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About Kombalar

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    Chopper Commander

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  1. Space Duel, Star Wars, Tempest, Asteroids Deluxe, Empire Strikes Back, Quantum, Battle Zone are all in my top-20 games. Gravitar being the biggest favorite. I scored in the 340K range in the arcades but with MAME I was able to finally complete the whole game.
  2. AAE is my all-time favorite emulator. MAME improved the vector games but AAE did it better (imho). [
  3. There was another emulator back in those days... maybe Starcade or Sparcade or something like that? It emulated Gyruss and other games with that chipset.
  4. Funny review. Ironically the favorite game of my 9-year old son is "Growtopia", which looks exactly like a 80'S game. At some point people eventually realized that the graphics don't mean squat. It's the playability that matters. It's even more ironic that he loves many MAME games, like Skull & Crossbones and Metal Slug.
  5. Who had the commercial Williams arcade games pack (that had Defender, Bubbles, Stargate and Sinistar)? That came before MAME. Were those are emulated or recreations (programmed from scratch)? Also, I can't help but wonder why ATARI didn't release these classic arcade games for computers in the early 90's themselves? Most likely they would have been very successful (considering how popular arcade emulation was - and still is). They released something in the late 90's but we already had these games in MAME years ago.
  6. Yeah Galaga, Galaxian and Space Invaders were in the early MAME versions. Zaxxon and Congo Bongo came pretty soon too. And Bomb Jack. Every day was like a potential Christmas back in those days. Haha.
  7. Yes Neil Bradley made Retrocade but EMU was his first one. Retrocade was a newer one which emulated a lot more games. EMU was only the vector games. He was a true pioneer. I believe MAME still uses his emulation in those Atari vector classics.
  8. Haha now that I took a look, I now remember Dave's Video Game Classic. You apparently catched MAME right away. I think my first version was a few months later. It already had Donkey Kong and maybe Qix, Frogger and Ms. Pacman too.
  9. I remember when I got MAME and Neil Bradley's EMU. It was 1994 I guess when MAME came out. I was in my early 20's. My little brother (who was about 15 back then) called me and told me that "Hey, there is an emulator that allows you to play Gravitar and Space Duel". I was like: "You mean someone has recreated those games?" He said: "No, the real things. It's called emulation". I went literally BERZERK (no pun intended). I drove to my parent's house immediately (he was still living at home). Back in those days MAME did not emulate vector games. EMU was for those. Then there was a Xevious standalone emulator. We had a discussion forum on Usenet for these classic emulators. Even Jeff Minter was there, being a legendary Tempest fan that he is. I don't remember what 486 machine me and brother had back in those days but they only ran them at 80% speed or so. I immediately went to buy a new one just to play EMU. That SAME DAY. It's impossible to describe the feeling when I first had a chance to play Space Duel, Gravitar, Tempest and Xevious again. Remember, they were only 10+ years old games back then. I thought when they disappeared from the arcades they were gone forever. Of course I owned the commercial Williams pack (that had Robotron, Defender, Stargate and Bubbles). I love them all (esp. Stargate) but they weren't "special" to me like the ones mentioned above because they weren't in my local arcade when I was a kid. Then came Track & Field, Hyper Sports, Bomb Jack, Mr. Do's Castle. I couldn't believe it. It was too good to be true. Even my school suffered because I was literally playing these games endlessly. PinMAME and Visual Pinball was another amazing revolution. It was "magic" to see Gauntlet and Marble Madness eventually on your computer screen. Those games were so "larger than life", even "mythical" when you saw them in the arcades a kid. They were light years ahead of the conversions we had in our home video systems (I had Vectrex, A2600 and C64). Oh, and I'Robot. That was really jaw dropping game back in 1983... those graphics were revolutionary. I've been playing MAME since 1994. There are weeks that I don't play but sometimes I spend hours with it... 26 years later. Yesterday I played Raiden Fighters and its sequels. It has SO many great games. MAME, for me, is the most important thing that has ever been released on home computers. And if I ever met guys who were involved the beers would be on me. Tell me how you felt when you first got into emulation. Cheers!
  10. I watched the video of the 7800 conversion. I'm very impressed. Just imagine if the conversions had been this kind of quality back in the day. I was very good in the real arcade machine. Scored over 4 million points and completed a LOT of mazes. I was creating this conversion for VPX myself and tried to make it play as close to the real thing as possible.
  11. Hey I had completely forgotten about that game. I played it to bits back in the day. Amazing game! There was also Br0derbund's "Stunts" which was very similar. That was great too.
  12. I'm very happy. Even the newer Atari games like STUN Runner and Steel Talons run flawlessly. I also play more 80's games but there are a lot of great and overlooked stuff among the 90's games as well. They weren't playable with my old machines but now I can play and view them in their full glory. This is why MAME is great. They never made any cheap "speed hacks" but documented the games for the future as they knew the CPU's will become much faster eventually. I played my first MAMEs in PC 486. Those were the days.
  13. Actually Atari recognized this problem in the 80's. When they made Gravitar they wanted it to have a "game character". Thus, you have this weird looking alien in the cabinet art. Unfortunately that awesome game was too difficult for the masses and it offered just too much strategy and finesse for that era. But that interview is interesting. http://www.cooganphoto.com/gravitar/interview.html Mike Hally: The game name was as difficult to agree upon as it was doing the entire game. This was the era when the marketing and sales staff got involved and determined that it was their job to approve of the game name. As you can see (in the project documents) I went through some procedures and spent money doing searches and still the name changed! The reason you change from Lunar Battle is that it was tested and the results were so-so. Rumors in the field are bad and by changing the name it gives it a new life. Look at the status reports to determine when the name switch was made. I don't recall seeing any official documents in the binder about the name change. Oh well. The guy they added to the artwork is Gravitar. Atari wanted to have a character in the game, (kind of) since character games were becoming popular! As you can see I had to deal with more than just designing a game that people would put money in to play!
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