Showing posts with label darth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label darth. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Family Guy Blue Harvest

Tyler, from Hybrid Studio, dropped me an e-mail suggesting this very cool official Family Guy Blue Harvest widget! Embed this widget into your blog, MySpace or Facebook!

The laughs come full "Force" when the Griffin clan puts a freakin’ sweet spin on the greatest sci-fi saga ever told. With Peter playing the swashbuckling Han Solo, Lois as the sexy Princess Leia, Chris as an adolescent Luke Skywalker, Brian as a well-spoken Chewbacca and Stewie finally embracing his dark side as Darth Vader, who knows what will happen? Filled with outrageous gags, spaced-out droids and more intergalactic satire than you can shake a lightsabre at, this epic spoof of Star Wars: A New Hope is a must-own for every fan of Family Guy.

You can pre-order the Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest DVD today!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Wii Unleash the Force

Star Wars™: The Force Unleashed™ Coming to Nintendo's Platform with Exclusive Duel Mode

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Sept. 18, 2007 - LucasArts today revealed that Star Wars™: The Force Unleashed™ will come to the Wii™ home videogame system from Nintendo next spring, offering owners the unique chance to live out their Jedi fantasies by wielding the Wii Remote™ as a lightsaber while using the Nunchuk™ controller to torment foes with their Force™ powers.

The Force Unleashed casts players as Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice" and promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The game's expansive story is set during the largely unexplored era between Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. In it, players will assist the iconic villain in his quest to rid the universe of Jedi - and face decisions that could change the course of their destiny.

The Wii version, in development by Krome Studios, will also add an exclusive duel mode in which players can compete head-to-head with their friends to determine the ultimate Jedi Master.

"The Wii is a great platform for The Force Unleashed, because the console's motion-oriented controllers really bring the game to life," said Jim Ward, President of LucasArts. "We've worked hard to make the Wii version of the game unique in order to truly let you unleash the Force."

Friday, 9 December 2005

My Favorite Things

Part two of my Review of the Year.

*Album - The Emancipation Of Mimi. After several years in the wilderness Mariah Carey captures R&B magic in a bottle. Runners up: Chemistry (Girls Aloud) and Come And Get It (Rachel Stevens).

*Single - Biology. Those Girls Aloud produce another pop opus. Runners up: You're Beautiful (James Blunt) and Push The Button (Sugababes).

*Movie - Batman Begins. The dark genesis of everyone's favorite psychologically damaged vigilante. Runners up: Revenge of the Sith and War of the Worlds.

*DVD - Lost and Doctor Who Season One Boxsets. This was too close to call! Runners up: Battlestar Galactica and Desperate Housewives.

*Television Drama - Battlestar Galactica. Dangerous and dry sci-fi that avoids the simplicity of the Star Trek franchise. Runners up: Desperate Housewives and Lost.

*Television Sci-Fi - Doctor Who. A slumbering Whovian was stirred by Russell T. Davies, Billie Piper and golden Daleks. Runners up: Battlestar Galactica and Lost.

*Merchandise - 12" R/C Dalek from toy powerhouse Character Options. This year's Buzz Lightyear is the definition of 'must-have'. However, may I direct your attention to the Assault Dalek (with Claw) sold through Toys R Us! This variant is limited to 5000 units worldwide. Runners up: General Grievous Wheel Bike and Transformers Darth Vader.

Friday, 11 November 2005

Silver Nemesis

For me Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis' creation is second only to Darth Vader. The new droid-like Cybermen are instantly recognizable. The official BBC website welcomes visitors with a metallic klaxon. I can already hear the Earthshock score composed by the late Malcolm Clarke!

Will David Banks (Cyber Leader) and Mark Hardy (Cyber Lieutenant) once again be entombed in cyber armor? Rumor has it that this tale will hark back to the Patrick Troughton era.

The Snowman is an original story idea featuring a solitary Cyberman (see Marvel comics Doctor Who Issues 58-59 Junk-Yard Demon) whom is discovered, deactivated, in the grounds of a country house estate. I had intended producing an audio drama (Bournemouth University 1994) and am considering whether or not to release it as a podcast in the New Year.

My copy of Madonna's Confessions On A Dancefloor has arrived! As I listened to the new album for the first time, I was editing lines of html code and optimizing the blog template! The review will be published next week.

