The The Grid wiki last edited by mccarron on 04/15/14 04:28PM View full history

Overview

Released in arcades in 2000, The Grid is a unique third person shooter that encouraged up to six cabinets being linked together for a wild multiplayer experience.

Ed Boon along with other Mortal Kombat developers were moved to make this game drawing on the successful brutality of that franchise, and taking inspiration from arena shooters like Quake as well as the frantic pace and crazy powerups of Midway's own Smash TV.

A very unique feature to the game is the use of the number pad on the arcade cabinet. Using this, players are encouraged to create a pin number, player name, and call name. The pin number is attached to the players progress in the game, so that they can leave an arcade, and using their pin resume their game right where it left off. The player name is the name that will represent the player on scoreboards and other times when written in the game. The call name is a name that is actually spoken by the commentator in-game, for example, "JOSH is in first place!"

The use of codes (or as the game awesomely calls them, "Kodes") can radically alter the game. Some are purely aesthetic like big feet, giant mode, and even developer head mode where the avatar's head is replaced with one of 15 developer's heads. Other codes drastically effect the matches, altering weapon availability, and the potential amounts of money and points earned. There are also "no effect" codes that don't really alter the game at all, such as the "booya" which makes the announcer come on screen and say, "Booya!"

Gameplay

The Grid is a basic deathmatch where you try to kill your opponents while gaining points and money. You can only hold one gun at a time, but various weapons constantly spawn throughout the arenas so it's easy to quickly change it up.

The different weapons all have varying range, velocity, and damage. The different characters also have varying core attributes. This wide range of options allows for many different play styles, and although the battles are generally fast paced encouraging constant running and jumping, many strategies can succeed.

Although the game is clearly designed for multiplayer, there is also a single player mode where the player races against the clock to collect enough points to proceed.

Aside from the 360 degree aim via the trackball, The Grid uses Doom style assisted vertical aiming, but this can be deactivated with a code, and the player can actually earn more points in combat for doing so.

Controls

One of the more unique aspects of the game is the arcade cabinet's control scheme. It consists of:

  • 8-direction flight-sim style joystick on the left to control movement, with a fire button on the front and a jump button on the thumb rest.
  • Trackball on the right to control aim.
  • Button on the lower right to activate your super move.
  • Payphone style alphanumeric numberpad

Story

Set in the general " future" The Grid is a televised game show fight to the death where contestants battle via avatars in holographic arenas for money and prizes. The Grid's fictional producers wanted celebrities to be the player's avatars to boost ratings and be more interesting than the generic avatars of other virtual fighting shows. To do this, they digitally scanned the celebs that they chose, as well as programming in their actual attributes including their special abilities. Well, that is, every celeb except for Karasu "due to the fact that he is an outlawed ninja".

Characters

The Grid has 8 starting characters. Each starting character has a unique super move and starting weapon:

WesPull weapons from opponents to himSingle-Barrel Shotgun
ChillerFlies using his jetpackMako (a shark-shaped energy gun)
AprilDigs into the ground and reappears across the arenaZeus Gun (fires bolts of electricity)
CyrusLeaps into the air and lands with force, hurting close opponents and making them fall overBlaster (shoulder mounted energy gun)
IkeBody slam that hurts nearby opponents and causes them to loose their weaponsTri-Shot (three barreled energy gun)
FlintSpeed run stunning anyone he touchesUzi
TrixiTurns invisible for a short timeHarpoon (gun that fires harpoons)
KarasuFlying kickPlasma Gun

There are also many unlockable original characters throughout the game. They each have different availability criteria, usually a certain amount of points, money, or both. Some of these characters are:

The Host, Chuck SmileyCreates clones of himself to distract opponentsHost Wave Gun
CameramanTeleports opponents around him far awayTri-Gun
TromSets opponents near him on fire, killing them instantlyTri-Gun
The GridmanActivates an energy shieldBrick Gun
DarlaEmits a shockwave, pushing opponents away from her (farthest)Grid Pom-Pom Gun
KristyEmits a shockwave, pushing opponents away from her (strongest)Grid Pom-Pom Gun
CleoEmits a shockwave, pushing opponents away from her (average)Grid Pom-Pom Gun
Lawyer, OscarSteals money from players close to himGrid Brick Gun
Red Dog 6Rolls forward knocking anyone in front of him down. Think Kano in Mortal Kombat.Red Dog Uzi

There are also unlockable cameo characters from other games, like these from the Mortal Kombat series:

Sub-ZeroThrows an ice ball freezing an opponentIce Ball Gun
ScorpionThrows a fire ball setting an opponent on fireFire Ball Gun
Noob SaibotSucks close opponents to him, killing themNoob Shotgun

Weapons

In addition to the individual weapons characters have at the start of a match, there are many different weapons that spawn and can be picked up around each arena. They are generally more powerful than the starting weapons. These include:

  • Bazooka
  • Triple-Barrel Shotgun
  • Cannon
  • Grenade Launcher
  • W.Y.G. (a double plasma cannon worn on the player like a backpack)
  • Gat Gun (gatling gun)
  • Flamethrower
  • Bull Horn
  • Flash Cannon
  • Guided Missile Launcher
  • Ricochet Gun (shoots horizontal saw blades that bounce off walls)
  • Polygun (shoots an energy triangle, or multiples if charged)

There are also 2 special weapons. They are not spawned, but earned by the player. Also, unlike every other weapon they lack infinite ammo, but make up for it in devistation.

  • Mega Shotgun - One shot kills, but only allows 4 kills
  • Da Bomb - Instant kills all opponents

Arenas

There are 16 arenas to choose from. They range from being generally open and flat to cramped with many obstacles. Some also have traps that are controlled by a player. Different arenas cater to different weapons and play styles, although they all encourage constant movement as opposed to camping.

There are 3 variations of each arena based on how many players are in the game. 1-2 is small, 3-4 is medium, and 5-6 is large. The arenas are:

  • Buzzkill
  • China Chamber
  • Toxic City
  • Gladiator
  • Pool Table
  • Showfloor
  • Track Attack
  • Trench
  • Ground Zero
  • Electro
  • Inferno
  • Basement BRKC
  • Stayin' Alive
  • Blastoff
  • Mutha's Vineyard
  • X-Fan Kastle

There is also an unlockable "Gridworld" arena. This is only available if the code for it is entered by all players.

Trivia

  • Ed Boon mentioned on the Giant Bombcast that The Grid was the most fun he has had making a game.
  • Built on Midway's Zeus 2 hardware, The Grid had such a unique infrastructure that porting it to a console was unfortunately unfeasible. Some cabinets were sent to Microsoft to see if it could be ported to the Xbox, but Microsoft deemed it too complicated.
  • Instead of having three sided polygons like most games The Grid has 4 sided polygons.

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