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A Field Guide to Videogame E.T.s

Videogame extraterrestials are less kindly than the E.T. featured in that popular film. Play it safe: learn to recognize the dastards on sight.

With all the publicity that pug-nosed, mud-colored alien from E.T. has been getting, it’s easy to forget that most videogame aliens want to devour or blast you, not help you ride through the air on a bicycle.

Just in case you happen to be eating Reese’s Pieces and an otherwordly denizen levitates your way, we’ve gathered a “Most Wanted” list of home videogaming’s most wicked aliens, those who would sooner eat Mr. Reese than his pieces.

The following file is as complete as present knowledge allows. These intergalactic malfeasants are decidedly difficult to interview.


The phenomenally popular film E.T. is about to become a home videogame from Atari.

The announcement comes as a surprise to absolutely no one, though E.T.’s videogame home is a surprise.

The object of the game will be to get E.T. home by maneuvering the alien through a variety of impasses similar to those used in the motion picture.

The game is being touted as more than just a challenging cartridge. Atari promises that it’s going to be the first “emotionally oriented” videogame.

Atari expects that, like the Star Wars videogames being manufactured by Parker Brothers, this E.T. game will be the first of many, and will be as much of a commercial success as their Pac-Man cartridge.

As noted elsewhere in our pages, Atari also has the videogame version of another popular film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ready for shipping.

The E.T. game will be on sale early in December.

The obvious question is why Universal Pictures elected to license E.T. to an outside company rather than give the enormously lucrative property to their own newly created videogame wing. The answer is twofold: licensing discussions with videogame companies commenced before Universal formed its videogame division — which is why King Kong went to Tigervision — and that there is no way the new company could have gotten out the cartridges as effectively as Atari, certainly not in time for the Christmas season.

Ironically, Atari is owned by Universal Pictures’ moviemaking rival Warner Communications.

Alien Invasion

Their only calling-cards are the deadly projectiles they loose while heading earthward in rows.

Astro Battle

More nameless terrors, descending in a phalanx and dropping bombs upon earthpersons.

Alien Invaders-Plus

The villain here is a killer by name of Merciless Monstroth. This being is part mechanical, part biological. Its head is a domed city, its body the juncture of five twining serpents. The underbelly of the creature is an opening which emits robots, proxies which do battle for the invader. Monstroth is approximately forty feet tall and eighty feet across.

Yar’s Revenge

Yars dwell on the third, fourth, and fifth planets of the Razak solar system. They are descended from house flies which were borne accidentally into space onboard an interstellar craft. Mutated by radioactive dust from the crash of said vessel, they can eat anything and convert matter into powerful energy missiles. Their enemies are not humankind but the Qotile, invaders from a nearby moon. As these invaders never leave their shields, no one knows what they look like.

Space Armada

Like the monsters of Space Invaders, these creatures descend in rows and have no names. Also like their sinister brethren, they discharge projectiles and can become invisible.

Demon Attack

Winged predators who fly in devasting waves. Known only as “cosmic creatures,” these merciless extraterrestrials unload destructive eggs in a display of unabashed hostility.

Space Invaders

The multicolored creatures move in orderly ranks, speeding up as their fellow aliens are disintegrated. They spit out bombs and, upon landing, consume laser cannons. The creatures can become invisible under certain circumstances, though all light up when one is slain.

These gravity-defying entities have no names.

Space Cavern

As identified last issue, there are six inhabitants of an uncharted world in deep space. There are five kinds of Electrosauri and they come in two sizes, three large and two small. All of them are airborne and inclined to unleash concentrated — and lethal — charges of electro-molecular energy, which cause objects to dematerialize. The Marsupods are planetbound. Covered with a fine coat of hair, they live in caves and enjoy using their six massive teeth to eat earthpeople.

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