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#1 29-04-2011 11:06:14

Macaw
Miembro
Registered: 13-01-2010

Spanish Games

This site is an incredibly awesome database of all Spanish developed games (most appearing on computer platforms)

http://computeremuzone.com/

The site tons of information, box scans, advertisement scans and even downloads for each game. Spanish game history is thankfully extremely well preserved from this site. If only similar sites would appear for the history of Korean and Taiwanese PC games... well the Korean game history article on HG101 is pretty good anyway.

Anyway, Spain seemed to have a thriving game development scene from the late 80's to early 90's, when the CPC, C64, Amiga, Atari ST, and IBM PC were all competing with each other. As a result, almost every game was ported to a large amount of the available platforms. Thankfully the computeremuzone site even has comparison screenshots for all versions of stuff!


Initially the main attraction of the Spanish games is without doubt the incredible cover arts. In my opinion the Spanish artists produced even more alluring cover artworks than the Japanese stuff at the time. The fact that a huge amount of box covers were done by the incredible Alfonso Azpiri is a big reason for this, and it seems like all the other Spanish artists were influenced by him and tried to deliver similar quality.

Unfortunately the games themselves aren't always as awesome. The computers that had the games that came on tapes like the Spectrum and CPC and such meant huge limitations on the content, and you'd be lucky to have more than a single boss in a game. IBM PC versions were often upgraded though, and there are enough interesting or good games to make the stuff worth checking out.

Here are some of the cooler games I have found, and also an insane orgy of awesome art:



La Abadía del Crimen (Opera Soft/Mister Chip, 1987)

http://img859.imageshack.us/img859/3508/abadiadelcrimenmisterch.jpg

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/4276/abadiaams.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=166&sec=pc

The most famous Spanish masterpiece. An isometric adventure game where you play the role of a monk who must solve the mystery of some murders, but you also have to attend to his normal duties in the abbey otherwise risk expulsion. Very unique and brilliant concepts.



Titanic (Topo Soft/Kixx, 1988)

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/3733/anicb.jpg

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/9485/anicpc2.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=282&sec=pc

This game was lucky enough to have a VGA PC version which looks superb.



Viaje al Centro de la Tierra (Opera Soft, 1989)

http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/188/viajefront.jpg

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/5923/viajest2.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=55&sec=pc

Based off Journey to the Center of the Earth. Extremely cool action game.



El Capitán Trueno (Dinamic, 1989)

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/2001/capitantruenofront.jpg

http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/9734/captruenopc.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=665&sec=pc

Based off a Spanish comic. This game is unique in that it had the usual CPC and Spectrum releases but then had a completely remade PC DOS version that features absolutely gigantic sprites and stunning animation. Strangely though it was only in the 4 colour CGA mode, but despite this its still far beyond the other versions. Very cool game, you switch between 3 characters to progress through, and there are constantly new (and huge) enemies introduced and interesting stuff you come across.



Mithos (Opera Soft/Comix, 1989)

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/2872/mithos.jpg

http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/7901/mythospc.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=664&sec=pc

Simple action game that can be completed in under 10 minutes, but doing so will take much more than that due to the difficulty. Not that great, but interesting.



R.A.M (Topo Soft, 1990)

http://img806.imageshack.us/img806/685/ramfront.jpg

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/8882/rampc2.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=579&sec=pc

Almost like a Spanish version of Gunforce, with an emphasis on taking out masses of enemies (the game starts with you taking control of a mounted machine gun and shooting through the oncoming army of dudes). You can also control vehicles and stuff. Perhaps not as great as this description makes it sound, but still cool.



Sirwood (Opera Soft, 1990)

http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/1451/sirwoodb.jpg

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/9089/sirwoodpc2.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=386&sec=pc

Mediocre action game. Has some cool boss encounters but that's about it.



Lorna (Topo Soft, 1990)

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/3484/lorna16front.jpg

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/511/lornast1.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=125&sec=pc

Based off the Alfonso Azpiri comic. Great graphics, but very sluggish action. I am yet to get past the absurdly difficult hoverbike section after the first stage, but I will probably come back to it eventually.



La Espada Sagrada (Topo Soft, 1990)

http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/8641/espadasagradab.jpg

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/4750/espadaega.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=447&sec=pc

Cool action adventure game somewhat reminiscent of Metroid, in which items must be found and used in a large world to progress further.



