PCZ ISSUE 130 - JULY 2003



One of the few upsides of the homogenisation of arcade games over the last decade or so has been, from an emulation point of view, the standardisation of hardware. Because nearly all coin-ops run on the same handful of technical systems (including the likes of the Neo Geo and Capcom CPS-2, both of which have been around for over a decade and are still used for new games today), the successful cracking of just one of those systems can have very swift knock-on effects for related hardware.

And so it is with Nebula Model 2. The original Nebula, as alert Emulation Zone readers will recall, did a splendid job of emulating the aforementioned CPS-2 system, home of Capcom’s endless series of 2D fighting games alongside many other titles. But the closely-related nature of arcade hardware has facilitated the relatively easy development of a spin-off emulator focused on a more recent series of games, most notably the “Model 2” line from Sega which gives the emu its name.

Model 2 (in its 2A, 2B and 2C revisions) was the system which ran some of Sega’s most popular arcade titles, including the likes of The House Of The Dead, Virtua Striker, Sega Touring Car Championship, the highly inventive shooter Zero Gunner and the obscure Sonic The Hedgehog fighting game, as well as non-Sega games like the first incarnation of Tecmo’s infamous wobble-jugged beat-‘em-up Dead Or Alive. Despite the polygon-heavy sophistication of the games involved and the early stage of the emulator’s development, it’s already a highly impressive achievement.

If you have a meaty PC (2GHz or above) then many of the games are - while not in full 60-frames-per-second glory yet - eminently playable with full sound, though the likes of Sega Touring Car still, at the time of writing, suffer from major chug when there are lots of cars on the track. Of course, given the dizzying speed of the dynamic world of emulation, you can expect that situation to have improved by the time you actually read this column. Nebula Model 2 is one of emulation’s most accomplished achievements to date, and the long-awaited goal of playing arcade-perfect online Daytona USA just took a couple of giant leaps closer. Emulation Zone trusts that you’re excited.




Indianapolis 500, one of several Model 2 racers.

Sonic and the aptly-named Knuckles exchange views.

Zero Gunner protests strongly against motorway service-area overcharging.



SEXY PARODIUS (Konami, arcade, 1996)

It’s been said, more than once, and indeed more than once by Emulation Zone, that the Japanese are a strange bunch. But of all the many strange things about our chums from the East, undoubtedly the oddest is what they regard as sexy. Whether it’s used-underwear vending machines or saucer-eyed teenage girls being horribly violated by slimy-tentacled space monsters, it all ensures that your normally-intrepid reporter stays firmly in his own hemisphere of the globe, limiting his interactions with Japan to playing its many splendid videogames.

Sometimes, however, it’s impossible to avoid the crossover, as this foray into the normally light-hearted Parodius series proves. Your correspondent is, perhaps thankfully, unable to read the storyline, but essentially the game follows the standard Nemesis/Gradius template, with the exception that each level has a subsidiary task (for example, collecting a set number of golden coins while battling the enemies), which if completed rewards the player with a little cut-scene, invariably featuring semi-naked girls with animal tails enaged in some kind of incomprehensible behaviour with an octopus, or a green dolphin with a moustache. Sexy Parodius  is a great game, inventive and fast-paced and exceptionally challenging, but Emulation Zone never, ever wants to visit a Japanese porn cinema.



(Left) The one on the right appears to be called “Neal”. Erk.


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