See this? This is Primeval Hunt. It’s pretty good. It’s a lightgun shooty arcade game, but with the added novelty of a touch-screen that allows you to navigate around the environments instead of being stuck on rails the entire time. I saw this cabinet just the other day at the Manchester AMC cinema, and it reminded me of a thing that happened once.
A few years back, Midnight Resistance associate Andi Hamilton and I were skulking around Funland in London’s Trocadero. We used to do this a lot, because Afterburner Climax really was worth two quid a go and there wasn’t really anywhere else you could play Street Fighter IV as it was truly intended. And now the whole place has been scrapped to make way for a fucking hotel or something. Bravo!
So we’re wandering around, and we see this kid playing Primeval Hunt. He must’ve been about five or six years old. He was barely paying attention to the game, and he was amazing. He was so tiny that he was shoulder-mounting the shotgun peripheral like a rocket launcher, and between shots he would lower it and impatiently look around the room. Every time a dinosaur charged at him, he would turn his attention back to the screen just in time, and BOOM, point-blank it straight in the face.
Andi and I watched in awe as he did this over and over again, taking out waves of dinosaurs and barely taking any damage himself despite his absolute lack of concentration. Then, his dad turned up out of nowhere and told him they had to leave. The kid happily put the shotgun down, took his dad’s hand and walked away. Meanwhile, his in-game character promptly got mauled by a tyrannosaurus rex.
We considered intervening, but it seemed wrong to just hijack the kid’s incredible performance and pick up where he left off, so we waited for the game to return to the title screen. BUT IT DIDN’T!
With the kid now completely out of sight, the game’s scoreboard appeared - he’d earned second place. We had 30 seconds to do something. We agreed that I’d stay by the machine while Andi went to see if he could find the kid, and by Christ I have not seen Andi move so fast since the time a friend of ours told him he could probably emulate Metal Gear Solid on his newly-hacked PSP.
After a quick lap of our surroundings, the kid was nowhere to be found. So, with seconds to spare, there was only one thing we could do. Andi picked up the shotgun, and aimed at the letters on the screen.
Then we went and one-credited Ghost Squad, because we’re the best.