Senda Salvaje (Zigurat/Gamesoft, 1990)

http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/9199/sendasalvaje.jpg

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/8316/sendasalvajeams1.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id … ec=amstrad

I think the hilariously over the top cover art can sum up what happens in this game. Rather decent, though the controls for handling the depth movement in the game are pretty stupid. Coolest part is of course just the theme of traversing all kinds of crazy obstacles like swaps filled with piranhas while controlling such an awesome macho dude armed only with a knife.



Narco Police (Dinamic/Iron Byte, 1990)

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/5256/narcopolice.jpg

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/70/narcopoliceag.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=33&sec=pc

This is a pretty cool game, kinda like Cabal and such but without a crosshair. Shooting shit is pretty damn satisfying.



Desperado 2 (Topo Soft/Gamart, 1991)

http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/5171/desperado2b.jpg

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/439210-desperado-2-dos-screenshot-bandits.png

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=396&sec=pc

I'm yet to play this as well, but just look at the cover art!



Black Crown (Topo Soft, 1991)

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/1870/blackcrownb.jpg

http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/5304/blackcrownpc3.gif

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id=244&sec=pc

The graphics and animation in this are just amazing, but unfortunately its some kind of board game rather than action. Regardless, it's still incredibly interesting, I'll be putting more time into it soon.


The Prayer of the Warrior (Zigurat/Restos Soft, 1992)

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/8562/prayerwarriorx.jpg

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/6215/prayerwarriorsp3.gif

Superb action adventure game exclusive to the Spectrum that expertly uses the incredibly limited graphics of the hardware to create a wonderfully atmospheric fantasy world. The design of the levels never drags on or becomes boring, and there are constantly interesting new things introduced to see and discover.



La Noche de Walpurgis (New Dream, 1992)

http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/2300/walpurgisfase1.png

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/6453/walpurgisfase4.png

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id … ;sec=amiga

No box cover for this one because its an independent game, but one that is incredibly large in scale and high budget, coming on 5 disks (massive for an Amiga game) and featuring production values beyond many commercial Amiga games. The game is broken up into 4 phases, each one completely unique. The first phase is a scrolling action section that initially doesn't seem that great apart from the visuals, with your character traveling on a raft and shooting enemies, but it quickly becomes completely insane and has all kinds of crazy and exciting stuff happen which I don't want to spoil here, and that's just phase 1. Phase 2 is a point and click adventure section, phase 3 is another scrolling action section but more similar to a beat em up, and phase 4 is a gorgeous isometric section. I still need to put more time into the game, but this could very well be a more obscure masterpiece of Spain.



Cyberlaw (B@lance, 1997)

http://www.abandonia.com/files/games/23421/Cyberlaw_2.png

http://www.abandonia.com/files/games/23421/Cyberlaw_3.png

Very solid belt scroll action game with unique visuals that feature standard 2d sprites on rendered backgrounds.

Last edited by Macaw (02-05-2011 16:59:17)

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#2 29-04-2011 12:58:18

Recap
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Registered: 31-01-2006
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Re: Spanish Games

I was never too fond of Spanish games despite having a Spectrum and a CPC on my pre-Amiga days, which were the systems these people put down their best efforts. Puzzle-solving games were usually too unintelligible and action games, when not pure and strictly memory-based and joystick-incompatible, were slow and poorly executed attempts at arcade-style concepts. So I actually played very little and remember almost nothing in a particular basis. It was nice they chose the side-scroll action formulas more than anyone else and the themes and atmospheres were pretty cool at times, but I can't say much more. Topo Soft, Opera Soft and Dinamic were the most prolific, but I'm sure you can get some other suggestions (and perspective!) from some people here. The topic is always interesting. Just let's leave Gaelco for another thread.

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#3 29-04-2011 13:32:48

Macaw
Miembro
Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

Yeah I agree with you mostly here. The 8 bit stuff is full of little interesting titles, but not really anything solid enough or impressive enough to be worth checking out unless your curious, except for a few exceptions.

Of the games I listed, Viaje al Centro de la Tierra and El Capitán Trueno would be the only ones I would call great (El Capitán Trueno impressed me much more than I expected)

Lots of people seem to love Risky Woods, but I could never stand how you have to duck to pick up coins constantly, and the boring level designs.

