David Haywood's Homepage
MAME work and other stuff
October 22, 2016 Haze Categories: General News. 8 Comments on Magnetic Trinity ’87

Let’s start this story by taking 3 ‘classic’ arcade games.

Taito's Exzisus Sega's Time Scanner Technos' Xain'd Sleena

First there’s Taito’s Exzisus, an enjoyable, and, in my opinion incredibly underrated horizontal shooter. Second, Sega’s Time Scanner, a decent pinball game for the time, although once you’ve played better (Pinball Dreams, Fantasies etc.) it’s hard to go back to it. Finally Xain’d Sleena from Technos, an enjoyable walk along run and gun style game.

All decent titles, maybe not the first games that come to mind when talking about arcade classics, but better than a lot of the competition. In terms of hardware there’s quite a spread; Exzisus is a unique Taito platform that uses 4 Z80s and a YM2151 for sound. Time Scanner it on Sega’s System 16 board, so there’s a 68k driving the main game with a Z80, YM2151 and uPD7759 for sound. Xain’d Sleena is typical Technos hardware of the period using 3x M6809 to drive the game, an M68705 for protection and 2 YM2203 sound chips. The video capabilities of each platform differ too.

Now let’s look at…. something else.

Magnet Exzisus Magnet Time Scanner Magnet Xain'd Sleena

Some bootlegs you might say, big deal. How about this then.

Magnet Time Scanner Disk

Magnet Time Scanner Disk Magnet Time Scanner Disk

Floppy disks, and you’d probably be following a logical train of thought at this stage to be asking if the pictures on show are of some home ports. Floppies were not exactly a common sight when it comes to arcades. Sega used them with System 24 and some UK fruit machines used them for questions, but otherwise they weren’t exactly common and aren’t exactly known for being amazingly reliable.

So are these home ports? No, they’re not, the insert coin messages being displayed aren’t just for show, they really do want you to insert coins, these are arcade games.

Ports, yes, they’re ports, they’re also prototypes, because to the best of our knowledge the arcade system to which they were ported to didn’t actually get released, despite being well advertised in Spanish magazines; much of the advertising focused around original games on the platform, but ports were mentioned too. I doubt any of them were licensed, so yes, you could also count them as bootlegs.

So what is the platform? Well, it’s the ‘Magnet System’ by Electrónica Funcional Operativa SA,

Magnet Time Scanner Disk

and I’ll have more details later, for now I have to leave the house and travel half the country to Brighton to see Amanda Palmer….


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Thanks for sharing Haze!

Very interesting stuff!

Xain’d Sleena is one of my all time favorites.

Keep up the good work buddy, good to see these things get preserved and documented.

i m glad you are again in emulation stuff.
i kept opening the page every now and then to check some update.

Very cool. Thanks, Haze and hope you had a nice trip.

Xain’d Sleena is probably my 2nd favourite arcade game. Psychic 5 being number one for me. It is an excellent games and plenty a coin was spent on it. Can’t wait to see what these are like. Thanks for the share.

They’re truly awful I’m afraid to say.

They control / play really badly, have frequent disruptive mid-game stalls while they load data off the disk, and while they use the graphics from the original games often animations are dropped or things are badly scaled to fit the lower resolution.

for example in Xain, when walking up the steps on the first level you can’t actually climb the steps by walking at them / pressing against them and jumping, you have to take some steps back before you can jump, otherwise it does nothing. Likewise, the cloud climb part, you can’t even begin to climb up the clouds / platforms until you reach the end of the horizontally scrolling bit because the screen refuses to scroll vertically until then.

Time Scanner is probably the worst of the bunch, the ball physics are a joke, and you can break the game easily by getting the ball stuck (very easy if you use the tilt) leaving you with no choice but to power off the game, I assume it’s the least finished of them.

Exzisus is fairly playable, definitely not a patch on the original, and when used with the original Magnet system hardware is has some absolutely terrible flicker / slowdown as soon as it gets busy, but it’s nowhere near as awful as the other two games.

I haven’t managed to figure out the sound hardware properly yet tho, although I doubt having sound will improve them ;-)

It’s not really surprising why the company ended up going bankrupt, it’s a flawed design from start to finish, but I’ll write a bit more about that in a future update.

This is a system where it’s really nice to have it preserved in any form at all, especially given the fragile nature of things like disks, but not something anybody is likely to invest any time in actually playing. If some original software were to show up it would be interesting to see what the developers could do when they weren’t trying to copy an existing game, but given the overall (lack of) quality in the software we have, I wouldn’t have high hopes even then.

Interesting… I went to High School with Amanda Palmer. Go Minutemen!

Holy jeez, these bootlegs are unfortunate. Trying to drag a game meant for 68k hardware onto a handful of z80s… yeesh.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.