back to article After Burner: Sega’s jet-fighting, puke-inducing arcade marvel

It was 1986, and the world went bonkers for Top Gun: that film about pleasant young chaps learning the flight ropes of F-14 Tomcats. New-wave synth poppers Berlin sang Take My Breath Away while straddling decommissioned aircraft; Tom Cruise apparently began a longstanding attempt to disguise his diminutive stature; and …

  1. toxicdragon

    This was the first ever game I played in an arcade. I still love it. Although I wasnt brave enough to go on the full blown upside down ones.

    1. Aqua Marina

      The full blown upside down ones signed the death warrant for the arcade industry. At $125K SEGA were selling the R360 for back in the day, arcades simply couldn't recover the costs of the machines. At 25c per play, it would be 500000 plays before the arcade broke even, even at 50c per play (still realistic 20 years ago) it would be 250000 plays before the arcade started making cash from the machine. And this doesn't take into account the 3 phase electrical requirements, nor the maintenance these machines required. I remember seeing these things in arcades just sitting there rotting with 2, 3 and 5$ per go signs above them, that kids (the target market) simply couldn't afford.

      So you could say, Afterburner killed the arcades :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        £1 a pop seemed ludicrously expensive in '87...

        I still remember reading a review of After Burner in Computer and Video Games circa late 1987 that said a single game cost £1 a pop (the equivalent of £2.50 in 2015 and approximately US $1.70 at late 1987 exchange rates).

        I have to admit that this struck me as horrendously expensive (I didn't get much pocket money!), but I don't think I realised that the game- or at least the version they appeared to be reviewing had that full "spin and tumble" chair rather than just being a regular cabinet. (#)

        Makes the price seem less extortionate and worth it as a one-off or occasional treat, but still doesn't change the fact that it would have been way too expensive for repeated plays.

        (Almost forgot, I also had one of the in-game tunes on cassette, copied from a tape my friend got with one of his Sinclair magazines.)

        (#) Though I'm still sure even *that* would have impressed me as I wasn't an arcade-goer and used to 8-bit home computers (even the Amiga would have been incredible then). I don't think I ever actually saw After Burner- either the full or the regular cabinet version- at the time, but I saw its scaled-graphics sibling Out Run for the first time the following year when I sneaked into a darkened arcade with a friend.

        I was really, *really* impressed (even though I couldn't play it for **** and the game ended after 30 seconds). I remember dreaming about it(!) and I think in my head that first-impression, dream-bolstered memory became even better than the game already was, because I saw Out Run again on holiday the following year in a less dark arcade in Butlins (having seen more arcade games since) and... I was slightly disappointed. It was still good, but even Out Run couldn't live up to that idealised memory.

        1. Bleu

          Re: £1 a pop seemed ludicrously expensive in '87...

          Why do you post as AC on such a topic? As I said in my other post on this thread, the mechanical cabinets, at first, cost 200 yen a time.

          At the time this was much more than a pound, but extremely good value if one was able to get through all or most of the stages.

          Fun!

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: £1 a pop seemed ludicrously expensive in '87...

            @Bleu; I think it was clear that I was recalling my adolescent response to a £1 price I'd seen quoted in C+VG magazine. Quite how accurate that was, I don't know- it's their figure, not mine! As I said, I hadn't really visited an arcade as an 11 or 12 year old.

            However, since you make a point of it, I'll note that according to this site (#), the exchange rate was 237 yen to the pound in 1987, a bit higher than nowadays and making 200 yen around 85p- well under a quid! Even at today's rates it's £1.09, slightly (not "well") over £1.

            I'm assuming their "£1" figure was a good-enough ballpark translation of the original price and that the game probably wasn't out- or at least widespread- in the UK at the time...? (The article says that it didn't actually get here until the revised After Burner II). What operators here *actually* ended up charging would have been another kettle of fish.

            (#) No, I can't vouch for its accuracy. This site says something similar, though if both used the same source figures this might prove nothing.

            1. Bleu

              Re: £1 a pop seemed ludicrously expensive in '87...

              I checked that site and stand corrected.

              Thank you.

              Didn't realise that the pound was so high, even when the yen was soaring. Still, 200 yen wasn't *much* less than a pound.

              The retro-game centre I mentioned also has a working Hang on (with the tilt-bike, not just the handlebars and screen), an Outrun cabinet, much more.

              All just 100 yen a go now.

              Thanks again, must go and do serious things now.

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: £1 a pop seemed ludicrously expensive in '87...

