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Turrican: Simply one of the best forgotten classics of all time

TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
edited April 2013 in Games and Technology
The post crash years of the game industry is an odd one to explore. Due to various factors, time seems to have largely forgotten everything that wasn't Nintendo until about 1991 when some more serious competition began to spring up. Numerous worthy titles from about 1984 onward were lost in a sea of worthy titles that graced the Nintendo platform. This is mainly due to the iron clad grasp the Nintendo had in 2 out of the 3 major markets. When virtually everybody had a Nintendo, releasing a great game on a more obscure competitor virtually ensured irrelevancy. A few worthy titles have gained notoriety simply because of the success their series had on later systems - Konami's MSX output is a great example of this. Others have been given a second lease on life because of word of mouth and the later recognized brilliant pedigree of their developers and publishers. Wonderboy 3 falls into that category.

But there are tons of titles which still, to this day, do not get the recognition they deserve. While, arguably, some of these sorts of titles are niche and their appeal obviously limited despite excellent execution and premise (I'm looking at you, Ninja Golf), there exists one game series which I feel would have been right at home on any action gamer's shelf. A true lost classic, one that was derivative enough to feel familiar to anyone weaned on the NES, and influential enough to inspire countless great clones, yet somehow still forgotten.

I am talking about Turrican.



Turrican is the rare sort of game that does everything correct and still doesn't see the success it deserves. This isn't to say Turrican is an unknown title. I imagine a number of our European posters have entered this topic wondering how such a game could be considered "lost." Indeed, Turrican is one of the greatest and best remembered game series to ever come out of the continent. However, because of the formats it chose to embrace and Nintendo's dominance on overseas market share, it never achieved global success like it should have.

Before they eventually entered the public consciousness with their Adult Swim tv shows, I had heard of Tim Heidecker and Eric Warheim referred to as "the comedian's comedians" because of how well respected they were amongst their peers. Turrican, similarly, is "the action gamer's action game." Amongst developers and video game historians, Turrican has a pedigree that is sparkling, and influence that is surprising. It's just that for all the heaps of accolades placed upon the series, it never registered with the greater public consciousness. This thread is my small attempt to do the series the justice it deserves.

For the purpose of this thread, I will split the Turrican series in two. The first half of the series has been referred to by fans as the "8-bit series" because they were primarily coded as 8-bit games on the Commodore 64 by Manfred Trenz. The second half of the series is referred to usually as the "16-bit series" because they were coded primarily for the Sega Genesis and Super NES systems, without the involvement of Manfred Trenz. This topic intends to only cover the 8-bit series, as they ultimately have wound up being more important in the context of gaming history and are generally better regarded (although, I will profess a love for the 16-bit series and urge everybody to at least try Mega Turrican/Turrican 3, despite it being a much different beast than the 8-bit series).

The story of Manfred Trenz

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A more recent photo of Manfred Trenz

The story of Turrican is intimately linked to the rise of one of gaming's lost pioneers - Manfred Trenz. Like another highly gifted single-man developer, Jeff Minter, Manfred Trenz was equal parts coding genius, visionary, and gaming enthusiast (and perhaps a tiny part plagiarist as well). Trenz began his coding career in 1986 not as a developer at first, but as a hobbyist in the then-budding demoscene. Demoscene, for the unaccustomed, is a longstanding competitive, and often highly-experimental, artistic subculture that aims to meld hardware manipulation and programming with artistic expression. It has an incredibly rich and complex history which has birthed virtually every video game visual technique in modern history. I could never hope to do the art form justice in a mere summary, but hardcore gaming 101 has an outstanding article on the subject if anybody is interested.

After quickly gaining a reputation as one of the more gifted demoscene programmers, Trenz began developing one of his earliest titles - a side scrolling shmup called Denaris. Denaris, like most of Trenz work, was unabashedly derivative, to the point where his game was pretty blatantly an R-Type clone. Trenz, again like Jeff Minter, wasn't so much concerned with coming up with novel implementations, but rather, in true postmodern/copyleft tradition, concentrated on remixing what had already been done and aiming to simply do it better on weaker hardware (better of course being a subjective term, but that was indeed his goal). Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in perhaps his best known work - The Great Giana Sisters.

