Friday, January 29, 2016

Gofer the Gold, or Genesis Still Does

Hm, it's been a while since I've posted. Time to make the doughnuts, I guess!

Anyway. I turned up this gem over at the RetroCollect web site. Evidently a homebrewer in Japan is porting Gradius II: Gofer to the Sega Genesis, and it's looking pretty promising so far. Here, have a look for yourself:

Honestly, I wish Nendo16 had chosen to bring the X68000 game Nemesis '90 to the Genesis instead of Gofer, one of my least favorite entries in the series, but hey, any Gradius is better than no Gradius at all. I was always disappointed that Konami never brought the franchise to the Sega Genesis, and this addresses that oversight rather nicely.

Nendo16 is also working on a Genesis conversion of Darius. That's harder for me to get excited about, because there's a perfectly good port of Sagaia on the Genesis already. But hey, here's a clip anyway in case you're interested.

Gee, that sure is a lot of brown. That sort of thing tends to happen when you've got sixty colors to work with, I suppose.

It was unpopular in Japan when it was first released, but the Sega Genesis seems to have become a kitschy counterculture favorite in the years since. I remember trading American Genesis titles (and pretty awful ones, like Spiderman and X-Men: Arcade's Revenge) with a Japanese guy in exchange for Saturn imports. I can only hope that this gentleman had no intention of actually playing these games, because nobody should subject themselves to that kind of punishment.

While I'm here, I might as well post a few more surprising Genesis homebrews. Here's Wolfenstein 3D, which runs shockingly well on what I presume to be an unexpanded machine. Looks a helluva lot better than Cyber Cop did, anyway. (I'll warn you that there's Nazi imagery ahead, but if you're familiar with the series, you probably knew that already.)

Why no, I'm not finished! Here's a Genesis conversion of the original Super Mario Bros. Looks like the real thing, plays like the real thing, sounds... kinda weird, unfortunately. Well, two out of three ain't bad!

On the Sonic side of things, here's an admirable attempt at Mode 7 on the Genesis. It wouldn't be the only one, either! Someone else is working on an F-Zero demo, and although it's very limited at the moment, with no background music and no rivals to race against, it's certainly recognizable.

This demo by Evoke isn't playable at all, but it's a feast for the eyes, with special effects you might not expect on the Sega Genesis hardware. The layered checkerboards at 3:55 and the animated sequence at 5:00 are highlights.

Last week, I picked up an early model of the Sega Genesis at a yard sale for five dollars. It was beaten up on the outside and horribly rusty on the inside, but watching these videos and discovering the system's full potential makes me a lot more confident about that purchase.


  1. Interesting stuff as always, Jess! These unofficial ports usually don't interest me all that much, although I still find them curious. As for this Genesis you recently picked up--if it your only Genesis at the moment, or is it some sort of backup?

    1. Believe me, I've got more. I've sort of lost count, though... I got a Genesis 2 in the mail just before I became ill, another Genesis 2 from my aunt, and I *think* there's a Genesis attached to my Sega CD. All of these are in Michigan, though. This is the only one I have in AZ. It's not in great shape but it is the first model, so that's a plus.