                I too had a go on the blackpool R360. We went on a sandcastle trip with the school (it was new back then) and ended up in the arcades as you do. Gauntlet got most of my money back then.

      2. Jim 59

        250000 plays. Assuming 50 plays a day, that would be 5000 days to break even, or 13.6 years.

        Seems too much. Surely it can't have been that expensive ?

        1. Darryl

          Yeah, I think it was that expensive. In all of the high-end arcades here, there was a corner reserved for the expensive games - usually $1 or even $2 per play, and the full-blown After Burner was in most. Needless to say, it wasn't a very busy corner of the arcade.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        It was home computing wot "killed the arcades"

        *All* arcade machines were *not* "$125K"

        You can buy a car for $10000000 - has that killed motoring?

        1. Jim 59

          It was home computing wot "killed the arcades"

          *All* arcade machines were *not* "$125K"

          You can buy a car for $10000000 - has that killed motoring?

          No but it might kill the showrooms if many of them bought 10 million pound cars and were unable to sell them/recoup the outlay.

      4. Dan 78

        Loss leader ?

        I remember spending £2 for a go on the R360 in Blackpool. And if I recall the machines had a UK price of £60,000. That’s before running costs. So I do wonder how many of them ever turned a profit. Or if it was more like a loss leader, to get people into that arcade.

      5. TechRyze

        ...except... After Burner isn't R360. They're different games, and After Burner was a hit, and didn't need to go upside-down.

        R360 was a failure.

    2. Bleu

      I liked it

      but was never much good at it. It is good but not great without the mechanical cabinet.

      My fave retro-game centre had the mechanical cabinet Afterburner, they now have the Space Harrier one, I used to have people watching as I clocked Space Harrier on one coin, now forgotten the patterns for the later stages, still get to the seventh or eigth level.

      By one coin, I mean no refilling, IIRC, Space Harrier and Afterburner were usually 200 yen at first, with the exchange rates at the time, well over a UK pound.

      That is in reply to a different commenter.

      Maybe should clock it again. Enough fun just to play in the real thing.

      It is so nice to play the real mechanical cabinet.

      So, I prefer Space Harrier to Afterburner, but they are both great examples of mechanical cabinets enhancing the experience. Namco had quite a few, too, but like Afterburner, I wasn't much good at them, or maybe just not too interested in them. ... but, still sometimes fun to throw the coin in and play! They have quite a few in working order.

      Suzuki's Hang on and Space Harrier will always be my favourites from that time, they were the ones I concentrated on enough to get high scores and audiences.

      Must go to the retro-arcade sometime from Sunday.

  2. GregC
    Happy

    Happy memories

    Reading that took me straight back to Streatham Ice Rink in the late eighties, back when I was one of the yoofs I now moan about... Good times, I'm sure we used to skate as well but most of my memories are of playing the arcade machines!

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Happy memories

      "Reading that took me straight back to Streatham Ice Rink in the late eighties"

      You clearly weren't down wit da kidz if you weren't down at the Megabowl!

      1. GregC

        Re: Happy memories

        Lol - even when I was a kid, I have never been down wit da kidz!

    2. MotorcyclesFish

      Re: Happy memories

      We'd have been there around the same time, as a family member was big into the Rec Ice Hockey scene then, although I was still too young to play the machines properly.

      My favourite pasttime as a whippersnapper there was combing the vending machines for forgotten 20ps (once found 60p in the Fanta dispenser-type machine that was to the left as you came down the main steps to the rink level, at 6 years old I thought I'd won the lottery!)

  3. Slacker@work

    Then was the days...

    They had one of these at the SU bar when I was a uni - spent many a happy hour blasting away at it when I wasn't drunk, playing rugby or chasing girls. *deep sigh of nostalgia*

  4. Ol'Peculier

    There was one of these in my SU bar too - one day they left the door open so we swiped the manual that was inside and worked out what DIP switch changes to make play easier, get extra lives etc.

    Happy days indeed.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      re: make play easier, get extra lives etc.

      Bloody students!!! Even gaming properly is too much like hard work!!!

      1. Ol'Peculier
        Pint

        Re: re: make play easier, get extra lives etc.

        At least it kept us away from the bar...

        ...oh, wait...

      2. Graham Marsden
        Happy

        @sabroni - Re: re: make play easier, get extra lives etc.

        > Even gaming properly is too much like hard work!!!

        Game smarter, not harder!

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "worked out what DIP switch changes to make play easier, get extra lives etc."