Saturday, 24 September 2005

Energon Cube Redux

I think I maybe coming down with a cold. However, couldn't let this cool collectible news pass by without comment:

The Star Wars Transformers line has been confirmed at BotCon today. There are eleven of them planned for 2006 starting in January, available as a play pack. An X-Wing and a "Boba Fett ship" (probably the Slave I) have been confirmed by name only. Here's the possible full list:

Luke Skywalker / X-Wing Fighter
Darth Vader / TIE Fighter
General Grievous / Wheel Bike
Obi-Wan Kenobi / Jedi Starfighter
Boba Fett / Slave 1
Darth Maul / Sith Infiltrator
Anakin Skywalker / Jedi Starfighter
Snowtrooper / AT-ST
Clone Trooper / ARC-170 Fighter
Emperor Palpatine / Star Destroyer
Jango Fett / Slave 1

It will have no bearing on the continuities of either universe. Additionally, Hasbro plans to release Transformers Attacktix, which will be game-compatible with the Star Wars figures.

So, nearly two decades on and my suggestion has come to fruition!

Monday, 23 May 2005

Spud U Like

The temptations of consumer culture and satire are adroitly encapsulated in Playskool's Mr Potato Head Darth Tater. Rapidly becoming one of the hottest Star Wars collectibles ever, I bagged one today alongside a pre-order for Star Wars Episode 3 - 500th Figure. The 500th Figure showcases Darth Vader's infamous Meditation Chamber and our first, scarred, glimpse into his enigmatic past.

Thursday's 3:30PM Vue Cinema showing of Revenge of the Sith can't come soon enough!

Sunday, 8 May 2005

Palpatine's press

National press coverage of Revenge of the Sith has reached epidemic proportions on VE Day! From CD-ROM to DVD and glossy poster pack-ins. Gotta Catch’em All!

Star Wars: A Musical Journey is the realization of George Lucas' silent movie DNA.

Chapter 1: A Long Time Ago ("20th Century Fox Fanfare" / "Star Wars Main Title" from all of the films)

An arrangement of the iconic score that tails off cryptically.

Chapter 2: Dark Forces Conspire ("Duel of the Fates" from The Phantom Menace)

The score that became synonymous with Darth Maul and his infamous double-bladed lightsabre. Repeated viewings fail to dissipate the kinetic energy of this apocryphal clash.

Chapter 3: A Hero Rises ("Anakin's Theme" from The Phantom Menace)

This leitmotif is, unquestionably, my favorite from the prequels. Fatefully I was listening to this when news reached me of the passing of a loved one in 1999.

Chapter 4: A Fateful Love ("Across The Stars" from Attack of the Clones)

A beautiful lament. Only the "Sound of Music" scenes detract. Lucas missed a beat here, what if Anakin had been injured during an apparently tranquil moment?

Chapter 5: A Hero Falls ("Battle Of The Heroes" from Revenge of the Sith)

Any lingering doubts that I may have had fell away during this dark onslaught.

Chapter 6: An Empire Is Forged ("The Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes back)

Inform the commander that Lord Vader has arrived.

Chapter 7: A Planet That Is Farthest From ("The Dune Sea Of Tatooine" / "Jawa Sandcrawler" from A New Hope)

A bland visual accompaniment.

Chapter 8: An Unlikely Alliance ("Binary Sunset" / "Cantina Footage" from A New Hope)

Anakin and Luke are counterpointed.

Chapter 9: A Defender Emerges ("Princess Leia's Theme" from A New Hope)

As a starstruck child I was smitten with Carrie Fisher. To point out that I innocently colorized a black and white drawing of Princess Leia (from the Star Wars Grandreams annual) would be too much information!

Chapter 10: A Daring Rescue ("Ben's Death / Tie Fighter Attack" from A New Hope)

The call to action is irresistible, but the visual narrative pace stutters all too quickly.

Chapter 11: A Jedi Is Trained ("Yoda's Theme" from The Empire Strikes Back)

Yoda as puppet (Muppet supreme) equates to 'real emotions' that are devoid in the painterly CGI.

Chapter 12: A Narrow Escape ("The Asteroid Field" from The Empire Strikes Back)

Asteroids collide in the unsurpassed Millenium Falcon pursuit. Less is more.

Chapter 13: A Bond Unbroken ("Luke And Leia" from Return of the Jedi)

Too touchy feely!

