I was reminiscing about old games the other day. 1993 was a good year for computer games. It saw the release of UFO: Enemy Unknown, Syndicate, and of course, Doom. And then there was the little gem, undeservedly largely forgotten since, Cannon Fodder. Cannon Fodder was a fun, addictive and very challenging action game, and everything about it shows that the designers had fun putting it together. Witness this promotional music video, featuring the design team and a professional version of the game’s intro song.
The video plays upon one of the …funny… little details in the game: when you shoot and kill an enemy soldier, then shoot at him again, and again, he keeps jumping and twitching and yelling in agony, while little red pixels spray around. Now, the controversy that seems to be a prerequisite of any successful game had nothing to do with the pixelated blood and violence (except in Germany, of course), but rather, the use of the corn poppy (a symbol for WWI veterans) in the title art. This is interesting because this was just one year after Wolfenstein 3D came out – the game that introduced gore to computer games. (The id Software team had tried to do the same one year earlier with Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion, but the graphic violence was vetoed by publisher Softdisk.)
That’s how quickly public opinion changes.
PS. Back to the song! In all honesty, I prefer the tracked version, heard on the game intro on the Amiga – it has more bounce. Unfortunately, the intro doesn’t make for very gripping viewing. But do listen to the song here.