There was a time when a gamer could rule the arcade on a single quarter–if he or she was good enough–and the side-scrolling beat-’em-up action game was the weapon of choice. The list of properties that used that format for their game is long and kind of ridiculous–in addition to obvious choices like Double Dragon and Final Fight, total non-sequiturs like The Simpsons created side-scrolling games where the heroes punch, kick, and shoot their way through a seemingly endless stream of opponents to reach each level’s end boss, bringing them one step closer to the opportunity to rescue whatever object or ally had been snatched by the final villain. (Marge could also grab and fling bad guys with her hair. It was a weird time.)
Those weird days of yore are recalled in Coin, a three-and-a-half minute animated short from Exit 73 Studios. The hero of this adventure loses his lucky coin, and goes on a spree that only the sort of gamer who spent a downright juvenile-delinquent-level amount of time in the arcade could achieve. The video is a blast of power-ups, kicks, jumps, dodges, lasers, a brief Galaga-like interlude, and a seemingly unstoppable boss. It ends, fittingly, with the reclamation of the lost coin, a Contra shout-out, and a tease for the eventual two-player mode. Someone make us a real game, please?