Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Come, take your pilgrimage to gamings one true mecca

12:00 PM on 11.01.2009 // Andrew Kauz

[Editor's note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

Some of you may already know this, but I hail from a place that is both Mexico and not Mexico at the same time: the newer of the Mexican lands, specifically, a town called Albuquerque. It is a place famous for hot air balloons, Bugs Bunny’s poor navigational choices, and…we named our minor league baseball team after an episode of The Simpsons.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Albuquerque, New Mexico is truly the greatest place on Earth.

But what’s this? A hidden layer of this great city that has long been forgotten? Indeed, what very few know about Albuquerque is that it has offered the single greatest contribution to the world of videogames. Without it, the industry’s landscape would be nothing more than a disfigured scarecrow standing in a field of crap.

Yes indeed, Albuquerque is the home of American Laser Games, creators of laserdisc lightgun games.

So, come on your pilgrimage, all true believers in gaming, as we visit the one true gaming mecca and pay tribute to its incredible contributions to our lives.

Close your eyes and imagine a smoky sports bar/grill. Its patrons are screaming in unnecessarily loud voices at the many televisions, and only about 15% of them are drunk enough to justify the volume of their voices. Questionably attractive waitresses find questionable reasons to bend over, threatening to spill drinks and cleavage all over the restaurant.

Pool tables and basketball games fill one corner of the dining area, where children find refuge from the sports and breasts that they don’t care about. Some struggle to reach high enough to throw a football in a square hole on the quarterback game, while others search the billiards racks to find a cue short enough to wield effectively.

Yet this evil, twisted universe has a terrible omission. Nowhere in this stereotypical sports bar can be found Mad Dog McCree. Indeed, this terrible parallel land never saw the creation of American Laser Games. Gaming itself would die a short five days later, as gamers everywhere realized that they had nothing to live for.

Luckily, we live in the universe in which American Laser Games indeed existed. This glorious company was founded sometime in the late 1980s with the original plan to develop police training games to assist officers in firearm proficiency. One can only imagine that the company came to a startling realization: this technology was simply too awesome to be wasted on mere police. Thus, the company changed its name to American Laser Games and fulfilled its promise of being American, using lasers, and making games.

Its first gift from the heavens was entitled Mad Dog McCree, an old-west game that tasked the player with shooting dudes before dudes shot you. These weren’t just any dudes…they were real dudes. Real human beings that stood in the screen before you, giving you the stink eye as their hands hovered close to their six shooters. Real human beings that taunted your hypothetical bleeding corpse after murdering you with nothing more than a flash of light on the screen. Yes, this was FMV, and these FMV figures wanted you dead and weren’t afraid to tell you.

However, you weren’t helpless to avoid this fate. The cabinet came with its own weapon for you to take up at the proper moment. This was no Time Crisis; your gun remained in its holster until you were given the signal to draw, and only the quickest gunslingers would advance to the next poorly costumed human actor. At times, multiple people would overact on your screen simultaneously, launching themselves down into the dirt with the force of a kick from Monty Python’s foot.

It was, undoubtedly, the genesis of violent videogames, the hardcore gamer, the FPS, and method acting all at once. The magazine PC Gamer gave the game a 4% score, which means that only 4% of the games ever made in the history of the world are better than this one. What other game could have managed such a feat?

Perhaps Mad Dog II.

Why, of course there was a sequel! Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold was probably a game about gold that was lost by someone, but the pathetic cries of a story were drowned out by the pathetic screams of new overacted live-action deaths. Sure, many of the actors were blatantly the same ones from the previous entry, but their acting skills were taken to a much higher level. Bullets seemed to give actors wings, allowing them to soar and tumble in ways so realistic that even Hollywood felt immediately emasculated.

Later games from this amazing New Mexican company really stepped up the realism of both the shooting and the situations. Crime Patrol tasked the player with assuming the role of a police officer, telling a gripping, realistic story about a police officer who rises through the ranks by shooting a lot of people, including gangsters and terrorists. In fact, it is a documented fact that Kiefer Sutherland based the character of Jack Bauer upon the persona that he inhabited while playing through Crime Patrol. In Crime Patrol II: Drug Wars, the player also shoots criminals. This entry in the series was considered a revolution for the laserdisc genre, as it changed the scenery slightly from previous games.

Who Shot Johnny Rock? is notable for its inclusion of a question mark, which was a first for American Laser Games. This added a rich level of mystery to the barely present story, giving players the opportunity to say, “Hey, just who did shoot Johnny Rock?” as they continually shot or were shot by gangsters.

