Forever enshrined in history is the story of Action 52 games and The Cheetahmen. Action 52 games made a NES cart that packed in a total of 52 games and one such addition to the mix, Cheetahmen has caught on to achieve NES Retro infamy. In a series of events not entirely clear to me a few thousand copies of a prototype print of Cheetahman 2 were found in an old Action 52 storage area. These were later put on EBay and currently fetch for a high price.

A bit about the original Action 52 cart as reviewed by the amazing Angry Video Game Nerd:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwmoJkHS-2E

Intro Greg Pabich, the Wizard behind the recent Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels Kickstarter. This Kickstarter looks to bring Cheetahmen 2 a modern pressing and revive a lost cult classic. I was able to talk to Greg and ask him about the recent Kickstarter and the history of the Cheetahmen.

jdodson: Hi Greg, thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Cheetahmen. When I was at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo your Cheetahmen Booth caught my eye and I wanted to talk to ask you about the Cheetahmen and its history.

The legacy of Cheetahmen starts with Action 52, a company that made a game cart that included 52 games, Cheetahmen being the 52nd game. I wonder if you could explain for us how you were involved with Action 52 in the beginning.

Greg Pabich: A long story. Let's just say I got lucky. Actually, because of the dark side of active enterprises and the missing millions, it's best not to discuss this in detail.

But, it had a basis in a legitimate interest i had in being the U.S. distributor for an action packed multicart called Action 52 back in late 1990.

jdodson: When you realized you had a few thousand Cheetahmen 2 carts in your possession how long did it take you realize what you had?

Greg Pabich: Not accurate. I had one copy of a prequil game and made several thousand copies to sell (Cheetahmen: The Creation) thankfully, I have only a few hundred left after a very successful launch in 2011.

jdodson: You are accepting a video game legacy award and are on stage with Kanye West. He interrupts you and says: “Yo Greg, i’m really happy for you imma let you finish but Shigeru Miyamoto had one of the greatest games of all time!” What does Greg Pabich do?

Greg Pabich: I say "that shig, he one smart dude" then I take my award and Gangnam Style dance off the stage.

jdodson: Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels Kickstarter was a success, congratulations on that. Do you plan on selling Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels outside the Kickstarter to people that couldn’t participate at some point after the game ships in December?

Greg Pabich: Yes, I will have a few hundred games to sell because to get the price down to the lowest possible level for the kickstarter backers, I had to commit to the purchase of approximately 2,000 games, boxes labels, comics, etc.
I also had to make the minimum qtys in two other colors for the super duper collector sets (those that come two in the special box)

These games will be sold at a significantly higher price than the kickstarter units.

jdodson: Action 52 was planning on the Cheetahmen being a big hit akin to the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles and according to legend had an action figure line planned. Did they have any prototypes or any initial first draft concepts created?

Greg Pabich: Yes, I am working with a noted game designer/company to produce a limited edition action figure set to coincide with future releases (2013).

jdodson: As Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels is nearing release, the legend of the Cheetahmen lives on. I wonder what made you come back to the Cheetah-verse again?

Greg Pabich: It's the music. I have never not had that tune playin' in my head since I first heard it……

jdodson: I wonder, in your opinion when you felt The Simpson’s jumped the shark? Should they continue the show or let its legacy rest with some of the greatest TV of all time?

Greg Pabich: How could I go on without a new episode each week?

jdodson: Many people seemed to have negative feelings to Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels Kickstarter. In fact, Angry Video Game Nerd and his partner pulled support after they were initially involved with the Cheetahmen 2 Kickstarter video. As you navigate the seas of this negative attention what are your thoughts about it and does it affect how you continue on?

Greg Pabich: Correction!!!
The AVGN did not pull support for this project. After some trolls started to make a fuss on his website, Mike, disabled the comments; a move that just inflamed the trolls even more. With all of us involved on a plane to the CGE show in Las Vegas and out of touch, Mike posted a less than artfull video trying to explain the AVGN's position. Realistically, the explanation video could have been better, but as soon as we landed and posted written info (and my own video) about the costs involved, most of those who had legitimate questions were satisfied that the project was legit; surprise- the trolls never shut up!

