Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas magazine scans

Actually, these scans have nothing to do with Christmas. But I thought it best to get these out now while everyone is taking a break and I'm waiting for the lamb to finish roasting in my oven. These are scans from the few issues of Manga Mania which I own, and have a games related theme. Manga Mania used to be a monthly magazine covering manga, anime, and a tiny bit about games and "The Internet". They also serialised the whole of Akira I seem to recall. It was a great magazine, and I wished I'd bought more copies. Their games coverage was actually really poor, and reveals more by what it omits than what it covers. If you wanted Japanese gaming coverage you were probably better off buying Super Play... Still, one of the games they covered might feature in an HG101 article, so I thought it worth scanning everything. Oh, and the Cyber Drome page may rekindle some memories of the internet back when it first started. How times change! One of the articles here has nothing to do with games, but is an interview with the BBFC, and goes in depth regarding UK censorship laws, and is quite interesting! The BBFC rates, or used to rate, quite a lot of games, and I've always thought was an excellent system, since it covers America's AO rating under our "18" age rating (Restricted 18 is really only for hardcore pornography). The pages that follow the covers belong to that issue. If you're enjoying the scans that sometimes go up on the blog, we do it regularly over on he HG101 forum. Corsair has practically scanned an entire library of awesome things.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Inside the THQ archive (more Akira!)

During the drafting of HG101's previous Akira feature, I was able to contact Ryan Arnold, an administrator at THQ who deals with the company's data archives - he is quite genuinely, the vault keeper. Quite a few of those contacted during my investigation, not all of whom were quoted there, recommended contacting THQ in case they still had the old builds, which developers such as Black Pearl and Hand Made Software would have sent to THQ. What Ryan revealed was interesting, and also helped draw a line under the THQ investigation. I discussed his statement with him, but after several emails we agreed not to publish it - although it doesn't detail anything scandalous, some people may have been uncomfortable with the openness of it. Recently though, and after some consideration, Ryan has decided that he would be comfortable with publishing this information. As Ryan says: "It is rare that anyone cares about what a mastering lab tech has to say about the development process, and I would like to see my words become part of the public record."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NEO•GEO X Buyer's Guide

Here's what everyone needs to know about the Neo-Geo X, based on my own experience and/or the consensus of Neo-Geo superfans:

(1) The emulation is fantastic, to the extent that Metal Slug slows down exactly the way it would on the original hardware. This is, perhaps, more important to me than it should be. 

(2) The handheld device is very good. Build quality, so far, feels solid enough -- about as solid as an original GBA, but lighter. Most importantly, the buttons and thumb-stick are responsive and comfortable. The stick, itself, has the same distinct click of an AES joystick. That, and the accuracy of the emulation, are two advantages over a PSP.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Powerpak and an American NES

I recently shelled out £116 for an American NES plus Powerpak. It was actually £100, but I paid extra for postage to France from the UK. I've had several Famicoms and Famicom clones, plus a UK and French NES, but I've always wanted an American toaster NES, for 60Hz goodness. The Powerpak acts as a flash cartridge and allows (almost) any NES, Famicom or Famicom Disk System game to be played, with full Famicom audio if you do a small mod. Read on for my thoughts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Amazon Canada, and the HG101 Sega Book

So it's been brought to my attention by some Canadian readers that the HG101 Sega book doesn't show up on Amazon.ca. This is something I hadn't quite realized, though I now know why.

When selling books through my printer/publisher, Createspace, there are different tiers of profits based on the point of sale. I get the most profit if the purchase is made straight through the Createspace store. I get less if it's purchased through Amazon, since they take a fairly huge chunk in exchange for their exposure. And finally, I get even less than that if it's sold through a third party.

Here's the tricky part - all of the Amazons, despite having the same logos, are actually different companies that work under the same umbrella. Createspace only prints books through Amazon US, Amazon UK, and the assorted Amazon EU sites. All other Amazon sites are considered third party, including the Canadian one.

The issue I've run into is that the profit margin is so small on the color version of the book that it's impossible to sell via a third party. Literally, the profit is in the negative numbers. (Incidentally, the adventure game book was able to be sold to third parties, but the profit margin is pithy, something like sixty cents per volume sold.)

The only way to fix this would be to jack up the price another $5 or so, but this would affect the book sold in all territories, which wouldn't help much of anyone. I believe it's possible to enable sales of the B&W volume to third party sellers, since the profit margin is slightly higher, but I'm not sure if it'd be worth it, considering the color version is outselling it by a huge, huge margin. (It's also not appearing at all in any Amazon searches for me, for some reason?)

The good news is, I'm pretty sure Amazon US (or UK or EU) will ship to pretty much anywhere. The bad news is, of course, that the shipping will probably be high. But, at least you all know why things are the way they are.

This is sort of annoying for me too, of course, because I'd love to be able to sell this on Amazon JP, where I think some readers might be interested in it. But it doesn't look to be in the cards, at least for now. It's actually much better than it used to be, when Createspace only worked with the US site. That meant I got screwed over with the adventure game book on European sales, since I was getting practically nothing for every volume sold over there, at least when it was first published. It's fixed now, at least.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sega Arcade Classics Vol 1 - Update

Just a quick note that the color and black & white copies of the Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 book are now both back in stock at Amazon after being unavailable for a bit. The PDF copy is still available too, of course. It's all so rad that forum mascot Cptn. Murphy has traded in his SNK love for some Sega adoration. Anyway, someone in the previous entry's comments requested a video to see what the book looks like, so herein you can awkwardly hear me give it a flip through and explain the background behind it:

I've also created a preview PDF, which shows off a handful of full pages from the full product. Take note that this preview is SLIGHTLY different from the one for sale on the site, since it was generated from the book's file and has to take into account gutter margins. Since the book is designed as spreads, the PDF is meant to be set as "Facing", with the first page viewed alone on the right side.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Update 12/3 - Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 now available! Also, Bad Dudes, Ninja Princess, Little Big Adventure and Final Fight

HG101 Presents: Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1 is now available for purchase! You can purchase color and black & white copies from Amazon, for $9.99 and $25 respectively, or download a PDF copy for $4.99. More details can be found at the link, but we've spent the past several months hard at work on this, and I think it turned out quite excellent! It covers a good chunk of long time Sega favorites like Shinobi, Alex Kidd, Space Harrier and After Burner, and the design is patterned after 90s-era video game magazines, at least inasmuch as it's filled with as many images as possible. I think you all will enjoy it!