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Perhaps the best known Mario clone of all time - The Great Giana Sisters

The thing about Denaris is that it was a GOOD R-type clone. A damn good clone. So good, in fact, that it caught the eye of Rainbow Arts, who held the exclusive rights to produce home computer ports of R-type. Interested in his work, Rainbow Arts actually hired Trenz on as an employee to handle the C64 port of R-Type himself, which wound up becoming one of the very best home ports of the game for a number of years. This relationship between Trenz and Rainbow Arts would eventually give birth to a retail release of Denaris under the name Katakis, and eventually the titular Turrican series.

WELCOME to TURRICAN

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The first Turrican began development in 1989 on the Commodore 64. Conceptualized and coded by Trenz himself, Turrican was designed to be a cross between what he considered to be the two greatest action games at the time - Contra and Metroid.

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Taking the level based structure of Contra as it's core component, Turrican is made up of 5 very large, non-linear worlds. Although each world had a definite beginning and end (marked by enormous, screen-filling bosses), the path the player chose to reach the end was up to him. Turrican rewarded exploration not with new skills or weapons ala Metroid, but rather with 1ups and crystals, of which 100 could be collected to earn a continue. In contrast to Metroid and even Contra, exploring for these additional lives was imperative because Turrican was brutally difficult. Until one had played the game long enough to master the game, these extra lives were absolutely necessary to advance.

Luckily, Turrican's outstanding level design made exploring these enormous, labyrinth worlds a joy. Turrican himself has a few primary weapons - a standard attack which can be changed with powers ups (such as a larger laser blast or a spread shot), some grenades, and a morphball-like mode that is clearly taken straight out of metroid, complete with the ability to drop bombs.

Because of the unique nature of Commodore-style controllers of the time -- there was no standard controller and thus most developers assumed players would be using 1-button atari joysticks as their primary input -- Turrican's most iconic weapon was born. The nature of 1-button controls means that the main button is primarily used to fire, while up tends to be used to jump. Because pressing up makes you jump, you can normally only fire directly in front of you. However, the large, labyrinth levels scroll both horizontally and vertically, and very often you'll be put in situations where enemies will be coming at you from above and below. To make dealing with these enemies managable, the Power Line attack was introduced. By holding the fire button down for a set period of time, the player will stop firing his normal weapon and instead fire a long, rope-like laser beam which can be rotated in around the player in 360 degrees.

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The nature of having to stop for a second before you can use such an attack drastically dictates the pace of Turrican. It's a much more methodical action title than the two titles that directly influenced it. Often, you'll find yourself walking a few steps in any direction, then stopping and activating the Power Line in anticipation of an offscreen enemy rushing you from directions unseen. Avoiding an unseen enemy attack is imperative in this game because of a rather antiquated convention by modern standards: you have absolutely no invincibility or recovery time from an enemy attack. Unlike in Metroid, where being struck by an enemy will send Samus Aaron back a bit out of harms way and gives her a few seconds where she is invincible, Turrican will simply drain your lifebar steadily until you manually move to stop touching your attacker. This means that, if you're not paying attention, a single enemy can drain your entire lifebar in mere seconds.

This slower pace dictated by a need to always be on the defensive is directly at odds with the two other working factors in the game - namely that your success is tied to how many extra lives you can get, and more importantly, the time limit placed upon you in each stage.

