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This page is about arcade games.
Rather than pitting players against aliens and/or spaceships, Satan’s Hollow took a different approach with a supernatural theme, as players had to face various demonic entities, such as ones resembling devils and Satan himself.
Players had to fend off these creatures while building a bridge to do battle with Satan, along with using a limited shield to protect their gun base.
The game was created and released by Bally/Midway in 1981.
Games would start with several Gargoyles flying around at the top area of the screen. After several seconds they would start swooping down towards the player’s gun base while dropping bombs. Making contact with any dropped bomb, egg/following explosion, fire, any enemy, or having an enemy fly offscreen with a reserve base would cause the player to lose a base and the game would end if there were no more bases in reserve. However, players had a shield they could employ for a few seconds maximum for protection, which would destroy any enemy entity that came into contact with the shield. The player could still move their base while the shield was engaged, although the shield usage was limited, as the shield could only be used for a few seconds. The shield was fully charged at a 15 rating (as noted at the bottom left of screen), then was unusable once the counter reached zero, which would take several seconds before recharging back to full strength if it was not used.
Along with Gargoyles, players would also face various other entities, such as Bridge Bombers, which would drop rocks and destroy bridge sections that had already been built. With a new bridge piece, though, these sections would be replaced. Egg Throwers would also drop eggs that, once they made impact, would have a deadly range of fire that extended over an inch horizontally, burning for several seconds before fizzling out. Gargoyles and Egg Throwers could also fly down and steal a player’s reserve base and attempt to fly off with it; if they made it offscreen with the base, it would be lost. Players could also face several mini-bosses after various rounds (which were made up of just a head and an arm holding a pitchfork), such as Old Nick, Beelzebub, and Lucifer, which would fly around and breathe a stream of deadly fire at the player.
Once the player shot an entity, a bridge piece would appear at the left of the screen. Once the player moved their base over the piece, it would automatically attach itself to the base, which, once the piece was positioned at the furthest right of the screen, would become affixed to the ground. Only one new bridge piece would appear onscreen at a time. After a certain number of bridge pieces were put in place, the player would cross over to another screen and face Satan, who moved very quickly and fired at the player’s base. If the player were to defeat Satan, they would be returned to the first screen, but at a higher difficulty level, and each time Satan was defeated, a gun barrel would also be added to increase the player’s firing rate. A player could have up to three of these on their base.
The difficulty levels would increase with more and more enemies flying around onscreen, they would move faster, they could massively dive-bomb the player in large groups, the player would have less space to move onscreen until they started adding bridge pieces, and nightfall would also arrive, darkening the screen and making it difficult to see. However, bonus flags (noted at the side of the screen) would also start being added after each successful battle, which the player would earn 1000 points per flag after defeating Satan for the first time.
- The arcade version came in upright models, which had a Tron-like joystick, whereas the cocktail version had a regular joystick. It also had an offer for a Satan's Hollow t-shirt during attract mode.
- A few bars of a rendition of "The Ride of the Valkyries" piece can be heard throughout the game.
- The game was shown in the 1983 movie Joysticks. Jonathan Andrew McDorfus (played by Jim Greenleaf) and King Vidiot (Jon Gries) competed against each other in the arcade over a game of Satan's Hollow. McDorfus won the tournament.
- The original version of the game was ported to the Atari 8-bit line of computers and the Commodore 64, then years later it was ported to the more modern platforms of the GameCube, PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox via appearing on the Midway Arcade Treasures compilation package with several dozen other games.