We've still got a regular update to go along with the book announcement. Ninja Princess is an early Sega title that technically would quality as a "run-and-gun" in the spirit of Commando, except it takes place in feudal Japan, so there's more shurikens and magic than anything. Most gamers probably know it through its sorta sequel The Ninja for the SMS, which regretfully replaced the female protagonist with a generic dude. This article is not featured in the current volume, but we're planning a second volume that focuses on some of the lesser known Sega games, so please support the first volume so this can come to fruition!

In a more typically manly fashion, we also have a review of Bad Dudes and its pseudo-sequel Two Crude Dudes, the famously super American beat-em-up where you beat up ninjas, rescue President Ronnie, and then go out for cheeseburgers. And on the computer side is a look at Little Big Adventure, also known as Relentless to American gamers, a duo of French developed action-adventure games with quite a bit of imaginative charm.

The spotlight article is an overhaul of the Final Fight article, which was initially one of the first articles for the site back in 2004 and was long in need of an overhaul. And Your Weekly Kusoge is the frightening Pogo Bunny, featuring the most unintentionally tragic heroes in video gaming.

Friday, November 23, 2012

GC9X Dispatch - Do This, Don't Do That

Robo-fairy-parent observes.

This month’s game, Wonder Project J, is often described as a “raising sim.” It’s about a robot boy named Pino whose creator is arrested right before he comes to life. Pino is raised by the robo-fairy/living cursor “Tinker” and an invisible god-like entity, “the player.” The gameplay basically consists of bringing various objects to Pino’s attention and praising or chastising him based on what he does with it. Pino’s first reaction upon seeing a cat, for example, is to punt it. *RIGHT CLICK* That’s baaaaaad, Pino.

As longtime readers/listeners probably suspected, I’m old. I’m old enough to be married and have a two year old son. So, for obvious reasons, this game feels a bit familiar. Especially the substantial portion of it I spend telling a little boy to do something and watching him ignore me in the most extravagant ways possible.

But that is something Pino shares with other things besides two-year-olds. Puppies, for example. Or Siri.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Update 11/19 - HG101 Book Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1, Sakura Taisen, Super Locomotive, Hybrid Heaven, Block Out

First things first - HG101 is proud to announce our next book project: Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 1. This 166 volume contains of over seventy classic games originating from the 1980s and 90s arcade scene. All articles have been updated, revised, and expanded from the ones currently featured on the site. Furthermore, you won't very long to get a copy either - it's in its final stages of production, and should be ready for purchase in early/mid December. Both black & white and full color paperbacks will be available through Amazon, priced at $9.99 and $25 respectively (the latter just enough to quality for free super saver shipping) but PDFs will available straight through the site for those with tablets and eReaders.

The biggest thing to note is that the interior looks much, much nicer than the adventure game book. While this volume is substantially shorter, it's also much more carefully designed, with layouts that are designed after the enthusiasm of 90s game magazines. The color volume is pricey, but it's definitely worth it.

This update is more than just a book announcement. Topping the list of articles is a 10,000+ word feature of Sega's Sakura Taisen (also known as Sakura Wars). Somewhere in my apartment, there's a scribbled piece of paper, started back in 2004, that had all of the series I initially wanted to cover here at HG101. Sakura Taisen was one of them. I bought a whole bunch of the games, but the article never took off. So eight years later, William Van Hecke picks up the slack to deliver an expansive look at Sega's unique SRPG series, which heavily influenced titles today like Persona 3/4 and Valkyria Chronicles. The only game in the series to reach American shores was the fifth game, but it came far too late to make much of an impact. Meanwhile in Japan, it was so popular that there was a stage show based on it.

While the upcoming Sega book focuses on mid 1980s and early 1990s arcade titles (and its progeny), Sega has a lot of history before then, much of which isn't covered anywhere in great detail. We have a second volume planned to cover these titles, one of the first of which is a look at Super Locomotive. It's...bizarre. You are a sentient locomotive, who's being chased for some reason? And you have to attack with them steam clouds? Huh. That's interesting. I'd never really heard of this one before, because it never got ported anywhere. But otherwise, it seems to be also recognized for totally ripping off Yellow Magic Orchestra's song Rydeen. It's a great rendition of a great song, in spite of the plagiarism.

Block Out is basically Tetris in 3D (though not affiliated with Pajitnov's own 3D Tetris variant, Welltris). The article also covers Welltris, along with Nintendo's 3D Tetris. Bullet Witch is an early Xbox 360 title was one of the first games developed by a Japanese company and was released by Cavia. Like many of their titles, it has a number of flaws, a few of which were exacerbated during localization, but it remains interesting enough to cover in this extensive manner.

The latest episode of the Game Club 199X podcast focuses on Hybrid Heaven, Konami's bizarre sci-fi wrestling RPG for the Nintendo 64, which we've also posted an article for. Page 21 of the iOS Shooters article covers StarCannon, xFighter 2, Ace Striker and Above the Sky. And Your Weekly Kusoge is Paris-Dakar Rally Special, a seemingly innocuous Famicom racer which is much goofier than it looks. There's no Spotlight Article this update, as I've been busy finishing up the proofs on the Sega book, but you can expect to see some of the updated articles included on the site as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Update #2 - 10/30 - Alone in the Dark, Project Firestart, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Clive Barker's Undying/Jericho, Shadow of the Comet/Prisoner of Ice, Zombie Raid, Parasite Eve 1, Braindead 13, Folklore, DreamWeb, Fright Night

In case our last update didn't disturb you enough, we're continuing our coverage of the macabre with a second, massive batch of articles. The largest of them is Alone in the Dark, widely considered the originator of survival horror and the game Resident Evil very deliberately copied its concept from. But there is actually an older game that fulfills all criteria for survival horror, and that is the C64 cult classic Project Firestart. This is an expanded reprint of a Making Of that originally appeared in Retro Gamer, so it includes a lot of quotes from co-designer Damon Slye and other people involved with the production. Amnesia: The Dark Descent on the other hand is a much more modern examples of the genre, and certainly one of the best in recent years since both the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series have more or less jumped the shark.

