Monday morning in San Antonio. We were unable to get ahold of anyone that we know here, so we had to find a place to squat for the night. Luckily, we had received a tip from a friend the other day about an abandoned grain mill that a good roof for squatting.
We cautiously made our way up five flights of narrow concrete steps, surrounded by total darkness, the subtle sounds of scurrying in the distance and the stench of rotting grain and rodent shit. Surprisingly, the roof was fairly clean. No insects, animals or grain. We made camp, which consisted of two sleeping bags, a pair of backpacks and six beers. Then we slept.
The next morning, we found a Best Western to sneak into for the free Continental Breakfast. While waiting for new beans for the breakfast burrito bar, I spotted a small arcade to the side in another room. They had some of the standard older arcade games such as Area 51 and Cruis’n’ USA.
As luck would have it, one game, Sunset Riders, was set on free play. So my cohort, Jesus H. Crust, and I got in some free multiplayer action.
Sunset Riders is a standard Konami arcade game from 1991. You can choose between four different cowboys to raise hell in the Wild West, collecting bounties. Collecting bounties tends to consist of using thousands of bullets to kill a shitload of people, all in the name of justice.
As is the case with most videogames set in the Wild West, there is no shortage of racism. Sexism even makes a few appearances, too. Some levels have random doors in the background that you can go into. For about a second, you’ll be gone from the screen, then the door will open again to show you that a woman, probably a prostitute, was waiting for any man to enter so that she could have someone to make out with.
The Native Americans in the game are all portrayed as unintelligent savages who must be murdered to protect the lives of “innocent” white civilians. This builds up to a showdown between you and Chief Scalp’em, who taunts you with broken English.
All in all, Sunset Riders does a good job of glorifying the white-supremacist genocidal tendencies of this country’s “Wild West” as heroic gun slinging. The play control is good, and the music and sound is definitely on par for this era of gaming. Aside from the actual content of the game, it was pretty fun to play. I would recommend that anyone who happens to be in the north section of San Antonio should check out this motel. If you walk in early enough, you can get a free breakfast and some free gaming.
Compared to other racist arcade games from 1991, I’d rate it at about an 8 out of 10.
P.S. If anyone has a couch to offer two travelers in the Chicago area in the week following the release of this issue of GameCola, then by all means send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in the next edition of Get Out of Your Damn House.