Every week, we will present a new game to be nominated for the Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame. These nominations will occur every Monday and Friday, respectively. Our standards are just like the Baseball Hall of Fame: every game will be voted on by members of the staff, and any game that gets 75% of the vote – with a minimum of four votes – will be accepted – or thrown – into their respective Hall.
Game: Custer’s Revenge
Release Date: 10/13/1982
System Released On: Atari 2600
Who Nominated The Game: I did.
Why Was It Nominated:
Custer: “Gentlemen, you are the bravest squadron of men it has ever been this southerner’s privilage to serve with. And you will need that bravery today, as your orders are to remove my pants and underpants. I will then attempt to force sex on an Indian girl under heavy enemy fire. Are there any questions?”
Custer’s military advisor: “Yes, general. Several.”
– Sean “Seanbaby” Reilly, discussing the game in his Electronic Gaming Monthly feature on the 10 naughtiest games of all time.
In Custer’s Revenge, you play the role of George Custer, and your only goal in the game is to rape a Native American woman named Revenge, who is tied to a cactus.
What, you want more? The premise “you have to revenge-rape a woman who is tied to a cactus” isn’t enough? Very well.
Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is known far and wide as the commanding officer of the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry, one of the five divisions that was annihilated at the Battle of Little Big Horn, a battle known commonly as Custer’s Last Stand. Despite his mistakes during this battle and the common misconception that he was an incompetent officer, Col. Custer was actually a distinguished officer during the American Civil War, actually being brevetted (temporarily promoted to) the rank of Major General. His brother Thomas – who also died with him at Little Big Horn – was awarded two Medals of Honor, the military’s highest award and something that is most often given posthumously, and had been brevetted to Lt. Col. during the Civil War by the time he hit 20. The Custers were competent fighting men, and in reality, Col. Custer only made one big mistake as a commander, which was aggravated in the eyes of some historians by incompetence and cowardice by some of his fellow officers who had failed to support his ill-fated attack.
Naturally, the perfect thought after reading the convoluted history of both the man and the battle that felled him is “let’s make a pornographic game!”. At least it is if you’re Swedish developer Mystique, who also made the similarly atrocious Beat ‘Em And Eat ‘Em. In their defence, it was the early 80s, and there was so much cocaine in casual use back then that Yazoo was popular.
The back of the box says clearly what the game is about, using enough innuendo to make a Penthouse Letters writer blush.
You are General Custer. Your dander’s up, your pistol’s wavin’. You’ve set your sights on a ravishing maiden named Revenge; but she’s not about to take it lying down, by George! Help is on the way. If you’re to get to Revenge you’ll have to rise to the challenge, dodge a tribe of flying arrows and protect your flanks against some downright mean and prickly cactus. But if you can stand pat and last past the stings and arrows– you can stand last.
Remember! Revenge is sweet. Every time ol’ Custer scores he comes up smilin’ and right back for more. The higher the score, the more challenging the game action gets.
That’s it. You literally have a naked George Custer – dressed only in cowboy boots and a hat – walk across a desert while arrows are shot at you from above, and forcibly have sex with an indian woman using the action button. Every stroke counts as a point. And though they couldn’t draw anything remotely resembling a human, they made sure to have an erect phallus drawn on, which becomes limp when he’s shot. Beat that, Leisure Suit Larry!
Gameplay wise, Custer’s Revenge was just another crappy 2600 game in a long, long, LONG sea of crappy 2600 games. Mystique tried to play things up by having the game come in a lockable case, with instructions on how to handle the game if your kids ask about it (“tell them Custer and the maiden are just dancing”), as if it was a freshly purchased 8mm version of Debbie Does Dallas, and even acted shocked when American special interest groups started coming out against the game, but the fact of the matter is that it was a shitty 2600 game that was supposed to be pornographic, but featured two characters that looked like poorly made Lego blocks. This is notwithstanding the fact that the game has you raping a restrained woman.
Games like Custer’s Revenge were made possible by Atari’s lack of ability to protect the 2600 from over-saturation, which allowed any developer and their dogs to make any game they wanted. Therefore, it could be argued that games like Custer’s Revenge helped bring down the Atari 2600. Unsurprisingly, Mystique went out of business, selling off their properties to a company called PlayAround, who released their own shitty porn games and re-released Mystique’s games with different names; Custer’s Revenge was turned into Westward Ho, which I have to admit is somewhat witty. In the end, Custer’s Revenge is a footnote in history as a horrible game, a horrible statement, and for just being horrible all the way around.
