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 Post subject: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 3:11 pm 



Joined: 19 May 2005
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Hi,

Years ago I played a demo of an obscure PC shmup called Sideline, it was a DOS game I think. I remember being really impressed at the time. It's also mentioned in the Xenocide files, but with little info (publisher is 'Real Arcade').

It's hard to find info on the web about this game, because of it's age, obscurity and rather generic name.

Anybody here knows where to find info about it?
I scoured every abandonware site I could find but none have it...


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:12 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:41 pm 


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I'm impressed by the artwork. It looks very competent, especially for an era where nearly everyone used to just clip out 3d renders for their 2d games. Is this a western dev team?
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:42 pm 


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It's a taiwanese dev from a University IIRC. Did you check the spanish article I linked to? (As we are talking of games, a lot of the terms are in english anyway but, yes, "matamarcianos" is how Spain calls shmups, we use "fichines" here, aka, "coin-ops").

These guys found a demo in their archives and you can request it. (Something I'll do myself today, heh.)

And, yep, the game looks very nice! Maybe the Shmup Hive Mind can dig out a full version...
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:28 pm 


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Looks fantastic! The real question is, is it available to download anywhere? I'd love to play this one, looks right up my alley :)
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:40 am 


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Quote:
Side-Line, el matamarcianos 'perdido' para MS-DOS


I just find lovely how spanish-speaking people call shmups "matamarcianos". This translates to something like "Kill martians".

Or Pac-Man clones are "Comecocos", which I believe could be translated to "Eat coconuts"
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:03 am 


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Through some creative Googling and investigating I managed to find the demo version of the game online, so I put it up on my own site to download: http://www.ghegs.com/files/sideline.zip

(Asking people to e-mail you for the download link? Jeez...)

I also made a version bundled and pre-configured with DosBox: http://www.ghegs.com/files/sideline_dosbox.zip. All you need to do is create a shortcut to your desktop, like so:
Image

Target box reads:
Code:
D:\games\SIDELINE\DOSBOX\DOSBox.exe -conf Sideline.conf -noconsole -c "exit"


and start in box is the game's directory. Change these if needed. Then, open up Sideline.conf and very near the bottom there's a line that reads "mount C D:\games\SIDELINE", change the directory there also. If you want to change some settings, change the line that says "play.bat" to SETUP.EXE or SNDSETUP.EXE. You can change the button configuration in SETUP.EXE, for example, currently it's at Z to fire, X to change your options' formation and C to bomb.

The .conf file is a modified one from the one GOG's DosBox games use, so a big thanks to them and please don't be mad that I used it here.

-----


So the game itself. It's pretty good actually, especially for a 90's DOS shmup. Very R-Typeish/Gradius-like. If the full version is out there, I certainly want to get my hands on it. For the lazy people, here's a playthrough of the demo that I just put up. Maybe if we can get a little buzz going we'll find out if the full version exists.
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:20 pm 



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Shatterhand wrote:
Quote:
Side-Line, el matamarcianos 'perdido' para MS-DOS


I just find lovely how spanish-speaking people call shmups "matamarcianos". This translates to something like "Kill martians".

Or Pac-Man clones are "Comecocos", which I believe could be translated to "Eat coconuts"


I'm glad that Namco didn't go with the original name of "Puck Man" when it was released in the USA back in 1980 under the new name of Pac-Man. It would've been quite easy to deface such a Puck-Man marquee with the usual "F" substituted in place for the "P" letter and you get a whole new game title that would've pissed off arcade owners/operators stateside. So yes, Namco Co. Ltd. was seriously considering going with the original Puck Man game title.

------------------------------

It'd sure be great to see this Sideline doujin shmup title up & running on a proper candy cab via UVc setup. I'm sure the dev would be shocked to see it running on a candy cab nowdays. Of course, back in 1996, there really wasn't any specialized Jamma hardware to run such PC hardware until the Ultracade came along with it's handy UVc device in 2001.

Is it possible to gather up some more of those obscure Japanese MS-DOS and Win95 based doujin shmup titles that were released at Comiket back in the mid-1990s?

