Classic Arcade Game Hid “Gay Bar” Level For 34 Years
The popular arcade game Tapper from 1983 has always been a favorite among retro gamers and arcade machine collectors, but little did anyone know that the game featured a hidden ‘gay bar’ stage.
Recently software programmer and hobbyist Dayve Pfrank from Chu
la Vista California reverse engineered the game’s code to discover and access the hidden level.
“It’s quite complicated,” explained Dayve during a Skype call with the Gaming Free Press staff. “First you need to insert a coin and play a game as normal. When you get to the 1st bonus stage with the bandit he will shake the cans. As you focus on the unshaken can you need to press the joystick in the direction of its movement. So for example if it moves right, press right, if the can moves left press left. If you do this correctly and select the unshaken can you’ll earn your bonus points, then immediately start in the bar with the rainbow flag.”
The gay bar stage looks similar to the first stage but the window that once said “-Bar-” in it now has a rainbow flag. The Budweiser references on the back wall and on the taps are removed, however the logo still appears on the mugs. One other change is the bartender. His sprite changes so that he is wearing a black sleeveless vest and short jean shorts.
“I suspect the gay bar stage was incomplete,” Dayve explains. “The game was already considered risque because of the Budweiser references but perhaps this stage was just considered too over the top in 1983. People were a lot less accepting back then.”
The Gaming Free Press is still waiting for confirmation if the trick works on The Root Beer Tapper variant of the game.