An amazing update on the recent discovery of the Last Ninja 2 disks for the Konix Multi-system. One disk has been read so far, and the results have been very positive – with the game being now emulated and running!
And here is the video of it up and running!
We guess that more work will also occur on getting the rest of the disks preserved and everything emulated in as close as to a final state as possible. The video means hearing some previously unheard Dave Lowe tunes for the first time in over 20 years.
Exciting times! More soon as we hear it!
I.D’s Dave Taylor talking (to myself) about issues with Jaguars DSP….
@Martin Smith:That’s a great point about the DSP on the Konix, if you read interviews with various commercial Jaguar developers, like ATD for example, you’ll sometimes find them talking about how they’d hoped to have used the DSP to help with other aspects of game code (limited Texture-Mapping etc) but it was already maxed-out doing what it was doing already.
I think the Konix, like the Atari Panther, was on-paper a far more powerful system than we’d have actually seen, running games in real-time, it had it’s strengths over the MD i’m sure, but also a lot weaker in key areas as well.
Fact it was a British Console might just have created a bit of flag waving in the UK media to boot :-)
I’ve read up on the Konix a bit in recent years, and I can’t help thinking it was always The Emperor’s New Clothes. In a few specific situations it was powerful, as AMC ’89 suggests, but it semeed to have a narrow ‘sweet spot’ requiring particular game styles and particular hardware tricks, but overall lagged behind the Amiga and Megadrive. The DSP hardware was neat, but basically meant great graphics or great sound. The integrated peripherals might’ve been enough, as they were for the Wii despite it not matching the 360 or PS3, but the games we’ve seen seem pitched in the wrong place – chess and sailing, for example, on a machine better marketed to kids.
For myself, a lot of the ‘dissapointment’ in terms of seeing actual, in-game performance from the Konix, lies firmly with the hype, back in the day.I was an avid follower of the Konix in likes of ACE, TGM, C+VG, Zero etc and we were told that even the earliest version of the chipset out gunned the Amiga etc and it was built up to be this powerhouse of a machine.
So, seeing games like LN2 running in a small-ish window, Hammerfist with smaller sprites than the amiga, kinda deflates the impact.
I don’t think with these 2 cases, these were ever going to be THE games to showcase the hardware, as an Ex-Atari Jaguar owner, i’m all too aware of publishers putting out 256 colour ports of mainstream games :-)
Fantastic to see what’s been recovered and a great insight into how the 1st generation Konix games would of appeared.
It’s something similar to Atari’s Panther, which promised SNES beating games, yet would have needed a lot more Ram to tap into the potential, and was to recieve ports of existing ST/Amiga Games (Pitfighter, SOTB etc) which i never personally saw as being flagship titles as actual gameplay on both was’nt all that, so ‘better looking’ versions would’nt have done much for it.
Anywho, please keep us updated, this is great news.
I think the biggest issue here is that there’s not a lot you can do with this game, the graphics ARE enhanced over the C64 version for sure (the 256 colours helps give better shading – although it is rather blocky), and IMHO they are somewhat better than the Amiga 500 version.
The music, although disappointing is disappointing in the same way that the ST and Amiga versions are – listening to this spurred me on to listening to the C64 version (and a raft of my other favorite tunes after that), it just shows how kick ass the C64 tunes had become by that stage, the audio programming guys were really adept at producing amazing tunes and making manipulating the SID chip a real art form.
The Konix version’s audio driver was set to 4 channels for this game (a unique feature of the Konix that you could have up to 20+). Who knows if it’s the arrangement, the lack of channels or memory to play lots of samples that makes it a bit less than inspiring. Wait until we get another video of the closest to release build version out – there is still a chance that the tunes may get better (could be an emulation thing – may just be that the first tune isn’t too exciting and the other 6 are).
Also, this machine was better at doing clever tricks with the DSP, so the ability to blit stuff and show 3D would have made it stand apart, a conversion of a standard 2D game was never going to push it really.
Finally, the multi-system had quite a small amount of memory, this will not have helped.
Overall, it’s a good conversion version of a (now) very old game – I’d like to do one of those PS4/xbox1 split screen graphics conversions that you see so many of, but I’m not sure how to pull that off… :)
Great recovery, awful conversion! >___<
Outstanding find and i wish you the VERY best of luck in getting it released at some point into the community.
Have to say, i much prefer the C64 SID music to what’s running on the Konix version.Also, rather surprised by the small playing window, large L-type status panel etc.Starting to question the true power of the Konix Multi-System, as seem to recal TGM saying Konix Hammerfist had smaller sprites than the Amiga version.
Maybe it was just developers getting to grips with the system?.
And here’s some video of it running under emulation!
Superb find! :-)