Articles tagged with: macscene

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom

mossy_11 on Monday, 23 August 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

There’s something magical about the 16-bit era of Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs). The sprite graphics had grown just enough in detail to express a wide range of emotions, while the larger capacity of cartridges for the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis allowed the creation of huge and highly detailed worlds. Moreover, the mechanics that were in their infancy during the days of the NES had matured and shed much of the baggage that previously weighed them down.

A lot remained to be done to perfect the JRPG formula, but its scope and complexity were no longer constrained by technology -- developers could at last create an epic adventure with a fully-realised story and several core characters, all tied in to a deep gameplay system. It would be some time before the arrival of the true masterpieces of the era -- Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario RPG, and a few others -- but a flurry of fine efforts kept gamers more than satisfied through the early 90s, including Final Fantasy IV, Illusion of Gaia, Phantasy Star III, and the topic of this article, Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (Estpolis in Japan), which preceded another of the 16-bit JRPG greats: Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals.


Radical Castle

jetboy on Monday, 16 August 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: Radical Castle is one of the earliest graphical adventure games, and is a key component in the point-and-click revolution ushered in by the Macintosh in the mid-to-late 80s. If you have any interest in adventure games, you should play this. -mossy_11



Radical Castle is a 1986 World Builder adventure classic designed by Christopher Kent Wigginton, which was originally distributed as shareware on multiple cover disks. I first came across Radical Castle around 1988. As a kid I would wait around in mumʼs office fiddling with her Mac Plus. The office had an intranet that I used to search for shareware/freeware apps. When mum returned to her office she was often surprised to see little gadgets on her computer, such as eyes that followed the mouse and Oscar the Grouch in the trash. Radical Castle fit in well with these gadgets.

You play the role of a squire who has fallen out with the king over a secret meeting you had with the princess. Although you are repentant and honestly thought that the princess was a serving wench, the king still isnʼt happy. He gives you a choice between death and a long quest to find an oracle that an evil wizard has stolen.

News Round-up: July 4 - August 1

mossy_11 on Sunday, 01 August 2010. Posted in News

magic-trackpadApple has released the Magic Trackpad, a multi-touch trackpad designed for use on desktop computers. It has a size and profile that matches Apple’s most recent keyboards. Priced at US$69, many have labelled the device too expensive, while others wonder if it is the beginning of a paradigm shift away from mouse input. Check out the MacScene forum thread for the community’s take, and see the official product page for more information.

steam_logo1Valve plans to give away some of their code for OpenGL on the Mac in order to accelerate and motivate further development of Mac versions of Steam games. They claim that this will eliminate the “real hard work” in putting games on the Mac.

apple-logoApple announced an update to the iMac line, with speed bumps and a move to discrete graphics cards across all models. They also introduced a new Mac Pro line that promises “up to 50 percent greater performance,” and a 27-inch LED Cinema Display, which will replace the existing 24-inch and 30-inch models. The new Mac Pros will be available “in August” while the Cinema Display is set for a September release.

Apple’s Q3 earnings revealed that the Mac is growing in popularity, despite the recent focus on iOS devices. The iPad has already sold more than 3 million units. The iPhone 4 sold over 8 million units despite its much-publicised antenna problems and limited international release.

Emulator updates after the break.

Phantasie III - The Wrath of Nikademus

jetboy on Monday, 26 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: I'll admit I knew nothing of the Phantasie games before reading this, but jetboy does a great job of explaining the appeal of his favourite entry in the series. I'd appreciate it if someone could explain to me what exactly I'm supposed to do in the game, though, because I went wandering and now I'm completely lost. -mossy_11



My favourite game of all time, Phantasie III, was released for the Amiga back in 1987, and I emulate it using E-UAE (in combination with a handy, legal, ROM/OS package called Amiga Forever). Since most Amiga games were distributed on floppies, I also use a utility called WHDLoad, which allows you to install the floppy versions on your hard disk and remove the nostalgic switching between 100 floppies process. This is my suggested setup if you want to play Phantasie III using MacOS as your host OS, because while there are other versions (notably DOS and Apple II), the graphics and sound for the Amiga version are unequivocally better. While I love Apple, the Apple II version is clearly the worst, and it just makes no sense trying to play it. If you really canʼt get the Amiga version going, I suggest you go with the DOS version because itʼs somewhere in the middle. [What about the Atari ST and Commodore 64 versions? -ed.]

