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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Welcome to Retro Playthrus!

Coleco Telstar Console
Why Retro Playthrus?

To quickly summarize my interest here, many games have been released since I first started playing games. I have made many purchases, but so many titles have sat on shelves collecting dust that I have not had the chance to complete, mainly from the facts of life getting in the way.  I plan to start rectifying some of this, beginning by capturing the game play mainly on the retro game systems I grew up with, such as the Atari 800/XL/XE, Sega Master System, Atari ST, and maybe some SNK Neo Geo. 

Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 1

Here is the long version....

So, besides arcades, my first introduction to video games was the game Robot Attack by Big Five Software on the Radio Shack TSR-80 Model 1.  We also had a ColecoVision Pong clone game, and I do not remember when that was acquired.  Not long after that introduction, my
parents purchased an Atari 800.
Atari 800 Home Computer

On the Atari 800, I was introduced to many more games, the numerous cartridges released from Atari themselves like Joust and Pac Man, and third parties, including the first releases from Electronic Arts like MULE and Lords of Conquest, Wizards Crown and Phantasie from SSI, Bruce Lee and Zorro from Datasoft, and Boulder Dash and Bristles from First Star software, just to name a few.  Many school reports were also composed on this computer in Bank Street Writer.  

Atari 1040 ST
My parents next purchased an Atari 1040 STf not long after release.  The first titles I touched on this computer were Defender of the Crown, Gauntlet, and The Bard's Tale.  After some time, I started to use Word Perfect for school reports.  Many other games followed on this computer.
Sega Master System Model 1

The first game system I purchased was the Sega Master System.  I loved both Afterburner and Out Run in the arcade, which is why I chose the system over the market-dominating NES.  Two games I would find myself coming back to the most were Great Soccer, and Montezuma's Revenge.  I had extensively played Montezuma's Revenge on the Atari 800.

SNK Neo Geo Home Console
From here, I did get an Amiga 1000, an Atari 1040 STe, Sega Genesis/Sega CD, SNES, and Neo Geo, followed by more systems into the next generation with the Jaguar, PSX, and Saturn.  I figured it was best to stick with the earlier systems for completing games, and I have equipment for good captures or the Atari ST, SMS, and Neo Geo.  Only for the Atari 8-bit series do I lack a better video solution; the best I can do right now is SVideo.

Magazine Ad for Robot Attack
Anyway, my goal is to see the endings of multiple games, learn about some video editing, and maybe capture some MIDI tracks from some ST games.  Most games will be played with trainers, much less stress inducing!  To start with I am using Shotcut for video editing.  Of course, some games, e.g. Gauntlet or The Bard's Tale, are too long or grindy to record a complete game, so for those if I do them, I may do a shorter video, a shortplay.  I might also expand into the demo realm, mainly on the Atari ST, since coders there showcased many feats in programming that were amazing in that time.  And while in that demo realm, I might hit some of the Cracktros that groups made and attached to their cracked software disk images.

M.U.L.E. Game 'Folder'
One oddity with doing the Sega Master System, and Atari ST, is that they (and also the Amiga) share many ports, as a lot of the software produced in the golden years of the platforms were created in Europe.  So I might try to hit up titles that were released on both platforms, and maybe eventually evolving into comparisons down the road.

There is also a more recent occurrence
with the Sega Master system, which is the practice of the community to patch Game Gear games to run on the Master System.  I may try to capture some of these presentations as well, such as the so called GG2SMS games besides doing some of the excellent homebrew titles that have appeared on the system.

The gear I plan to use: 

Atari 1040 STf with TOS 1.4/1MB with a CosmosEx (original from 1986!)
Startech USB3HDCAP
Atari 1040 STE with TOS 1.62/4MB and AdSpeed STE with SaTanDisk (original from 1990!)
Atari Mega STE 4 with TOS 2.06/MonSTerBoard-10MB
Roland MT-32
Atari 1200XL with numerous modifications.
Sega Master System with FM Expansion Board from Tim Worthington
Neo Geo Home System with numerous modifications.
HD RetroVision Component Cables (For SMS/Genesis/Neo/Saturn/SNES)
Best Electronics ST Monitor to VGA Cable
Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC) 1.6 for video upscaling
Startech USB3HDCAP for Video Capture

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