Born in 1986

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  • SEGA

  • FormatVideo and arcade
  • TypeSide Scrolling Shooter
  • SystemArcade

For those of you that don't know about this fantastic scrolling shooter by Sega . . . here goes . . .

One of my favourite arcade games ever - simple! Quartet!
Andy Spencer
RCM - Leicester

Released in 1986 and having lovely cabinet art - this is an often missed 4 player bundle of gaming goodness! You can play as one of four players (hence Quartet) - the characters are Joe (Yellow), Mary (Red), Lee (Blue) and Edgar (Green). All four players can (of course) play together or any combination of the above can play as solo, two player, three player etc.

You need to shoot the army of robots that patrol every level and there is a boss at the end of each level that holds the key to open the door to finish that level. These get progressively harder to 'kill'. You can pick up various power-ups - such as enhancing your firepower, a jetpack (to allow you to fly), shoes (to speed you up), a spring (to allow you to jump higher) and various other bonuses to add to your score.

The power-ups for your weapons come in the guise of a bouncing ball - different colours (see player colours above) - if you pick up a ball that is the same colour as your character it enhances your weapon - be careful though as after four pickups it resets you back to your basic weapon. You can shoot these balls to make them a different colour to you - pick them up and get a bonus score. However if you are playing with other people this stops them getting their weapon upgrades! Another way you can get a weapons upgrade is a little circular pie - this shows all four colours - i.e. it doesn't matter who picks it up it will power there weapons up.

The main thing I love is the co-operative nature of this (which always gets compared to Gauntlet) - when four players are playing together there is a lot going on but it still remains very calm (!) . . . whoever kills the boss doesn't really matter - it is if you pick up the key and open the door that counts (score wise anyway!).

The graphics (by today's standards) are reasonably basic but do contain character. This goes for both the player characters themselves and the bosses, baddies and background graphics are all very pixellated - but then again that isn't the point here - good pixel graphics you don't really see that much now. Over the various levels the graphics do change quite substantially - so it never tends to get boring!

The music again is very much in the SEGA style - very upbeat and quite a few tunes to listen to. Sounds effects again are very retro - but that is no bad thing. It also has speech that adds a little to the mix of great tunes.

One thing I would say about this is please avoid the home conversions as they are pretty bad - I remember purchasing the C64 version (from Boots (The Chemists) for £8.95) and getting it home - loading it up and ONLY being impressed by the music - the graphics really are pretty terrible! Sorry to whoever coded it and actually did the graphics but man they are REALLY bad!

Review by Andy Spencer - Chairman of RCM Leicester http://www.retrocomputermuseum.co.uk/

5 minutes of Quartet at Funspot:

Quartet (Arcade) Stage 1 Theme
  • SEGA

  • FormatVideo and arcade
  • TypeSide Scrolling Shooter
  • SystemArcade
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