SPoT on THuG
Posted on Thursday, November 6, 2003 by Afro-Jim
SPoT on THuGBy Afro-Jim
When the opportunity arose to once again be a part of the Tony Hawk Video Game Empire in the newly released game, Tony Hawk’s Underground (THUG), SPoT General Manager, Ryan Clements, gladly accepted the invitation. It wasn’t a tough decision since SPoT had already been a featured level in the 2001 release, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2x, exclusively for XBOX. Soon after the initial business was handled, programmers from Neversoft were in Tampa. Their mission: Capture not only the Skatepark of Tampa to make a level in the game, but the entire Tampa skate scene.
While at SPoT, the programmers must have taken over 1,000 photos. They were so concerned with detail that they took pictures that covered the entirety of Skatepark - from the Moat to the Bowl and all in between. Here’s a short list of the detailed items that you’ve never paid attention to before at Skatepark, but are now immortalized in THUG:
Another place we suggested they should try to throw in the level is a strip club. Any strip club would do since guests of SPoT frequent them all. Their rendition of 2001 Odyssey on Dale Mabry leaves nothing to the imagination. You can even crash the VIP party in the space ship. Once you leave the building, a quote pops up that seems like one of the many infamous lines of SPoT owner, Brian Schaefer, “Four hours and four hundred dollars later…”
As many of you may remember, Schaefer’s German Shepard, Conge, was in THPS2x. When Conge recently passed in June, everyone at Skatepark was struck with immense grief. He was a symbol of Skatepark in so many ways. As Ryan Clements puts it, “He got more coverage than any of us.” I asked Rob Meronek if it would be a good idea to request that the programmers at Neversoft put some sort of low-key memorial in the game. We discussed it, and with little time to spare before the game was completed, they put an excellent picture of Conge on the movie screen in the Bowl Warehouse with a Skatepark logo in the background. Thanks guys. R.I.P. Conge.
Ryan Clements and myself were lucky enough to be used in the game as characters to give out missions. And even though pretty much every aspect of our characters is cheesy as hell, it’s still pretty cool to see yourself in there. And once I found out that SPoT’s role in the game was the Tampa Am Contest, I thought of a way to incorporate all the employees of SPoT. I asked if the employees’ names could be the ones listed on the results screen. Neversoft agreed and now you are competing against our staff. When I played the level, here’s how the staff faired: