Saturday, September 10, 2016

More Gamma World Saturday Morning Memories - 'Return of The Apes' An Old School Jump Off Point

When I was in middle school I was involved in a Gamma World first edition game involving the Return to the  Planet of the Apes. So I decided to revisit those memories & share that trip down the mutated old school lane.

So last night I shut down my computer, stayed the heck away from social media, and threw in a DVD because of the splitting head ache due to leaf mold with my algereies getting the better of me. I specifically started watching Return To The Planet of the Apes cartoon."RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES was produced by DePatie-Freleng Productions in association with 20th Century-Fox Television for NBC-TV. This animated version aired on Saturday Mornings from September 6,1975 until November 29,1975. A total of 13 episodes were produced. NBC aired again on Saturday Mornings in repeats from November 30,1975 until September 4,1976. The cartoon was on NBC's Saturday Morning schedule airing at 11:00e/10:00c. The series was the replacement for the animated "Star Trek" which ran on NBC from 1973-1975."  The Return To The Planet of The Apes cartoon & the Planet of the Apes  television show were the perfect mediums to pull from for old school campaigns.

A while back I picked up this series for five dollars & the Planet of The Apes Television series. As a kid I had a friend who was into these films & the television series.

He was much older and wiser being twelve and all. He explained that this was another alternative timeline from the films. He had also read the novel & this animated series more closely resembles Pierre Boulle's original novel than the Fox movie series. As fodder for Gamma World & Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition  there were other reasons to pull from this Saturday morning cartoon and the television show.  These same reasons apply to Mutant Future & Apes Victorious:

  1. Because of the limited budget these shows took full advantage of kids appetites for monsters and mutant freaks. So we get giant spiders, ruins, and lots of Forbidden Zone action. 
  2. Because of the alternative timeline elements familiar characters have weird tie ins with their movie counter parts. 
  3. The apes tech levels are higher & there are far more opportunities for inspiration for points crawling and factional play.
    The biggest difference in pulling from these sources is the amount mix between wasteland & ape civilization. At the ape's highest levels of technology they seem to have a post WWII level of technology and yet the closer to the wastelands or rural areas the development is far more traditionally Planet of The Apes. 
  4. Don't try to explain the mysteries of the time warps & other dimension shifts. The astronauts were messing around with FTL drives and physics. I think there was a huge degree of alternative timelines travel and travel going on. Now there was an original series  Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover   comic book that states The planet of the apes is an alternative Earth.

    The television show by CBS goes into this further because;  "the series begins with the crash of an Earth spaceship that encountered a time warp while approaching Alpha Centauri on August 19, 1980. The spaceship is manned by three astronauts, one of whom has died in the crash. The other two astronauts, Colonel Alan Virdon and Major Peter J. Burke, are unconscious but are rescued by a human who carries them to an old bomb shelter. After the human opens a book containing historical text and pictures of Earth circa 2500, the two astronauts are convinced that they are indeed on a future Earth.
    The crash is also witnessed by a young chimpanzee who tells his father, a village official who alerts the authorities. Ape counselor Zaius (an analog of the character from the original movie), notes that another such incident occurred ten years earlier. He orders the head gorilla, Security Chief Urko, to find the humans and bring them back alive. Zaius wants to find out as much as he can about the humans before they are eventually killed. Zaius doesn't trust Urko to follow his orders and bring back any surviving humans, so he sends along his newly hired chimpanzee assistant, Galen.
    Both Virdon and Burke go back to their ship to check the ship's chronometer. They are more than 1000 years in the future from when they left Earth. Virdon insists on retrieving the ship's flight log in the hopes that they will be able to analyze it and be able to return to their own time period, but while they are at the ship, they are captured, and the old man is subsequently killed by a group of apes"

    The Planet of The Apes show is the perfect blue print for a hex crawl  style of a campaign of wilderness wasteland wandering from encounter to encounter. "The three fugitives wander around the territory that used to be the western United States having various encounters with apes, humans, and old human civilization ruins."

    The only thing missing is some mutants, a wizard or two, and some other wasteland hazards. Our heroes are ready to go down into the wastelands of adventure! So I'm really looking forward to when Goblinoid Games launches Apes Victorious!

    The planet of the apes television show is trademarked and copy righted to CBS. This blog post is not an attempt to violate the trademarks or copy rights of that show.
    All other Planet of the Apes materials belong to Fox studios. This blog post is for entertainment & educational purposes only. The opinions and ideas expressed by the writers are his own & are not an attempt to violate the trademarks or copy rights of the table top systems described nor the Planet of the Apes films or television.

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