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Episode 42 – Arcade Conversions


Matt and Damien tell us what they’ve been up to, which leads on to their thoughts on collecting. Matt asks whether some of us are in danger of just collecting consoles, computers and games for the sake of it. Do we even find the time to regularly play on all of the systems we have in our collections?

It’s then on to the main part of the podcast, where they discuss the arcade conversions of R-Type, Operation Wolf, APB (All Points Bulletin) Xenophobe and The New Zealand Story. They talk briefly about the hardware of each machine then question how successfully each game was recreated on the various home systems. Find out why both looked forward to a home conversion of their favorite arcade games and their theories on why home conversions of arcade music, especially on the C64 and Amiga, often sounded better than their arcade parents. They finish with some honorable mentions and Matt explains why, despite having almost perfect arcade emulation from MAME, he finds himself increasingly playing home conversions.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the latest news, an update on Retro Asylum’s special event at the end of August and progress on the ongoing auditions. To top it all off, you’ll also find out what Matt has recently given a lovely new spray job to and whether Damien would recommend Gloucester for a causal night out!

Mission Genocide, smooth Amstrad vertical scroller:

Edge Grinder, smooth Amstrad horizontal scroller:

Explaining the difficulty of smooth Amstrad Scrolling: … croll.html

The Atari interviews Damien was talking about can be found in this book: … 0970475500

It’s all here in Episode 42 of Retro Asylum, the UK’s number one retro gaming podcast!

Download the episode:
Episode 42 – Arcade Conversions

15 thoughts on “Episode 42 – Arcade Conversions

  1. Andy says:

    Sorry for the late comment guys, good job on covering some Intresting topics.

    Just wanted to mention one of the best versions of R-Type is on the Master System.
    It’s so good and even has a extra hidden level

    As for playing the games or systems, just don’t have the time.

    Nice job guys

    • den.aris says:

      Just been having a look at the SMS version. It’s very nice, no doubting that although the music is a bit grating. That sound chip lacks any character. Real shame.

      Graphically very nice but all the sprites are smaller, so it’s lacking completely being authentic level design. But a real nice version, if it wasn’t for the music (which are good renditions but they just don’t have a nice tonal quality about them) I’d be up for playing this.

  2. Andy says:

    And I almost forgot about the Mean streets of “Gloucester” lol

    Did you not know that Matt, that Gloucester is one of the most dangerous places on the planet, not even Ross Kemp would film there about gangs lol

  3. scopie says:

    What a cracking listen guys, you’ve really out done yourself this week. For me, arcade conversions were a huge part of 8-bit and 16-bit gaming and the trepidation of loading up a conversion for the first time and hoping its going to be a faithful rendition.
    You touched on several good conversions like op wolf and NZ story, Rod Lands and even bad dudes were also very good. Unfortunately there were so many more disappointing ones (U.S Gold I’m looking at you lol).
    Hats off to the likes of Graftgold, The Sales Curve and Ocean France.

  4. den.aris says:

    Thanks chaps.

    Having played the C64 version at the weekend, it’s that version that’s missing level 3 from the game so I can only assume more is missing somewhere. Inexcusable really consider the spectrum version.

  5. Damien says:

    “Gloucester is one of the most dangerous places on the planet”

    Andy, great to see that at least someone is with me on Gloucester, it really isn’t the sort of place you’d like to be on a night out. Ross Kemp is hard, and if he won’t go out there then I don’t know who will! Glad you enjoyed the show mate, we’re working on making them better each time!

    Thanks Scopie, we really enjoyed putting the show together. There are some fantastic arcade conversions, though like you, I also remember the dreaded US Gold efforts, absolutely awful most of them which was a real shame because they picked up some good licenses like Streetfighter 2 which they went on to completely ruin on the Amiga!

  6. mrsid says:

    Sorry for my late reply, I’ve only just today managed to listen to the whole lot. I really enjoyed this episode and learnt lots of new things along the way! I grew up in a seaside town so had a misspent youth hanging around arcades alot. Remember operation wolf fondly and also up n down is another honerable mention.

    Damien, your description of sf2 on the Amiga… Couldn’t have put it better myself!

    And Matt, if you have a ‘consolidated’ A1200 that you want to sell, let me know

  7. glenn says:

    Good episode guys I like all the interesting stuff you 2 talked about If my c64 ever broken down one day Damien I Let you know lol keep up good work

  8. Mark Jones says:

    A great podcast chaps. I love all the technical stuff.

    As an aside, I never owned an Amstrad and I thought it was basically a Spectrum with a multi-coloured face. I was proved wrong however with a demo I saw which made use of hardware such as the CRTC. This demo blew me away – better than any C64 demo (and I’ve seen a few).

    You’ve probably seen it but it’s the Batman Forever demo. Take time to watch it all (10 minutes) but my favourite part is 5:45 in. Stunning. How does the CPC do this????

    By the way I live in Worcester and I’d never go out in Gloucester 😉

    • Damien says:

      Thanks Mark. Ah yes the Batman Forever demo, it’s an absolutely stunning demonstration of what’s possible with the Amstrad’s hardware. We followed it closely some years ago on the CPCWiki site.

      The CPC is often seen as a Speccy with multi-colours but that’s not really the case. The only thing they share in common is the CPU. The CPC can do the Spectrum’s screen mode easily because the screen can be easily programmed via the CRTC to match the Speccy’s screen making straight ports far easier (and cheaper) at the obvious cost of not properly utilising the hardware.

      The CPC is quite an odd hybrid of machines. It has the same CPU as the Spectrum but the same CRTC as the BBC Model B and in-fact the same controller was used in some EGA cards. The CRTC and CPU is an odd pairing since the controller is really meant to be used with a Motorola not Zilog CPU. The CPC was originally to be based around a 6502 (this was changed when they needed Locomotive to create a BASIC for them in a short period of time and Locomotive already had a Z80 basic implementation). The Z80 proved to be a wise choice in the end, it was much faster than the 6502 which was essential due to the relative lack of hardware graphics support – Imagine a CPC running at 1Mhz – horrible!!

      It’s a shame that there weren’t more programmers capable to getting the most out of the machine, but unfortunately it was harder to program well than either the Spectrum or C64 and thus it took longer to get good results. Like the Jaguar it means that often games on the platform failed to reach the machine’s full potential.

  9. mattyr64 says:

    Awesome show guys, just got around to listening to it – first half Friday on the way home from work, inspired me to break out the C64 and 1541U again over the weekend. Finished listening this morning, and I must say the techno geek side of me has found his favourite hosts. Not taking anything away from any of the other hosts of course, everyone brings something to the table, but you guys seems to be right on my level. Basically, now I’m waiting to see what you cover next.

    PS. Matt, I forgot to comment on your music special a few months back. I thought it was amazing. More of them too please!

    • Damien says:

      Thanks Matty, really glad you enjoyed the episode. We do have some great things lined up so watch this space. As a techy, I do enjoy talking about the technical stuff but always mindful that I could go into a little too much detail – it’s that important balance of just covering stuff in enough detail but not too much to put off the general listener.

      Sounds like we might be getting it about right now which is great!

  10. TEOL says:

    Can’t wait to listen to the first ever and probably not last 2 hours of greatness bumper edition of the show.

    I wasn’t very well with hay fever to listen until now.

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