      I bet you'd cheat on the Kobayashi Maru test too!

      1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

        Re: "I bet you'd cheat on the Kobayashi Maru test too!"

        Nah, he'll get a commendation for original thinking.

  5. Daz555

    It was no Out Run but After Burner II is still an all-time classic.

    So much effort was put into the audio for these classic 80s sprite-scalers - from Space Harrier's "welcome to the fantasy zone, get ready!" to Out Run's "Magical Sound Shower". After Burner was in the same mould - a visual and aural treat.

    Get yourself MAME and a decent flightstick and away you go.

    1. Jim 59

      Sega was the king of good music. My favourite, Quartet - great music, great game.

  6. Crisp Silver badge

    The music in this game was awesome

    I remember getting the demo tape off the front of a magazine for this and on the B side they had the music from the arcade version.

    1. juice Bronze badge

      Re: The music in this game was awesome

      The soundtrack was included on a Your Sinclair covertape (http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/ys36.htm) and I have fond memories of listening to those tunes while playing various games on my humble speccy.

      It's also worth noting that Afterburner is part of a lineage at Sega which essentially started with Space Harrier (which also offered a deluxe seated edition[*]), and the Afterburner/G-Loc games in the arcade, before moving onto the home consoles in the shape of the Panzer Dragoon series, before going out on a high note with Rez. And the person who designed Rez (Tetsuya Mizuguchi) then went on to create Child of Eden. though I'd personally say Rez is the better of the two...

      [*] I've got memories of a trip to Blackpool as a young'un, and I could swear that I saw my cousin playing Space Harrier while perched on some funky mechanised fighter-pilot style seat, but the only images I can find for the SH seated version show a fairly boring wooden all-in-one cabinet...

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: The music in this game was awesome

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS7HeRsakBY

        space harrier with hydraulics

  7. Shades

    To Be This Good...

    Actually, IIRC, Sega didn't actually say "ages", they said "Sega". (Although admittedly "ages" did appear on TV adverts before it was flipped round to say Sega.

    I'll never forget Commodores cheeky swipe at Sega with an advert for the CD32 right outside the Sega UK HQ which said "To be this good will take Sega ages". Ahh, them were the days.

  8. hatti

    Ah back in the day

    You can recreate that nostalgic deluxe cabinet experience today by driving a smart car.

  9. Sir Sham Cad

    Rose tinted

    Maybe it was because I was 12 at the time but I loved the C64 version I had and played the everliving shit out of. I mean it didn't look like the Arcade version but it was close enough for me in my bedroom.

    Them were the days.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Rose tinted

      Think yourself lucky, all we had was the "Totally Awesome!" Codemasters budget equivalent, Mig 29. Which my memory tells me was fun, but I daren't check.

  10. Jim 59

    After Burner debuted an updated version of Sega’s most advanced arcade hardware: the X Board. Featuring Sega’s custom “super-scaler” graphics chipset running at 50MHz, the hardware rotation and scaling abilities of the board were quite sensational: up to 256 sprites in each frame, thousands of sprites scaled within a second, and all output at 60 frames per second.

    So that's how they did it. I used to watch over people's shoulders while they played this game at Sunderland Polytechnic, or just watch the demo mode, and wonder how the makers could *possibly* move all the graphics around so fast.

    1. Ol'Peculier
      Happy

      What is it with Poly SU's and this game? That's three now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I know the X Board was pretty darn sophisticated, but wouldn't it be best to say the X Board was Sega's most sophisticated board at the time. I would imagine the Y Board (used in G-LOC, Galaxy Force, Rail Chase, and Power Drift) was even stronger, but it came later.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Make that four, I still remember putting way too much money into the one at Leicester Poly SU, I also vaguely remember it displaying an odd message after I think I got a perfect level, it went something like:

        "[I forget the name]'s blood is fuel and oil" and gave me a ridiculous number of points. :)

  11. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Memories of a mis-spent youth...

    I recall the first time I played the sit-in version and I was utterly blown away by the immersive experience of not just standing in front of a cabinet, but actually having the whole machine move around me in response to my controls!

    There were others that followed, but I still hold a treasured memory of retfA renruB (as I used to refer to it since the title would spin round and reverse on screen ;-) )

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Doh!!!!

    I now have the Space Harrier theme tune stuck in my head.

  13. John Sanders
    Thumb Up

    After Burner was a blast

    But the one I loved (and managed to finish) was Sega's "Thunder Blade" came the same year (1987-88) although where I lived it came a year later.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g7E25Ngw9o

    I just loved it, do not ask me why.