It seems Black Crown does have action combat once you reach an enemy, but I still have to figure out how to play it properly, I have no idea how to enter areas in the background.

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#4 29-04-2011 13:49:27

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

I played (and bought -- the cover art was just too tempting) Lorna in its A500 iteration, by the way. I remember myself beating the second stage. And then lamenting it for wasting my time and money with such a poor game. 16-bit systems were a bit too much for Spanish programmers, it seems.


Edit: The original version of this:

http://www.retroworks.es/php/game_en.php?id=1

...is quite widely considered one of our finest classics, too.

Last edited by Recap (29-04-2011 13:52:02)

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#5 29-04-2011 14:10:43

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

I quite like Cyberlaw from 1997 http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/23421/Cyberlaw.html

The rendered backgrounds aren't great, yet somehow work well enough with the 2d sprites to create a cool cyberpunk atmosphere. The action is good too.

http://www.abandonia.com/files/games/23421/Cyberlaw_2.png

http://www.abandonia.com/files/games/23421/Cyberlaw_3.png


Apparantly there was an arcade version of the game, according to some MAME undumped lists. Do you ever remember seeing this in an arcade recap? (or any other Spanish member here)

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#6 30-04-2011 12:01:18

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

Never heard of that before but I'm quite sure that didn't get an arcade release.

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#7 02-05-2011 16:47:49

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

Here is a MAME entry for the arcade version of Cyberlaw http://mamedev.emulab.it/undumped/index … e=CyberLaw

Whether it exists or not I'm not sure, but it was originally reported on a Spanish site that has now gone down.


Anyway, I re-uploaded the images, changed some descriptions now that I've played more stuff, and also added the following games:

La Abadía del Crimen
Senda Salvaje
Narco Police
The Prayer of the Warrior
La Noche de Walpurgis
Cyberlaw


Looking hard enough shows that there are indeed a good amount of great Spanish games on many types of hardware. I actually like the 16 bit stuff more myself, but it was a strange scene as the games were developed for so many different types of hardware. Viaje al Centro de la Tierra is a good example of a game that looks incredibly primitive and only slightly interesting in its 8 bit incarnations, yet utterly amazing with the 16 bit versions.

By the way recap be sure to look through the new games I added, there is a certain one I'm sure you will find quite interesting.

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#8 02-05-2011 19:01:26

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

Walpurgis? I didn't know it. Is it a joystick game?

Narco Police is supposedly Spain's most competent 16-bit game from the early years. It sold even better in the UK, most likely because there were more A500 users there by then and the press quite liked it. I never cared too much about it due to its 3-D approach, I guess. I'm not sure you can play it without a keyboard, either, and I hate that. Most Spanish companies died even before the console boom, and their efforts for the A500 were really mirroring their poor financial situations.

As for La Abadía, there's a 'remake' for WIN by Calamity which essentially is the A500/ST version the game never officially got, if you use a 15-kHz low-res video card:

http://postback.geedorah.com/foros/view … 677#p10677

D/L: http://www.abadiadelcrimen.com/descarga.html

Original CPC graphics are also selectable, anyway.


Thanks for the pics. Did you check these ones too?:

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id … ec=amstrad

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id … ec=amstrad

I think I liked Sol Negro at some point.

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#9 02-05-2011 19:52:49

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

Recap said:

Walpurgis? I didn't know it. Is it a joystick game?

Walpurgis indeed. Not sure if it supports joystick considering I play all these in an emulator with my own setups, but how would you tell anyway for amiga stuff? Is it usually a joystick option in the game itself or just a compatibility message on the packaging or whatever?


Recap said:

Narco Police is supposedly Spain's most competent 16-bit game from the early years. It sold even better in the UK, most likely because there were more A500 users there by then and the press quite liked it. I never cared too much about it due to its 3-D approach, I guess.

Narco Police is very gimmicky, but I find it fun and cool. Wouldn't be my first recommendation to people for Spanish games though, that's for sure.


Recap said:

As for La Abadía, there's a 'remake' for WIN by Calamity which essentially is the A500/ST version the game never officially got, if you use a 15-kHz low-res video card:

Yeah this looks cool, will need to try it.