Metal Gear

dickmedd on Monday, 19 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week



Editor's note: This is a fantastic overview of the Metal Gear series that goes a long way to explaining its lasting appeal, and also provides an easy introduction to the uninitiated. I just wish the first two games weren't so hard. -mossy_11

Had a good game of Splinter Cell, Thief, Assassin's Creed, Hitman or Tenchu lately? If so, you owe a fair amount to producer Hideo Kojima for spearheading the development of the 'stealth/espionage' video game genre in his acclaimed Metal Gear series.

Chances are you have played, seen, or at least heard of the 3D Metal Gear Solid instalments on the PlayStation systems (the first two rank highly in best-selling lists), but you are unlikely to have played Kojima's original MSX2 creations, unless you live in Japan.

In the original Metal Gear you play as Solid Snake, a special forces operative assigned to infiltrate the military base/state 'Outer Heaven' in order to liberate your comrades and eliminate the enemy weapon, Metal Gear -- a giant, walking, nuke-firing Mecha -- which always seems to be in the wrong hands. The first game in the series establishes a recurring theme of the series: a mission undertaken by one barehanded agent -- you heard right, if you want a gun, you better try and find one. Via radio and radar assistance, you must avoid detection by carefully sneaking through various corridors and floors in order to guide Snake towards completing his mission.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape

jack59splat59 on Monday, 12 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: Thanks to jack59splat59 for being the first to volunteer for our new Retro Game of the Week community feature. Check out his article then post your thoughts in the comments. And if you haven't played Rayman 2, get out there and do it now! -mossy_11

Released on January 6, 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and PlayStation, Rayman 2 took the iconic Rayman into 3D for the first time. It has since been ported to several other systems, including the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 (PSN), and iPhone, and is on many "Best Games of All Time" lists.


MacScene Wants You...

mossy_11 on Monday, 05 July 2010. Posted in News

cranky-kong-wants-you2To write about old games.

We’re starting a new feature here called Retro Game of the Week (see the first entry here). The basic idea is that someone (you, perhaps) writes an article about an old game, then the MacScene the community discusses said game. Simple, right?

If it’s going to work, though, we need your help. I will organise everything and help the volunteers with their articles (if necessary). But that’s the thing -- this is a community feature, so it has to be community driven in order to work long-term.

I have created a forum thread that will list all games suggested for future entries. Go there to suggest a game for someone else to write about or to stake out your territory on the games you want to do.

If you are willing to write or contribute to a Retro Game of the Week article, you can send me a message, comment on an article, or post on the forums. I’ll be creating a forum thread for tracking the schedule as soon as there is one, so you’ll be able to check when you committed to helping out, or see when there is an opening that might suit you.

Hit "read more" for more information.

Prince of Persia

mossy_11 on Monday, 05 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

1197316255-00It’s a simple story that has been told in various guises for thousands of years: the beautiful princess is held against her will by the evil usurper of the throne. The hero must come to her aid and save the kingdom from tyranny, undertaking a gruelling series of trials along the way. Jordan Mechner’s 1989 Prince of Persia added a strong sense of urgency to the plot with a strict one hour time limit. Fail and the princess dies; the kingdom falls to the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. Succeed and become the champion of the people; the tyrant Jaffar dies.

You emerge in the deepest depths of Jaffar’s dungeons, unarmed and with only your wits to defend you against the many guards and traps scattered throughout. In just one hour you brave perilous drops, retractable spike pits, collapsing floors, armed guards, and several other kinds of traps, all of which can slice and dice your avatar in the most terrifying ways. With the odds so firmly stacked against you, it takes remarkable skill -- and more than a little luck -- to reach the end of the game, where you meet the tyrant Jaffar himself for a fight to the death.