Repackaging The R-Type CPC Remake
The original R-Type
R-Type, is in my opinion one of the best shot-em-up Arcade games ever made. With surreal and imaginativeÂ graphics bearing more than a passingÂ resemblanceÂ to the work of Alien artist H R Giger, and fast paced, excitingÂ game play, R-Type really had it all. Released in 1987 by IRemÂ Corp, the game saw great success in its arcade incarnation. SuchÂ popularityÂ ensured that it was swiftly to home computer systems and consoles with some fantastic conversions appearing on the Amiga, PC Engine, Spectrum and C64.
The CPC version was unfortunately a victim of the famous Speccy-Port. With limited timeÂ availableÂ to make the conversion, the game’s code was lifted directly from the Spectrum and theÂ necessaryÂ routines put in place to convert the graphics and sound routines to work on the Amstrad. Like so manyÂ SpectrumÂ ports, the conversion code took its toll on the CPU and at a speed of just over 3MHz it was impossible for the poor Z80 to run both the spectrum code and the graphics conversion routines at full pace and what we ended up with was a game that ran significantly slower than the other versions.
It wasn’t all bad, despite the monochrome graphics, it still had the excellentÂ game playÂ of its Spetrum forbearer even if it did all feel a bit sluggish. Compared to the colourful arcade versions however, the Amstrad version was a bigÂ disappointment, with the limited graphics and nothing more than simple spot sound effects – CPC owners knew that their machine both deserved and could do much better.
Dawn of a new era
Fast forward to 2010 and a groups of guys working under the name Easter Egg software decided that enough was enough and it was time for the Amstrad to see a proper version of R-Type. Over the next couple of years, they set about creating a remake that would realise the missed potential of the original version. Seeing a release in 2012, Easter Egg’s R-Type remake was a triumph and received universal accolades from retro gaming sites. Restricting itself to 128K machines only, the additional legroom allowed them to remove the terrible Spectrum graphics routines and replaced them with an all new graphics engine complete with 16 colour mode 0 graphics. The result was aÂ completeÂ transformation.Â ColourfulÂ graphics, a new graphics engine that was able to run at a much faster speed and a full musical score through the game – this conversion finally does the Amstrad justice.
The game was released as a CPC disk image for use with any of the popular Amstrad Emulators.Â ThoseÂ ofÂ us lucky enough to have the original CPC hardware could easily copy the image onto a 3.5 or 3″Â floppyÂ disc and play it on the real machine. Now, with the game released and available for download, usually the story would end there – but one day I was approached on the CPC Wiki forum by one of the remake authors who offered me a very special opportunity…
The author goes by the name of TotO and he told me that they were doing a very limited edition run of the game presented on original 3″ CPC floppy disc with authentic packaging and was I interested in them making one for me for a very reasonable fee. being aÂ hugeÂ fan of this remake IÂ couldn’tÂ let an opportunity like this go by, and within a week this landed on my doormat:
I think you have to agree that is a really fantastic item. The attention to detail is amazing, right down to a holographic label and stickers determining machine format. This really is a fabulous collector’s piece and pays exactly the same meticulous attention to detail that is paid to the remake itself. My thanks go out to TotO for making this for me â€“ I’m sure he’ll be delighted to know that it has pride of place on the centre of my retro gaming shelf!