All in Favour:
Christopher Bowen: There’s really not much more that I can say about this game. It’s a shit game made by a shit company at a time when the over-abundance of shit games was killing the system and with it, the industry.
It’s 3AM and I’m writing about 28 year old porn games. Let’s move on.
William Kaye IV: What a vile, abhorrent piece of garbage. There really aren’t words to describe this game. Or, rather, there ARE words to describe this game, and you only need eight of them: You control Custer as he rapes an indian. That tells you everything you need to know about this travesty. Even if the plot, such as it were, was removed, this would still be a godawful piece of crap. Dodge arrows, walk to the right side of the screen, achieve points. After 10 seconds, you have experienced everything this game has to offer. Yeesh.
Alex Lucard: Considering my biggest annoyance in gaming is rape in any sort of title, Custer’s Revenge gets an easy Yay from me. it’s an awful game where the focus is on dodging arrows so you can rape a Native American woman. I don’t think I need to say much more than that. it’s as poorly made as it is offensive.
The 7th Level: I actually never experienced this game on my 2600 until years later when I was a grown man restocking my retro game collection. I happened across it at a garage sale and picked it up, for a quarter.
Five minutes after I got home, I felt a pang of emptiness in the deepest, darkest recesses of my pants pocket where that quarter once resided.
Even for an Atari game, this looked like pure shit on toast. The gist was you had to get Custer, his stiff wang poking out like one of those “horny toad” candles you can find in gift shops all over Gatlinburg, TN, from the left side of the screen to the right, dodging arrows, where there awaited a Native American princess tied to a stake, waiting to be raped with the aforementioned Custer Ovum Duster™.
The gameplay was simplistic tp the point of being insulting, even for a 2600 game. It was released by a company called Mystique that specialized in “erotic games,” yet there was nothing erotic at all about seeing a sprite that looked like a horny bridge troll in a cowboy hat fucking the leg of Ma Fratelli as her ballistic missile-shaped tits threatened to nuke the site from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure!)
Just the fact that it was released in other markets with such clever names as Westward Ho and The White Man Came should give you an idea of what to expect if you’re ever unfortunate enough to have a copy find its way into your hands. The pure polar opposite of arousing, this “game” is a more effective boner killer than a flaming cinder block to the balls.
Aaron Sirois: Quite simply, this is the single most deplorable game ever created. It is nothing by an evil tool designed to push forth a racist agenda and it is a testament to how evil some people can be. It could control like a dream and still earn a top spot on this list.
This goes to show you why Atari crashed back in the day. Letting a game like this come out for one of your consoles is unforgivable.
Mark B.: As the sole dissenting opinion in what will inevitably be another game that’s inducted otherwise unanimously, I suppose I should take this opportunity to state that, no, I am not, in fact, endorsing raping my own people (well, part my own people, so I guess technically I raped myself?), nor am saying this isn’t a bad game. But
1.) Once again, not on board for games being primitive as hell, and I’m pretty much going to forever be a standing “no” on any Atari/Colecovision/Intellivision games ever nominated for the HOS for exactly that reason,
2.) Unlike E.T., which you could argue was a major release, this was a game that was a minor release at best that only the curious have ever played,
3.) It’s only reprehensible because of the subject matter, not because of how it plays, and
4.) I’ve played Rapelay.
You know, the game everyone was harping out because it was being sold on Amazon? The one where you rape women and force them to get an abortion?
Yeah. THAT game.
If someone would like to explain to me how I’m expected to be offended by this after seeing that mess, I’d love to see that. Otherwise, not interested.
Result: 5 In Favour, 1 Opposed, 83% Approval = SHAMED
Conclusion: Custer’s Revenge is an indication of everything that can go wrong with a video game. It’s crass, offensive, has no redeeming value, and is just an outright bad game. It’s earned its near-unanimous place in our Hall of Shame.
Next Week: We look at a game that has been almost universally shunned by the Internet Writing Community for over a decade, a bad game that also happened to typify a dying federation.