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.
VIDEO GAMES:Weren't you the one who introduced Journey to video games??
ROS VALORY: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!
VG:Tell us about the Journey games.
RV: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.
VG:And the Bally game?
RV: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
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