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Video Game / Xenophobe

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Xenophobe is a 1987 Arcade Game created by Bally Midway (the future Midway Games), later ported to consoles by Sunsoft. Three people can play at once, and the screen is divided horizontally into thirds. Each player controls a joystick with a trigger and two context-sensitive thumb buttons.

It involves one to three Space Marines, from a pool of nine, trying to collect valuable hardware and kill all the extraterrestrial monsters in each room before time runs out and a self-destruct mechanism goes off.

This game provides examples of:

  • Attract Mode: Unusually for an arcade game, it doesn't demonstrate any gameplay.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The red player plays in the upper third of the screen, the yellow player in the middle third, and the blue player in the lower third.
  • Excuse Plot: "Kill all the aliens in the time limit" is the only plot you get.
  • Eye Beams: Xeno Queen can shoot beams that paralyze the affected players and drain their health.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played with. The players' gun shots will ignore each other, but the explosions from the grenades can easily harm both the thrower and any unfortunate allies. Moreover, punching another player makes them fall down and drop their current gun, which can then be grabbed by the other player.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: The marines' melee attack. While you can also collect knives, they are only used to cut free of tentacles hanging from the ceilings, should you end up stumbling into one.
  • Hive Queen: Played straight with the Xeno Queen.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating food collected on the level will heal the player character.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy: The monsters that hatch from the eggs begin as Critters, which will slowly drain health when they latch on to your marine, but are otherwise slow and die in one shot. If left alone, they become Rollers, which also die in one shot, but are immune to gunfire when they perform their roll attack. Rollers can eventually evolve into Warriors, which take multiple shots to bring down, and will either rapidly leap at your marine and disarm them (which also occurs if you try to run past them) or spit acid.
  • Life Drain: This happens to the marines as a result of both the Critters latching on, and getting caught in the Hive Queen's eye beam.
  • Punny Name: The player characters include Col. F. Truth, Dr. M. Brace, and Mr. Eeez.
  • Rolling Attack: The aptly titled Roller aliens specialize in this. They are also immune to damage when rolling, so you have to gun them down whenever they recover.
  • Scoring Points: You get points both for purging xenos and collecting bonus paraphernalia (which can include items like skulls and fire extinguishers.)
  • Shout-Out: Several of the names:
    • Col. Poupon - To Clue (Col. Mustard) and Grey Poupon mustard
    • Mr. Fogg is a nod to the main character from Around the World in Eighty Days.
    • Col. Schickn is most likely a nod to the founder of (and mascot for) Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Sanders.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There is only one human female among the nine player characters, Dr. Udderbay.
  • Super Spit: The Warrior aliens are capable of spitting acid.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: There's a transportation system that moves you to another part of the base, though it can only be operated if you discover a disk first. You're also transported onto the base at the start of each stage and off it at the end.
  • Timed Mission: You have to kill all the aliens before the self-destruct sequence goes off.
  • Weaponized Offspring: The Xeno Queen fires proto-eggs at the players. If they land on the floor, they turn into basic Eggs, which then turn into Critters.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Most of the alien monsters resemble the Xenomorph's various forms from the Alien film series. The game actually refers to them as "Xenos".