Recap said:

Thanks for the pics. Did you check these ones too?:

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id … ec=amstrad

http://computeremuzone.com/ficha.php?id … ec=amstrad

I think I liked Sol Negro at some point.

Sol Negro I haven't bothered yet with because the 16 bit versions look terrible. CPC one seems nice though.

Satan is a game I meant to add to the first post but forgot about it. The 16 bit versions of it looks superb, but the incredibly sluggish action takes out a lot of the fun. Its a game I tend to come back to every now and then though for some reason... I guess just because of the graphics and the crazy power up system. By the way, in the box cover section for the game at computeremuzone it has an 'alternate' cover done by Azpiri which of course looks awesome (I haven't found a single piece of art by this guy I don't think is amazing) any idea what this alternate cover would have been used for?

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#10 03-05-2011 11:53:11

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

Macaw said:

Walpurgis indeed. Not sure if it supports joystick considering I play all these in an emulator with my own setups, but how would you tell anyway for amiga stuff? Is it usually a joystick option in the game itself or just a compatibility message on the packaging or whatever?

Well, most, if not all, Amiga games were conceived for either, joystick or mouse as the main controller. Keyboard compatibilty was just an addendum, but it usually was there. I asked in this case because there's a 'point-and-click' phase, which leads me to think that it uses the mouse, hence, I'm not sure if the action phases are also conceived for the mouse. It's not usual to make you alternate between different controllers. But hey, it's the Amiga after all, and an amateur game at that, so.



By the way, in the box cover section for the game at computeremuzone it has an 'alternate' cover done by Azpiri which of course looks awesome (I haven't found a single piece of art by this guy I don't think is amazing) any idea what this alternate cover would have been used for?

No clue, but it's not the first time I see it, I'm sure. Azpiri is pretty good, but he's not without his faults, I'd say. His logos are kind of ugly many times and he can't really adapt his style to the game he's drawing for (it seems he was too used to it being the other way around). Just check the Sirwood one you posted. As a comic-book artist, he wasn't all that special, actually.

Spain had really good cover illustrators indeed (and very bad ones too; the budget was it all). Luis Royo [ > ] worked a lot for Dinamic. I always liked this piece too:

http://www.speccy.org/spa2/Inlays/GuillermoTell%28Lightgun%29%28Disk%29.jpg


I'm thinking of moving this to the public forum. What about that?

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#11 03-05-2011 14:29:22

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

Recap said:

Well, most, if not all, Amiga games were conceived for either, joystick or mouse as the main controller. Keyboard compatibilty was just an addendum, but it usually was there. I asked in this case because there's a 'point-and-click' phase, which leads me to think that it uses the mouse, hence, I'm not sure if the action phases are also conceived for the mouse. It's not usual to make you alternate between different controllers. But hey, it's the Amiga after all, and an amateur game at that, so.

The action phases are not conceived for the mouse, you just have to switch completely to mouse control for the second phase. Given the games completely unique design I don't really find this as a fault.

I'm currently stuck on the second phase actually, due to it being in Spanish. The characters in fact are fully voiced in Spanish too which is pretty damn cool, but also frustrating for me because without the text I cant translate what they say, and after a good hour of clicking around and trying to use every item in every way I still didn't progress much, although I'm sure that once you know what to do it wouldn't be a very long section. I guess I will try ask in the emuzone forum for help.


No clue, but it's not the first time I see it, I'm sure. Azpiri is pretty good, but he's not without his faults, I'd say. His logos are kind of ugly many times and he can't really adapt his style to the game he's drawing for (it seems he was too used to it being the other way around). Just check the Sirwood one you posted. As a comic-book artist, he wasn't all that special, actually.

I'm yet to see any of his comics fully, but if they are all around this quality then I think he is pretty amazing: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_WCXE3J7Hrww/S … page+2.jpg


Recap said:

Spain had really good cover illustrators indeed (and very bad ones too; the budget was it all). Luis Royo [ > ] worked a lot for Dinamic. I always liked this piece too:

Yeah its cool. I really wanted to try the game too, but I cant get it working properly yet due to the gunstick it uses.


Recap said:

I'm thinking of moving this to the public forum. What about that?

Do whatever you want.

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#12 03-05-2011 16:12:30

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

I have the intention of playing Walpurgis now, but it won't be soon. If you don't get the solution elsewhere, let us know it.

