Total RecallTotal Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.  

In 1980, Bally released a pinball machine called Space Invaders. It was about as shameless a rip-off as you could hope for, as despite the opportunity to lift iconic imagery from Taito's arcade classic of the same name, it instead stole designs from Ridley Scott's 1979 movie Alien.

Given that was over thirty years ago, though, I really don't give a shit who copied what. All I want to understand is why the pinball machine had an accompanying comic book. And why that comic book had the pinball table looking like a giant alien dick.


You see, along with the unit itself, Bally had two writers and an artist concoct some fiction to go with the game, which was packaged as part of a brochure. Why they didn't just steal that as well I don't know, but if they had, we probably wouldn't be here discussing it.

Mary Beth Bush and Carol Porth penned a tale of an alien invasion of Earth, which comes about when tiny aliens crawl out of Space Invaders arcade machines and morph into a single, larger creature.

A creature that artist Paul Faris, in showing he could capture not only HR Giger's style but also his spirit, imagined as an alien with an enormous pinball machine for a cock.


Freaked out by what he's seen ("IT KEPT GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER!"), a young boy viewing the transformation through an arcade window races to find the owner. When opening the store, they find, sitting mysteriously in the middle of a room...the Space Invaders pinball machine. Cue crowds and a marketing rant.

If you'd like to own this, there's actually a pretty good copy going for sale on eBay right now.


If you were just about to go to sleep, I am sorry.

Space Invaders [The Arcade Flyer Archive]