Pipe Dreams – Cheetahmen III

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the very first instalment of my ‘Pipe Dreams’ series. The grand stage where all my gaming related desires, hope, and dreams are given the attention that I feel they deserve, as well as the opportunity for you to chime in with your own personal opinion on whether or not you agree with my animalistic lust for the product in question. As this is the beginning of Pipe Dreams I do wish to gush for a quick paragraph over why I concluded I had no choice but to write this series.

Gamers, in general, do have a slight reputation for being a rather demanding bunch. It’s not a bad thing, not by a long shot, because if we didn’t keep harping on about, pleading, and flat out threatening for Half Life: Episode 3 then it may not ever come to pass. We know what we want, however, tragically, some of these things just don’t always happen. We all want certain sequels which are extremely unlikely to ever get programmed, a certain piece of gaming merchandise to be made so we could throw our money at it, or just a basic desire for a certain type of game to be released into the market. I’m in an almost constant state of WANT over some many games, sequels, remakes, re-releases, merchandise, or just completely new IPs that I just can’t keep it in anymore. People will disagree with some, I’m sure, some may be totally on my side, and I’m certain that a vast majority of you will have your own dreams on what you’d like to exist someday.

So, without further ado, I would like to present you with my very first Pipe Dreams… CHEETAHMEN III!:

There may be a few blessed ones amongst you who already know what The Cheetahmen are, but for those less fortunate allow me to give you an extremely brief history lesson. Over two decades ago in 1991, on the Nintendo Entertainment System, a game was released called ‘Action 52‘ which came with a startling array of 52 games in one NES cartridge for the low, low price of $199. Unsurprisingly, due to the limits of technology and lazy programming almost every game was either terrible, unplayable, or just plain broken. One game, though, #52: Cheetahmen, a 2D side-scroller featuring three half man/half cheetah fighters defending a gamer known as ‘The Games Master’, was pushed as the ‘best’ of the selection as Action 52 came with a comic based around the Cheetahmen, with further plans outlined for action figures, more comics, and even a television series.

WE will fight for YOU!

This dream never came to pass, though. The developers even got as far as creating a Cheetahmen II game a year later, which was not completed due to bankruptcy, but it remained unknown until 1997 where 1,500 old Action 52 cartridges were discovered in an old warehouse with a plain ‘Cheetahmen II’ sticker slapped hastily on to the back.

I’ll be honest; they were not the most thrilling or most perfectly crafted games known to humankind. There was no health bar, there was a glitch which let you perpetually jump through the air for the whole level, there were two, in both games, level 3s, you couldn’t duck to avoid projectiles, and in Cheetahmen I there was a boss which was technically impossible because even if you killed it you were left there to wander side to side in limbo until you rebooted the game. But that’s not the point!

8-bit glory, right there.

The game briefly gained a cult following (and verged on ‘Meme’ territory) because of it’s shockingly addictive theme music. Which can be listened to here for the original, over here for my favourite epic orchestral remake of it, or just go search YouTube if you want to find a ton more. I don’t just want to see Cheetahmen III because of the unbelievably addictive theme music, though, I want it because they dared to dream big. They believed Cheetahmen would be placed alongside Battletoads and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is the kind of Pipe Dream that never would have happened back in the mid/late-nineties, even less so in the early 2000s. Now, though, through the glory of XBLA, PSN, and Steam I say it’s time for the Cheetahmen to make a valiant return to our screens! Other 2D side-scrollers have found ways of branding themselves and surviving in this day an age, especially as downloadables, so I want to see Cheetahmen III!

I want to see a downloadable, new, Cheetahmen with the same addictive-as-hell music and perpetual jumping physics. I’m serious, I believe this would actually be a funny and enjoyable game to get released. No, I don’t think this would be the grand success of TMNT or anything stupid, but with some good writing, comedy, and programming which is meant to be both broken yet possible I think this is a niche that could be filled quite well in today’s marketplace. It may never make it to the level of action figures or television shows on Cartoon Network, but I’d absolutely drop £4.99 on a Cheetahmen game which advertised itself in a clever way. Possibly played on it’s former failings, added some subtle yet hilarious quips and references to it’s ambitions, and totally owned up to the idea that you will need all your old school wits about you to find a way of making it through the broken game. Broken, yet possible; that’s where I think the key to successful Cheetahmen III release lies! I hope you’re paying attention, whoever now owns the rights to the franchise, your time is NOW.

That’s it for this episode of Pipe Dreams.  My name’s Duncan Aird, and I approve this dream.


Do you have a suggestion for future Pipe Dream posts? I want to hear it! I think it would be awesome, and make my job a lot easier, so please do leave it as a comment down below. However, if you would prefer to use that social networking addiction we all have constructively then you can also Tweet your thoughts to @ReadyUp with the hashtag #RUPipeDreams, or just put a post over on our Facebook Page. The options are endless! Except those three are pretty much all of the options… I look forward to each and every one of your opinions! Especially if your name is James.



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