Not survival horror but first-person shooters are the two games made with creative input from renowned horror writer, director and producer Clive Barker, Undying and Jericho. Another duo, Shadow of the Comet & Prisoner of Ice are two Call of Cthulhu-based point & click adventures by Infogrames. The article has previously appeared in The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures, and now finally makes its transition to the site. We couldn't get a House of the Dead article this time, but we're running Zombie Raid by Sammy, which might as well have been a long-lost precursor to SEGA's series. We don't have that much lightgun shooter coverage on HG101, so this is gonna redeem that a bit.

We usually tend to cover only complete series, but we made an exception for Parasite Eve 1, in an entertaining analysis by Pat R, author of our humorist retrospective on the Final Fantasy series. Contuing towards even brighter tones, Braindead 13 is a very cartoonish FMV-based game in the vein of Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. Folklore might also seem a bit misplaced on first looks, as it's set in a phantastic world vaguely influenced by Celtic mythology. But so is Halloween in a way, and Folklore revolves around the pagan festival of Samhain, which used to take place on October 31st, and many consider the originator of modern-day Halloween.

For our spotlight we've dug out the disturbing psycho thriller DreamWeb, since it's been recently made available as freeware after its addition to the list of games playable in ScummVM. Your Weekly Kusoge this time is Fright Night, a crappy, movie-licensed Amiga game where you run through your house as a suburban vampire and suck the blood from dozens of intruders into your home. And of course our iOS shooter coverage continues with page 20.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 - OutRun

While we're battering down the hatches on the east coast for the upcoming mega hurricane, I've been putting the finishing touches on an upcoming Sega project which should be announced shortly. In the meantime, you'll probably be seeing a few blog posts detailing some of the more obscure things I've dug up.

I hadn't previously played much with the Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 disc - this release was a book that came with a Dreamcast GD-ROM including many of his games, and I'd never bothered with it because most of the included games were already included in Shenmue. In updating the article, various places pointed out that the car model had changed slightly in these versions, from a Ferrari F40 to something that resembled a Testarossa, so I decided to grab some comparison pictures in an emulator.

What I also found out is that it runs in a higher resolution than the arcade game, though it's hard to really see the difference. But, it's noticeable in the below screenshots:



I'm not sure if it's an issue with the emulator or the original software, but the colors are darker in the Dreamcast version. I adjusted the brightness to more closely resemble the arcade version, though you can still see the darker road. The shadows don't work right in the emulator either, seeing how they're just pink blobs randomly strewn about.

The most important thing to notice is that the signs in the starting line are actually legible. What's more, a few of them even changed slightly - that one in the lower-right corner of the arcade version has an OutRun logo, but it's been changed to a cat in the Dreamcast one. There's also a sign that says Treasure in the Dreamcast version, and while the arcade one is illegible, it seems to say something different.

The sprites still look low-res in general, so it's probably no more than the artists slightly touching up sprites here and there, since the game is running at 640x480 rather than 320x224.

You can pick up other details too, like the trees looking slightly less jagged, and so forth. I think everyone's been under the impression that these ports ran the game with the original graphics and then just applied a smear filter when running at a high resolution. I think that's only half true - they may have applied some filters (rather than nearest neighbor) when individually resizing the sprites, but it's also clear that they retouched and redrew most of them, to fill out the detail and reduce the blurriness that such techniques usually suggest.

I'm not really clear about the other games on the disc - Power Drift and Hang On seem identical to their arcade versions, and After Burner II and Space Harrier don't function on the emulator, so OutRun may be the only one with any real alterations.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Update #1 - 10/19 - Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Kyros, Illbleed, Night Slashers, Downfall, Horror Zombies from the Crypt

Welcome to Halloween Gaming 101! As we're approaching the end of October, we're kicking off a huge two-part special full of horror and mystery. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a hellishly fun co-op monster mash by LucasArts for 16-bit consoles, squeezing together tons of classic horror movie references. Our article covers both the original and its sequel, Ghoul Patrol. It includes interviews with ZAMN creator Mike Ebert and Ghoul Patrol director Kalani Streicher, among other things revealing a very little known inspiration for the series: A forgotten arcade action game by Alpha Denshi, called Kyros, which we honor with its own article.

Furthermore, we're covering Illbleed, one of the craziest horror games out there, featuring gallons of fake blood, evil crashtest dummies and a Toy Story spoof, Night Slashers, a horror brawler by Data East full of early-'90s charme, and Downfall, a morbid indie adventure with intriguingly-looking hand-drawn backgrounds. The kusoge for this update is Horror Zombies from the Crypt, a ridiculously brutal action platformer for 16-bit home computers, while the spotlight is taken by Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria, updated with the improved text from The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures.

Of course we didn't forget our other regular featues, even though we couldn't make them Halloween-themed in time: The Game Club 19XX podcast deals with Crystalis, SNK's Zelda-clone for the NES, and the iOS Shooter article is up to page 19 now. The Games of the World section also got updated, mostly to feature a translated article on the games industry in Malaysia (which ties in nicely with the ZAMN-article, since Ghoul Patrol was co-developed with a studio over there), but also some smaller contributions, like a photo stretch from arcades in Pyongyang, North Korea.

A look at... Tamagotchi clones?

Let me sneak this in before the big update... We've been having a lot of fun in the HG101 magazine scan thread. New forumite Corsair has contributed many a great scan. Wishing to help the effort I went and scanned (photographed) an entire supplement that came with CVG, covering all the Tamagotchi clones released at the time. I don't have an interest in virtual pets, but it's still kinda interesting to see how many companies tried to cash in on the craze. Plus you don't often find scans of mag supplements. If you've got any interesting or rare magazine scans, stop by the thread and share them. I also uploaded one on how Saturn Power magazine was made.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Game Club 199X Dispatch - Hybrid Purgatory

The Game Club 199X pick for October is Hybrid Heaven, which basically involves the mysterious Mr. Diaz waging a one-man war on an underground facility full of freaky creatures who know martial arts and professional wrestling moves. Except not really, but that's all that can be said for anyone who doesn't play past the first two areas. It gained some degree of notability (and a cover spot for Nintendo Power #123) for being one of the VERY few RPGs on the N64, a console which is otherwise barren of that particular genre. However, it's not really a straight RPG, more like a turn-based beat-em-up interspersed with third-person shooting segments and a bit of non-linear exploration. There really is no other game like it, but I really have yet to determine whether or not that's a good thing. Hybrid Heaven is like a flawed diamond that you eventually come to realize is a perfect zircon; it has a lot of stupid design decisions and general weirdness, but you come to appreciate it for what it is after the absurdity of it all sinks in after enough playtime.