    I never managed to play on the cabinet in the video, just the regular standing one.

    Very few games of the arcades got me interested in finishing them, this one did for some reason, absolutely loved the stage where the final boss is a Blackbird plane.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: After Burner was a blast

      was thunderblade the one with mechanical seat?

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: After Burner was a blast

      Is it my imagination or were the Thunder Blade cabinets branded as After Burner: Thunder Blade? I think I saw that at motorway service stations....

  14. Scaffa

    After Burner on the 360 cab was like £1 a go from what I remember.

    Plus remember it was a glorious piece of theater, sure it wouldn't make its money back on its own but people would show up to see it - then blow their cash on Outrun or Street Fighter 2 (an SF2 board was about £2300 from Videotronics at the time).

    1. Haku

      Yes it was £1 a go, I remember because I once had a go on such a contraption in the basement of Hamleys back in the days when the basement was filled with arcade machines and computers you could have a go on.

      I recall that it didn't actually work that well, it felt like the game was shoehorned into the 360 contraption. Sure it spun me round and flipped me upside down but my physical orientation had no real bearing on what was being displayed on screen.

      They should've written a dogfighting jet game especially for it instead so you didn't feel like you'd totally wasted your precious £1 for a couple of minutes of disorientation, which back then was significantly more than the price of traditional standing arcade games.

      1. toxicdragon

        Hamleys THAT was the place thank you. Thats where I first saw the full 360 one. I have been wondering about that all day.

      2. Aqua Marina

        They should've written a dogfighting jet game especially for it

        They did. It was called Wing War and released in 1994.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExPCAeHBnmg

        http://www.gameroomrepair.com/R360/R360.htm

  15. TheWeenie

    I used to play this on holiday when I was a kid down in Swanage. I was hooked, and wanted to play at home, so bought the tape for my ZX Spectrum - that was predictably dreadful so for Christmas that year I got my first computer, and I was hooked. I guess people figured out that it was cheaper in the long run than feeding 50p into the machine every ten minutes!

    I still remember completing it - in the posh cabinet version - there was a small crowd of people watching by the end.

    Afterburner Climax - despite sounding like a weird, Japanese STD - was pretty good.

    Thanks for the trip back down memory lane, El Reg!

    1. Jim 59

      You're saying the Sinclair Spectrum isn't a computer? Outside.

    2. Dadmin
      Thumb Up

      I'll second that; thanks, El Reg!

      Now I know what I'm doing later tonight; searching the storage areas for my After Burners on some or all of my Commodore 64, PC Engine, or Sega Master System archives

    3. Shades

      "I guess people figured out that it was cheaper in the long run than feeding 50p into the machine every ten minutes"

      This is what killed arcades in anything but depressing seaside towns, motorway service stations and cinemas/bowling alleys. Even though I had an Amiga at the time that itself didn't stop me from occasionally visiting the, usually, smokey "amusements" filled with old women frittering away their pensions on bingo and young "ladies", usually with screaming child in pushchair, from inserting their benefits into the fruit machines. For me it was Tekken 3 that killed my arcade visiting days when, after putting hundreds of pounds in the arcade machine, I found out the hardware running it was essentially a PS1, but with a ROM rather than CD-ROM, and I could have the exact same experience from the comfort of home. So I saved up a for a month, had to take a 60 mile round trip on the train to somewhere that had PS1s in stock (they were relatively new at the time) because I was, and still am, too impatient to wait for things to be delivered and I've never purposefully seeked out an arcade since.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Actually, not quite. Tekken and Tekken 2 (as well as Soul Edge) ran on System 11, which you're correct was essentially the same spec as a PlayStation. That's why those translated so well to the PlayStation. However, Tekken 3 ran System 12, which was an improved variant (the MIPS CPU ran at 48 MHz, 50% better than the PSX-spec 33MHz, and it used a different sound system), so the translation this time around would have a few compromises.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          same enough as not to be an amiga vs a neo geo though. I remember playing 3 count bout (neo geo at heart) and GTI club (custom hardware) that couldn't really be replicated at the time

  16. Tejekion

    I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

    In fact I will go as far as to say, it was the most faithful recreation of the game,PERIOD! And I will also go as far as to say both the Amiga AND the C64 version had even better music than the Arcade game had. Anyone here the C64 Afterburner remix? That along with the Outrun Magical Sound Shower remix used for the C64 Turbo Outrun release were absolutely INSANE! Although I will agree that the C64 version of the gameplay was a bit lacking,the Amiga versions were as it got! even better than the Sega Genesis versions. Of course the Amiga had the luxury of using the same Motorola 68K processor that the Genesis used, so it would always have an advantage in Sega ports over any other machine.

