J. Robinson Wheeler's  Centipede

C E N T I P E D E 

"Wow. Gratuitously high-quality. Just go play it."   --Sean T Barrett

About the Game

You hear the roar of many feet, so many feet it makes your stomach turn. Up ahead, through that maze of mushrooms, you see a slickened shape pass by, west to east.

Chub shouts, "Fire!"

You fire Charlene into the darkness. She purrs and growls. She's jumpy today, you can tell. Or maybe you are. Duggers fires. Chub fires. Mushrooms explode into spores. Fast-growing spores, you remember. In ten minutes, there will be more of them, full-sized. How are you supposed to win a war like this?

Note: This game contains violence and profanity.

I still think this is one of my best works, although because it came bundled (anonymously) inside the "IF-Arcade" pack of games, it didn't get much attention during the awards season 14 months later. The IF-Arcade package was proposed by Adam Cadre, who proposed that authors create IF games based on popular coin-op games of the 1980s. Atari's Centipede was always one of my favorites, and as soon as I got the idea for staging it as a battle between space marines and giant alien bugs, I was all set. Obvious influences are the movies Aliens and Starship Troopers.

One of my current works in progress is a substantially larger sequel, called, of course, Millipede. My best estimate is that it will take me at least three years to write, which is rather alarming.

---jrw 09-19-03

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