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#13 03-05-2011 16:50:29

Calamity
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Registered: 29-02-2008

Re: Spanish Games

Nice thread :)

I can't really be objective at all with La Abadía del Crimen after all the time I spent with it, both playing and disassembling it. I can agree with people that complain about its playability to some point, however the game itself is so magnetic that the somewhat twisted controls become a secondary matter.

Here are some of the sketches that Juan Delcán made for the game:

http://computeremuzone.com/fichas/a/BocetosAbadia.pdf

At the time he was studying architecture, which becomes obvious once you have a look at his designs. This is the only videogame he worked at. As far as I now he did his career in USA as creative for the NBC channel.

Last edited by Calamity (03-05-2011 16:51:21)

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#14 03-05-2011 21:03:57

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

Lovely. One thing you never find mentioned is that La Abadía is one of the few CPC games which didn't use the system's awful line-doubled presentation. They needed to sacrifice the number of possible on-screen colors, but still, it makes you lament that every other dev didn't take notes.

This brings to my mind that we don't know your gaming preferences, Calamity. Which are currently your favorite genres / titles, if you feel like sharing?

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#15 05-05-2011 12:33:35

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

I realized its possible to 'practice' any phase in La Noche de Walpurgis by selecting the phase from the main menu, typing anything as the password and then right clicking.

Phase 3, the other side scrolling scene, is decent. Nice graphics, but unfortunately features no bosses or anything, its just a a matter of getting through all the enemies. While not that exciting on its own, its a nice addition in the overall package, though nowhere near as cool as phase 1.

Phase 4, the isometric section, consists of a couple of different screens. The first screen (the lava area) requires you to solve an incredibly fiendish puzzle to clear it. The final screen can only be accessed if you aren't in practice mode, though I saw a screenshot at HOL that gave away the password to it and I couldn't resist using it. The final screen is a more simple little puzzle, but delivers a great climax to the game. The best part of phase 4 is easily the graphics, especially the last screen which looks super cool.

In addition to phase 2, phases 3 and 4 also feature fully voiced Spanish dialogue which is impressive. Without a doubt though the best use of this is easily in the final scene, even though I don't understand the language the scene is incredibly cool and dramatic, but of course I don't want to spoil it here.

I am yet to progress at all on phase 2. I used every item in every way and still got nowhere, so I will need someone with Spanish knowledge to help me on that, I'm yet to receive any help on the computeremuzone forums also. It would be great to understand how to clear the phase, as clearing the game from start to finish would be fun.

Anyway, the game is brilliant, one of my favorite discoveries from the Spanish scene. Even the intro which has an entire disk dedicated to it is awesome. The game overall just puts the majority of other Amiga games to shame.

So why on earth didn't the developers get this published? Why release it as public domain? I'd love to discover the story behind this.

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#16 05-05-2011 14:16:52

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

Very few Spanish publishers cared about the Amiga market already in 1992. You rarely found people who bought official releases for the platform in this very country, so 1992, with the console boom there, was just too late for it. So yeah -- piracy in the end, quite surely.

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#17 05-05-2011 14:48:46

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

I found the website of the La Noche de Walpurgis artist: http://www.miguelangelcarrillo.com/micky/micky.asp

The published games section is interesting. It seems in 1995 the game was renamed Chaos Maze and commercially released on PC. There are also a couple of PC action games there which I've never heard of, such as Steel Force and Deep Red. The 2 Leyendas de Lhodrye games also look quite good.

While information on the Leyendas de Lhodrye titles can be found, I didn't find anything online about Chaos Maze or the other interesting games. Recap if you manage to find anything on Spanish sites let me know.

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#18 05-05-2011 16:20:22

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

Steel Force is actually an arcade game:

http://maws.mameworld.info/maws/img/shots/mwsnap/stlforce.png

http://maws.mameworld.info/maws/romset/stlforce


Mortal Race was too, but that's not in MAME. A shame, 'cause I love the genre and it looks interesting. If they ever got distributed in Spain it had to be in a very limited basis, but most likely they didn't cross the Italian frontier.

I'll try to find more on Chaos Maze and Deep Red later.

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#19 06-05-2011 00:43:12

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

I tried but no luck.

