Salamander

I’m not much of a shmup (shoot ’em up, a term I wouldn’t have known if not for my friend Chris, the shmup master) kind of guy, but starting with this game, the X68000 is starting to change my mind. When the title screen loaded, it was already a bit breathtaking, with its crisp display and vibrant colors.

And the game itself continued with that. It’s a very colorful and aesthetically pleasing game. But it’s also very engaging. The obstacles in your path are widely varied, forcing you to interact with the environment, not just the enemies and their shots. And the first boss fight was a nice challenge, nothing too aggressive and gives you a chance to get into the game and feel accomplished.

The second level suddenly tilts everything 90 degrees and you’re flying up instead of to the right. The third picture in the gallery below definitely crosses my comfort zone in terms of game intensity, but it was a fun challenge! This is about as far as I’ve got so far, dying at the boss of level 2. But I’ll be back for more!

This machine was made in 1987 and this game in 1988, but honestly, it seems a bit like cheating to call some of these vintage games. The X68000 is so sophisticated compared to most other consumer hardware of the time.

Shanghai

“Shanghai, AGAIN?!” you aggressively wonder. Yes, again. It was the first game I used to test my Sharp X1, Shanghai II was the first game I used to test my PC-8801MA2, and now Shanghai is the first game I used to test my X68000. You might think I have some obsession with the game, but it’s not precisely true. I think I’ll write a comparison post later that goes into greater detail. But for now, this is Shanghai on my X68000.

I bought the original disk from BEEP in Akihabara. It was dirt cheap at 280 yen, because there was no box, no manual, and there was mold on the disk. I’m sure a disk without mold wouldn’t have cost much more, as even a boxed version would probably sell at 1000 yen, but this was the only copy they had. Of course, I cleaned off any excess mold before using it in my drive.

And then it’s standard fare for Shanghai. Find the matching tiles and remove them from the game board until you have cleared it. This game hardly stresses the limits of the X68000, but it is a clean looking version of the game. The only option for game control is the mouse, so if you don’t have that, you’re kinda stuck looking at the game board and planning your first move until your mouse arrives.

Luck was with me once again, as I managed to complete the round to 100% and get the winning screen shot. Here we have my standard progression of 100% ⇒ 75% ⇒ 50% ⇒ 25% ⇒ 12.5% ⇒ last two tiles ⇒ finish.

And a standard picture as well as an animated GIF of the winning screen. Just noticed the GIF is 32MB! Well, load it if you want to, but depending on my server’s response time at any given moment, it could take a while!