    1. Bit Brain

      Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

      "I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

      In fact I will go as far as to say, it was the most faithful recreation of the game,PERIOD!"

      No, that honour goes to the Saturn version on Sega Ages.

      1. Bleu

        Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

        No, that honour goes to the Dreamcast versions in Shenmue and the GD in the Suzuki book.

        Sorry.

    2. Shades

      Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

      Yes, the music on Outrun! For me though Splash Wave was the first ever really stand-out bit of arcade music. I may be wrong but I think it was one of the first arcade machines to have a subwoofer (or at least speakers that were able of pushing out a half decent amount of bass/volume) and arcade operators took full advantage of it; if one arcade machines music could be heard cutting well above the cacophony of all the others it was always Outrun.

      Splash Wave still occasionally randomly pops into my head even now, usually when I'm in a good mood though and just hearing it now still puts a massive grin on my face.

      1. Bit Brain

        Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

        "if one arcade machines music could be heard cutting well above the cacophony of all the others it was always Outrun."

        Or Tron.

        1. Bleu

          Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

          Which Tron?

          I only ever loved the discs game (best USA contribution at that time) wonderfull game, but I cannot recall it having a memorable tune. Great sounds, though.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

          What about Reactor? It had that distortion guitar music tied to a BIG speaker.

      2. Bleu

        Re: I have to disagree on the Amiga version being bad.

        Real Pole Position cabinets have a sub-woofer or something like it.

        Real Outrun cabinets do not. They do have a mechanism to shake when you crash.

        I use the present tense because working ones still exist not far from home.

  17. steamrunner

    Tip of the hat deserved

    I'll add my tip of the hat here as well — the R360 "upside down" version was, along with the original Star Wars arcade game a few years before, one of my top arcade draws, if not the top one. Upside down, not losing keys or loose change, and still being able to follow the enemy and shoot them without throwing up (either in the cabinet or just after getting out) were key skills developed. Ah, memories. :-)

  18. Lamont Cranston
    Paris Hilton

    Dare I ask what happens

    if you fill the Climax bar?

  19. Fibbles

    The R360 version was a great gimmick but from what I remember it was difficult as hell to play. Having mastered After Burner II on the MegaDrive I thought I'd be a pro when I spotted one of these machines at the Gateshead Metro Center in the early 90s. Of course, once you go upside down you're effectively dangling from the seat because there's no real g-force pinning you to it.

  20. CaptainBanjax

    I WAS FROZEN TODAY!

    That is what Afterburner makes me think of.

  21. psychonaut

    there was another game

    you had a jet pack and a gun, first person shooter style. it was all 3d and you got to fight (what looked like) dragons and things...huge 3d, mainly composed of spheres.....what was it called?

    1. Shades

      Re: there was another game

      Space Harrier? Like After Burner it wasn't actually 3D though. IIRC it even used the same board as After Burner which pushed sprites, not polygons, about.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: there was another game

        space harrier! that was it! cheers!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sutton library, I salute you

    The librarians at Sutton library in Sarf London were most certainly down wiv da kidz even if they didn't know it. Every six months there'd be a new machine in the cafe and it was a classic: Tron, Star Wars (with vector graphics), After Burner, all great titles and reason enough to go to the library. I vaguely recall borrowing a book on UCSD Pascal too, so I guess something stuck.

  23. Luiz Abdala

    Mega Drive version...

    ...was exceptionally fast. It was so fast that my mom threw me an apple; I turned around, looked at the apple while searching for the stem, and picked it up by the freaking stem in an awkward hand twist, while pausing the game. I could swat a fly with 2 fingers if I wanted that day, I was totally in the zone.

    That freaked me out.

    That was the sign... to stop playing. And eat the apple. And go outside to ride a bike. And to not play that game again for the next 10 years.

  24. Ben Daluz

    G-LOC R-360 Cabinet

    The G-LOC R-360 cabinet was f...ing amazing. Best arcade game experience of my life, I can't describe just how much fun that thing was to play. Light years ahead of the competition when it came out. Made the VR games that were around at the time just seem like an utter waste of time even though they were technically superior (apart from the blurry visuals)

    1. Jim84

      Re: G-LOC R-360 Cabinet

      Am I the only person to think that this cabinet combined with oculus rift and eve valkarie would be amazing?