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That's right, each level has a time limit - several hundreds seconds each. These levels are enormous, with many dead ends (that are often filled with 1ups or crystals) that makes mutliple playthroughs necessary. And therein lies the genius of the game - it's inherent tension. Everything is stacked against you in every level. Do you spend your time exploring the tiny hole you notice as you're running by a cave that is obviously just big enough for you to squeeze into when in ball form that could potentially yield a dozen 1ups, or do you trek onward towards the boss because you only have 100 seconds left? Do you crawl forward at a snail's pace, trying to be as careful as possible to avoid attack to spare your lives, thus costing you valuable exploration time, or do you rush forward head first, netting you much more time to search for lives at the expense of tons of energy? These sorts of questions are faced by the player constantly. And, depending on your skillset, each style of play is rewarding in it's own way. There is thrill in honing your skills to such a level that you don't need to secure many 1ups, just like there is thrill when your life is so low that a single hit will kill you so you venture down a waterfall only to find an invisible block yielding a full energy recharge at the last possible moment.

Make no mistake, the first time you play Turrican you will die. A lot. The second time as well. You'll keep dying until you either give up (shame on you!) or learn to conquer it. Overcoming turrican is great in the same way that beating contra for the first time is great. It's a personal accomplishment.

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It's also helped by Trenz's understanding of what makes for captivating game design - constant evolution. By 1989, gamers had already grown to expect longer, consistently changing games. Gone were the days of single screen, 1-background games. Levels weren't simply synonymous with "different waves of enemies in various patterns," they equated to new tile sets, new visual tricks, new things to see and do that you didn't see or do in previous levels. Turrican delivers this in spades. For the hardware, the amount of deviation from level to level is staggering. One level might take place in a bright sunny rocky mountain, with a blue sky and other-worldly vines growing everywhere, where you are expected to walk and jump to reach your goal. The next might take place in an underwater labyrinth, where suddenly physics are slow and floaty and you find yourself able to jump enormous leaps. Another might grant you the ability to fly with a jetpack inside of a cavernous mountain. The game keeps throwing new stuff at you. All along the way, new, more impressive visual tricks are unveiled. Early on, it's easy to be impressed by merely above average spritework, but it soon gives way to parallax scrolling (which is hugely impressive on the C64) to even stuff like scanline specific palette swapping on more powerful hardware (i.e. the underwater trick that Sonic the Hedgehog pulled off in Labyrinth Zone).

It all adds up to a mechanically sound title that feels greater than the sum of its components. The brutal difficulty and deliberate pacing is pure classic gaming convention - at only 5 worlds, the game can technically be beaten within minutes, but learning to play with enough skill to do so will require hundreds of playthroughs. It's that style of game where each time you play, you get a little further and a little better. It's a perfect example of a small title that lasts for months.

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The glue which holds all this refinement together is masterful coding. Turrican produces the sort of experience one would expect from an NES action title on substantially weaker hardware. Most gamers tend to forget that, prior to Mario 3, games which scrolled in multiple directions were outstandingly rare. Video game hardware of that time period was generally geared towards single screen setups, or, with the aid of powerful mappers, the ability to scroll in 1 direction (either horizontally or vertically). Mario 3 accomplishes it's multi-tiered scrolling by utilizing clever implimentation of the NES hardware, which has a framebuffer large enough to store two screens at once. Mario 3 orients these screens vertically so that every level in Mario 3 is twice as tall as one screen and relies on character-width scrolling to move the left-most visible column of the screen to the far right of the screen as it passes, shifting the game 1 tile at a time and using the natural overscan on a CRT tv to hide artifacts of the effect (which is why, when played on emulation, the far right of the screen displays miscolored junk -- you were never supposed to see that stuff). The C64 didn't even have that ability in hand - it's ability to scroll in either direction was pure hardware trickery, and for Trenz to pull off scrolling in both directions at once, while still having enough CPU cycles left over to actually power the game itself, is nothing short of amazing. From a coding perspective, Turrican is amazing. It is precisely the sort of product one would expect from a genius coder in the same way we expect mind blowing tricks to come out of John Carmack. Turrican did Mario 3's vaunted multi-direction scrolling on weaker hardware before Mario 3.

