Take a Sentimental Journey...
Rock's Video Wiz Ros Valory Talks About The Game

by Charley Crespo

(Appeared in the March 1984 issue of "Video Games" Magazine)

  • "Coast to Coast, border to border, Journey is breaking every kind of conceivable record," said Herbie Herbert, manager of the San Francisco area-based rock quintet. "The group has not only established new attendance records, but fastest sellout, highest gross and most nights played records as well."

  • On the strength of two hits, "Separate Ways" and "Faithfully," off the band's tenth album in ten years, "Frontiers", Journey began an 89 concert tour in Seattle in March, 1983. Recently, Video Games caught up with Journey at the conclusion of their tour in Hawaii and talked with Ros Valory, the band's 35-year-old bassist and video wiz about the Journey games.


  • Weren't you the one who introduced Journey to video games??


  • We've been going to Japan for four years and seeing a lot of things over there before being introduced here, or at least in greater abundance or variety. Steve Smith (Journey's drummer), his wife and I found this Defender game in an arcade game room, and I got him hooked. Since then, he's gotten into it enough to where he bought his own machine. He bought a Defender and a Stargate arcade game. Now we've had Defender on the road with us for two years and it comes backstage in a road case. And no quarters!


  • Tell us about the Journey games.


  • The first Journey game was from Data Age. It came out just after Christmas, 1982. The object of the game was that each member of the band, represented by a little multi-colored figure is running up the screen through obstacles and barriers consisting of groupies and photographers. The player, aided by crew members or the manager, must ultimately get them to the Escape vehicle. It's not an easy game to play; it takes some skill. I guess it would be suited for all age groups.


  • And the Bally game?


  • That is a lot different. Each of the five people involved on the screen have a different little world from which they must escape. In the game, Neil Schon (guitarist) has a jet pack on his back, and his actual face and arms are seen moving and traveling on this little figure. He's going through this cave, and you've got to get all the way to the bottom and then shoot your way out. Jonathan Cain (guitarist/keyboardist) has to walkk down these little ramps and jump over little floppy things that are coming at him. You have to get him all the way to the bottom to his piano. Steve Perry (vocalist) goes through a maze of little swinging microphone doors that are moving up in waves. You have to squeak through those and then shoot your way out while he's singing. I go through a maze of telescoping blocks that catapult you further up the screen until you land on another block. Then at the top, I've got to shoot my way through discs that are coming at me until I make it to the bottom of the screen. Steve Smith bounces on different colored drum skins; the idea is to at least turn them all blue by hitting them once or making them all disappear by hitting them twice and landing on top of the drum set.

  • After you get all five through their little mazes on the second game, the band then appears on stage in front of an audience. All the people in the crowd are trying to run through one of three doors while you're playing, and there's a figure of Herbie Herbert, our manager, in front of those three doors, running back and forth trying to kep them out. Eventually, they all get on stage and the band runs away, and it gets pretty crazy.

  • So, there's a little more involved than the Data Age game. It's more challenging, there's a lot more color, more thought was put into it, and, of course, the machine can hold much more information than the little Atari cartridge. The prototype was with us on the road, but it broke down some time ago and I haven't seen it since. I don't know whether Bally is continuing on the project right now or whether they've halted by the fact that they have some kind of deal with Data Age.

  • They were given the information for the program of the Data Age game and therefore Data Age thinks they have a piece of entitlement of our Bally deal, even though all the information on the Bally machine is different. In other words, the information was offered but not used, so I don't know what's going on at that end either.

  • The basic thing behind the game, though, is that we're the first people to put out a game. I mean, Elton John has done Captain Fantastic Pinball, but it was basically artwork, there was nothing different about the game. Also, the Journey games are unique in that they don't have a kill-or-be-killed mentality about them.

  • So there's some innovation; new trends have been set. I'm not sure about the success of either of these two machines. Recently Data Age went bankrupt. And since there's some connection between them and Bally--I'm not sure what it is--I don't know how much of that game is even selling, maybe what's in stock is all. Maybe they declared Chapter 11 so they could stay in business. I think the Bally game will be popular, probably more with kids than us older vidiots.

    Typed by Keita Iida

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