Chapter 14: A Sanctuary Moon ("The Forest Battle (Concert Suite)" from Return of the Jedi)

Care Bears and Howard the Duck's bastard offspring unite. Turn off the screen, turn up the sound.

Chapter 15: A Life Redeemed ("Light Of The Force" from Return of the Jedi)

A poignant reminder of the tragic Skywalker legacy. The final shot of a young Anakin is haunting.

Chapter 16: A New Day Dawns ("Throne Room / Finale" from A New Hope)

Lump in the throat time!

Signature scores are further embellished within a 5.1 Skywalker sound stage, and the only distraction is occasional dialogue and incoherent use of episode chronology. Ian McDiarmid introduces each chapter and, by the close, appears genuinely moved (as was I). Sony Classical has my admiration and thanks for including this free disc in the CD jewel case.

Thursday, 21 April 2005

Where's my C-3PO cereal?

Needed cheering up, so I purchased a box of Kellogg's Coco Pops Crunchers. Inside special packs promoting Revenge of the Sith you can find 1 of 6 Lightsaber maze games. To my delight Darth Vader's Lightsaber was in the box! The force is strong with this one.

Monday, 18 April 2005

Good Vibrations

Friday's arrival of 10.3.9 moved my DVD archive forward by a fortnight! The update's unsung headliner is Safari 1.3 showcasing new versions of WebKit, WebCore, and JavaScriptCore. This is a welcome primer for 10.4 (already in Amazon UK's sales rank top 10).

Walking along the aisles of Exeter's Woolworths store, Ashley and I literally stumbled upon Revenge of the Sith merchandise (boxed lightsabers were strewn across the floor). An inauspicious debut without the aid of point-of-sale displays (there were none in-store). Woolworths is a far cry from Wal-Mart. Hasbro's new Force Battlers compare very favorably with Mattel's Classic Masters of the Universe range. I had to purchase a 7" Darth Vader. Rarity collectors may want to shop at Epic Heroes.

How long can Quark survive against the combined might of the Adobe/Macromedia Empire - not that Quark has many Mac fans these days? I won't be sad to see the company go the way of the Dodo! I'll join the long queue for a copy of InDesign CS.

Thursday, 14 April 2005


Comparing screen shots of Panther and Tiger it is very noticeable that Tiger's GUI is brighter and evokes Windows XP! In a couple of weeks I'll be better placed to make an informed judgment.

My Revenge of the Sith CD has been on repeat play (almost) since Monday. Churlish critics will cite that Williams too blatantly quotes himself. Here, in descending order, are my favorite Star Wars soundtracks:

1). The Empire Strikes Back
2). Revenge of the Sith
3). A New Hope
4). The Phantom Menace
5). Return of the Jedi
6). Attack of the Clones

AOTC ranked lowest because unaltered orchestrations from TPM were inserted late in digital post production; George Lucas can make changes almost up to the minute of theatrical release, John Williams is ostensibly scoring an 'unlocked' print, which may explain the thicker textures to the prequel scores!

Hasbro's ROTS Darth Vader arrived today and is the best sculpture yet!

Monday, 11 April 2005

A Cosmic Copland

My first vinyl album was the original Star Wars (1977) soundtrack. Last evening I had the unbridled pleasure of listening to the Revenge of the Sith CD prior to its May 2nd release. What follows is the raw and unrefined first impression of a fan bereft of any objectivity.

01 - Star Wars and The Revenge Of The Sith (7:31)

The signature theme (taken from an existing recording) ambitiously segues early into the battle above Coruscant, and the daring rescue of Senator Palpatine from the clutches of Count Dooku. This is the most compelling transition since The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

02 - Anakin's Dream (4:46)

Anakin’s fate is unknown. In shades of Schindler's List (1993), Across The Stars is performed underneath a viola and harp solo. Portentous strings interrupt this harmonious (and enigmatic) moment and the suite takes a darker direction as an embattled Force Theme struggles to emerge from beneath dissonant orchestrations.

03 - Battle Of The Heroes (3:42)

An emotional and sweeping choral/waltz punctuated by an incomplete rendition of the Force Theme. The opening evokes Danny Elfman’s score for Batman (1989), which was in itself gloriously derivative. A quodlibet to The Phantom Menace's (1999) Duel Of The Fates.

04 - Anakin's Betrayal (4:04)

The balance of the force is in flux.