PC Engine Fan X! ^_~


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:36 pm 


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You know, you just gave me a great idea to pitch at Astro Port next time a certain someone goes to Japan to discuss stuff... Someone point GenkiPatton to this thread just in case!

By the way, this is not a doujin game (as in, from Japan), this is a taiwanese STG, which actually poses a very valid question: what did other asian devs work on back in those days? Just because they aren't japanese might've actually condemned plenty of them into obscurity... This could be such a crazy and interesting archaeological venture!
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:02 pm 


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PC Engine Fan X! wrote:
I'm glad that Namco didn't go with the original name of "Puck Man" when it was released in the USA back in 1980 under the new name of Pac-Man. It would've been quite easy to deface such a Puck-Man marquee with the usual "F" substituted in place for the "P" letter and you get a whole new game title that would've pissed off arcade owners/operators stateside. So yes, Namco Co. Ltd. was seriously considering going with the original Puck Man game title.

I know I've read that somewhere before. I'm astonished, PCEFX, don't you have the real inside scoop about this? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:45 am 


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Ed Oscuro wrote:
PC Engine Fan X! wrote:
I'm glad that Namco didn't go with the original name of "Puck Man" when it was released in the USA back in 1980 under the new name of Pac-Man. It would've been quite easy to deface such a Puck-Man marquee with the usual "F" substituted in place for the "P" letter and you get a whole new game title that would've pissed off arcade owners/operators stateside. So yes, Namco Co. Ltd. was seriously considering going with the original Puck Man game title.

I know I've read that somewhere before. I'm astonished, PCEFX, don't you have the real inside scoop about this? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:43 am 



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Quote:
By the way, this is not a doujin game (as in, from Japan), this is a taiwanese STG, which actually poses a very valid question: what did other asian devs work on back in those days? Just because they aren't japanese might've actually condemned plenty of them into obscurity... This could be such a crazy and interesting archaeological venture!

Plenty of Korean computer shmups here. Apparently most of them suck, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:39 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
So the game itself. It's pretty good actually, especially for a 90's DOS shmup. Very R-Typeish/Gradius-like.


Looks somewhat reminiscent of the C64 game IO as well.
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:59 am 



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Wow, I casually dropped by the forum after years of abscence, having long forgotten that I've posted this, great to see the game in question was found!

Yup, this is what I was talking about. Looks really good for a mid-nineties DOS shmup indeed (especially if you'd compare it to something like Stargunner).

The ship and some enemy designs remind me most of Konami's Thunder Cross games.


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:06 pm 


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I contacted Youtube's phreakindee who does the Lazy Game Reviews, he's very knowledgeable about old DOS games. He seemed interested in the game and told me he'd try to find out more, let's hope he finds something.
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:29 am 


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Got a reply already!

phreakindee wrote:
I've heard back from some people about Sideline. They have heard of it, but from what they know it never went past beta preview code. It was covered in the Polish magazine "CD-Action" in late 1996/early 1997, but we're unsure of the exact issue. It also may have seen a few other magazine reviews where they had access to a more complete game, but can't verify it at this point. At any rate, it was supposed to be released by Union Systems in 1997 but as far as these guys know it was never completed. Also checked with the guy who heads up the Complete MS-DOS Collection and Preservation Project, and he found no record of anything in the archives either but will keep an eye out and has added the game to the "missing games list".


So there might be a more complete version of the game out there, if somebody bothered to hang on to their review copy, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Do we have any members in Taiwan? They might have an easier time scouring through the local gaming forums and such. Would be interesting to see that article in CD-Action as well.

EDIT: I managed to find out which issue it's in. #13, June 1997. Source. But since it's just a demo on disc it's probably the same thing we have now with the briefest "Try out this shooting game, on our cover disc!"-line somewhere in the magazine.

The game was also in "Shareware Extravaganza 8".
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:14 pm 



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I sure hope the complete version will ever be found. I've played the demo just now and it's even better than I remember - best DOS shmup hands down!

