Monday, 11 July 2011

Uridium 2 (Amiga CD32) [Keyboard Required]

Copyright Graftgold, 1993 (Renegade)
Unofficial Amiga CD32 Conversion By Musashi5150
Original WHDLoad Install By John Girvin
CD32 Loading System By Rob Northen
Cover Scan Restoration By Smila

  
 
Uridium 2 is without a doubt my all-time favourite shmup. I still distinctly remember the day I first played the demo version at a friends house back in the 1990's - I was an Atari user at the time, but after experiencing this 16-Bit update to Andrew Braybrooks classic C64 shooter I raided my savings account and bought a brand new Amiga 1200 to play it on.
 
I've still yet to find any other shooter that plays as well in two-player mode, or matches the sheer thrill and excitement that Uridium 2 delivers. Flying low over the leviathan ships whilst simultaneously avoiding surface structures, blasting enemy attack formations and bombing vunerable ground targets into space dust never gets old, and the reactor-core minigame that follows after landing on each crippled alien warship provides both variation to the game and a great way to stack up points and power-ups for the next assault.
 
 
Originally scheduled for release on the CD32 but pulled due to Commodore's increasingly shaky hold in the 16/32-Bit market, Uridium 2 was the killer app that the console never had. Set to feature improved 256 colour graphics and a new CD soundtrack by Steve Turner, I can still recall the disappointment I felt when I saw the game removed from the 'comming soon' listings. I imagine that I wasn't alone.
 
I always wondered what happened to the CD32 version of the game, especially as a CD32 is the only 'real' Amiga hardware I own these days, so I sent an enquiry about the game to Steve Turner via his Graftgold site. The response I received sparked my interest further; initially Steve was under the impression that a CD32 version was actually completed and submitted to Mike Montgomery at Renegade, but after confirming facts with Andrew Braybrook it seems that only the CD soundtrack was finished and work on the actual conversion had barely started (more news on this soundtrack to follow soon).
 
Still eager to play the game on real hardware I posted a request on the EAB forums asking for help porting the disk version of the game to the CD32. Musashi5150 stepped up to accept the challenge, and this unofficial port based on John Girvin's WHDLoad slave and using Rob Northen's RNC CD32 loader is the result of a few weeks work.
 
Although perfectly playable on a standard CD32 console in one-player mode, this initial release isn't 100%; a keyboard is required to access the two-player and mayhem modes and progress isn't saved to NVRAM via the highscore table (meaning that you'll need to replay previously beaten fleets). There's also one small break in the music during the loading sequence, but this minor gripe is nothing compared to the seizure-inducing flashing and stuttering present in the WHDLoad version without preload! Anyway, I won't make any promises, but some of these issues *may* be addressed in future. Until then, thanks to musashi5150's work CD32 owners can finally enjoy one of the best hard-core shooters of the 16-Bit generation, and keyboard owners will have the added bonus of access to all the game-modes.
 
 
Uridium 2 CD32 Front CD Insert
Uridium 2 CD32 Back CD Insert
Uridium 2 CD32 (Full Game .iso)
 
(Return to the Unofficial Amiga CD32 Conversions page).