Elevator Action, produced by Taito, was an arcade game from the 1980s. While never becoming as famous as other games of the time, such as Pac-Man, Galaga or Space Invaders, it became a cult classic, often remembered for its espionage themes. Unfortunately, the franchise never really went anywhere. In 1994, an arcade sequel, Elevator Action II, was only ever released in Japan on the Sega Saturn, and in the US as a Dexter’s Laboratory game.
In 2008, however, Taito planned to revive the series by bringing out a new game on the Nintendo DS, which would have played more or less the same as the first two instalments. The original illustrator, James Harvey, was set to design all-new characters for the game, while ensuring that the classic feel of the original was upheld. Harvey says that he was asked to redesign the principal characters (three anti-terrorists), but to “keep one eye on the present and one eye on the past”. Soon after he submitted his designs, however, the game was scrapped for an unknown reason. Harvey’s characters have now appeared on the Internet, and an overview is provided below:
Kim Min Ji, a North Korean, is the first member of the team. She is armed with a laser pistol, which is charged from a tea kettle full of battery acid, which she can also hit people with. She wears a North Korean military uniform.
Brussels Tibia, the second member of the group, wears a black outfit, with a human skeleton drawn all over it. Harvey describes him as a “crazy white kid in a Halloween suit”. His special power would have been his lethal flying kick.
And, finally, Rakim Al Taff (whose name is a play on the original Elevator Action II character Jad the Taff) is a tough Muslim radical who dons a pink cap and pants, and would have had a running clothesline special move.
It is very unfortunate that this very promising revival never saw the light of day. We can only hope that Taito will one day re-open the file, and consider bringing this game to the public.
Information, and pictures of characters, were shared on Boing Boing.
Article by Franklint, thanks to Robert Seddon for the contribution!
Video (from the original 1983 Elevator Action):