The game design model that shouldn’t have worked in the arcade… BUT DID!

In an industry designed to capture a quarter every ninety seconds, the role-playing genre seemed nearly impossible to bring into the arcades. However, during the summer of 1989, Taito Corp. cracked the dynamic wide open with the introduction of Cadash. In one of the few action role-playing games to ever grace the arcade, Cadash played more like a sprawling side-scrolling, action- adventure title for a home console than the typical coin-op quarter-muncher. Mashing the platform genre with all the ingredients of a traditional RPG system, Cadash leveled up the arcade scene with statistics, ranks, magic, and an in-depth monetary system. Furthermore, the game awarded players with experience points for each enemy defeated, while advancing their character stats to gain more skills, health, armor, weapons or other benefits. Its ultimate goal was to lure you into dropping more quarters to build a better hero.


In its most basic form, the plot is nothing new: a demonic wizard kidnaps the princess of the kingdom, and a team of heroes is dispatched to rescue her. The account becomes much deeper as the story unfolds during the game. It turns out that over a millennia ago, demons were cast underground, along with the wizard Baarogue, who was born of a human woman. Countless years later, the necromancer and his followers escape their exile, revolt, and bring the uprising from their subterranean prison to the kingdom of Dizir. They lay waste to most of the human world as Baarogue attempts to bind himself to the human king’s daughter, using her bloodline to become all-powerful.

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Michael Thomasson Michael Thomasson (63 Posts)

Michael Thomasson is one of the most widely respected videogame historians in the field today. He currently teaches college level videogame history, design, and graphics courses. For television, Michael conducted research for MTV's videogame related program Video MODS. In print, he authored Downright Bizarre Games, and has contributed to nearly a dozen gaming texts. Michael’s historical columns have been distributed in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He has written business plans for several vendors and managed a dozen game-related retail stores spanning three decades. Michael consults for multiple video game and computer museums and has worked on nearly a hundred game titles on Atari, Coleco, Sega and other console platforms. In 2014, The Guinness Book of World Records declared that Thomasson had “The Largest Videogame Collection” in the world. His businesses sponsor gaming tradeshows and expos across the US and Canada.  Visit