Homebrew Spotlight#1- Dragon’s Lair For The TI-99/4A!

HS-Title

Hey Arcaders!

Raygunn here with a new series I know your gonna get a kick out of- HOMEBREW SPOTLIGHT!

I know what most of you are asking- Raygunn- whats a homebrew? That’s easy to explain. Homebrew is a term frequently applied to video games or other software produced by consumers to target proprietary hardware platforms (usually with hardware restrictions) that are not typically user-programmable or that use proprietary storage methods Wikipedia. Homebrewing has been popular for almost two decades now due to the resurgence in the classic game consoles of the first through third generations especially.

So, now that we got that out of the way, why don’t we take a look at our first home brew to spotlight- Dragon’s Lair for the TI-99/4A! First- let’s go over the machine specs!

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
TI99-IMG 7132.jpg
Type Home computer
Release date June 1981
Introductory price US$525 (equivalent to $1,447 in 2018)
Discontinued March 1984
Media
  • ROM cartridge
  • cassette
  • floppy disk
Operating system TI BASIC
CPU TMS9900 @ 3 MHz
Memory 16 KB RAM
256 bytes scratchpad RAM
Graphics TMS9918A
Predecessor TI-99/4

-Wikipedia.

Now- to create a home port (that’s the term used to describe a game created for the console during its original life cycle) of Dragon’s Lair back in 1983 would have been impossible. The were no means to create the video files in a way that would have worked without a laserdisc player.

dragons-lair-scr-4

Even the amazing Coleco Adam port had to be altered because of the hardware limitations.

But… Fast forward about 35 YEARS- and behold- this little jem appears on the YouTubes and I have to share- thus the nexus of a new article series!

Now- THIS GAME truly defines a homebrew! An actual, playable version of an arcade classic on a system that it wasn’t truly meant to be played on! But, given the time we live in- with advancements in software and hardware technology, and the talented people who want to bring their favorite (and ours!) childhood arcade games home- or even… IMPROVE THEM! Yes, we will even see that in this series!

So- keep an eye out for more Homebrew Spotlight articles- where I’ll even try these amazing games- and give em’ a review- to see if they are worth a purchase for your classic console!

Hang on- this is going to be a fun ride! And if you know of any homebrew games you would like to review- leave me a comment below!

Thanks gang!

and-
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Raygunn

The Arcade Archives Podcast- Episode #1- Space Ace!

arcade podcast

Hey, Arcaders!

                       Welcome to the first of what I wanted to do on the site since I started. The Arcade Archives Podcast is a fun trip down memory lane for me. As most of you know, I have been in the arcade industry since 1981. And I wanted a place to tell the story of these machines- from my perspective. And that’s where the idea for The Arcade Archives came from. So, for me, a podcast is the next logical step. So, without further adieu, here’s the first episode of the first game I ever had in my collection- Space Ace! enjoy!

What If #2- Dragon’s Lair Handheld by Coleco- circa 1983/84

Hey Gang! Sorry for the delay in the next post-  I started feeling a little under the weather about a month ago, and after a few tests- lo and behold a 1cm kidney stone logged in where it shouldn’t be! After out patient surgery last Tuesday, I’m starting to feel a bit better!

Any who, the first podcast I will be editing this week so it should be up soon (editing down 2 hours of talking to myself and adding sound effects is a lot harder than it sounds!)

So I thought I would do a mini What If review- on Dragon’s Lair!

Well Dragon’s Lair needs no introduction or comprehensive review (there’s a ton of reviews- pick one!) but where I want to go is the latter end of 1983/84 where the road for games in general looked very uncertain for the industry who’s  fiscal totals just one year earlier  were so rosy, the movie industry was the one who was very rocky because of it. Coleco had secured the home rights for a port of Dragon’s Lair (and to this day holds up very well) but even Coleco itself was in the beginnings of a tailspin as the Adam computer was released to lackluster reviews. fortunately for them they had the Cabbage Patch kid to fall back on that Christmas. But what if they had something else? Would it have helped Coleco to fight another day?

Their own mini arcade units had sold millions and had help fund the Colecovision but What If they had rolled the dice on the mini arcade just one time and had released the

And the result- just some promotional  ads found in a dumpster after the debacle that was CES 83′

These pictures pose 2 questions-

1: Are they real (no, so really just one question)

1-a: could this be done today- YES!

one good hacker with lots of time, and old Coleco mini arcade that doesn’t work, an old Nintendo DS they could scrap, and a copy of Dragons Lair for the DS (which plays great I might add) some new outer shell stickers and I think it would be what Coleco could have done if given the tools of today in 1983… it would be awesome!

KEEP PLAYIN’ LIKE IT’s 1981!

Raygunn