The screenshot above may deceive any first-glancers into thinking it's a third-person shooter along the lines of Winback (another good potential GC9X candidate for the future), but get to an actual enemy and the game initiates a semi-real-time combat system. You can move around freely, but actually attacking or defending halts the action as you get to decide what your next move is. It's a novel concept, but it does seem a bit overblown to wait several seconds and build up power just to toss out a single upper right punch. You can also grab or be grabbed by enemies and be subject to moves that would make Ric Flair proud. Being taken down by a pigman's shoulder buster really puts the merit of this game in perspective. The unorthodox combat does beg the question: Would HH have been any better if it were just a straight beat-em-up? While novel, fights do feel far slower than they ideally should be and get decidedly boring once you realize that out of all the strikes and throws you learn, you only really need about five of them. Interspersed with fights are more active segments that involve some shooting, taking down droids and missile pods with a weak laser pistol that gets no upgrades throughout the game. The least these bits could have done is include a dodge button to alleviate some of the stiffness. Some stages don't always indicate where your next destination should be, and the automap is almost no help at all. 

Yet in spite of all those faults, you can tell that the developers at least tried to make HH the most unique and twisted game it could be. That effort alone is what earns its place on the N64's veritable "hidden gems" list. That, and it's penny-cheap on eBay. The gameplay is actually strangely fun once you know what you're doing, and even if repetitive after a prolonged period of time, it's fun to piledrive abominations in short bursts. Without spoiling too much, my personal favorite thing about it is the ridiculous plot, which is like a Metal Gear story boiled down to its absolute minimum with a heavy dose of Independence Day-style science-fiction thrown in. While ultimately window dressing, it tightrope-walks the line between legitimately entertaining and insanely stupid. Hell, HH as a whole IS both entertaining and stupid, and it's definitely worth at least one play for anyone looking for something different by N64 standards, let alone standards defined by ANY other game (perhaps except for Vagrant Story).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Update 10/8 - Tracing the Influence, Guide to NES Maintenance, Gateways, Panic Restaurant, Fire Bam, Superman 64

One of the biggest criticisms of our hobby today is that video games are trying too hard to be like movies. In truth, it's always kind of been like that - numerous games from the 80s and 90s have ripped off famous Hollywood actors, most coming from overseas and hoping no one would notice. Derboo's feature article Tracing the Influence takes five pages and probably a few hundred images to dig through the many "inspirations" from movie posters, stills, and other bits of artwork. The Metal Gear/Terminator one is perhaps the most well known, but there are tons and tons of other examples, and is full of a lot of "OH SH-" trivia.

Another feature article too is Ike's Guide to NES Maintenance. Written by one of our forum members, this in-depth guide includes numerous photos on how to clean and keep your NES in working order.

For game articles, we have a review of the recent indie hit Gateways, a Metroidvania take on Portal developed by Smudged Cat Games, the folks behind The Adventures of Shuggy, both of which are available on the Xbox 360 and Steam; Panic Restaurant, one of those absurdly rare/expensive late NES release by Taito (similar in that respects to Little Samson); and Fire Bam, an interesting action-RPG for the Famicom Disk System. And Page 18 of the iOS Shooter article covers UFO Attack!, Space Falcon Commander, Ace Shooter and Flare Elite.

Our spotlight article is Sparkster / Rocket Knight Adventures, for no other reason than one of our longtime readers discovered a cameo of the high-flying opossum in the Konami dating RPG Mitsumete Knight. And your weekly kusoge is the infamous Superman 64.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dale DeSharone - an unspoken legend

After HG101 contributor Audun Sorlie wrote a memorial for composer Ryu Umemoto, I felt compelled to dig out the notes from my interviews with Dale DeSharone, who passed away February 2008 from leukemia, and share them with the world. For me there's a feeling, like a sense of duty having interviewed someone no longer with us, especially since as far as I know I'm the only one to have interviewed Dale. He was involved in early Atari software, some acclaimed C64 classics, including Below the Root, an adaptation of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green Sky Trilogy of books. He was connected with the team that developed Red Book Audio, was a pioneer of the CD medium for games, and was instrumental in making sure the Philips CDi had software. His career later included the PlayStation and GameCube, right up to the current generation. Perhaps though, his most known works, are the two side-scrolling Zelda games for CDi, which I will forever argue are well designed games which are fun to play.

Above all though, Dale was a sincere, decent human being, well loved by all those who knew and worked with him. I am always reminded of the memorial comments from James Bach, who explained how Dale had given him a start with his career, taught him to drive and helped him through a family tragedy.

My own experience of Dale was that he went above and beyond when helping with my articles, providing numerous high res scans and always happy to answer my many questions, and I will always remember that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Brief Look at Bundle in a Box - Deep Space

There's still a few more days left to grab the Bundle in a Box - Deep Space pack. It's a unique bunch of games, so I sat down for a bit and gave a run through some of them.

Space Giraffe 

This is probably the most well known game in the bundle, being that it was also an XBLA release in the early years on the service. It's got a mixed reputation, due to it being too busy and colorful, but I like it quite a bit. It's a Jeff Minter game, and even though the instruction screen proclaims that it's not Tempest...it's basically Tempest, but with a different ruleset.


The initials of this confusingly named title (there's no Digital Rights Management nonsense on any of the games packed in here) actually stands for Death Ray Manta. It makes a good companion to Space Giraffe in that it's obviously inspired by Minter's works, with the colorful graphics, catchy techno music and lots of halfway baffling gibberish tossed about. Unfortunately it runs really slow on my computer so I can't say anything more than that.


