Aug 29

PSN Exclusive Elevator Action Deluxe Ascends Tomorrow

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 // Sr. Social Media Manager

Back in the 80s, it wasn’t uncommon for restaurants to have a lone arcade cabinet sitting by the entrance. I’ve got fond, but hazy memories of a suburban Philadelphia diner where I discovered an innovative title called Elevator Action. I also recall a bacon cheeseburger…

In the 80s, most games confined you to a simple side-scrolling plane — it was akin to being on rails. Elavator Action enabled you to traverse a building vertically. It was a revelation. It was true freedom. It was, well, a different time.

So when I learned that Elevator Action Deluxe was on its way exclusively to the PlayStation Network for $9.99, my nostalgia was inflamed. With the game available tomorrow, Square Enix offered me the chance to ask a few questions of Producer Yosuke Tsuda.


PlayStation.Blog: Would you categorize Elevator Action for PSN as a straight remake or more of a reinterpretation?

Yosuke Tsuda, Producer, Elevator Action Deluxe: We began the development process based on three concepts:

  • Have visuals that allow people to instantly recognize this as an Elevator Action game
  • Retain and strengthen the original features
  • Achieve a level design that invites different play styles

So when you ask me whether it’s a straight remake or more of a reinterpretation, I would have to say it’s a straight remake. However, by respecting the original Elevator Action and adding features from current game trends, the content became fresh, even to me and the rest of the development team.

PSB: What classic elements did you consider to be essential to keep in the new version?

Tsuda: The first concept was to have visuals that allow people to instantly recognize this as an Elevator Action game. Many were against this, but the early stages are similar to the original game, with simple backgrounds.

The second concept was to retain and strengthen the original features. Spies, black clothing, elevators, lamps, blackouts, red doors, escalators, and so on. We enhanced the system and visuals while keeping the identity of the original game.


PSB: How does this Elevator Action compare to Elevator Action Returns, which appeared on Taito Legends 2 for PS2?

Tsuda: Elevator Action Returns is a title from when I was working at Taito and leading the game direction for the first time. In Deluxe and Returns, the remake approach is completely different. In Returns, you progress through different areas using elevators, but the controls and visuals don’t really follow the fundamentals of the original game. By contrast, in Deluxe, we’ve made the controls similar to the original and kept the basic features intact while decorating them and including new icons.

By using zombie movies as a comparison, Elevator Action is George A. Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead,” Elevator Action Returns is like Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead,” and Elevator Action Deluxe is like Tom Savini’s “Night of the Living Dead.” (Note that I’m not trying to draw direct comparisons to these movies, but just offer a simple analogy!) Again, the level design in the original game and Returns was tailored for arcades (you can achieve an additional life within three to five minutes!), whereas in Deluxe, the levels are designed for consoles. This is one important element that is vastly different.

PSB: What steps have you taken to modernize the game? What’s new?

Yosuke Tsuda: Shaders, animation, the freedom to choose different play styles, multiplayer, background music…we’ve made the gameplay simple but have made the environments as rich as possible. Especially the point about having the freedom to choose different play styles directly correlates to the concept I mentioned, “[achieving] a level design that invites different play styles.”

For example, in this game we are now able to go inside the blue door whereas in the previous game you weren’t able to. And if you really want to, you can use these new areas to hide as much as you want, until time runs out of course. The 43-year-old project manager who loves the original game was upset, saying that, with the exception of head-to-head match play, there is “no tension,” but I don’t believe that this decision was a mistake.

With this kind of system that allows a high level of freedom and choice, players are able to decide which path to take, either “bulldozing through” or “sneaking through.” We were able to create a game in which players can choose their own play style, making certain that stages were designed so that both play styles would be viable options for clearing the game.
One caveat is that you will need to be tactful and choose between play styles wisely in order to achieve the “gold medals.”


PSB: The original arcade game was single player only. Talk about the multiplayer – what does it feel like stylistically?

Yosuke Tsuda: In regards to the multiplayer…yes, in the beginning we started production with online multiplayer in mind.

However, considering the amount of moving parts in the levels, we would have had to make too many sacrifices to the responsiveness of the controls. Additionally, since players can see the entire level, because of the 2D perspective, we would not have been able to compensate for the input lag without players seeing the game re-sync. I contemplated on this matter deeply, but we ultimately decided to “provide a great experience through a single-player mode,” which is why this version only contains an offline multiplayer mode.

By focusing on the controls, the content of the offline multiplayer mode is quite speedy and thrilling. In story mode, the multiplayer mode will make stage clearing more enjoyable, but, because there is friendly fire, it is imperative to choose roles and talk to each other.

In battle mode, there is a “one door” battle where players must scramble for a single document, an “eight door” battle in which players scramble for documents that keep appearing, and a “Deathmatch” mode which is self-explanatory. These modes are all quite thrilling and built on an exquisite balance of skill and chance. At one time, the battle mode was quite popular with the QA team who would play during breaks.