Today, there are 4 titles which compose the 8-bit series of Turrican games. 3 had Trenz involvement, and one is a recent fan effort. They are as follows:

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Posts

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular

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    The original Turrican was released on a litany of systems, but for all intent and purposes it was Commodore's killer app. The 8-bit C64 version was handled by Trenz himself, while the highly updated and equally as awesome 16-bit Amiga version was handled by Factor 5. Both C64 fans and Amiga fans like to claim this series as their own, and both are among the strongest reasons to own either format. There are slight differences, the most obvious being much improved graphics on the Amiga and a constant soundtrack composed by Chris Huelsbeck (the C64 has music intermittently amongst long periods of silence, sort of like Halo). The song in the link posted at the very top of this article is the Turrican theme song - virtually every game in the series features some variation of this song in one way or another.

    The original turrican had a few problems. First, it was a bit too ambitious with the amount of moves it gave you. Between your power line, your normal shot, the ability to jump, to morph into a ball, to drop bombs, to use grenades, and to use a screen-clearing special attack, it was all too much to map to a 1-button controller. Thus, several moves were mapped to a keyboard, which is normal for european games of the time but is a bit tough for modern gamers to adjust to especially if they want to play on real hardware. It is also monstrously difficult, more so than any other entry in the series. European gaming was notorious for its difficulty -- the term NES-hard has nothing on European-Hard -- but Turrican 1 goes well beyond the norm. It also has the least amount of variation of any game in the series.

    Despite these drawbacks, it's still an outstanding game and an incredible entry to a legendary line of games.

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    Turrican 2 is where, by all accounts, the series blew up. Turrican 2 wasn't radically different from its predecessor, it was simply better. Featuring larger, more detailed worlds and an even better soundtrack, it is probably the best regarded title in the entire series and undoubtedly one of the greatest games of all time, regardless of format. That's not hyperbolic praise, the excellence of this title can't be understated.

    To begin with, the problems with the first turrican's controls were deftly solved -- the game supports a 2 button joystick. Thus, the game can be played entirely with a joystick without ever reaching for your keyboard. Gone is the ability to use grenades, but in its place is the ability to use your ball attack any time you wish (you could only use it a few times per life in the original). The with the ball attack always at your disposal (which also renders you completely invincible) the level design was free to be more complex and take advantage of it. Hence, you'll notice a lot more small spots that you can squeeze into to find hidden paths and areas. It also makes the game a bit more fair - when enter a room filled with enemies and are overwhelmed, you can simply drop into ball mode and spam bombs until the room clears a bit.

    Turrican 2 had much more impressive visuals on both the C64 and Amiga, with much more variation between worlds. It also took the jetpack concept from Turrican 1 and completely ran with it. Where, in Turrican 1, a single level gave you the ability to fly around for a bit of time, turrican 2 instead turns into an entire different game midway through level 3.

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    For 3 entire levels, Turrican 2 ditches its run and gun style of gameplay as you enter a space ship and turns into a side scrolling shmup that plays like a sequel to Denaris. In fact, a ship toting a banner that reads "KATAKIS LIVES!" can be seen near the end of these levels. Given that shmups were Trenz's bread and butter, these levels are magnificent and probably the highlight of the game for me. I would buy an entire game made up of these shmup levels by themselves - they are among the best 8-bit shmup action you can get on any system. In any other game, this would be the showcase, but in Turrican 2, it's merely a bonus game.

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    Following Turrican 2, for a variety of reasons including personal satisfaction, Trenz vowed to never code for the C64. He was an 8-bit coder by build, and wouldn't touch a 16-bit system. Thus, Factor 5 assumed control of the series and Rainbow Arts began pumping out the 16-bit turrican games without Trenz, ultimately taking the series in a much different direction. However, in 1993, as one last hurrah, Trenz revisited the series one last time.

    Super Turrican, not to be confused with Super Turrican on the SNES, is a PAL-exclusive NES title, making it one of the most uncommon titles in the NES library. While, from a content perspective, it's not as impressive as his previous two works (mainly feeling like a remix of Turrican 1 and Turrican 2 with new level layouts), what IS impressive is the end credits for the game.