 Apparently this is an update of an old Commodore 64 shooter, which I was unfamiliar with. It's a side-scroller shooter like Gradius, but honestly, not nearly as good. Title screen music is nice and SID-y though.

Dark Scavenger 

This game reminds me a lot of Infocom's Beyond Zork, which was a text adventure crossed with a simple RPG. However, it modernizes the interface by adding graphics and ditching the text parser in favor of menu-selection. It's creatively quaint, or quaintly creative. The art style is interesting, though the writing is a little on the dry side.

There's a bunch of other games included in the bundle, including the space combat simulator The Wreckless, and A Bagful of Wrong, which in itself is a selection of nine MORE games. So while the games included aren't as famous as some of the other indie bundles out there, it's still a great deal for a few bucks.

Anyway, if you purchase, make sure to vote for my very-much-work-in-progress Christopher Columbus is an Idiot for the Indie Dev Grant. And thanks to Indie Gamers for their coverage last week, too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Making of Immercenary (3DO)

Recently Gamasutra published an article of mine charting the development of 3DO FPS Immercenary (the one where you're trapped in a faux-MMO environment). It includes photography from those who worked on it, and is worth checking out. Certainly I'm extremely proud to be the first person ever to interview those behind it. This was when the FPS genre was still in a nascent stage, and while it ultimately went in a different direction, I find this evolutionary cul-de-sac rather fascinating. I also have some left over screens, so perhaps I should write a second article for HG101? I've always thought it a shame there's so little coverage of this online.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Basic History of BASIC - Dr Kurtz, David Ahl, John Lutz, Steve Wozniak

Crikey, I've left this a long time to post. If you're in the industry and receive Game Developer Magazine, maybe you noticed in the above issue my article on the origin of the Beginners All-purpose Standard Instruction Code programming language. I interviewed Dr Thomas Kurtz who co-created BASIC, along with David Ahl who wrote the million selling 101 BASIC Computer Games book which helped popularised the language, John Lutz who was head of the True BASIC company, and also Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who created Integer BASIC for the first Apple computers. I even spoke with Marc-Oliver Ihm on Yabasic for the Sony's PlayStation 2. Due to space not everything could be used - below you'll find my leftover materials covering "10 Things touched by BASIC" and "10 BASIC Dialects", with interview quotes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Update 9/18 - Shadow Hearts, Knight Arms, Journey to Silius, Four Winds Fantasy, After Burner, T&C Surf Design

The Shadow Hearts series of RPGs is somewhat brilliant. Before getting off to a rocky start with the survival horror/RPG PSOne title Koudelka, it started officially on the PlayStation 2, where it was released within weeks of Final Fantasy X and was summarily trounced. It's true that this first entry was rough around the edges as well, but the sequel refined its technical aspects, and it developed a unique voice, one that carefully balanced horror with comedy. The third one is honestly my favorite of the bunch, since it takes place in a whacked-out version of the Americas circa 1920, although some do (understandably) find it a bit too goofy.

Knight Arms is a fairly cool combo side-scroller shooter/Space Harrier clone, while Journey to Silius is one of Sunsoft's best NES titles, also well known for its immensely epic soundtrack. And Four Winds Fantasy is an extremely bizarre RPG on the XBLIG, scribbled out in MS Paint.

It was mentioned on the blog last week, but make sure to check out the interview with Jim Gregory regarding the cancelled SNES version of Akira, which reveals some fascinating information on an ambitious multi-platform project that just didn't work out.

The latest episode of Game Club 199X focuses on the legendary Deus Ex, which should really get an article here some day, once I figure out how to get Invisible War to not crash continiously on my computer. The spotlight article focuses on After Burner, which includes some pictures of various computer ports I'd missed initially, nicer screenshots in general, and a proper review of After Burner Climax. Your Weekly Kusoge is T&C Surf Design, one of the many poorly thought-out games to capitalize on the surfer dude fascination of the late 80s/early 90s. And Part 17 of the iOS Shooter Article covers iFighter 1945, Magnetar: Space Fighter, Blastian and The Orbital Hive.

Also, I am going to shamelessly mention a few eBay auctions I have going on for the next week, mostly really offbeat stuff that's been covered on the site before. Cave Love is a cool doujin music CD with music from Cave shooters, which was reviewed here. Cheetah in the Dark is another fascinating Japanese doujin CD with vocal remixes from Cheetahmen II. Hagane is a fairly decent Strider-type game for the SNES, which was reviewed here. The American release suddenly shot up in value over the past year, so here's a chance to get the cheaper Japanese release. And Kyozou Musume is the infamous "Shadow of the Colossus monster as sexy moe girls" doujinshi which was also featured here awhile back. Also up is a lot of 16 factory sealed PlayStation games and a Godzilla vs. Destroyah Real Action figure.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Scroll Vol. 7 is Out - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special, plus Gamespite Journal's Sega Vol. 1

Volume 7 of Ray Barnholt's excellent Scroll Magazine is out, which is a heavily advisable purchase. This one covers all of Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle game, at least from the era that's worth caring about - that is, the NES, SNES, Genesis, Arcade and Genesis titles, along with Manhattan Missions and the PC ports. It also contains a nifty timeline of important Turtle events, as well as the number of appearances by recurring bad guys.

Also worth noting, separately, is Gamespite Journal Vol. 12. I've fallen behind on these lately because I do most of my web browsing at work, and for some reason, Parish's new domain Telebunny.net is blocked. This volume concentrates on Sega's output in the late 80s and early 90s, with a second volume coming next year covering their later games. I enjoy Nintendo coverage and all, but Sega is a topic near and dear to me - just take a look at HG101's Sega coverage in comparison to Nintendo, so this volume is a personal favorite.

HG101's next book - the first of a new series - will be focusing on Sega as well. Details will be forthcoming on it soon!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Akira - SNES - Jim Gregory

As promised, my interview with Jim Gregory, on Akira for the SNES. Further interview responses expected in the coming months (hopefully). Spread it around! There has never been this level of detail on the unreleased games published before.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HG101 is Making an Adventure Game - Christopher Columbus is an Idiot

For the better part of the year, I've been working on my own adventure game. It's called "Christopher Columbus is an Idiot", which paints a pretty straightforward picture of what the game is about.