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#20 06-05-2011 04:44:19

Macaw
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Registered: 13-01-2010

Re: Spanish Games

I knew there was something familiar about steel force, I played it in mame a few years back even.

All I found about the other stuff was the Island Dreams site http://web.jet.es/micky/ with pretty much the same info as Miguel's site.

Recap, are there any good Spanish auction sites? Ebay Spain is all I know about, and while there is the occasional Amstrad stuff and such, I am yet to find a single PC DOS Spanish release appear.

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#21 06-05-2011 09:46:42

Recap
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Re: Spanish Games

I couldn't tell, since I don't care about used games enough. I believe Ebay Spain is pretty bad for this, and there are no better local auction sites I'm aware of, so many people just use the buy-and-sell forums of the major video-game sites (Meristation, Vandal, etc.). But I guess I'm not the best to answer this.

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#22 07-05-2011 13:33:05

Calamity
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Registered: 29-02-2008

Re: Spanish Games

Recap said:

Lovely. One thing you never find mentioned is that La Abadía is one of the few CPC games which didn't use the system's awful line-doubled presentation. They needed to sacrifice the number of possible on-screen colors, but still, it makes you lament that every other dev didn't take notes.

Yeah, they just used mode 0 (16 colors) for the intro screen, which was good, the rest of the game used colors but double resolution , so the detail was great... today it seems funny, but at the time those screenshots printed in game magazines were really impressive.

I suppose CPC game devs wanted to benefit from it's 16 colors mode at pixel level, compared to its direct competitor, the Spectrum's graphic mode, that had a slightly higher resolution with 15 colors but only selectable at character level, which led to the typical Spectrum-like graphics.

Recap said:

This brings to my mind that we don't know your gaming preferences, Calamity. Which are currently your favorite genres / titles, if you feel like sharing?

Actually I stopped playing games at all at early 90's, and just recently got an arcade cab and started getting back to it to make up for lost time. Actually my beloved gaming platform was the Sega Megadrive, being the ThunderForce saga the games I most enjoyed, and some other rare ones that I loved like Jewel Master and Ecco the Dolphin.

Today, my favourite games are 2D vertical shooters, the ones without pre-rendered 3D sprites which I mostly hate. But I'm kind of new to this and I'm planning to enjoy each individual title as if they were old bottles of wine. However, I still need to mount one of my two cabs monitor as vertical, which will do one of these days.

At the time of the Spanish 8-bits era, I specially enjoyed Opera games: La Abadía, Livingstone Supongo, Goody, by this order. I never liked Dynamic games too much, with some exceptions: Freddy Hardest, Phantis, Game Over. I didn't play Topo games at all.

From earlier Opera games I liked their originality and technical quality. Later, I think they tried to be more like Dynamic games, and they lacked their former originality and freshness. Specially when they started introducing horizontal scrolling. Scrolling in 8-bit games, even for 16-bit IBM-PC compatible systems conversions, was crap. Those machines weren't able to do a pixel by pixel scrolling at real-time, it had to be in blocks of 4-pixels, let alone do a full screen scrolling. So for me, it was much nicer to see Goody instatly switching from one screen to the next, with those big graphics, than Army Moves scrolling in a small box.

La Abadía del Crimen is a different case, if you compare it with other popular isometric games it's simply on another dimension. Someone said that the greatness of La Abadía is that they achieved the illusion of being in a real building. In most isometric games, each room looks independent, think of Batman. You memorize the map as a series of rooms in a squence. It's not like that in La Abadía, where you actually have the illusion of being in a real building, even despite its criticized system of "cameras" that switch their angle in each screen. So, characters that exit or are about to enter your current "screen", don't just pop in the view, you see them coming in as they move through the map, so sometimes you see a character that's walking its way through another screen in the map but that due to isometric representation it is indeed visible from your current view. And that is achieved even with non-scrolling graphics, unlike other isometric games like The Great Escape that implemented scrolling but their graphics have that "scenery look" compared to the solid and convincing architectural feel reached in La Abadía, that at some point when doing the remake made me believe there was actually a sort of 3D model of the building inside the game, which was an illusion of course.

Last edited by Calamity (07-05-2011 13:34:00)

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#23 07-05-2011 13:56:15

Recap
Administrador
Registered: 31-01-2006
Website

Re: Spanish Games

I never played La Abadía, so I wasn't aware of all the nuances till many years later, even if I knew the game's concept was innovative in every regard. Glad to have it posted here.