    They are 4 words long: "Created by Manfred Trenz." And that is all that needs to be said. Trenz build Super Turrican entirely by himself.

    Today, such a concept is entirely alien - a retail game, fully distributed by a big publisher, being made entirely by one man. Even in 1993 the practice was already long dead. Trenz coded the game, did all the art himself, and wrote the entire musical score all from scratch in assembly.

    A final tip of the hat from a legendary coder, it shows how amazing his skills were. What would have taken a team of 5 to do in about a year, Trenz did by himself in the span of months. If you have any respect for game development, understand how significant and impressive this is.

    As a final tidbit to point out how incredible Trenz is, despite being PAL-exclusive, the game runs at a fixed speed on both an NTSC and PAL NES. This is an ability and technique that most full development houses couldn't do, often resorting to retooling a game for months to adjust for the 50/60 hz speed difference, or simply ignoring it and letting the game run fast or slow depending on the region. Trenz's game will adjust speed on the fly, because it's coded to do so.

    Oh, did I mention his music is amazing?
    Because it is.

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    While Trenz would never return to the series, his work grew an enormously devoted fan following and, a few years ago, a group of Super Fans released Turrican 3 on the C64. Built off of the C64 Turrican 2 engine, this is an entirely new game featuring new levels, new bosses, and a whole new side scrolling shmup level. Ditching the old C64 convention of mixing sparse sound effects with occasional music, the game instead features a full soundtrack and no sound effects. Made up of C64 remixes of Chris Huelsbeck's Amiga soundtracks in SID format, the soundtrack is everything that is awesome about the C64:



    Though a little rough around the edges with a steep difficulty curve, it is a worthy successor to the line and entirely different from the Amiga version of Turrican 3 (which was a port of Mega Turrican).

    Legacy
    Outside of Europe, sadly, Turrican is largely unknown because of a series of blunders. Most ports of the game to consoles or handhelds are awful. The main ports the rest of the world saw were on either the gameboy, the Sega Genesis, or Turbo Grafx 16. Each is flawed in several ways, either with missing graphics, missing levels, or poor gameplay changes.

    The worst offense to befall the turrican series is the Genesis port of Turrican 2. Turrican 2 came to the Genesis as a tie-in to the Jean Claude Van-Dam movie Universal Soldier. What was otherwise a solid port of the game was neutered with terrible sprite changes and missing levels. The shump levels, for example, were replaced with horizontally scrolling run and gun levels that feature no exploration, and are placed at the beginning of the game, giving it a very back heavy feel. More stupidly, the sprite changes feel out of place. The first boss, for example, which was a screen-filling robot originally, was changed to an awkwardly large Dolph Lungdren sprite:

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    And, similarly, perhaps due to the propensity for licensed games to be garbage and thus reviewers not willing to give the game a fair shake, or perhaps because of their age (they were released several years after the originals), or perhaps because of their even harder than normal difficulty, the game was slammed by reviewers completely unaware of its award-winning heritage. The treatment Universal Soldier saw from reviewers in America stands as firm proof in my eyes that prestige and pre-release hype really do matter for many reviewers.

    Sadly, several of the games were never released in Japan in any form. This limited their world-wide appeal.

    That said, amongst developers, Turrican has achieved the level of recognition it deserves. Numerous game series and developers directly cite Turrican as their direct inspiration, the most obvious being Duke Nukem. Duke Nukem is such an homage to Turrican that it actually features artwork ripped directly from the game.

    More recently, Fan games like Hurrican, T2002 on the Gameboy advance have kept the series alive. The best known fan nod to Turrican is 2012's Gunlord for the Neo Geo MVS and Sega Dreamcast, an unofficial sequel to Turrican.