PSB: Elevator Action is known to be two-dimensional, but I saw a screenshot that had a pseudo-3D look to it – how does that come into play?

Yosuke Tsuda: The 3D scene is only for effect. Actually, we created a third-person-shooter for testing purposes that would have brought unique gameplay experiences to life, but…unfortunately, due to the costs of such an undertaking, we had to give up on this. If this game becomes a hit, we might be able to bring you a playable 3D game!

//Add Your Own


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+ Jon_Mclane on August 29th, 2011 at 12:38 pm said:



+ theXsilentXchild on August 29th, 2011 at 12:40 pm said:



+ Chase167 on August 29th, 2011 at 12:42 pm said:

yes cant wait . i use to play Elevator Action in the arcades


+ Chase167 on August 29th, 2011 at 12:43 pm said:

1 question any custom sound tracks or custom level creator


+ Shadow-Man_4 on August 29th, 2011 at 12:43 pm said:

No “Coming to Plus” post for this week?


+ FMS4501 on August 29th, 2011 at 12:47 pm said:

I remember playing this game as a kid..it was kinda fun..but getting sick of remakes..i’m not that much of a graphic/HD whore.


+ theXsilentXchild on August 29th, 2011 at 12:48 pm said:

I remember the first time i got some elevator action. It was good.


+ zaca21 on August 29th, 2011 at 12:48 pm said:



+ JLP_M on August 29th, 2011 at 1:03 pm said:

Caca21, I don’t know why I added you. :p


+ zech678 on August 29th, 2011 at 1:11 pm said:

nice can wait for it


+ zech678 on August 29th, 2011 at 1:14 pm said:

8 lol


+ ROLO_ONFIRE on August 29th, 2011 at 1:15 pm said:

the main character looks awful, also will it include the original arcade version? It’d be great


+ rockinjs864 on August 29th, 2011 at 1:17 pm said:

@ 5 first week of every month is when the coming to plus is released this month was pretty dry


+ HeLLeVeN11 on August 29th, 2011 at 1:20 pm said:

Not sure, depends on the price. Hope it’s not more then 4.99$.


+ annihilation748 on August 29th, 2011 at 1:21 pm said:



+ Alexx-NY on August 29th, 2011 at 1:22 pm said:

I make it very simple, only off-line and no ONLINE multiplayer for such a title = NO BUY!!
Sorry… I am really disappointed.

It is 2011, get some network programmers. SquareEnix is not a small company, so no excuses.
Others can do it!


+ rockinjs864 on August 29th, 2011 at 1:42 pm said:

^^^^ agree with that it’s a deal breaker for me with all games downloadable and disc based


+ brianace on August 29th, 2011 at 1:49 pm said:

No online multiplayer, no sale.


+ so-knee on August 29th, 2011 at 1:50 pm said:

About time somebody figured out Elevator Action would make a great remake as a download!


+ KwietStorm on August 29th, 2011 at 1:51 pm said:

I feel old


+ sciteach on August 29th, 2011 at 1:57 pm said:

ok I dumped enough quarters into this thing back in the day. i think they owe me a free version of this.


+ PainOfSarrow on August 29th, 2011 at 2:18 pm said:

YAWNSSSsssSSssSSS, looks… Horribly boring.


+ plaztiksyke on August 29th, 2011 at 2:43 pm said:

I’m really excited for this, and the new Burgertime game that was teased. They both have pretty SD-quality graphics from the screenshots, though. With everything so low-poly, couldn’t they at least play in 1080p with AA?

I have very fond memories of the Elevator Action music, but even moreso for the Burgertime music from the arcade and TI99/4a version I grew up playing. I’m psyched to hear a modern take on the music, as well as the “original” chiptune versions* similar to what Bionic Commando Re-Armed provided.

* I do understand that these tinny sounds are often too harsh for home theater speakers and there is usually at least a little 32-bit stereo chorus or reverb effect applied to the different channels. Still, hearing the original tunes even mixed/”mastered” slightly differently from 25 years ago will be awesome!


+ Jedi_Jeff on August 29th, 2011 at 3:21 pm said:

Will the original arcade version be available separately? I’m not that interested in the remake.


+ octus on August 29th, 2011 at 3:45 pm said:

i wonder if he still jumps the same, cause if he doesnt i wont like it. DOUBLE LEGS JUMP FOREVA!


+ fathead170 on August 29th, 2011 at 4:07 pm said:

looks an sounds lame. would much rather have a sequal to supersonic acrobatic battle cars! look for it on the psn ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


+ Carl-G on August 29th, 2011 at 4:09 pm said:

I WANT ‘Taito Legends 3’ FOR THE PS3 PLEASE! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! :P :P :P

It could have all the games from ‘Taito Legends 1’ + ‘Taito Legends 2’ + a few more. . .PLEASE! ! ! :)

(i wouldn’t ask if i could still use my old PS2 ‘Taito Legends’ games in my PS3) :-(


+ ImProdigyChild on August 29th, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

They Need to Remaster Diablo 1 from Playstation 1 and release it on the store Hell yeah! i Would buy the crap out of it!