05 - General Grievous (4:07)

Obi-Wan buys a single day pass to Jurassic Park!

06 - Palpatine's Teachings (5:25)

In a style reminiscent of Trevor Jones’ composition for The Dark Crystal (1982), Williams explores the seduction/deception of Anakin by the Master of the dark side.

07 - Grievous and the Droids (3:28)

Drawn from TPM's Trade Federation leitmotivs.

08 - Padme's Ruminations (3:17)

The Return of the Jedi’s (1983) darkest moments are revisited within the framework of Minority Report's (2002) ethereal female vocals.

09 - Anakin vs. Obi-Wan (3:57)

Starting with a blustering reprise of Battle Of The Heroes, the score reintroduces Darth Vader’s theme (as performed during the Bespin duel). Elements from ESB are interwoven into the new material with chilling and startling results - sonic flourishes shadowing the action.

10 - Anakin's Dark Deeds (4:05)

John Williams joins forces with Howard Shore.

11 - Enter Lord Vader (4:14)

A reflective montage; from the pomp and circumstance of Naboo to Across The Stars, Anakin’s Theme and… Lyrical poetry.

12 - The Immolation Scene (2:42)

Haunting. Williams conjures the atmosphere of the main themes from A New Hope (1977).

13 - Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious (2:49)

Harry Potter at play.

14 - The Birth Of The Twins and Padme's Destiny (3:37)

Across The Stars is followed by a majestic reprise of Qui-Gon’s Funeral Theme.

15 - A New Hope and End Credits (13:06)

Luke and Leia breathtakingly usher us towards the end of the beginning.

In conclusion. This is, at times, a mildly jarring composition (editorial haste?). John Williams’ ROTS soundtrack lacks the ‘analog magic’ of the original trilogy recording sessions, favoring flawless digital brush strokes inherent in the production of the prequels. But none of this ultimately detracts from what is highly emotive listening.

During the CD listening session (JBL monitors) I referenced a copy of The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith -- The Final Chapter. The diary recording of John Williams' ideological approach to movie scoring informed the listening experience immeasurably.

The sonic saga is complete and will be long remembered. Thank you John (and Mum for buying me that vinyl album a long, long time ago).

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Mask of the Phantasm

This morning I completed a review banner for Revenge of the Sith. Originally, I intended to source a still image from the trailer (using QuickTime 6 Pro's export Movie to Picture facility), but the results were less than satisfactory (compounded by encryption). However, I happened across a superlative photo of Darth Vader to be used in a forthcoming book from DK. This is the result.

And here's the rollover. The font is based on the text that appears on Vader's chestplate, and looks to utilize the Hebrew alphabet. Translates as The Chosen One.

The official ROTS poster and marketing campaign has been a disappointment and the realization of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Drew Struzan's poster is a composite of two paintings and doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. Hopefully this is an antidote.

Friday, 11 March 2005

Do what must be done

After watching the Revenge of the Sith trailer online and on UK television. The standout moments include:

*Palpatine's manipulation of Skywalker
*Skywalker leading the Jedi massacre
*Mace Windu's ill-fated confrontation with Palpatine
*Blockade Runner

Next week I'll post signature stills from the trailer (one of which will be adapted for my review section). For now, here's a screenshot taken from Sega's Galaxy Force II (1989) coin-op.

Notice how the ship on the left looks like a TIE-Fighter and the planetary setting could be Mustafar, where Darth Vader battles Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Nintendo DS goes on sale in the UK from today.

Monday, 14 February 2005

New PALz On The Block

Another commercially-fueled Valentine's Day. I hesitate to repeat what I, infamously, said to a friend a few years ago! However, it was a most pleasant surprise to receive Buffy Summers in the post! Albeit in her PALz incarnation. A big thanks to my friend Michael for the belated birthday gift. You do appreciate that I'm now obligated to collect the entire S1 and 2 sets.

Macally's iShock II arrived (at 8:00AM to be exact) courtesy of Apple. Looking forward to Plug and Play fun with MacMAME later today.

Have you seen any of the Revenge of the Sith merchandise? It all looks mouthwatering and I've no idea where to start! Darth Tater, Anakin/Vader or Anakin's Jedi Starfighter? Answers on a postcard.

I'm off to watch Newlyweds. Its depiction of solipsism is addictive.

