain enemies. Some - like the Bubble Gun vs. Giant Ants - not so much.
Although the manual does point this out and many other monster weaknesses, so it's mostly Read the Freaking Manual. The best weapon in the game, the Flamethrower, is a Guide Dang It in itself since it's in a very obscure place and can be Lost Forever if you bypass it.
Absolutely nothing tells you that the last form of Dr. Tongue is weak against plates; although once you found that out, it starts making more sense why Level 41 had so many plates strewn around the level to begin with.
It's worth pointing out that ZAMN was not an immediate success in the first place and, like the cult movies that inspired the game in the first place, it's popularity had to build over time. Ghoul Patrol gets a lot of shit for what it is, some of it more justified than others, but calling it a franchise killer isn't really accurate (Ghoul Patrol wasn't even advertised as much as the first game itself). It would have had to come out in the early-to-mid 2000s and disappointed everyone before it could've really killed the franchise.
There is also a song called ZAMN on the radio. Sadly, no video game references.
A metalcore group named themselves after the game as well.
Infant Immortality: Averted, oddly enough. Not only are babies one of the kinds of Victims, but you also fight a Giant Baby as a boss three times. Defeating the latter merely turns it back to normal, though.
Just the giant babies? Half the enemies in the game are lightning bruisers! Werewolves, spiders, evil dolls, the squidmen when they're under water, all the bosses, the vampires, even the damn MUMMIES are surprisingly fast and can make getting to certain victims nearly impossible.
Nintendo Hard: One of the ROM hacks of the game decided you need between 1-3 tourist couples that each turn into a pair of werewolves 15 seconds after the start of the level in most of the levels. Have fun with those speed shoes.
Too Dumb to Live: There's all kinds of monsters roaming about, but the neighbors you have to rescue apparently just don't give a damn, and are too busy hanging out in pools/barbequing/jumping on trampolines/etc. to even react when a monster is nearby. One victim is a soldier too scared out his wits to pick up the nearby bazooka and shoot some zombies.
Took a Level in Badass: Zeke and Julie in Ghoul Patrol. The monsters are far more demonic and take more hits before going down, so they switched the squirt guns for infinite crossbows, repeat-fire rifles, homing energy guns and hot lasers (but no bazooka for some reason).
The zombies themselves in Ghoul Patrol count. They're considerably stronger and scarier looking and take four shots to go down as opposed to being weak as water in ZAMN.