      Or would the cabinets still cost 125k to make?

  25. Richard Scratcher
    Terminator

    I remember playing this game when I was young...

    ...I'd racked up a really big score but then my friend came up and told me there was some cop scoping for me so I had to terminate the game. Then this big guy walked in wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses... and then it all kicked off.

  26. ecofeco Silver badge

    Fun game but Mach 3 was my game

    Mach 3 was my game. I was very good at it. Better than this video. Loved that damn game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5O-A2r1ACw

  27. Matt_payne666

    Troccadeo im london....

    G-loc 360 I'm sure it was more tha £1 a go, but it was a treat on a visit to the capital ...

    By my favourite all time arcade cab has to be Ridge Racer Full Scale... a real MX5 20foot wrap around display, 2 1\2 turns lock to lock and moving the mechanical gear linkage was magic!!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahhhh G-Loc

    Still the only arcade game I have ever completed.

  29. Fading Silver badge

    Amstrad CPC

    No mention of the Amstrad CPC version? - much more colourful than the Spectrum version.... Cannon fire was continuous - fire button released you heat seekers.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Joefish
    Boffin

    Err - "Vertical Axis"?

    Variations in pitch (tipping backwards and forwards, like wot the deluxe cabinet did) is rotating about the lateral axis. The seat inside could then roll, rotating about its longitudinal axis. I vaguely remember seeing a sit-down one that just used the inner part of the deluxe cabinet, such that it could just roll a little. Then there was a fixed sit-down version and an upright cabinet. The roll-only design was resurrected for After Burner Climax.

    The only one I remember that could yaw as well (yer actual rotation about the 'vertical axis') was the very top-end Galaxy Force II 'Super Deluxe' cabinet, which could rotate and pitch. I don't think it could roll. The 'Deluxe' version was a seat that pitched and rolled like Space Harrier.

    Anyway, I found AfterBurner pretty unplayable. The on-rails direction of the game seemed to make most of your control inputs irrelevant. It was trying to look like a simulator, but the gameplay was so far removed from simulation it seemed pointless.

  31. shovelDriver

    "Puke-inducing"

    "Puke-inducing" Really? Perhaps then you (the reporter and/or editor) should stick to baby carriages.

    This entire article was nothing more than click-bait filler material and does not enhance the Register's "reputation".

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop with the past tense!

    AfterBurner II you say?I wish the author would stop talking in the past tense- the one in my man-cave is very much in the present!

    There are a few in the UK in private collectors possession, and I’m sure some of the various UK VAC “clubs” have examples (RetroGamesParty I think?)

    The kids love it, and my 6 yr old is better than I ever was (and am). It’s the main reason I bought it – I was awful at it when it came out, and decided having one which didn’t need constant feeding of shiny game coins would scratch that old itch. It’s not a “grail” arcade cabinet for me, but it came up for sale at a good price and I’ve been flying/flight sim mad since I was barely into double digits.

    Just the stand-up version though. I did see a Deluxe on sale during the summer in Germany, but I only have a small man-cave – and those bigger machines need a lot more maintenance. Parts are rare and puke inducingly expensive.

    R360. Damn – I was out of the whole arcade scene when they arrived. The closest one is in Slovenia I think, and doesn’t seem operational. *sigh*.

    Actually, at the prices the R360 was costing – aerobatics in a real light aircraft costs not that much more per minute…

  33. TechRyze

    "quite why the extra cartridge space was needed remains a bit of a mystery"

    Well, the Master System couldn't scale and rotate its sprites like the Arcade, so, in order to display a variety of aircraft, there would need to be a raft of various sizes of aircraft stored on the cartridge. They would also have to store them in various states of rotation if they want them to barrel roll convincingly.

    Looking at a game like Outrun on the Mega Drive, the lack of sprite scaling coupled with the Mega Drive's higher resolution sprites probably meant that there was way more storage needed for sprites in the MD version than the Arcade...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back in 2006 some of the last F-14s to fly returned home to Long Island and put on a little show for a few hundred mostly ex-Grumman guys near Republic Airport. The finale was two Tomcats coming out low over the parking lot and then going vertical for some thousands of feet. The boom set off all the car alarms in the lot and brought back memories for a lot of us who grew up seeing those machines zipping around high in the sky (mostly along the coast out on the East end).

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