Saturday, 12 February 2005

A Galaxy Of Stars

Recently I was contacted by a Star Wars & Doctor Who convention organizer. Their next convention - to celebrate the return of Doctor Who and the release of Revenge of the Sith - is scheduled for April 16th at Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset. At time of writing the following guests have been confirmed:

Star Wars
*David Prowse (Darth Vader)
*Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett)
*Kenny Baker (R2-D2)

Doctor Who
*Colin Baker (5th Doctor)
*Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier)
*Mary Tamm (Romana mark 1)
*Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot)
*Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown)

A stellar role call at no mistake.

During childhood I was a Whovian and visited Longleat's Dr Who Exhibition on more than one occasion. However, my most cherished Dr Who memory is of the 20th Anniversary Convention in April 1983. All tickets had been sold, but Mum worked her considerable charm and we were admitted as VIP guests. Here's the only photographic record of that amazing day.

On the subject of stars. I bought Mum a copy of Tatler magazine. Mum singled out cover star Selma Blair, who resembles my late Canadian Grandmother (in her teens), as my future wife! Wishful thinking.

Friday, 10 December 2004

The Santa Clause

Whilst it appears that Spielberg will ultimately set The War of the Worlds in the suburbs of middle America - where else would common man do battle with extra terrestrial invaders? Watching the teaser trailer (a tantalizing montage) still sent chills down my spine. Checkout the trailer.

The War of the Worlds poster art pays homage to its literary roots. The Martian hand, enveloped in red weed, conjures the first big screen adaptation and the conceptual art commissioned for Jeff Wayne's musical version. I'm now far more excited about seeing Tom Cruise vs the Martians then the return of Darth Vader in 2005!

It would be remiss of me not to also draw attention to the freshly unveiled Batman Begins poster (thank you Michael, my erstwhile friend). Richly emblematic of Batman's traumatic genesis and evoking the psychological drama that Revenge of the Sith so confusingly failed to capture. 2005 promises to be a very personal cinematic journey!

Thursday, 11 November 2004

March of the M-Pire and Gmail plays POP3

Next March witnesses the ultimate Star Wars prequel merchandising blitz and Mars M&M's are getting in on the act too! However, I'm in the mood for nostalgia. So, here's a photo depicting Hasbro's diecast spaceship series.

Remember these Kenner gems from the 70's and 80's? My parents bought me a Star Destroyer (with Blockade Runner), Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, Snowspeeder, Slave 1 and Millenium Falcon over successive gift giving seasons. Detailing was superb and I hope that the TIE Bomber is released too! The original is highly prized by collectors and memories of seeing it on the shelves of Exeter's Pram & Toy shop only compounds my frustration at never owning one.

Talking of consumables. This holiday's must have is, again, the iPod. And there's plenty of GBA content to keep everyone amused from the upper Manhattan chic of The Urbz: Sims In The City to The Legend of Zelda The Minish Cap, which looks great.

Google is upgrading Gmail accounts to include POP. The rollout has yet to reach my inbox.

Friday, 5 November 2004

The Bonfire of the Vanities

It's Bonfire Night in the UK. A celebration of Guy Fawkes' abortive Gunpowder Plot, which would have culminated in the destruction of the Houses of Parliament. This morning, somewhat aptly, I've had the opportunity to view THAT teaser trailer...

Last evening’s online debut of the Episode III teaser teaser lead to Lucasfilm’s servers overloading and their licensing division issuing cease and desist orders left, right and centre to sites posting images and links to the trailer (only available to paying Hyperspace and AOL members at time of writing).

Clearly a work in progress, as evinced by incomplete CGI shots, the trailer inspires obvious elemental comparison with The Return of the King (yet fails to evoke the same sense of scope). Much has now been made of the ANH/TPM/AOTC montage at the start (32 seconds) and Obi Wan’s voice over. From a subjective standpoint it reinforces the patchiness of the Star Wars saga since the prequels were unleashed from the hallowed halls of Skywalker Ranch (the current DVD release typifies this and lacks the cohesiveness of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings).

Highlights include Darth Vader’s awakening a la Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a screaming Darth Sidious (genuinely unnerving) and an enraged Anakin Skywalker. The attendant space battles are incumbered by too many elements on screen at once - ROTJ Death Star battle magnified to the extreme.

Overall the teaser affords insight into the dark core of the story and coupled with John Williams’ score, so long as Lucas’ incessant tinkering is minimised, Revenge may yet stand alongside Empire as a darling of both critics and fans.

