All in the family
Something delightfully novel for this week’s Arcade Archives entry as Hamster pulls ’80s alien blaster Baraduke out of its big bag of Namco games and gives it a fresh release on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Originally released to the coin-op market in 1985, Baraduke, (aka Alien Sector), sees intrepid space explorer Toby “Kissy” Masuo picking her way through a series of claustrophobic interplanetary caverns, taking on an army of gooey aliens and gathering up cute, cycloptic creatures known as “Paccets”. Once all of the stage’s enemies are destroyed, our hero ventures down a large connecting pipe to confront one of a number of boss guardians, before heading on to the next zone.
Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Retro Hawk.
Fascinatingly, despite its relative obscurity, Baraduke predates Nintendo’s legendary release Metroid by a full year, though it contains several similarities to the classic NES title. Not only does Baraduke feature a labyrinth of alien-created caverns, linked by a series of metal tubes, but the Namco game also reveals its woman protagonist as a “surprise” at the game’s climax, much like the coming of Metroid‘s Samus Aran.
Baraduke would be followed up by little-known sequel Bakutotsu Kijūtei in 1988, before the franchise effectively ended. Hilariously, in deep Namco lore, it is said that Baraduke protagonist “Kissy” eventually married and divorced Dig Dug protagonist Taizo Hori, with one of the pairing’s children being Susumu Hori of Mr. Driller fame! Someone call Kevin Fiege, I want to see a Namco Cinematic Universe!
Baraduke is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.