Something you might be forgiven for pondering concerning the YS3 team… but fear not! There is life in this old horse yet, as it bounds gracefully over the next jump and canters over the finish.
Number 97: The Ants from Ant Attack
Now that we’re living in the twenty-first century and the age of equality, we’re putting behind us the dark ages of humanoid favouritism and shunning of all things with three or more legs. And what better place to begin to address this injustice than with the eusocial insects of the family Formicidae? Yes, we thought we’d catch up with the much-maligned six-legged stars of Ant Attack to see how they’re faring now.
After a number of unreturned phone calls we were finally granted an audience last week with the queen ant behind the stars of Ant Attack. “One recalls the auditioning process for that particular piece of electronic entertainment being most demanding on one’s loyal subjects,” she remarks as we ask about the game that made stars of them all in 1984. “One’s subjects were eventually reduced to a final battle of five colonies, pitted against one another in a veritably gladiatorial contest of skill and strength.” Further probing proves her quite right, as tales unfold of the swimming under fire, reverse travelators and battles with giant padded foam weapons atop giant pillars that would eventually form the staple of TV’s “Gladiators”. However, her colony emerged victorious from the contest, helped along the way by a small child standing on the entire team of one of their opponents.
And what of the humanoid stars of the game? “One recalls forming a close friendship with the young lady tasked with gallivanting about one’s city.” Afternoon tea and games of croquet were a staple part of that time, although the man was less well remembered. “One was always concerned of the shiny glass in his pocket and one found him directing the sun’s fearsome glare into one’s subjects after the game had been closed on more than one occasion.” We cough nervously and move the magnifying glass that we had been using to read our notes in the semi-darkness deeper into our pockets.
The good news for the colony was that this game launched them into the big league. Members appeared in ‘It Came from the Desert‘ and ‘Zombies Ate My Neighbors‘, with the more reflective protagonists taking a few weeks out for ‘Sim Ant‘. “One was particularly pleased to have the pleasure of one’s company requested by Will Wright himself”, our royal host says proudly, showing us the very letter of invitation. “One is also proud to have created the first reality TV game, as one believes they are called in this day.” Apparently the various in-game challenges that were initially proposed were vetoed by the colony, as was the idea that ants would be voted off each week if not sufficiently popular with the player.
Most recently, we are told, and following hot on the tails of ‘Antz‘ (“One was surprised to find Mr Allen only slightly taller than oneself”) and ‘The Ant Bully‘, a number of members from the colony made the break from comedy into drama by starring alongside the admirably-unaged Harrison Ford in the latest Indiana Jones film. “One is pleased to see Mr Ford on such good form”, the queen comments, before turning slowly to look us straight in the eye. “And one was particularly pleased by the human flesh one was permitted to chew to the bone…” Recalling that we’ve not seen Comrade Dovchenko in anything since that film, we hastily make our excuses and leave. But the queen’s final words echo in our ears as we do: “One believes that you ant seen nothing yet!”
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is now on general release in cinemas. We saw it last weekend and thought it was rather good. No ants were harmed in the making of this article, but we can’t say the same for Ant Attack.