As I said before in my previous article from last month. There’s one type of genre that I loved playing in the arcades and more so on my home console, and that is the shoot em up genre! You know the type, enemy waves coming at you at all sides, your ship blasting across the landscape with adrenaline flowing as you try to survive and wipe them out. Well there’s one such game that I have fond memories of and that was Namco’s 1982 vertical scrolling arcade shoot em up of Xevious. A game that we are pleased to announce is coming to the Commodore Amiga, thanks to the hard work of JOTD!

Here is what JOTD said when the game was first teased back in Feb ” Well, it’s not that easy for a 1:1 port because of the strange local palettes the game uses. Game uses 128 colors, which could be reduced but it also has an OSD. ATM I’m focusing on an AGA port which should run on bare A1200. There are also memory constraints because of all the lookup tables and various palettes to emulate. This project was initiated by Mark McDougall, a talented coder who is doing the NeoGeo version which is way beyond the amiga version, but the cool thing is: I don’t have a clue about how the game works. All Z80 to 68k reverse of the game logic is done by Mark and I “just” have to implement the hardware dependent calls that he designed”.”

JOTD also goes on to say in regards to the latest version and why so far it’s A1200 and above only. ” A500, this game isn’t going to be for you  Today I worked on the game and made good progress again.  Just for people to understand: to get good colors & speed from an Amiga you have to work harder than on dedicated hardware. When the arcade designers wanted to create a game, they chose the best hardware adapted to it and used it extensively. We are lucky that they didn’t use more colors because they could have.

“Of course why bothering with dual playfield which reduces to 16+15 colors (there’s a transparent color on the second playfield), after all ECS is 32 colors, AGA is 256 colors but then you have all the background to manage when you”re pasting/erasing the sprites + the OSD. That makes a lot of blits with 7 or 8 bitplanes. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t work with 40+ objects on screen, even small ones”.

“Xevious hardware couldn’t even start to run F/A18 interceptor or even Virus because it’s a 2D monster tile engine which works with fixed pre-drawn tiles. Amiga is more multi-purpose. For 2D those arcade machines were killers. Z80 sucked but the custom graphic chips were really something. about the bozos, a few months ago I was one, assuming the 1982 hardware could not cope with so many colors & sprites… But I was wrong. About a release date, I’d say beta without sound & a lot of glitches in one or 2 weeks.

Links :1) Discussion 2) Download

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