The AVGN posted his own video explaining, as we have all said throughout the project. "contribute to this asonishinging project if you want to; don't contribute if you don't want to."

Btw, the AVGN, Pat the NES Punk and The Game Chasers were not paid to appear in that Kickstarter video. They did it because they all were previously tied into reviews of Action 52 and the Cheetahmen story and wanted to do their part to keep retro gaming growing.

Although I heard some of the most incredible lies/tales about the project and myself, the backers will all have the last laugh as we ship the rewards in December as promised and the trolls who tried to ruin the fun for thousands of Cheetahmen fans will slink away and hide under their rock.

jdodson: You have dropped some information that you will be releasing a Cheetahmen game on iPhones and iPads. I wonder, will this be a port of some version of the original or a new creation?

Greg Pabich: Going to be spending big bucks to develop a totally new Cheetahmen game. ( also, as an early backer of the ouya Kickstarter project, we are planning a version for this new and exciting platform….)

jdodson: Do you have any plans to release a more modern version of Cheetahmen on consoles or the PC?

Greg Pabich: See above.

Our friends at Suckerfree Games have plans for a Cheetahmen 3 for the XBox 360 and PSP. Going to be spending big bucks to develop a totally new Cheetahmen game. ( also, as an early backer of the ouya Kickstarter project, we are planning a version for this new and exciting platform….)

jdodson: I told my younger sister(she is 16) I was giving you an interview and she wants to know what your favorite Pizza place is?

Greg Pabich: Like everyone, it is a small place around the corner…. It's called "Joes".
Hold the anchovies.

jdodson: Cheetahmen is panned as a very difficult game due to its gameplay and various bugs. What is your personal best going through both games?

Greg Pabich: I have never played it. One does not have to play it, one has to live it………

jdodson: As you are fixing the Cheetahmen 2 for the Lost Levels are you correcting the jump bug that allows you to jump over entire levels?

Greg Pabich: We did not change a thing that gives it its unique character.
Only made all levels play through and made it affordable( because of the price, even the people that own an original are afraid to put it in a console to actually play it)

jdodson: Any plans to branch out into other avenues of gaming? Have you considered releasing other games or are you focused only on the Cheetahmen and its legacy?

Greg Pabich: There is enough about the history and mystery of the Cheetahmen to keep me busy for a long, long time…………

jdodson: Which of the Cheetahmen do you most identify with? Hercules, Ares or Apollo?

Greg Pabich: I am the best of all three (although some think I am closer to Dr. Morbis)

jdodson: I have an idea I want to leave with you Greg.

SON OF CHEETAHMEN: A BOND REKINDLED! The “bond rekindled” part is negotiable, but the idea is there is a Cheetahkid who is the son of the Cheetahmen. Its ambiguous which is his Dad and should be played for humor value and frankly they might all be his Dad who knows... Point is, he is a Cheetah kid and he kicks... a lot of ass!

Greg Pabich: Like it because it then forces us to come to grips with a fabulously hot Cheetahgirl!!!

jdodson: He will also have an awesome catch phrase like “BY THE ENERGY OF MY ROOTS AS THE SON OF CHEETAHMEN” and “GOOD WILL ALWAYS KEEP PACE AND EVENTUALLY DEFEAT EVIL AT LEVEL 9!”

Greg Pabich: Sounds like you have seen "Galaxy Quest" as many times as I have.

jdodson: Lets see... he is smaller so you won’t have problems having him duck like the original games. Maybe he can have a special ability to call his Cheetah Dad’s for help for a few seconds to clear a difficult game screen or open locked doors to progress.

jdodson: Greg, I really do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and wonder if you want to say anything before we wrap things up.

Greg Pabich: I really hate trolls!!!!
CHEETAHMEN FOREVER

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/343248998/cheetahmen-ii-the-lost-levels

Travis   Admin wrote on 11/09/2012 at 03:46pm

I was totally unaware of any of this. I'm going to have to watch AVGN's coverage, and get with the program.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 11/09/2012 at 03:53pm

I was a new to it until I saw the Cheetahmen booth at Portland Retro Games Expo and talked to Greg and he handed me a Cheetahmen comic book reprint.

After that I had to know more!

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