The story is loosely based on history, in as much as "history" is defined by checking a Wikipedia article, translating it into another language, forgetting half of it, and then delibrately misappopropriating the rest into a form that would surely baffle the academic community. In real life, Christopher Columbus someone so deeply denial about his misdiscoveries that he wrongly identified an entire race of people - a mistake with ramifications today! - and apparently refused to acknowledge that he'd ever done anything wrong. What kind of foolish buffoon does that? That's what we seek to answer.

Naturally, the project came about after I had finished up the HG101 Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures. After playing tons and tons of these titles, I've gotten a decent grasp of what I like and don't like about the genre, and wanted to concentrate that into my own project. That, and after slapping together Que Pasa, Perro? in a week (a game which I still love despite its obvious simplicity), I found that I enjoyed making games and wanted to do something on a grander scale. (And also make it an actual point-and-click game, so people would actually play it.)

I've felt that with the proliferation of indie development over the past few years, we've entered a second Golden Age of adventures games. But while titles like the Blackwell series, Gemini Rue and Resonance are all excellent, there aren't many of them that are all that funny...at least, with the exception of the two Ben There, Dan That! games, which I happily talk about all day to anyone in earshot. The reason why I loved these types of games as a kid was because they had an excellent sense of humor. Comedy in gaming is rare altogether, for reasons that I'm not entirely clear on, and I want to bring that back.

So Christopher Columbus is an Idiot is extremely silly. Sure, themes of colonialism and religion are explored, but it all takes the back seat to stripper librarians, beaver uprisings, nude time gypsies, crying dolphins, dandy fops, addle-brained monarchs, warrior princesses, hipster turkeys, pornographic conspiracies, dragon fetishists, telepathic rabbits, and at least a few references to the baffling 1992 adventure/dungeon crawler/space combat simulator game Inca. The whole deal is obviously inspired by LucasArts games (though the interfae is closer to Sierra) but the sense of humor is quite unique.

I hadn't intended to announce this quite yet, but it's come out into the open when I entered it into consideration for the Indie Dev Grant as part of the latest Bundle-in-a-Box. While I've got most of the design done on paper and a significant chunk of the game already up and running in Adventure Game Studio, I'm an awful artist, and need some money to pay for both graphics and music. The one screenshot at the top of the article is the only image vaguely representative of the final product, and even then, it's missing the interface. As of now, most of the game is rendered in MS Paint scribbles.

Anyway, when the Bundle-in-a-Box goes live on Friday or so, please consider adding a bit to the Indie Dev Grant, and voting for Christopher Columbus is an Idiot. I'll be happy to answer to any questions about it!

Here are a few more screens of the rough, work-in-progress version:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Update 9/7 - Silpheed, Galaxy Force, Hyperzone, Hover!, Metal Storm

When I was a kid, I was pumped as hell for Silpheed. I was a Genesis lad, and Electronic Gaming Monthly was telling me for months on end that this would be the game to put Star Fox to shame. Well...it didn't quite turn out that way, but I was still mighty impressed at the visual trickery it used to make it seem like the Sega CD was a polygon pushing monster. Anyway, while the Sega CD Silpheed is by far the most popular, the series actually has its roots in home computers like the PC88, and was localized by Sierra back in the late 80s, who had a partnership with developer Game Arts. A third game was released for the PlayStation 2 near its launch, and is well renowned for being Treasure's most unimpressive game. Most recently, it's shown up on the XBox 360 and Android mobile phones as a Colony Wars-style flight combat sim, leaving behind its isometric shooter predecessors. Anyway, they're rather impressive, and it's a great read.

Most of the rest of the articles have a similar theme, which was quite unintentional, that being early 3D shooters. Galaxy Force is Sega's most impressive super scaler game, though like most arcade ports, it seems to be defined by its awful Genesis port rather than the original arcade game, which was released in some really amazing motion cabinets. Hyperzone is another 3D game, not quite as impressive but still pretty cool, developed by Hal and released for the SNES, using Mode 7 for its visual trickery. And Hover was bundled with copies of Windows 95, an interesting little tech demo to prove that the operating system wasn't total garbage at running games, like its precursors were. The outlier this update is Metal Storm, Irem's cult NES classic, where you play as a gravity flipping robot.

Your Weekly Kusoge involves >Dexter's Laboratory: Mandark's Lab. One might automatically assumes that such a game would be crap, except one of the Dexter's Lab games for the GameBoy Color was actually just a reskinned Elevator Action, so there was some precedent for good games from the license. Our spotlight article is a double feature, revamping the articles for Space Channel 5 and Rez, two rhythmically infused games developed by United Game Artists, one of the many talented teams at Sega in the Dreamcast era. And page 16 of the iOS Shooters article covers Ace Doodle Fighter, Ace Fighter, ArcadeGuardian PRO / iGuardian and Angel Rush.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

199X Dispatch - Our Lingering Deus Ex Question

Another month has come and gone, and the Deus Ex Ultra-Team Ultra-Challenge is over. The podcast has been recorded and should be available in the thread by the time you read this.

In what I hope will become a regular feature of the podcast, Snarboo closes out with a "lingering question." He wants to know if it is possible to kill every last person in Hong Kong. If not (Tracer Tong may well have a plot-powered forcefield) how close can one get?

The first person to provide Youtube proof of the possibility or impossibility of this challenge will get Pit Fighter for Game Boy a cherished game from my own collection, autographed by me. You are guaranteed to have the only one of those ever to exist. So in terms of rarity, it's priceless.

And of course, don't forget to vote on one of September's three randomly-selected games: Crystalis (NES), Military Madness (TG16), or Ninja Kid (NES) / Pocky & Rocky (SNES). Vote or die!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Update 8/26 - Zettai Zetsumei Toshi, Nausicaa, Ultimate Stuntman, Power Drift, 7th Dragon 2020, Chester Cheetah

This update is helmed by an article on the Zettai Zetsumei Toshi series, a trilogy of disaster escape games which were localized under the titles Disaster Report (the first game in North America), SOS: The Final Escape (the first game in Europe) and Raw Danger (the second game). The third game was for the PSP and was not translated into English, while the fourth was schedule to come out for the PS3 last year, but was cancelled in the wake of the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan back in March 2011. Coincidentally, earlier this month 1up posted an interview with Kazuma Kujo, formerly of Irem, who discusses a bit about the fourth game and the reasons surrounding its cancellation.

