Currently playing:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Raiden DX double play sighting in the wild!

Check this out, while eating Pho with my fiancee, I spotted a coffee shop right next door which had what looked like an arcade cocktail table inside. After going in, I was surprised to find a Sega Aero Table with Raiden DX!

This alone was a pretty rare find, but upon closer inspection, I found both P1 and P2 sides had their 3rd button (which is normally autofire on Raiden) stuck down with what looked like a torn up cigarette box jammed into the edge of the button. This was a good indication that someone was probably having a double play run with both ships.

I went back to the coffee shop today to take a pic with my camera, but the buttons were unstuck, making it somewhat difficult to have a dual play run stretching my fingers to the 3rd button of each player. Next time I go, I'll bring a toothpick to jam in there to hold the buttons down.

New Planet Harriers highscore

With my PH machine repaired, I jumped in for two test runs, and beat my last highscore by a little bit. I still died in Stage 3, around the same place, only difference was I entered the stage maxed out on everything and with 6 hearts!

I'm just realizing that some of the projectiles are guided! So you need to keep your player moving to avoid them. Only problem is if missiles are fired from opposite sides of the screen, which is when you have to do some fancy roll maneuvers (mentioned before that only work if the stick is calibrated properly).

DJK - 445,570 - Stage 3

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Planet Harriers monitors fixed!

During the last Bay Area Shmupmeet, Segasonicfan pointed out what might be wrong with my Planet Harriers monitor colors. Turns out these are both Wells Gardner D9200 monitors, which apparently have been discontinued because they were poorly designed. It seems the neckboards would fry some transistors used to buffer the R/G/B video signal to the tube.

To confirm this might be the problem, I did a quick test. I swapped the neckboards between both monitors, and sure enough the color problems also swapped. Segasonicfan pointed out these three transistors as the culprit, which just so happens to have some burn and resoldering underneath, a clear indications that they have been replaced before.

Being the original transistor used is pretty uncommon, I was able to fine a suitable NTE replacement. I think I'll have to order a couple more just in case any other colors go out on me. Now finally I can actually get back to playing this cool game!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Double Play or Dual Play?

I'm not exactly sure if the term is "Dual Play" or "Double Play", but the menu option in Raiden III (and most likely in Raiden IV) call it Double Play, but I refer to it as either.
Anyway, Dual Play Shooting will be a side topic for me to document my thoughts and experience playing vertical shooting arcade games (also known as shmups) while controlling both player 1 and player 2 ships at the same time. Even though this technique of playing has been around for over 15 years (since the original Raiden days), it was made much more public/popular by VTF-INO with his Ikaruga replays (see youtube example below).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Gun Frontier PCB

I just received a new (well its actually used) PCB this week. The game is called "Gun Frontier" made by Taito in 1990. The story line is pretty strange: space cowboys and mechanical tanks on a distant settlement planet like the old west. There is a nice writeup by Mike Bevan here for the sega saturn version.

Anyway, this is the grandfather of all that is Yagawa/Raizing!

I read how this inspired Yagawa to create Garegga, but after finally playing it in person, I can see Yagawa took MANY things from this game and continues to pay homage in all his Raizing/Crazing games since! You've got the bomb rack, cartridge bullets and casings, flock of flamingos, enemy shrapnel, enemy explosions curling off, enemy/boss point-blanking, swiveling girder arm, destructible scenery, destructible boss parts for extra points, a shimmering cloud background exactly like Ibara & Pink Sweets, ... probably much more since I've only made it to the start of level 4 on a few credits so far. Playing this is almost like digging into the roots of modern music.

The only thing that sucks about it, is the huge hitboxes and rank increase autofire deterant.