6 thoughts on “Episode 51 – Super Stardust

  • July 10, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Thanks for the nice episode guys!

    I totally share John's feeling regarding Stardust: slick looking, frenetic action, but essentially an Asteroid clone with a layer of polish. The gameplay does not extend the original concept enough and as John mentioned, the shopping system showing so late hints that the developers lacked experience. Like Shadow of the Beat or Lionheart it is a nice tech demo but lacks substance.

    About the STE: it indeed inherits the TT's blitter, but also has some unique features: 4096 color palette, hardware scrolling and sample based audio like … the Amiga. It essentially gives the ST A500 capabilities but came too late: the Amiga sales had long surpassed the ST's by that time.

    Regarding "Grey area" CD32 compilations, I must point out that the area is actually 100% black. 😉 I deem this to be a topic worth shining a light on since you have pointed out their murky legal status on several occasions but never explained it fully.

    There is no ambiguity regarding the legality of derivative works done without permission: they are illegal.

    Now, this is not to say that they are not valuable, they bring a tremendous amount of value to the Amiga community. But this has no bearing on their legal status and I think it is a worth being explicit about it because listeners deserve to be informed properly.

    Also, given that the community values these compilations, they would likely have some commercial value (even if puny) if the original owners were persuated to grant them official status. I am one of those who think that the community would benefit more from commercial offerings than from the current pirate ones, if only because it always feels better to own the real thing than a burned ISO.

    Again, I insist that I like these compilations, but a cat deserves to be called a cat, especially when the efforts put into dealing with the original works owners would in the long term possibly allow us to own modern original versions of our favorite games rather than warez versions or expensive eBay originals. The back2roots initiative proved owners are open to discussion moreover.

    John also mentioned WinUAE being a grey area but its use is legal as long as one owns licensed OS ROMs and originals. Playing IPFs withouth permission or cracks is however illegal and thus 100% black.
    If you own it: you can emulate it, if you do not: you can't. White, black, but no grey. 😉

    It is interesting to note that the "grey area" and "abandonware" notions also plagued the MAME development team community which communicated clearly that they denounce illegal downloads and distanced themselves from people who offer ROMs.

    For reference, the MAME FAQ (http://wiki.mamedev.org/index.php/FAQ:ROMs):
    Q: Isn't copying ROMs a legal gray area?
    A: No, it's not. You are not permitted to make copies of software without the copyright owner's permission. This is a black & white issue.

    Q: Can't game ROMs be considered abandonware?
    A: No. Even the companies that went under had their assets purchased by somebody, and that person is the copyright owner.

    Sorry for harping so much on that topic, but as a game developer I am quite sensitive to the idea that owners rights deserve more respect than the community thinks they do. Especially when it is in the community best interest to make sure owners work with them rather than antagonize them: who would not want cheap practical re-editions of Amiga originals? 😉

    Thank you again for the great work!
    I am definitely looking forward to the next episode!


  • July 10, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Hi Laurent! You might have wondered why your comment didn't show up immediately. For some reason, it was flagged by Blogger's spam filter. It's up now though!

    Thanks for all of the info on the TT! It does sound like a case of too little, too late.

    Regarding emulation, Aaron and I have been in the game since the beginning, and we know the score. I'm actually planning a blog post where I delve into my thoughts on the subject more deeply.

    Thanks for listening, and supporting us on Patron, Laurent! Could you give me some pointers on your name so I don't mispronounce it on next week's show? 🙂

  • July 10, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I think the comments on it were a little harsh, and based partially on not knowing how to play. When you collect a pick-up, you press space (or a CD32 button) to change weapons, also the tunnel section you played was the last one in the game, so was the hardest.

    It's still not easy, but by upgrading weapons, and changing to the most useful one, it's not as bad as you made out.

    I've played SS HD on the PS3, and liked it, and they also made Dead Nation on the PS3/4, which was fantastic.

  • July 10, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Hi John!
    Indeed, I did wonder for a bit if Blogger had eaten my comment and I actually might have posted it twice. 😉

    You actually pronounced my name pretty well and if you are aiming for perfection, there are three minor elements which can be tweaked a bit:
    – ending consonants are not pronounced, as in "lauren girou"
    – the French "en" sound does not exist in English but US style "an/en" are fine approximations
    – the "gi" sound does not have a "dj" start as in English, you can remove the "d" 😉

    But if you pronounce it as you did for this episode, that is just fine, every Frenchman out there will instantly recognize it. 🙂

  • July 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Well Paul, now I feel pretty dumb! I must confess that since I was on vacation last week and away from the Amiga, I didn't get much of a chance to inspect the instruction manual for SS as I should have. We'll revisit the game again on a video with that knowledge and hopefully do much better! Thanks for setting us straight.

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