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Frogger in a Modern World

by: Ange P. ; edited by: M.S. Smith ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Konami's 1981 hit arcade game Frogger lives on through fans and gamers across the globe. Learn about the history of frogger and how this retro game is still thriving in today's culture.

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    History of Frogger

    Frogger is an iconic 80’s arcade game that has survived through the decades. In the fast paced video game industry where games often come and go only a handful have ever stood the test of time like Frogger. When Japanese based video game developer Konami introduced Japan to Frogger in 1981 it quickly became a hit. Gamers instantly fell in love with the little frog that wanted to cross the street. In October of 1981, with the assistance of Sega, Frogger was released in the U.S.

    The main objective in Frogger is to guide your frog from the bottom to the top of the screen avoiding enemies and obstacles in your way using a 4-way joystick. Although somewhat simplistic the game was very innovative in its use of potential hazards for the frog. Players risk the chance of getting hit or drowned in Frogger. After your frog manages to maneuver through traffic he has to cross a river with swiftly passing logs and unreliable turtles as moving platforms. Some of the ravenous enemies in Frogger include dangerous snakes, crocodiles, and otters. Bonus points are achieved by hopping on distant logs where a fly or area where a female frog appears. To increase the difficulty players are timed. Each stage must be cleared within one minute. The challenging game play in Frogger made it stand out among other popular games released in the 80’s video game scene.

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    Frogger Games

    Frogger Arcade Machine/ credit:   Frogger has a long history. Since its first arcade debut in 1981 fifteen official Frogger games have been released across all gaming platforms. Countless remakes and honorable imitations have also been produced. Retro home gaming systems like the 1982 Colecovision featured the Frogger II Three Deep game. As gaming systems progressed so did the versions of Frogger. Platforms including the PC, Sony PlayStation, PS2, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live Arcade paid tribute to Frogger. In 2006, a mobile game version of Frogger to celebrate Frogger’s 25th Anniversary called Frogger Evolution was released. Frogger adventures have been enjoyed by gamers from all ages through the years.

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    Frogger's Impact On Music & Television

    Frogger goes beyond gaming and lives on in today’s culture. As a classic Frogger has made its mark in music, television, animation, and popular gaming. In 1982 Ohio music duo Buckner & Garcia released a novelty album featuring arcade game songs called Pac-Man Fever. In the album a song named Froggy’s Lament was a tribute to Frogger. The song used sound effects from the game and lyrics playfully described game play. The album was a hit and peaked all the way up to #9 on the billboard charts.

    The popular long-running television series Seinfeld had an episode titled ‘Frogger’ in which the character George finds a Frogger arcade machine in a restaurant that’s on the brink of closing. George purchases the arcade and has trouble moving it across the bustling New York street. The entire scene turns into a visual of Frogger game action. The MTV Movie Awards in 2003 had actor and comedian Will Ferrel perform a sketch claiming he named Frogger. The entire scene was poking fun at the origin of Frogger’s name which was changed by Sega executives from Highway Crossing Frog to simply Frogger.

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    Animation to WOW Frogger 1.0

    A short-lived animated television series of Frogger aired on CBS’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup in 1983. Although, it didn’t last Frogger managed to make an appearance in the adult swim stop-motion animated series called Robot Chicken which did a parody of a frog causing a collision in traffic to help his fellow frog brethren cross the street.

    Frogger also makes history by being included in the popular PC game World of Warcraft also known as WOW. A section in WOW is commonly referred to as Frogger because it mimmicks the game action in the 80’s game. When players in Naxxramas attempt to travel from Patchwerk to Grobbulus they encounter moving slime that they must navigate through without coming in contact. Frogger is truly a piece of gaming history. Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3 are planning on a Frogger Returns game in the near future. Frogger will continue being part of our modern world and a favorite among gamers who will keep the infamous frog alive.

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