Friday, April 14, 2017

AfterBurner 2: Enhanced Edition

AfterBurner celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, so it seemed fitting to produce an ‘Enhanced Edition’ to offer the definite experience to fans of the original.

AfterBurner 2: Enhanced Edition (AEE) is a set of 3 replacement EPROMs intended for use on the original arcade hardware. It is a plug and play solution and no hardware modifications are required.

Featuring:

  • Stage Select
  • New Music Tracks
  • High Score Saving
  • Working Freeplay Mode
  • Attract Mode Sound Options
  • Software Dip Settings


This is free to owners of the original arcade cabinet. If you would like a copy, send me a selfie of you and your AfterBurner machine (!) on the UKVAC forum where my username is dj_yt 

Further documentation here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

OutRun Influences: Hiroshi Nagai & Naoya Matsuoka

It's well known that OutRun was partially inspired by the film, The Cannonball Run and a European roadtrip. Yu Suzuki has referenced it in many interviews; the film is even mentioned in the game's original design documentation.

However, some other OutRun influences are less well known but equally important. First is the Japanese artist Hiroshi Nagai. His work extensively features roads running adjacent to shining blue sea, bright foliage, palm trees and the colour palette OutRun fans will recognise.



Now we know why OutRun features so many pink flowers!



Interestingly, Nagai provides the cover art for a 1982 Japanese album, entitled September Wind, composed by Naoya Matsuoka & Wesing. OutRun composer, Hiroshi Kawaguchi references Matsuoka's work as a direct inspiration for OutRun's score claiming that without it OutRun wouldn't have been born. 


The album itself features the sound of waves breaking between the tracks, reminiscent of OutRun's music selection screen. Some of the OutRun melodies are influenced by tracks on the album. For example, Passing Breeze, definitely bears some similarities to A Season of Love. Overall, it's the perfect listening material for any OutRun fan! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Out Run: Early Cabinet Screenshot

Here's an early photo of an OutRun Deluxe cabinet. [source]


If you look closely at the screen, you will spot that there are a number of differences from the released version. This must be running an early prototype version of the game.
  • Timer is using the font from Space Harrier. This font is in the OutRun ROMs but not used anywhere. Now we know it was used in an earlier prototype version.
  • Sign art is different in a number of places from release.
  • Debug information above speed on left hand side.
  • No rev counter
  • kp/h graphic is different
  • No route map




This Space Harrier also has some differences from the released version:
  • A step built into the base at the front which was later removed.
  • The side art is different; the underbelly of the dragon and his hair are orange on this version and yellow on the final art.
  • Different instructions & warning stickers, 
  • Sega logo size on the rear panel and title screen