PCZ ISSUE 141 - MAY 2004



Alert readers will probably recall last month’s column, in which this reporter insightfully and informatively noted the way that playable emulation generally follows along about two hardware generations behind the state of the art in current console hardware. Well, if you do recall that, then kindly forget it, because in a CLEAR AND DELIBERATE attempt to make Emu Zone look like a stupid idiot, someone’s gone and written a Gamecube emulator.

Now, calm your excitement. Dolphin (for such is its name) IS capable of running commercial GC games, but it has very limited compatibility at the moment. The only game you’re likely to be able to get running at full speed is Bust-A-Move 3000, though a handful of other games (including Crazy Taxi, Mario and Zelda) run at (much) slower framerates. The emulator is extremely good at handling the Gamecube’s sound and 2D graphics, but takes a massive hit as soon as the third dimension comes into play. (You can see this in action when you run the likes of Crazy Taxi – all the menu screens fairly zip along, but it slows to a crawl when the actual game starts.)

With the limited compatibility and the impossibility of running your real GC discs in your PC (the emulator needs specially-ripped versions, which will hog 1.5GB of hard-drive space per game), Dolphin is strictly a technical showcase at the moment. But as a first release it’s nothing short of stunning. Given that there isn’t even a sniff of a Dreamcast emulator capable of playing games, never mind a PS2 or Xbox one, this is perhaps the single most impressive piece of emulation ever. Rest assured, Emu Zone will be watching this one like a hawk. Or a Japanese fisherman.



Full-speed Gamecubing fun in Bust-A-Move.

Unreleased in the UK, the ace Animal Crossing.



Cock’In (1985, Commodore 64)

The Commodore 64 is a machine that’s perhaps been neglected a bit in Emu Zone, so it’s about time we put that right. And surely nothing could be more appropriate than to do it by looking at a genre of game which has been overlooked for even longer – the having-sex-with-chickens-‘em-up. Your reporter actually first encountered this game on the Spectrum, under the less-entertaining title of Chickin Chase, but it was on the C64 that the taboo of farmyard fornication was first broken by the early pioneers of videogaming. To be fair, it’s not as tasteless as it sounds – you do play a rooster, and all the hot chicken-on-chicken action takes place behind a curtain in a little avian love nest. But shagging a chicken is inescapably what this game’s all about.

The object is to eat lots of birdseed and worms to get your strength up, then give the chicken missus a good chicken seeing-to. (Being a chicken, this takes barely half the time it does for the average human male, ie about four seconds.) At this point your good lady wife lays an egg, which you have to protect from foxes, rats, Bill Oddie and the like. As the eggs hatch, you have to keep up the supply by providing plenty more hard lovin’, or your other half will come out and whomp you with a rolling pin, just like in real life.

Running effortlessly on quality C64 emulators like VICE or CCS64, Cock’In will give you new respect for the hard-pressed, and indeed hen-pecked, life of a rooster. It’s a frantic game, and between feeding yourself, protecting your eggs and making quality time for your sweetheart, there’s never a moment’s peace. And at the end of it all, someone chops your head off and serves you up in a lemon sauce. If there was ever a better metaphor for the life of a poor underpaid emulation columnist, Emu Zone wants to know about it.



(Left) “Damn, I think it’s fallen off.”


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