Before the movie came out, Rampage was an obscure little arcade game, forgotten in the endless sea of games. Now that its a successful movie with The Rock in it, it has resurfaced. It may be loosely based, but the movie is reigniting interest in the game. That said, here are some fun facts on Rampage the Video Game:
The Origins of The Monsters
The movie does one thing right by introducing us to the three main monsters, George the Gorilla, Lizzie the Lizard, and Ralph the Wolf, the very same trio from the original Rampage arcade game. The difference comes from how these monsters came to be. In the movie, they’re just regular animals mutated by some sort of pathogen. While in the game, they were three ordinary humans, mutated through all sorts of means, usually from a can of radioactive soda.
Classic Horror References
The idea of 3 giant monsters, specifically a giant gorilla, lizard, and wolf, attacking cities across the world was no accident. The developers chose the three beasts as their monsters in reference to classic films of old. George the Gorilla is obviously based on King Kong, Lizzie the Lizard takes a lot of cues from Godzilla, especially in the fire-breathing department. And Ralph the Wolf is based on The Wolfman or The Werewolf of London.
A Timeless Classic
There’s been a total of only 5 mainline Rampage games, with the last new one was released back in 2006. The 5 games generally retain the same building destroying, people eating gameplay. So it was odd that Warner Bros. actually made a movie based on it. Since Midway closed shop, no new games have been made and Warner Bros. owns the rights to the game. The first game still holds up and is, in fact, playable in Lego Dimensions if you bought the Midway Arcade Pack.
The Wrecking Crew
The original trio of monsters were called The Wrecking Crew, obviously for their penchant for destroying everything in their path. If that name sounds familiar to you, that’s because its a reference to the 1960s music collective, The Wrecking Crew. They were a group of musicians that have famously been the backing band for Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, and the Beach Boys. Wrecking Crew is also the name of an NES game, starring Mario and released in 1985.
A Special Cameo
If you’ve seen the movie, the beginning of the film has a mutated rat scuttering about. It’s not the first rat in the Rampage franchise, the character Curtis was a giant rat that only appeared in certain versions of the game. This particular rat might be a reference to this ill-forgotten fourth member of The Wrecking Crew, Larry, as he only appeared in the Atari Lynx version of the first game.
The movie isn’t the first time Rampage has made an impact on our shores. Rampage 2: Universal Tour for the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 1 actually had a Kuala Lumpur level. Complete with the Twin Towers in the background. Granted, the other buildings were just recycled, generic “Asian” buildings from China and Japan, it was still cool to wreck the city you actually live in. Our other ASEAN cousins like Jakarta and Singapore also make an appearance as levels.
While the movie is proving to be a hit, we hope that Rampage will return as a game series again. I enjoyed my time with it while I was growing up and I hope the kids of today get to enjoy it too.