+ ArtChemistry on August 29th, 2011 at 4:33 pm said:

Hell 2 Tha YEAH!


+ inFAMOUS-787 on August 29th, 2011 at 4:42 pm said:

this looks ….. boring?


+ Boxster17 on August 29th, 2011 at 5:18 pm said:

Played this all the time on the NES and haven’t gotten the chance to play it again in about 10-15 years (sisters took the NES). Definitely look forward to this release tomorrow, no doubt about it that I’ll be buying this one.


+ ChaseHammerJ on August 29th, 2011 at 5:25 pm said:

err when i first got a PS3 in 2007 a typical PSN game ws $3-5 now its $10-25….and they arent getting any better gameply wise. Ill pass. as will pass on anything little mini-game (thats exactly what most are) that costs over $5.



+ CrimsonNemo on August 29th, 2011 at 6:02 pm said:

I remember my NES Elevator Action days, those were great times. Good to see a classic game like this coming back.


+ Dosudude on August 29th, 2011 at 7:00 pm said:

Looks pretty fun, might pick it up if the price drops.


+ thekobal on August 29th, 2011 at 7:01 pm said:

I love the original game. It was one of the first video-games I’ve played. Question !!! There will be a demo ??? PLEASE SAY YES !!!! PLEASE SAY YES !!! :D… I need to try it.


+ jgrizzle358 on August 29th, 2011 at 7:47 pm said:

@16 classic arcade games shouldn’t have online multiplayer, that ruins their “classic” feel.

also, online multiplayer brings online multiplayer trophies, and we all know how much those suck


+ Sesma on August 29th, 2011 at 7:57 pm said:

In a diferent topic…. Hey is there going to be any video to promote NIS release for September, Atelier Tototi ??? some of my friends have not even heard of this game yet…


+ cosmis_chaos on August 29th, 2011 at 8:11 pm said:

Yay. I love this game. Can’t wait to play.


+ onslaughtree on August 29th, 2011 at 8:34 pm said:

Yes !!! Looks like this weeks PSN update will be the best in months. With the original packed in at $9.99, im all in…Look out for my PSN review tomorrow gamers. And also, check out my game page on 1up.com. Videogame Rants & Raves


+ lyfestory on August 29th, 2011 at 9:23 pm said:

people and their must having multiplayer… if ya dont like it, go buy something else… you’re pathetic… this game was a classic back in the day… while remakes can be a good or bad thing, this doesnt look so bad… my wish is that with games like these, they include the original with the package… obviously, it doesn’t take up much space…

either way, this was one of my favorite titles in the day of actual arcades, so ill definitely pick it up at some point…

they didnt make update Galaga properly, but they did a fine job with PacMan Deluxe… hopefully this one is good…

and THANK YOU for not throwing in a multiplayer mode online…


+ VestiaryDark on August 29th, 2011 at 9:36 pm said:

is free not?


+ onslaughtree on August 29th, 2011 at 10:31 pm said:

Well said lyfestory, well said !


+ chrisredfield_97 on August 29th, 2011 at 10:53 pm said:

no this game is crap


+ loadstone007 on August 29th, 2011 at 11:59 pm said:

Is there local co-op support?


+ Doozer17268 on August 30th, 2011 at 4:42 am said:

I liked Elevator Action when I was a teenager but, I don’t think by any means, this game needs a “do over”!


+ JonJonXD on August 30th, 2011 at 8:01 am said:

I think this could be solid. As long as there is a demo I’ll check it out. With the MK collection hitting this week, I’m not in a huge rush to buy this game as well.


+ jonabbey on August 30th, 2011 at 8:41 am said:

I loved the original Elevator Action for its super tight controls. If you guys have kept the “feel” of the original, you’ll have both a sale and a grateful customer.

If doesn’t feel right, you’ll have a sale and a very sad panda for a customer.


+ DJPlace on August 30th, 2011 at 10:00 am said:

so agree with Alexx-NY i was hoping for online play… hell even an online co-op thing i mean square enix made almost all the updates of classics have mutil player… (look at some of the ds games…) this was a let down… so the only i’m going grab this is when it’s on sale… i got mortal kombat and the neo geo games to grab atm… this i’m going to pass on…


+ enjionPS on August 30th, 2011 at 10:37 am said:

No online!? Who’s bright freaking idea was that? That’s Scott Pilgrim/Dead Block levels of stupidity.

Still buying, Still hyped, but good lord.


+ gearhead32 on August 30th, 2011 at 12:17 pm said:

MK arcade collection,the Baconing and this for me today :P

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