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iam8bit DuckTales money bin

An L.A.-based art studio created a miniature Scrooge McDuck money bin so you can live out your plutocratic-waterfowl fantasies

By John Teti • June 6, 2013

The 1952 Scrooge McDuck story “Only A Poor Old Man,” by the comic-book Duck auteur Carl Barks, was the first time that Scrooge uttered his most famous line. “I love to dive around in it like a porpoise,” he said of the cash in his vast money bin, “and burrow through it like a gopher, and toss it up and let it hit me on the head!” It’s a nice fantasy, but the end of the story points out that this feat is impossible for mere mortals: Scrooge’s nemeses, the Beagle Boys, crack their skulls on the cash pile when they try to duplicate Scrooge’s trick.

Tomorrow, the L.A.-based commercial-art outfit iam8bit will give the public a concussion-free simulation of our collective money-bin-diving dream. In conjunction with the upcoming remake of Capcom’s DuckTales game, iam8bit have loaded up an ersatz money bin with oversized plush cash and other baubles for diving and/or burrowing purposes. Here’s what it’s going to look like:

iam8bit DuckTales money bin

This is all part of the art collective’s new gallery show, iam8bit Entertainment System, which opens on June 7 (tomorrow!) and runs through the end of the month at iam8bit’s Sunset Boulevard gallery. I always dig iam8bit’s stuff, so I think it will be worth a trip if you’re in the Los Angeles area. The gallery was nice enough to pass along this piece as an exclusive preview for Gameological readers. Inspired by the arcade space shooter Zaxxon, it’s entitled False Perspectives, and it was created by Roberto Cecchi, an Italian visual designer. (Click to see a larger image.)

False Perspectives by Roberto Cecchi

Roberto says this about the work:

Zaxxon was beautiful, and I loved it because, already as a child, I was a nerd, and I adored spacecrafts (and therefore also video games). Moreover, Zaxxon was three-dimensional (well, almost), and this made it very different from Galaga or R-Type, even if this feature made it, at the same time, very difficult. Zaxxon was, indeed, in isometric graphics (a false perspective) and it was really complicated to understand the spacecraft’s position in relation to space. But hey…it was a three-dimensional spaceship, anyway!

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  • unicyclistperiscopes

    Meh, I already own a full-size one.

    • Dikachu

      Mitt Romney, is that you?

      • ikoch2heike

        Looks like AL Gore; since he sold his broadcast holdings.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      A full size drawing?

    • fieldafar
      • unicyclistperiscopes

        No – I have £108,000,000,000, which is about $166,924,800,000 at current rates.

  • Andrew

    So is this built or not? The article and the headline seem to contradict.

    • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

      My understanding is that they’ve built it; you just don’t get to see it and play in it until tomorrow.

  • aklab

    I like to think that if I had an art collective at my beckoning a Scrooge McDuck money vault is what I’d build first as well. 

  • Marozeph

    Wasn’t Zaxxon one of those games where pressing left/right would actually lead to the player moving up-left/down-right? Because i absolutely hate games that do that (see also: Q-Bert, Snake Rattle’n'Roll).

    • Dikachu

      I had Zaxxon for my ColecoVision and it was fucking unplayable… I think the farthest I ever got was the third level.  Trying to figure out how high you were actually flying in comparison to the walls was nigh impossible for a 9 year old.

      • cookingwithcranston

        I dunno about Zaxxon but SMURF for the ColecoVision frustrated me to no end. If you didn’t jump the dirt mound at exactly the spot, you died. How the HELL does one die by dirt mound?!

    • CrabNaga

      I think I’d rather have that than games like Ultima where the characters constantly look like they’re leaning up and to the left.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        Perhaps it’s because I teethed on the Zelda and JRPG-style variations of top-down games, but I always found the Ultima-style perspective to be really disorienting, almost vertigo-inducing. It looks like everyone is doing the “Smooth Criminal” leaning dance from Moonwalker.

    • ItsTheShadsy

      YES, twelve thousand times. It was mildly tolerable in an era when controllers didn’t have proper diagonals, but playing those games nowadays makes it infuriating. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to play Q-Bert again. :(

      Luckily some games, like versions of Marble Madness, had the foresight to realize this was a stupid decision and added a “90°” control mode.

    • sirslud

      Well, going down on the Z axis did imply a shift to the right in screen space. But I didn’t really have trouble with this when playing Zaxxon. Short of youtubing it, there were enough visual hints as to your position on the XY plane for me (a shadow projected on the ground?)

      • sirslud

        Man I even forgot, besides the shadow on the ground, there was a height meter! Side/top scrollers do the functional thing for shmups, but Zaxxon was rather groundbreaking for the initial dose that hinted at actual 3D shooters later. Fond memories of my Apple 2e+.

  • WelcomeShaqKotter

    My friend had a Zaxxon tabletop game. Anybody remember those? They were kind of shaped like arcade games. Between the two of us, we had Frogger, Pac Man, Q*Bert and the Mattel Baseball. Good times and Cool Story, Bro.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I remember seeing that at the store, thinking it was cool, and never seeing it again or playing it.

    • http://thoughtcatalog.com/author/oliver-miller/ Oliver Miller

      I had the Zaxxon tabletop game; I got it for Christmas when I was five; it was one of the most rad presents I ever received.  I was sort of obsessed with Zaxxon as a kid, because the graphics were (for the time) so amazing.  Of course I was utterly awful at the impossible goddamn game itself.  Cool story, brah.

  • a_b_gezint

    I had Zaxxon on Atari 400 and was AWESOME. This version had a height indicator on the left to help you navigate the walls. Medium walls – second height level, high walls, 3rd height level, etc. Hooray for 8-bit isometric games – especially Blue Max!

  • Cliffy73

    Scrooge McDuck is sexy.

  • duwease

    Looking forward to the Duck Tales re-release.. the gameplay is fun, but what I *really* wanna experience is a modern version of the Moon theme music.  That song is jammin’, son.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I really like the conceit behind the Zaxxon illustration; playing off the eye-bending isometric perspective of the game into an M.C. Escher optical illusion.  And it’s a lovely illustration.
       But the elements feel a bit disjointed and not cohesive enough to really reinforce the visual trickery.  But that said, I’m uncertain what would help draw it all together.  Perhaps including an environment?  The level design of the game is certainly conducive to an illustration akin to Relativity.

    • sirslud

      It is neat but yeah, I agree with you. The various elements don’t interact, so it doesn’t allow you move your eye around in a way that belies the perspective. Without the connective tissue of a grid (or whatever environment) it doesn’t really work for me.