As a footnote. The Episode III banner was composited in Photoshop Elements 3.0 and the screen grabs were captured in QuickTime 6.x Pro (with a light dusting of Photoshop magic).

Tuesday, 26 October 2004

The Fly

As predicted across online and offline publishing, Apple updated iTunes, iPod and QuickTime today sans AAC+. Adding new iTMS stores and the U2 iPod, which deserves the more appropriate monicker Darth Vader's iPod! Love it.

Time and again I've tried to finish the Star Wars Trilogy DVD review and become sidetracked! This time the culprit is the Alien Quadrilogy! The luxurious set (amply supported by exotic supplemental material) has remained unopened since purchase! And the notion of watching David Fincher's now legendary work print of Alien³ was too enticing, especially as The Return Of The King (Extended Version) is released in the midst of the Holiday and will consume many hours of viewing time.

Alien³ suffered a critical mauling upon its theatrical release. Yet I’ve never disliked it despite an uneasy relationship (conflict). Fincher was not afraid to dismantle the narrative and strip away any notion of salvation beyond ultimate sacrifice. The production chronicles are refreshingly candid and informative. Given the problematic production its any wonder that Fox were in a position to release anything approaching a coherent product following a year in post production, which left composer Elliot Goldenthal philosophical. At this juncture I must establish that the score was one of my favourite aspects of Alien³.

Wednesday, 22 September 2004

Desktop Arcade

The Atari® Flashback™ Classic Game Console has been announced for the holiday season. My earliest memory of owning a games console was the Atari VCS 2600 (introduced in 1977 and distributed in the UK by Ingersoll Electronics). It was an unwanted holiday gift for a cousin. So, my Uncle graciously gave it to me on my Birthday (mint in box)! This was alongside Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, which has a connection other than purely nostalgia!

After only a few minutes playing Space Invaders, Frogger and The Empire Strikes Back (you see there was a connection) I was hooked! For the next two decades I owned a Spectrum 48K, Commodore 64, Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and Dreamcast, Atari Lynx, SNES and N64, PSOne and PStwo, and XBOX.

The thread that binded these machines together was the relentless pursuit to acquire games that were arcade perfect. Sega's Mega Drive produced an excellent conversion of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. Yet this was a flawed premise in that a conversion, by definition, is anything but (not to diminish the fun that was had). However, the Dreamcast console was based on the NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) PCB that powered Sega’s coin-ops, which culminated in near-definitive releases Crazy Taxi and Dead or Alive 2.

The first time I heard about MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) was from a former coworker (2001). MAME was started in 1996 by Nicola Salmoria as a means of archiving, and by extension preserving, arcade games that would otherwise disappear forever. For example Star Trek (1983), which is a very rare Sega vector game featuring the voices of the principal cast. Also it allows gamers to experience titles that they may never have otherwise played such as the Japanese-only Gaiapolis, replete with gorgeous graphics, and quirky horizontal shooter Parodius and its sequels, both from Konami.

Unlike music or film, arcade hardware is expensive and therefore it’s commercially prohibitive to continue production runs over an extended period of time. As a pleasant side effect, one can play game ROMs (dumped from arcade Printed Circuit Boards using an EPROM reader) under software emulation! The notion of playing the original Gauntlet, After Burner II, Out Run and many others was mouthwatering!

In what can only be described as an act of serendipity, earlier this year I wrote a review of Jedi Academy (for Inside Mac Games) and discovered that Aspyr programmer, and fellow Star Wars fan, Brad Oliver was the author of MacMAME! Subsequently, I downloaded 0.77u2a and my ROM searching odyssey began in earnest.

With the release of 0.87, MacMAME has been extensively rewritten and further optimized to be a better Mac OS X citizen. Sporting many enhancements including preliminary support for Sega's Model 1 PCB (i.e seminal releases Virtua Fighter and Star Wars Arcade) and the removal of legacy code. This release requires Mac OS X 10.2 (or higher).

It is worth noting that the legal ownership of ROM images (for the purpose of backup) may be contingent on possessing the original arcade game. However, it is not clear if it is legal for an individual to have ROM images (even if not for profit) for a game they don't own. Please read legal implications on MAME rom usage from Northwestern University Law School before downloading any roms to ensure legal compliance. Do not ask me how ROMs can be obtained. Some ROM images, such as Atari's, are available for legal purchase here.