Calamity said:

Actually I stopped playing games at all at early 90's, and just recently got an arcade cab and started getting back to it to make up for lost time. Actually my beloved gaming platform was the Sega Megadrive, being the ThunderForce saga the games I most enjoyed, and some other rare ones that I loved like Jewel Master and Ecco the Dolphin.

Nice, because now I'll feel better when I bother you with questions on MD emulation. Will be opening a thread about it soon.



Today, my favourite games are 2D vertical shooters, the ones without pre-rendered 3D sprites which I mostly hate. But I'm kind of new to this and I'm planning to enjoy each individual title as if they were old bottles of wine. However, I still need to mount one of my two cabs monitor as vertical, which will do one of these days.

That includes Cave's early titles --Guwange, Esprade, etc.--, I take. Too bad. But yeah, you need to taste them at full resolution. Good luck and enjoy the process.

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#24 07-05-2011 16:43:46

zyloj
Miembro
Registered: 09-04-2006

Re: Spanish Games

Macaw said:

Initially the main attraction of the Spanish games is without doubt the incredible cover arts. In my opinion the Spanish artists produced even more alluring cover artworks than the Japanese stuff at the time. The fact that a huge amount of box covers were done by the incredible Alfonso Azpiri is a big reason for this, and it seems like all the other Spanish artists were influenced by him and tried to deliver similar quality.

Alfonso Azpiri was the most prolific artist in covers of Spanish games during the 80's. He worked for Dinamic, Topo, Opera and even any other small developer. In 2009 he released a book with all the works he did for this platforms. It's called 'Spectrum'. I organized an exposition [>] with some of his best works that visited several cities in Spain during 2009-2010.

As recap said another very important illustrator was Luis Royo, but almost all of their covers has been also used for other products like books. I'll name another drawer who worked for Opera and Iber: Juan Gimenez. He is also very popular in the comic world with titles like "The metabarons".


Macaw said:

Narco Police (Dinamic/Iron Byte, 1990)

Well, this game was distributed by Dinamic, but it was programmed in Uruguay. I think it should not be considered Spanish. :)


Macaw said:

Desperado 2 (Topo Soft/Gamart, 1991)

Bad sequel. The first one was a clon of Gunsmoke. I suppose Topo got some agreement with Capcom to avoid legal problems, because the game was published in England with official support of Capcom and with the title Gunsmoke. It's curious, but there are more copies of Capcom arcades, like Metropolis/Trojan [>] or Satan/Black tiger [>]

The Spanish industry of videogame during the eighties was very amateur. A lot of games were made by programmers in their house, and then, they were offered to distributors. There was good local sales, but never got international success, except 4 o 5 titles in England. When Nintendo and Sega decided to expand their console market to Spain, almost all developers disappeared. They couldn't afford the investments to get the programming license for this platforms, and 16 bits computers needed specialized workers that they didn't want/couldn't to pay. And people didn't want to pay 40 € for a game. The 8 bits games were sold by less than 6€ in cassette format, and piracy was so tempting...

Last edited by zyloj (07-05-2011 17:22:20)

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#25 07-05-2011 17:14:06

zyloj
Miembro
Registered: 09-04-2006

Re: Spanish Games

Macaw said:

By the way, in the box cover section for the game at computeremuzone it has an 'alternate' cover done by Azpiri which of course looks awesome (I haven't found a single piece of art by this guy I don't think is amazing) any idea what this alternate cover would have been used for?

Satan was announced by Dinamic at the "Microhobby" Spectrum magazine about 1986, like other games like After the war, Vega Solaris or Lorna. All of them got their cover made by Azpiri, but then, they were delayed. Developers usually published covers of their games even before they were programmed.

Vega solaris definitely wasn't published by Dinamic (it belonged to freelance programmers). After the war and Satan were recovered to be released at 1989, but Azpiri didn't work with Dinamic anymore since 1987. They changed the covers of Azpiri for covers of Luis Royo. I supposed that Dinamic were not happy when they saw Azpiri works in rival companies like Topo since 1987 and they decided to get another exclusive drawer, Luis Royo.

Last edited by zyloj (07-05-2011 17:24:25)

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