Monday, February 20, 2012

Yeti Arcade: Alpiner

According to my findings, the first electronic game ever to contain a depiction of a yeti was Alpiner (1981) for the Texas Instruments computer TI-99/4A.

Official Description:

"Climb six of the world's tallest mountains and evade dangerous obstacles. But be careful - the Abominable Snowman is waiting for you atop Mt. Everest!"

It took me a while to find visual evidence of the Abominable Snowman boss at the end of the game. Here is some rare, blurry home-made footage. It's no Patterson-Gimlin, but it should do the job:

Even in the video, he's kinda hard to spot. Using the latest state-of-the-art technology, I have carefully digitally reconstructed what the Alpiner yeti looks like:

HUH... That's it?

Geez. They must not have spent more than two seconds drawing that guy. Not exactly the most auspicious beginning to a long successful career starring in video games.

But this was a whole decade before SkiFree had a yeti try to remove the player from a mountainside.

And it's also probably the first instance of a yeti wearing a propeller hat. But more importantly, it's the first ever instance of one wearing skis, which helped begin his strong association with winter sports, an association which continues to this day.

So... yeah.

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