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    Gunlord on the Neo Geo

    These games deserve better. They stand the test of time. I didn't experience these games until 2 years ago when I got into Amiga gaming and I was instantly hooked. Nothing said in this writeup has been steeped in nostalgia. For any serious retro gamer, this is a series that is required reading. Hopefully, I have inspired at least one person to take a closer look at this forgotten classic.

    darklite_xGlalElvenshaeEdgieMrVyngaard
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    This thread is proof of Turrican's overlooked status lol

  • DelinatorDelinator Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Thank you for this thread TSR!
    Turrican 2 was my favourite game on the C64 back in 1990 or something. I played it all the time. It truly is the greates action game on the C64. The intro alone still gets me pumped up to get into the action.

    The music by Chris Hülsbeck is among my favourite C64 game soundtracks, too. He actually did a Kickstarter last year for the Turrican Soundtrack Anthology and managed to get 175.000,- $ to rerecord his entire Turrican music on modern equipment and with a live orchestra.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chris-huelsbeck/turrican-soundtrack-anthology-by-chris-huelsbeck
    http://turricansoundtrack.com/english

    Delinator on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    I too thoroughly enjoyed Turrican on both C64 and the Amiga. I haven't returned to the series though in a long time.

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  • darklite_xdarklite_x I'm not an r-tard... Registered User regular
    This thread is like an amazing history lesson. It's been so long that I can't recall whether or not I played Turrican 1 or 2 (though after seeing the box art again I definitely remember it from my childhood), but I will say that I loved the shit out of Super Turrican for the SNES. I almost want to see a thread just about Trenz now.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Manfred Trenz, again like Jeff Minter, has been reborn as an iOS developer. His studio, Denaris Productions, has been pumping out a lot of iphone games lately.

    Minter and Trenz are so similar in their career paths. I asked Minter if he was a fan of Trenz's work and surprisingly he was unfamiliar with him. If Minter is the LSD Hippy-tinged genius, then Trenz is the heavy metal cocain genius.

  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    I don't know what the heck Turrican is, but that box art is amazing...

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    I don't know what the heck Turrican is, but that box art is amazing...

    Read the OP and find out :V

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    I have Turrican II for NES.

    Geth
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    I have Turrican II for NES.

    Super turrican for the NES, or Super Turrican 2 for the SNES? There was never a straight up port of Turrican 2 for the NES, although Super Turrican (The NES version, not the SNES version) is a remix of turrican 2.

    Confusing, I know.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Amazing thread, I crave reading about that stuff.

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  • eobeteobet Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Nice, apart from that it's not forgotten. It's the most revered platformer by the generation who grew up with 16-bit computers instead of 16-bit consoles.

    I think it's an American vs. EU thing. In America, most people had a SNES and played Metroid. In the EU, most people had Amigas and Ataris and played Turrican.

    I mean, you in the US gush on about Japanese composers, while in the EU, Chris Huelsbeck is still a god (and still releases CDs).

    Case in point, he recently wanted 75,000 for a new Turrican compilation CD and got 175,000:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chris-huelsbeck/turrican-soundtrack-anthology-by-chris-huelsbeck

    It's seriously not forgotten. :)

    EDIT: Here's how obsessed the Germans are, arranging live concerts of his works...

    eobet on
    Heard the proposition that RIAA and MPAA should join forces and form "Music And Film Industry Association"?
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    eobet wrote: »
    Nice, apart from that it's not forgotten. It's the most revered platformer by the generation who grew up with 16-bit computers instead of 16-bit consoles.

    I think it's an American vs. EU thing. In America, most people had a SNES and played Metroid. In the EU, most people had Amigas and Ataris and played Turrican.

    I mean, you in the US gush on about Japanese composers, while in the EU, Chris Huelsbeck is still a god (and still releases CDs).

    Case in point, he recently wanted 75,000 for a new Turrican compilation CD and got 175,000:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chris-huelsbeck/turrican-soundtrack-anthology-by-chris-huelsbeck

    It's seriously not forgotten. :)

    EDIT: Here's how obsessed the Germans are, arranging live concerts of his works...

