Skate or Die!

Skate or Die!

Infobox VG
title = Skate or Die!

developer = Electronic Arts
publisher = Electronic Arts
released = 1987
genre = Skateboarding
modes = 1 - 8 Players
platforms = Apple IIgs, ZX Spectrum, C64, NES, MS-DOS, Amstrad CPC, Virtual Console (EU and AUS only)

"Skate or Die!" is a skateboarding game released by Electronic Arts in 1987 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Apple IIgs and Amstrad CPC. It was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) by Konami, and published by Ultra Games. In 2007, the NES version was re-released for Nintendo's Virtual Console service in Europe and Australia.

In the style of the popular Epyx "Games" series of the time, where players can compete in five different skateboarding events, either individually or sequentially. When the events are challenged sequentially, up to eight players could sign up to participate. The game was kept completely non-violent to maximize sales throughout Europe. The conversion to Atari was contracted to CodeMasters who contracted Kinetic Designs to do the work. At one point during the conversion to the Atari ST in the downhill park section you could run over and kill a little boy holding balloon as he crossed the screen. This was changed to just making him cry to make it suitable for the German market.

The game featured two ramp events, the freestyle ramp and the high jump, two downhill events, the downhill race (in a park setting) and the downhill jam (in a street setting), and the pool joust. The pool joust, downhill jam, and the downhill race (in two player mode only) were all head to head, while the ramp events were single player. Except for the joust, which was a hand-to-hand knockout competition (literally and figuratively), all of the event winners were decided by a point system.

Two popular characters were featured in "Skate or Die!": Rodney Recloose, a wild man with a purple mohawk and a Marine Corps tattoo (and a great facial resemblance to comedian Rodney Dangerfield) who runs a skate shop in the game, and his son Bionic Lester, an even wilder kid with a green flattop, who you were able to take on in the joust and the downhill jam. In the joust, Lester and his two cronies await the skater. Poseur Pete challenges beginners and Aggro Eddie takes on intermediate players, leaving Lester with the advanced pros.

The game was well liked with players on both the computer and console sides,citation | date = April 1988 | last = Choi | first = Yung Min | periodical = Computer Gaming World | title = Sidewalk Surfin' Safari | year = 1988 | pages = 34] and inspired a winterized sequel in "Ski or Die" in 1989 for the C64, Amiga, Atari st, PC and NES, and a true sequel, "Skate or Die 2" in 1990, an NES-only game. "Ski or Die" retained the multi-event format while "Skate or Die 2" veered into "adventure" territory; both games featured Rodney and Lester as key players.

The C64 version of "Skate or Die!" was also well liked for its introductory music, a highly catchy rock-flavored tune with digital samples that took full advantage of all of the SID chip's capabilities. Composed by Rob Hubbard, one of the world's foremost game music composers, it has become a popular tune among modern fans of SID music and remixers of such tunes.


*The original Commodore 64 version was created by Michael Kosaka, Stephen Landrum and David Bunch. This group of programmers had previously been at Epyx and worked on the early "Games" titles.
*American riot ska band No-Cash also uses the title of this game in their song "Skate Or Die".
*"Rob Thomas"' book "Rats Saw God" features the words "Skate or Die" as the name of a high-school club dedicated to skateboarding.
*Nike SB (Skateboarding) released a shoe modeled after the cover of the game. It was priced around $100 and was sold only at select Nike SB shops.
*"Rock Band" for the current generation of consoles references this game when you receive a tour bus, suggesting that the band should actually write songs instead of playing this game all day.


External links

*moby game|id=-group/skate-or-die-series|name="PAGENAME" series
*WoS game|id=0004534

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