Look at the drokkin’ Judge Dredd arcade game that almost was

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Inhabitants of Lazygamer, this is Judge D. In case you people have forgotten, this blog operates under the same rules as the rest of the city. Matt-Matt is not the law…I am the law. Matt-Matt is a common criminal; guilty of murder, guilty of the manufacture and distribution of the narcotic known as Slo-DOTA, and as of now under sentence of death.

Any who obstruct me in carrying out my duty will be treated as an accessory to his crimes… you have been warned. And as for you Matt-Matt…judgement time.

I’ve always thought that Judge Dredd is the one comic book character who deserved better. Outside of the UK, he’s nowhere near as popular as the likes of Batman, Superman or Spider-Man. And that could be because the character is so unrelenting in his interpretation of justice. There is no grey area of morality with Judge Dredd. There is only the law. And Judge Dredd is the law.

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What I’m also saying is, is that Dredd happens to live in a wonderfully chaotic and colourful world. Outside of Mega-City One, there’s the Cursed Earth. A hellish wasteland that is home to mutants, former presidents looking for payback and malfunctioning droids interested in using your flesh as seasoning for their broth.

Inside Mega-City One, life is just as bad. Crime is rampant, massive catastrophes happen with alarming regularity and failure to recycle your synthetic sweets will result in a six-month stay in the Iso-cubes. That’s a great setup for a game then, something that Judge Dredd is no stranger to. He’s been in several titles already: There was a Sega Genesis and SNES game that tied into the 1995 movie, Dredd vs Death back in 2003 and a mobile game from 2012.

Read  The best comic book covers of the week – 27 August 2018

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But before all of them, there was also an arcade game that never saw the light of day. Developed by none other, than Mortal Kombat’s Midway in 1992. And it looked glorious.

It’s typical of that time: A video game featuring real actors with their captured movements and attacks being translated into video game action, much like Midway’s work on the Mortal Kombat franchise up to that point. In fact, the actor who portrayed Dredd in that game, was none other than Sal Divita, who would go on to also be the actor who brought Nightwolf to life in Mortal Kombat 3.

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And much like the source material, the game looked positively mental. Here’s some of it in action, as several levels escaped onto the internet:

And here’s a closer look at an arcade cabinet that was specially rebuilt to house the game, and now sits at the Galloping Ghost Arcade. A venue that looks absolutely fantastic to smash some high scores while getting properly smashed.

The guys there went so far as to take an original NBA Jam board, and use the similar architecture to write the available Judge Dredd gameplay onto that ROM. Throw in some custom decals based on the original arcade stand, and Galloping Ghosts has managed to resurrect a game thought lost to the development sands of time.

I YAM DA LAWR!

Last Updated: September 29, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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