Choplifter Returns For The Rescue!

When we found out that there was a new Choplifter title coming to next generation consoles, the excitement could be felt across the board, with Josh (PSNation Podcast) exclaiming in such ways that I felt my email provider might begin filtering him as vulgar spam. But I couldn’t blame him for his excitement. A lot of “remakes” have come and gone, some with successful migration to next generation expectations, while others left fans wondering why the developers even named the titles as they did. I’m looking at you, Yar’s Revenge.

What little we have seen of Choplifter HD certainly inspires hope that this will be a title with its roots held firmly to the ground, while still providing us with the entertainment that the original game did all those years ago. Even more encouraging are the words from Dan Gorlin and Brian Fargo, president of inXile. We had a few questions regarding their inspiration for Choplifter HD and this is what they had to say.

PSNation: What’s his inspiration for making an HD version? Any other HD remake(s) encourage the idea?

Brian: My point of inspiration was that Choplifter was one of my favorite games from that era. There was an innate sense of reward when you saw those little guys on the ground all waiting for you to swoop in and deliver them to a safe place. I felt that that was a timeless joy and I wanted to bring it forth with today’s graphic standards. Anyone who played the original will be really happy and the controls are so easy to get into that new people will be able to pick up and play quickly. And once you are playing we will make sure to give you lots of tension and drama to keep you entertained. There are other older titles that would be interesting but really Choplifter is the one I have my heart set on for now.

PSNation: Where did the idea for the original Choplifter come from?

Dan: the very first Choplifter, released in 1982, was a product of its time. The Defender arcade game was everywhere (in which you picked up little squares called “men”), everyone was sick to death of the Iran hostage crisis, and personal computers were everywhere but getting them to do flashy things was still a new frontier. Most of the 6 months I spent working on that game were dedicated to squeezing blood from the Apple II hardware, but somewhere in the mix I managed to add elements that were fun and seemed relevant. Doug Carlston at Broderbund came up with the name, which was a stroke of genius :)

PSNation: The original had such a unique mechanic at the time with orienting you chopper different ways for fast flight and air fights vs. a sort of hover mode and ground fighting. Will it still have that unique “Choplifter” feel?

Dan: that’s certainly the idea. The feel will depend a lot on which type of controls the player has. The original Apple II version simply required a linear joystick, which means it felt pretty much the same wherever you played it.

PSNation: Any chance of the original finding it’s way into the game as a bonus or hidden extra?

inXile: We have had that question a few times.  It’s a fun idea but we aren’t confirming anything at this time. 

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