Yet we still have not arrived at the magnum opus of this incredible company: Space Pirates. There’s far more to this game than can be contained on one Internet, but one can get a good idea of the stunning quality of this game by viewing the cover of the game for the PC release. The strange space linebacker with the galaxy for an eye is only a brief taste of the incredible special effects employed by this game, which surpasses even Plan 9 from Outer Space in realism. The player again goes around and shoots people, but this time they sort of look like they might be from the future. The player also shoots things that sort of look like lasers, much in the same way that an avocado totally looks like a kiwifruit.

Despite the previous game taking place in the outer reaches of some sort of galaxy, you may be wondering, “Where’s the star power?” It was contained in spades within the incredible Gallagher’s Gallery. The brilliance of the title is overshadowed by the inclusion of the world’s greatest comedian and Oasis lead singer Leo Anthony Gallagher. Unless you have yet to have your humor hymen busted, you’ll recognize Gallagher’s name from his many “Sledge-O-Matic” acts, wherein he hits things with a very large wooden mallet for a few hours.

The premise of the game is that Gallagher has become too lazy to break things himself, so he instead asks you to shoot random stuff for no reason whatsoever. Shooting diet soda is one of the more tense moments of the game, as the diet soda sometimes changes location on the screen, and you must adjust your aim accordingly. Players often died from the stress alone.

So, as you can see, the lasting effect that American Laser Games, and Albuquerque by proxy, has had on the videogame industry is incalculable. Where would we be, as gamers, without laserdisc games?

Sadly, the brightest candle tends to get blown out the most quickly because it is too fucking bright and kind of a fire hazard. American Laser Games as a company ceased to be in the late 90s, shortly after abandoning the brilliance of laserdisc games and moving on to making games for girls under the moniker “Her Interactive.” Ooh yeah, I’ll moniker her interactive! Hiyoooo!. The company made a lot of Nancy Drew games, but since none of them contained Mad Dog McCree, nor were they made on laserdiscs, we will pretend that they never happened.

Thankfully, a company called Digital Leisure purchased the rights to all of the American Laser Games releases in 2000 in a deal that reportedly cost Digital Leisure either six billion dollars or a three-topping pizza from Papa John’s. Though the laserdisc is dead, the legacy of laserdisc games lives on.

So, let us all pay the proper tribute to the great city of Albuquerque, and the great company American Laser Games, with the following image:

And now, for your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the following compilation of gameplay videos from these incredible games. Required viewing.

Mad Dog McCree:

Mad Dog McCree II:

Who Shot Johnny Rock?:

Crime Patrol:

Crime Patrol II:

Space Pirates:

Gallagher’s Gallery:

Andrew Kauz,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! ---
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.
Archelon avatarArchelon
It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] やらないか?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If I were a rhino, I'd be horny.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I don't want DOAX, but it does make me realize... There aren't actually a lot of volleyball games out there, are there? Or tennis, even? At least golf has a little competition, but still. That's golf.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Well, everyone is throwing in their opinion on women and games, and here I am... writing a blog about being aroused by female characters in games as a kid... Perhaps I should hold off, I have a feeling it may just be taken the wrong way.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Thinking about getting my sister yokai watch or animal crossing Happy Home designer(comes with nfc reader). I already got a copy of Tales of xillia for her ps3, this is just a bonus for when she's on the road or at someones house. any suggestions?
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Dark Souls 2. Dem builds.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Posted image I promised Flanx, didn't get response from him. Heart forever broken.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: What game have you played through to completion the most number of times?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
ProTip for UK Nintendo gamers: Twilight Princess HD is finally up for pre-order on Amazon. Unfortunately, it won't ship to anywhere outside of the UK. Dammit Amazon Italy! Get on this!!!
extatix avatarextatix
It's the best time of the year again! Finally we get to listen to Wham and Chris Rea over and over again!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
The Unofficial Destructoid Christmas Card has been ordered. If you claimed one, you should probably PM me your address now.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Started playing Wonderful 101 and it's good, but pretty overwhelming. Think I'll put it down for now. Also sad that there is no penis formation. [img][/img]
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
What the hell happened to Arcade racing games?
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Red from Transistor has joined Indivisible! many thanks to Supergiant Games for their support to this game.
JBroXNari99 avatarJBroXNari99
Does anyone know if Advent of Indies is happening this year? I looked it up today and didn't find any updates on their Twitter since January.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I brought that cake I made into work and it disappeared fast. Maybe if I lose my job I can just make a living selling cakes on the end of my street.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -