It’s been a long time coming, with various emulators trying and failing to master the world’s first “64-bit” console architecture, but one of the biggest holes in the world of emulation has finally been (partly) filled, with the recent release of the first-ever Atari Jaguar emulator. Project Tempest’s name reveals the reason most people would ever want such a thing – the Jaguar’s one true killer app, Jeff Minter’s astounding remake Tempest 2000 – and appropriately T2K is one of the high number of Jag games which are compatible with the emu.

Sadly there’s no audio emulation yet, but it can only be a matter of time before the game’s fantastic, intimidating soundtrack is booming out from a PC near you. (Tempest 2000 was actually released on PC, but with a poorer-quality soundtrack, and it’s almost impossible to get it to run on modern hardware. But you could always put the CD in the drive and listen to the music while you play the mute emulated version.)



The artwork-addition facility of MAME mentioned by Emu Zone a few months ago has now been taken to new lengths of painstaking historical accuracy, or anoraky trainspotterness despending on how you look at it. In addition to reproducing the artwork on the coin-op’s monitor glass, some artists have now gone so far as to replicate the entire arcade machine’s cabinet, releasing graphics files which, when copied to your MAME “Artwork” folder, place you right in front of the cabinet, inside a virtual arcade museum beside a framed copy of the game’s original flyer.

You have to sacrifice a hefty chunk of screen real-estate, of course, shrinking down the size of the actual gameplay area, so the files (of which there are about 150 so far) aren’t recommended for anyone with a monitor smaller than 17 inches. But it’s an undeniably lovely way to really bring back those 20-year-old memories. Grandad.





Tempest 2000: Starry.

Mm, love that wallpaper, Space Cadet.

New graphics style - can you dig it? (“Me coat? Cheers.”)



Killer Instinct/Killer Instinct 2  (Rare/Nintendo, arcade, 1994)

With Rare recently having been sold off to the Dark Side (in the form of Microsoft, of course), it seems like a good time to reflect on happier days when they were Nintendo’s own British golden boys. Killer Instinct the arcade game was famously claimed to be effectively running on  Nintendo 64 (nee Ultra 64) hardware, these being the days before the release of the semi-ill-fated console. That particular claim was shown to be a fib by the eventual N64 release of Killer Instinct, but now you can see on your PC why the idea got people excited.

While effectively a straightforward 2D fighting game, KI boasted the beautifully-rendered “3D” graphic style pioneered in Rare’s SNES classic Donkey Kong Country, complete with gorgeous environments and exquisite lighting effects that still hold their own even today. The game itself was a hardcore beat-‘em-upper’s paradise, offering the chance to string together ludicrous combos totting up dozens of hits, and enabling you to actually “juggle” your opponent in the air for an entire bout if you could muster a true master’s mad skillz.

The emulator - created solely to run KI and KI2 - does a splendid job, but requires the full arcade hard-drive images to run, which even zipped up clock in at a whopping 100MB or so each, so a broadband connection will be recommended to download them. Unless, of course, you simply transfer them across from that Killer Instinct coin-op that’s lying sadly neglected in the garage. We’ll have no videogames piracy in this shop, please.



(Left) Why is a wolf wearing trousers, anyway?


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