For it's time, Midway was a brilliant company. From their heyday in the arcade, publishing Japanese games in America like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Mappy, to creating their own unique titles like Wacko, Root Beer Tapper, and Satan's Hollow, to becoming an arcade powerhouse in the 90s, with Mortal Kombat, Smash TV, and Terminator 2, to fizzling out on the home market in the 2000s. Midway left a legacy that many companies envy. That being said, they've made a lot of dubious choices, as well. One of those was not releasing their their stellar CarnEvil onto game consoles.
CarnEvil was my kind of game. This shooter on rails took place in an evil carnival, brought back to life by an old legend. The gravestone of Ludwig von Tokentaker had a jester skull on it, with a token resting in a tray below it. The token must be dropped into the jester's mouth to cause CarnEvil to rise. Thus the fun begins.
CarnEvil had addictive two player action, blasting all manner of creatures, from zombies, ghosts and insects, to evil little elves, Barney-like dinosaurs, and bats. There were three selectable areas: The Haunted House, Rickety Town, and the Freak Show. Clearing those three areas allowed access to the final level, the Big Top, where you face Tokentaker himself. After the final show down, and CarnEvil returns from the ground from wence it came, our heroes drop the token back into the jester's mouth, starting the horror anew.
I have no doubts that a home port of CarnEvil was in the plans, but in the wake of the Columbine massacre, video game companies were a little shy on light gun games, with Sega refusing to release their own gun peripheral in America for the Dreamcast, instead, allowing a third-party company to release one for House Of The Dead 2. The Dreamcast was a home arcade of sorts, and releasing CarnEvil on the Dreamcast would have made a lot of sense. Sadly, it was never done. I kept waiting for GameFan, Incite, and EGM to announce a home conversion, but much like the Simpsons, I waited for nothing.
Now, it all rests in the hands of WB Games. I'd love to see CarnEvil as a download for the Wii U, PlayStation 3 or 4, or the Xbox 360 or Xbox One. It's up to you, WB Games. You own what's left of Midway. Make it happen.