The Future is here, or is it? , Amiga had one “real” rival back in the 80’s and early 90’s and that was the ATARI ST range, a machine that was quite rubbish compared to the Amiga 500 and up range but it had some features that made it really popular even though the “only” thing it had by default was that famous MIDI feature and of course one of the best music application series ever made…Cubase?
The worst thing about the ATARI ST was that its hardware was quite similar to the Amiga HW and yet very different at the same time so we (Amiga users) ended up with Amiga ST ports , or rather games created for both the Amiga and Atari ST at the same time so we got crappy sound, limited hardware effects (limited sprites for instance and of course …blitter/coppper…) which gave us (Amiga users) ports of an already butchered game..
Luckily for us Amiga users this trend started to go away when the Amiga passed the Atari ST in just about every aspect (sales and support being the main things i guess) and when huge Amiga only franchises appeared…well , we said bye to Atari ST fast and laughed in their face while firing up games that the Atari could only dream of.
Time heals all wounds it seems, fanboys have gone away and wars have turned to consoles and/or just simply faded away and while both markets have more or less stagnated in the games department they both still have some games every year and for instance we Amiga users have 3 OS’s in development still whereas we have some fanboy wars as the love towards AmigaOS4 and MorphOS is quite strong.
It’s been a few quality commercial games this year and there have also been some awesome shareware games too so all in all we can’t really complain as we have to rely on ourselves to get more games ported or created for our beloved platforms.
This ATARI love started late last year where 1 (Philippe Guichardon (Meynaf)) guy decided to try and port/reverse engineer some ATARI ST game to the Amiga, the game he tried to do this with was Gauntlet 1 a game that was announced in 1987 for the Amiga, reviews were posted in magazines along with screenshots and so on but the game never surfaced and it was eventually confirmed that it was only for the Atari ST…
Amazingly enough he managed to reverse engineer quite fast and the game turned out to be very smooth and very good work, he also went as far as supporting the game with more features, sadly some users was sad because his game required more memory and a faster CPU than expected (020 and 2mb ram if i remember correctly) but as it most people either use an upgraded Classic or an AGA or even RTG/UAE setup today..well that wasn’t too much of a problem.
Philippe Guichardon (Meynaf)‘s second game was Joust, another great port of an already extremely popular Arcade/Atari ST game but this was always a game that whatever platform it was released on a game that i hated and found annoying.
Philippe Guichardon (Meynaf)‘s 3rd game was Super Sprint, a game that i have always had a huge love for and i must have spent several hundred pounds on it the last 25 years, well at least for all of the games like Championship Sprint,Super Sprint and Indy Heat among others, this port is another well done one and the one i have played the most of his ports.
After these 3 games, Meynaf went quiet, had he lost interest in reverse engineering old ST games? forums started to get worried threads and lots of speculations but luckily he hadn’t quit doing these ports and said that he was taking requests for other games to port/reverse engineer.
Some months passed and then all of a sudden a very huge surprise appeared and that was that he was back with another game and this time a huge game.
Philippe Guichardon (Meynaf)‘s 4th game was International karate, forums went wild and i was super excited as International Karate on the C64 was amazing and same with IK+ but as soon as i fired the ST port up …what a crappy game it turned out to be and it wasn’t because of the port as that was fine as the problem lied in the actual game itself, bad graphics, horrible sound and a gameplay that made even the worst beat em up games from early Amiga days to look like and play like an AAA title.
Philippe Guichardon (Meynaf)‘s went quiet again, had he got enough after people didn’t enjoy International Karate? so far that is his last port/Reversed Engineered ST game.
A while back a new guy who was known for his work on Whdload and his nick Asman
and his first game was Solomon’s Key which to me is another fond memory from the Arcades and C64 , port was great but the original ST game was a bit of a mixed bag, felt stiff and slow and some of the magic was lost in the music but it’s far from bad and a game that all retro geeks need to check out.
Asman was and still is quite active in the Amiga community and he was/is taking requests and suggestions for more games to port/reverse engineer and luckily it ended on yet another super classic game, Metro-Cross, a splendid port and a splendid Original ST game and while i had only played the C64 game before i still think this is one heck of a game on both formats and while i bet the C64 version is the best..who cares ! i got it on the Amiga now! weeeeeee!.
So there you have it, 6 ST games in less than a year and likely most people don’t even know they got released so that’s why i decided to do this article now and lets hope the community asks for more games and keeps the Amiga flame lit even if it’s just ST ports for now.
As a final note, these guys have also done other ports/reverse engineered projects (one of them being Heros Of Might And Magic II) and i might do an article or 3 about them later on as i am still not too sure how far they are and if they’re possible to complete.