Hayao Miyazaki, legendary director of many movies from Ghibli studio, like Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, as long been quoted as having a distaste for video games. That may trace back to a trilogy of computer games based on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, including two shooters and one arcade adventure game, all of which are varying degrees of awful. There have not been any games based on Ghibli movies since then, despite the huge influence that his movies have had on Japanese game artistry, a few examples of which are touched on in this article as well.

Rounding out this update is a review of Ultimate Stuntman, an amusing unlicensed NES game, and Power Drift, one of the lesser known Super Scaler racing games, courtesy of Sega and Yu Suzuki. Plus, installment 15 of our iOS Shooters piece, including reviews of AstroWings, AstroWings Returns, Aerial Assault, and AsciiArt Wars Free: The 2ch Strikes Back.

Our Spotlight Article covers 7th Dragon 2020, the sequel (or, rather, offshoot, if Sega is to be believed) of the 2009 DS JRPG that the company refused to publish or license outside of Japan, despite relatively significant demand for it. This follow up was releaed on the PSP late last year, and I hadn't bothered to play much of it, due to them significantly scaling back some elements (three characters in a party rather than four, five character classes rather than eight, an aesthetic that seemed to rip off Shin Megami Tensei rather than Dragon Quest), but I decided to give it a go anyway. It made a good gaming equivalent to a beach read - nothing particularly outstanding, but sold and enjoyable. The kusoge this week is Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool. There were more than a handful of games in the 16-bit era that were based off of food products, and some of them, like Mick and Mack in Global Gladiators and Cool Spot, were pretty good. This is not one of those games.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

199X Dispatch - JC Denton and the Prison of Possibility

muteKi keeps it gangsta.

JC Denton is a nanotech-augmented UNATCO super-cop. He can survive a ten-story fall, hack ATM machines, and swim with a trench coat on. Malt liquor heals him. So why the hell can't he just CLIMB DAMMIT!? CLIMB! JUST GRAB THE LEDGE AND PULL YOURSELF UP! DAMN.

The one thing everyone knows about Deus Ex is that it has a very wide range of meaningful gameplay options. I say "meaningful" to distinguish it from the lower tier of "sandbox" games, wherein the wide variety of options are, in truth, different cars to steal and NPCs to murder. DX is a game where you can hide behind a sofa, or use it to barricade a door, or pick it up and throw it at a helicopter.

Even twelve years ago, this kind of thing wasn't unique to Deus Ex. Computer RPGs had long provided at least as much gameplay variety, if not more. But the fact that Deus Ex gives the player so much control within a three-dimensional environment is something more than variety — it's freedom.

The kickstarters keep coming - Project Giana

Now the Great Giana Sisters, one of Europe's most well-remembered Commodore C64 games, is scheduled for a reboot, too. If you're looking for an old-fashioned, cutesy platformer, without all that ultra-hard-one-hit-kill-and-a-thousand-spikes-instant respawn nonsense, this could become the game for you.

Unfortunately, the Kickstarter fundraiser has only six days left, and still needs to raise a third of its most basic funding. It would be a true shame if this game somehow wouldn't get made. The original programmer of the C64 game is involved with the project, and it uses music by Chris Huelsbeck and Machinae Supremacy, to support an interesting dream/nightmare dual world. Other than most kickstarters, the developer even has a working demo to show.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse on Kickstarter.

Just in case you hadn't heard yet, Revolution is working on a new old-school Broken Sword title, with hand-drawn 2D backgrounds (but 3D models for the characters). The mystery this time involves the oldest schism in Christianity, started back in the very first days of the religion.

And like many classic adventure series that make their return these days, Charles Cecil and his team hope to get the game funded by those who will actually play it. The campaign has reached about a third of the $400,000 goal in like a day, so there's no reason to assume it might not get funded, but in case you want to show your support or secure one of the incentives (which seem a bit steep, to be honest - a Kickstarter-exclusive boxed copy is only offered from $100 upwards), you can do so on the Kickstarter project page.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MAGFest 11 Guest Announcement: Yuzo Koshiro

From the press release:

August 15th, 2012: For the first time in the US, the man who filled the streets with rage, the legend who raised the act of video game music; Yuzo Koshiro will make his long awaited appearance at MAGFest 11.

An industry legend and pioneer of the FM synthesizer, Koshiro has long been one of the most well respected and admired video game composers in the entire world with his incredibly energetic and dance friendly style of music, contrasted by his grand orchestral masterpieces, making him one of the most versatile and diverse composers of all time.

After studying under the tutelage of Joe Hisaishi, Koshiro made his mark as part of the JDK unit for Falcom's groundbreaking action RPG games, most notably Ys. He then went from Falcom to SEGA, where he would create the soundtracks that ultimately became his most popular; Shinobi and Streets of Rage. In 1990, Koshiro composed the music for Enix's Actraiser, a soundtrack that redefined orchestral sound in a video game, and became one of the most popular soundtracks on the Super Nintendo. Since the creation of his family run company ANCIENT in that same year, Yuzo Koshiro has continued to compose for video games for close to 2 decades, with games including Shenmue, Castlevania: Potrait of Ruin, and Etrian Odyssey.

Koshiro will take part in a rare not-to-miss panel and Q&A, telling the story of his career and allowing the fans to ask the questions they want answered. In addition to that, he will also have a full DJ set featuring his own video game music! That's right, as Yuzo Koshiro makes his debut on US soil, you will be soiling your pants dancing to the sounds of Streets of Rage, Shinobi and other classic surprises DJ'd by the legend himself.

It has been a long awaited and often requested name, and we at MAGFest are honored and excited to finally say; Yuzo Koshiro will be at MAGFest!

(Thanks to Audun Sorlie for arranging Mr. Koshiro's appearance at MAGFest 11.)