    Turrican is the rare sort of game that does everything correct and still doesn't see the success it deserves. This isn't to say Turrican is an unknown title. I imagine a number of our European posters have entered this topic wondering how such a game could be considered "lost." Indeed, Turrican is one of the greatest and best remembered game series to ever come out of the continent. However, because of the formats it chose to embrace and Nintendo's dominance on overseas market share, it never achieved global success like it should have.

    And I am one of the 73 $250 backers :D

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    BTW, what's a good place to read this kind of write-up? Other than TSR's threads and wikipedia.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    BTW, what's a good place to read this kind of write-up? Other than TSR's threads and wikipedia.

    I will swear up and down every day of the week for Hardcore gaming 101. By my measure, the best site on the internet bar none.

    Also, a personal plug for Racketboy (because I write for them).

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    PLA wrote: »
    I have Turrican II for NES.

    Super turrican for the NES, or Super Turrican 2 for the SNES? There was never a straight up port of Turrican 2 for the NES, although Super Turrican (The NES version, not the SNES version) is a remix of turrican 2.

    Confusing, I know.

    The remix, then. Was definitely part two. Edit: Google Image Search confirms. Cartridge is in moving-box.

    I did have a few weird, chinese bootlegs. Mario with snail-transformation in casino-land. Crocodile with sunglasses as Birdo.

    PLA on
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    PLA wrote: »
    PLA wrote: »
    I have Turrican II for NES.

    Super turrican for the NES, or Super Turrican 2 for the SNES? There was never a straight up port of Turrican 2 for the NES, although Super Turrican (The NES version, not the SNES version) is a remix of turrican 2.

    Confusing, I know.

    The remix, then. Was definitely part two.

    Super Turrican, then. Not to be confused with the SNES version. As you continue to play, you realize there is a lot of Turrican 1 included, as well. The Jetpack level from Turrican 1, for example, is included (sans Jetpack). It's pretty much a mashup of both games with the gameplay style of Turrican 2 and a few major tweaks (like the ability to run, or hitback and invincibility after damage).

  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    you have absolutely no invincibility or recovery time from an enemy attack

    Haven't played any of the Turrican games but this line reminded me of the Thexder games (in particular, the awesome & sadly overlooked Firehawk).

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    you have absolutely no invincibility or recovery time from an enemy attack

    Haven't played any of the Turrican games but this line reminded me of the Thexder games (in particular, the awesome & sadly overlooked Firehawk).

    That would be because Trenz also cites Thexder as an inspiration for Turrican.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    PLA wrote: »
    Edit: Google Image Search confirms. Cartridge is in moving-box.

    I did have a few weird, chinese bootlegs. Mario with snail-transformation in casino-land. Crocodile with sunglasses as Birdo.

    Just saw your edit. The NES version of Super Turrican is actually quite uncommon, you have a great hidden gem there. It was an extremely late release that only hit one region. European exclusives are a pretty big anomaly in the NES/Famicom library.

    Super Turrican is probably the most polished of any 8-bit Turrican. Since the games were written iteratively by Trenz himself, and the game itself was basically a do-over of his previous games with an additional 4 years of experience and tweaking, it's the easiest one of the originals to get into. The addition of hitback and invincibility time makes the experience much more fair, and the level design is generally a best-of sort of affair, with the worst parts of levels removed or changed. It also features proper jumping controls, so no up to jump nonsense and it has a standard platformer's run setup (i.e. you hold one button to run faster and jump further).

    I'd love to hear your opinions on the game. I haven't ran into many people who have played this version. Did you enjoy it? Do you generally agree with my assessment?

    EDIT: As for bootlegs, I have quite a few myself for various systems, and I can even create some of my own now. Of the more interesting ones I've received (i.e. not made) includes a Sega Master System version of Sonic Triple Trouble and a few of the notorious pirates (Super Mario World for the Famicom, Kart Fighters for the Famicom, Super Mario Brothers for the MSX, etc).

    Purchasing bootlegs is an interesting, difficult, and fun hobby. I don't know if we're allowed to talk about this sort of stuff here, however.

