Satan's Hollow was an old arcade game released by Midway way back in 1982.

The story

Choose titles carefully my friends. Satan's Hollow is a classic example of a bad title. Video games were already getting a bad rap in some circles, and Satan's Hollow in its big red demon-adorned cabinet didn't make matters any better. It seems that this game went through a few title changes early on, some documentation, parts, and wiring harnesses will often be labeled as "Satan's Power" or "Satan's Master".

There was a Commodore 64 version, but I am not aware of versions for any other console systems.

The game

The basic storyline is that you are piloting a spaceship/construction vessel, and that you are going to do battle with Satan himself (or "Satan of the Hollow" as the promotional material calls him). To do this you have to build a bridge over the Lake of Fire and cross over into Satan's realm.

The first time I played this game I thought it was just a bland left-right shooter with some odd graphics and decent sound (Flight of the Valkyries). That was until I figured out what was really going on. Each time you blast an enemy a section of bridge appears below you, grab it, and bring it over to the lake of fire, which will add it to the bridge that you are trying to build. Get enough of them together and you can cross over to battle Satan.

Satan (and his other minions) are real pansies. He goes down in one hit. He almost always comes out on the left side of the screen. I usually leave my shooter where it ends up after the screen change, and then count "One Mississippi" after the music stops, and I fire on the last syllable, this will almost always hit Satan right as he comes out (unless he comes from the right, which is rare). If you miss him on that first shot then he is gonna be bouncing all over the place, and it will be much harder to hit him.

After defeating Satan you get 1,000 points for each wave you have completed (kept track of by flags on the castle), and you get an extra gun added to your cannon (up to 3). Then you go back to the beginning with a slightly bigger lake of fire to deal with.

My basic strategy in this game is to try and build the bridge on the first wave (and each wave that is directly after Satan), and then not cross it until one of the more difficult waves. This allows me to build up those flags on the castle without getting stuck playing the really hard levels. You especially don't want to get stuck playing the more difficult "dark" levels where the enemies just show up as tiny pinpricks in the dark.

The Machine

This game had a dedicated cabinet that was just plain evil. It is red with realistic demons on both the sideart and the marquee, and I am not talking cute little FreeBSD "Daemons", I am talking "devour your immortal soul evil winged demons (of fire and fury)". Flames and a blacklight on the control panel area add to the cool factor. In fact, this machine is up there with Tron in the ranking for coolest looking game around.

The game was controlled by means of a two way trigger stick that was red and sort of translucent. This is the same basic stick that was used for Tron, it is just colored differently. No one makes this exact stick anymore, but any trigger stick would make a fine replacement.

The cocktail version came in the standard Midway cocktail table (the same one as Galaga and Pac-Man). It used standard joysticks with separate fire buttons, which had to be used with your right hand rather than your left, because of where they put the button.

Where to play

You are going to have to resort to MAME to play this title, unless one of your buddies happens to have a Satan's Hollow machine!

This is one of my absolute favorite games, and I would love to add it to my arcade game collection. The only problem is that it has the name Satan in the title, and it is plain evil looking. That probably would not be an issue for most people, but I just know that if I bought one, that someone at my church would hear about it, and think the wrong thing, and start telling everyone that I was a Satanist or something. If you don't have that issue to worry about, then I say go for it, as this is one fun game, and will probably be a lot cheaper than Galaga or Galaxian.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.