About MAGFest: MAGFest, The Music And Gaming Festival, is an annual event in the Washington D.C./Virginia/Maryland area dedicated to the celebration of video games and video game music. Each year, MAGFest offers 24-hour console, arcade, and PC game rooms, over twelve live video game cover bands, chiptunes, a vendors area, and guest speakers from the video game industry and fan scene. www.magfest.org

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Update 8/12 - Okage: Shadow Kings, Uniracers, Last Survivor, Vice: Project Doom, Huang Di, Guardian Force, Altered Beast, Virtual Lab

I remember Okage: Shadow King as one of the first RPGs on the PlayStation 2, way back in 2000. You play as a young boy who's possessed by an evil demon named Stan, who forces you to try to take over the world. It's regarded to be remarkably average as a game, but its oddball premise, amusing dialogue and Tim Burton-y art style has given it a well deserved cult following. Uniracers (known as Unirally in native Europe) is a neat little SNES exclusive where you play as a sentient unicycle, which unfortunately ran into some legal trouble with Pixar, as this article points out. Last Survivor is an interesting Sega game, which I picked out because it's not emulated in MAME, but was ported to the FM Towns. It's the first instance that I can dig up of a networked multiplayer game made in Japan, which was released in the arcades. Its 3D is rudimentary, of course, using single sprite tiles rather than texture mapped polygons, and the game itself is slow and awkward, but as a weird piece of history, like most games featured on this site, it's pretty neat. After writing this I learned that the ROM has dumped and it should be released publically soon, which should give it some more exposure. Vice: Project Doom is one of those many quality NES action titles which never quite got the notoriety as Castlevania or Ninja Gaiden, but is still a worthwhile game nonetheless. And Huang Di: Zhuolu zhi Zhan, an unofficial Chinese Famicom game, stars a hopping zombie (known a a jiang shi in Chinese or a kyonshii in Japanese) and has nothing if a unique visual style. Guardian Force is an interesting scrolling tank shooter for the arcade and Saturn, developed by Success, the same folks beyond the Cotton series. And Part 14 of the iOS Shooter article covers Aeronauts Quake in the Sky, 1942: First Strike and 1945: Air Strike (which is unrelated to Capcom's games).

Our Spotlight Article is Altered Beast, for no other reason than that the original review was a little too harsh. It hasn't aged nearly as well as some of Sega's better arcade games (Fantasy Zone is still brilliant twenty five years later), and it's definitely a style-over-substance cases, but the visuals are still fantastic, and the boss designs are still incredible. It's also a little bit weird that the final boss makes a cameo in Wreck-It Ralph, especially seeing that a purple armor-clad rhino isn't exactly iconic. And Your Weekly Kusoge is Virtual Lab, a sloppy, hacked together puzzle game for the Virtual Boy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Final Symphony: Music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X Announced.

For Final Fantasy fans in Europe, this announcement should be sure to please those who fight and kids that run through the corners of the city. Thomas Böcker, director of Merregnon Studios, responsible for Symphonic Fantasies and Symphonic Odysseys, have announced the final installment in the Symphonic series titled Final Symphony. The concert with feature music from Final Fantasy VI, VII and X, and the music will be arranged by the world renowned duo Jonne Valtonen and Roger Wanamo, alongside special guest Masashi Hamauzu of Saga Frontier II and Final Fantasy XIII fame.

The event will be held at the Stadthalle Wuppertal in Germany on the May 11th. Tickets will go on sale on August 24th at WestTicket.de, and be priced at €22 ($27). The concert is officially produced in cooperation with Square Enix and Nobuo Uematsu. Check out more info at ffsymphony.com as it becomes available.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Who is Richard Del Medio? (KUSOGE)

Although not live on a front page update yet, regular forumites were keen to point out that we've reached our 50th entry on Your Weekly Kusoge. I hadn't even been counting! Looking through the staff forum it seems we were discussing the regular feature as far back as 2010, and now it's the 3rd Google result for the word "kusoge". To celebrate I've scanned an interesting article from Electronic Gaming Monthly 159, and I pose a mystery: who is Richard Del Medio?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Update 7/27/2012; Michigan, Quartet & Gunlord

Ridiculously quick update before I (and with "I" I mean not me, but Discoalucard who originally posted this message on the main page) head out the door for Otakon: Suda 51's Michigan: Report from Hell, a strange, first person horror title that's not terribly good as a game but fascinating as a whole; Sega's Quartet, a side-scrolling four player take on Gauntlet; and NG: Dev Team's Gunlord, recently released on the Dreamcast, which is heavily inspired by European PC titles. Specifically, Turrican, an older article that we've completed revamped and updated for the occasion. Part 13 of the iOS Shooters article covers Cosmic Birds, Nanoids, Icarus-X, and River Raid F22. No kusoge this week, sorry!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Secret History of DieHard GameFAN

This thread
on The Next Level forums details numerous wild stories about what went on at DieHard GameFAN during its many years of production. But it's 180 pages, a lot of which is irrelevant. So I spent an entire day and sifted through every page, and followed every link to other forums, to condense it into a single epic page. My reason: a lot of the links were dying, perhaps the main thread was at risk too. Plus, who wants to sift through 180 pages for the juicy stuff? It's not a complete history, because a lot of what people linked to, and recollections from others forums, have since died. But it's the closest you'll get to 100%. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The (almost) original version of Pitman (Catrap) preserved

A while ago we have covered Catrap, a fun puzzle game for the original Game Boy, which you can also get on Nintendo's Virtual Console. If you've read the article, you know that it is actually a remake of a 1985 Japanese home computer game called Pitman.

Well, thanks to the efforts of community member BdR, who ardually typed in the game's source code, everyone can now try out the original MZ-700 Pitman - well, almost the original, as the code is based on the French Sharpentiers version in S-BASIC, which used to be much more commonly used than the Hu-BASIC version Isokawa used to program his game. Of course, you need an MZ-700 emulator to run it, but the download contains a readme that explains all the necessary steps. Be sure to also bookmark BdR's homepage in case of possible future updates.

Those interested in the game's source code can also find scans of both the original code (printed in the Japanese Magazine Oh!MZ 8/1985) and the French adaption in the article. Also check the forums to read and/or take part in the discussion about the game, its history and its code.

UPDATE: BdR has made a new version that fixes some bugs and deleted features in the Sharpentiers version, so it's now even closer to Isokawa's original code. The file hosted here has also been updated.