I remember when I was given Nintendo Power, issue # 5. Towards the back of it there was a small one-page article that I never bothered to read when I was younger. A few years ago I was looking back through my old NES stuff and I discovered Lockarm. It was pretty darn cool.
It seems that in 1989, Nintendo Power held a contest for artists, which was to design their own “Nintendo” games. My brother and I should have entered that contest. I remember spending day upon a day “making” Mega Man 5, and my brother did the same with a Mario 5. I think we got rid of both of them by now, truly a great shame.
The winner of this contest was Jeffrey Scott Campbell, of Aurora Colorado. His game, Lockarm, had a storyline such as what follows.
“Peace reigns in the future world of Candillia–a peace maintained by the awesome power of the Lockarm sword. In the heirloom of the royal house, the sword is hidden from all but the family. That is until Erik and Derick, twin sons of King Ronan IV and his wife, grow up and the secret of the Lockarm sword is revealed to Zorndolf, a mysterious wizard. Suddenly, the sky darkens, aliens appear from a fifth-dimensional universe, and Derick is magically hurled across the breadth of Candillia. There, thieves steal the power rings of the Lockarm sword, dramatically reducing its power. It is up to Derick to cross the trackless wastes, the android inhabited cities, the ghoulish lands of between, and to restore the Lockarm sword to its pedestal and save the world!”
All I can say is wow! The art is great, 12 stages of adventure, and an involving storyline all could have made Lockarm a winner. Unfortunately, Nintendo chose not to use Jeff’s ideas for an actual game. If only they did, who knows where this game may have been?
We (the viewers) only got to see the plans for three different stages, the Desert, the City, and the Cemetery. They each had superb enemy drawings, stats, and a little bit in general about the stage’s terrain. In the one picture (not scanned), it shows Jeffry next to a booklet marked Lockarm, which I am sure contains the drawings for the other 9 stages. Oh, how I wish I could see them!
And last but not least we have the cool character dude and the title/logo which reads Lockarm: The ultimate videogame. I wonder who that yellow guy is supposed to be. He sure looks evil! With 6 arms, what else would you expect? Then there’s that bird, is he an eagle or a raven? And that sword looks really cool too. I like that handle.
As it turns out, Jeffrey got into the comic business, and now he draws the Danger Girl comics under the name J. Scott Campbell. Pretty cool, isn’t it?