    TheSonicRetard on
    PLA
  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    I'd love to hear your opinions on the game. I haven't ran into many people who have played this version. Did you enjoy it? Do you generally agree with my assessment?

    It's been a long time. This was when I couldn't figure out how to use subweapons in Castlevania.
    This one.
    Castlevania_nes_03.png
    I remember that it had pleasant controls that didn't give me much trouble, and the leveldesign was a lot of fun.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    a few weeks ago, because of an on-going project to build a working 486 PC, I picked up the DOS version of Turrican 2, not knowing what to expect. Amiga->DOS ports can be funny, sometimes the music gets butchered, sometimes the art gets reworked partially - sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Sometimes they're completely different games.

    Turrican II for DOS is one of the very best Amiga->DOS "ports" I've ever seen. I put ports in quotes because, while it plays and sounds identical to the Amiga version (the sound in particular being spot on), it's the visuals that got an enormous upgrade. The entire games spritework has been redone for the better. Every tile, every sprite, even the title screen has been remade in glorious 256-color. It looks outstanding:

    hqdefault.jpg

    compare the original to the remake:

    C64:

    48203-turrican-ii-the-final-fight-commodore-64-screenshot-title-screens.gif

    Amiga:

    Turrican_II-_The_Final_Fight_-_1991_-_Rainbow_Arts.jpg

    DOS:

    376734-turrican-ii-the-final-fight-dos-screenshot-title-screen-ms.png

    The only draw back is that the main sprite looks rather dorky, although a bit closer to the intro and box artwork. best of all, it natively supports the gravis gamepad and gives jump its own button. Awesome, awesome port. In some ways, it behaves like a mix of the amiga and C64 versions. For example, you retain the ability to duck while using your surround beam, which was in the C64 original but not in the Amiga version. Meanwhile, the vine behavior in level 2 acts more like the Amiga version than the C64 version, requiring you to constantly jump to climb them, rather than them propelling you upward.

    I doubt anybody will take my advice, but if you like turrican and want a coat of fresh paint on it, you can't do better than Turrican 2 for the DOS. I'm willing to call this, hands down, the definitive version of the game.

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular

    Stormwatcher
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Holy fuck that music is amazing

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
    MrVyngaard
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Holy fuck that music is amazing

    It's identical to the Amiga version, so, yeah, it's amazing.

    PLA
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I was playing this last night and I ran across the most bullshit glitch I've ever seen. I was doing awesome, I had collected every gem up to that point, and I had like a dozen lives, and in stage 4, I get knocked back from a vine onto gap. Well, right before I fell to my death, I clipped a piece of the next brick, so I stood on nothing for a sec. I couldn't jump out of this little space of nothingness, and moving in either direction dropped me immediately to my death. Well, in turrican, if you fall to your death, you reform on the last bit of solid ground you were standing on... which the game counted as that piece of nothingness. So, once I reformed, I, once again, couldn't do anything besides plummet to my death. Wasted every single life I had on this impossible to escape death pit.

    I turned the game off in anger after that. Such bullshit.

  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Like a disappearing platform from an evil mirror-universe.

  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    This game looks incredible.

    Is there a way to play it with out building a retro gaming pc?

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    This game looks incredible.

    Is there a way to play it with out building a retro gaming pc?

    You may legally emulate the Amiga by purchasing Amiga Forever, who own the legal rights to the Amiga bios and chipsets and bundles them with their package, that also comes along with an Amiga emulator.

    Factor 5 provides legal backups online for the turrican games: http://www.factor5.de/downloads_backups.shtml

    However, you need to own turrican to, in good conscious, download those backups. You could go to ebay and purchase a turrican disk for a few bucks if you want a clean conscious.

  • Red ArremerRed Arremer Registered User new member
    edited November 2014
    You could go to ebay and purchase a turrican disk for a few bucks if you want a clean conscious.

    Few bucks? The least I could find on ebay was 229 euros (without shipping :) )

    Red Arremer on
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