There have been a few things going on recently, but not had much time to post about them.
The most interesting thing is probably the discovery of an actual original title for the floppy disk based Magnet System arcade hardware rather than the unlicensed conversions of existing games that we’d seen previously.
The game in question is a vertical shmup called War Mission
We’re quite lucky with this one as the disk was showing signs of failure, however the game only uses the first 24 or so tracks on the disk and only loads once on startup, unlike the other Magnet games which have pauses for loading between each scene. Later tracks, which do contain data, but presumably leftovers from whatever was on the disk before or another game, did not read consistently even when the original drive was used, but for the area used by the game the same reads were reproduced every time so those should be good at least.
It’s not a great game, hitbox is far too big meaning collisions usually feel unfair, and there’s very little content often just the same enemies reused with palette swaps (the video covers it all)
There are also some design issues like the 3 star powerup actually making the game more difficult as you can only have one set of bullets onscreen at once meaning you’re often left unable to take out enemies at close range if you’ve already fired off your shots. There are also plenty of places where enemy bullets spawn from nothing, which again just seems to be a design issue rather than an issue with the emulation or disk image, probably to keep you on your toes.
Unfortunately as with all the Magnet system games there is no way to reset the high score table to defaults, so the scores on the disk are the ones from people playing the game back in the day, and we have no idea what the factory defaults would have been, as a result the score table we have seems to be pretty much maxed out by a handful of players who must have played the game extensively back in the day. The chances of finding an untouched factory disk of these things is practically zero (it’s a miracle even this one showed up) so we’re probably just going to have to live with that.
Also, don’t bother trying to contact me at MameWorld, my account has been banned by Smitdogg, head of The Dumping Union because he took personal offense at me passing along some criticism over the quality of another dump (Tom Tom Magic, a Korean pinball game which had not been dumped correctly) Personally I find this behavior worrying and advise people take caution when donating to The Dumping Union as it seems they now think they’re above criticism and are quite happy to shoot the messenger as it were, My contact was only concerned with the quality of their output, including documentation provided, especially when dealing with such a rare PCB.
All that said, I’ll be away for the next week because I’m going to be in a field for Download Festival and staying with some friends.