Thank you so much for going through the trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:47 am 



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This game exists, it has been completed and released. I literally bought the CD version all those years ago and have played through to the last stage (there were eight, I think, and there were cut-scenes, too). Never finished the game, as I was unaware how to play shmups properly back then.

Maybe I still have the CD somewhere, though don't hold your breath. It has been ages since then and although I don't throw out old games, the CD might have gotten scratched so much that it's unusable.

EDIT: Nope, I don't have the CD. Still, I can confirm the full version of the game has been released all the way back in the previous millennium, right around the time Strife was released (1996 or so). So don't listen to the CD-Action guys, there must be CD's of this game floating around somewhere. Just to make it slightly easier, the box cover art is of a specially rendered side-view of the space-station you see on the second screenshot, with the player's ship flying towards you. The CD cover art is the same, except it's a gray version.

The fun thing is that there's a lot of skippable cutscenes between the stages. You get to see the battle fleet duke it out in a heavily scanlined, thoroughly impressive scene after the first stage. Never skipped that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:45 am 


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Well, that's good to hear at least. I did a search at Home of the Underdogs and they've got nothing but maybe someone on their forums might know about it?
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:12 pm 


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Blattdorf wrote:
This game exists, it has been completed and released.


If this is true I am a happy man. I see you're also located in Poland, maybe the game was only released there for whatever reason. Would explain why CD-Action is the only magazine that seems to have even mentioned it.

To our polish members: Please go through your local (retro) gaming shops and flea markets and try to find a copy. And get me one too, I'll pay good money for it.
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:22 pm 


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Big news!

The full version does exist and thanks to certain people I have managed to get my hands on it. Here's a video I made of stages three and four. The game has short FMV bits between stages 'n everything, it's really quite professionally done and a great game, it absolutely deserves to be played.

The full version brings forth more questions, though. Why is this great game so obscure, why was it apparently only released in Poland? The developers were supposed to be Taiwanese, so why is there an abundance of Polish in the game? The menus are in Polish, the setup files are in Polish...I have no idea what's up with all this. The game also comes with both DOS and Windows versions, though I was unable to get the Windows version working until I installed a Windows 98 to a virtual machine and ran it from there. Luckily, after much WTF'ing I managed to get the DOS version working in Dosbox.

Now, as per the Forum Rules I am unable to provide any links, so...sorry. Google around.
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:33 pm 



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Game looks very solid. Reminds me of the better R-Type ripoffs like Pulstar and Rezon. You get way too many bombs though.

I saw you also uploaded a full playthrough of the currently unemulated SD Gundam Sangokushi Rainbow. Kenji Eno is in the credits?!


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:38 pm 


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Ghegs: the european parliament in strassbourg did - just today - release a guideline on copyrighted, but abandoned works in the EU, which basically says, that if the copyright owners can't be found anymore in order to acquire copies, it's ok to release such works to the public. Should be on all major news sites today - read into it and share with use - please :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:49 pm 


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Fudoh wrote:
Ghegs: the european parliament in strassbourg did - just today - release a guideline on copyrighted, but abandoned works in the EU, which basically says, that if the copyright owners can't be found anymore in order to acquire copies, it's ok to release such works to the public. Should be on all major news sites today - read into it and share with use - please :)


Can you give some links to this? I tried checking some sites but couldn't find anything.
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:52 pm 


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I only have german links, I'll try googling some english ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:55 pm 


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start here: press release directly from the eu parliament website:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/de/p ... -go-public

and here:
http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/09/13/euro ... directive/

and this is the original text of the guideline:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/get ... XML#title1

Honestly the best thing to happen in the EU in regards to copyright since ages !


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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:44 pm 


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Bonus items shaped like dog bones? Hmm...still, a very neat find!
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:52 pm 


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Holy crap, you guys are freaking awesome...

... but it also poses some serious questions:

How many games in the often ignored PC platform we might be missing now? How many more might, sadly, completely lost? Glad another one got covered but I'm starting to wonder just how much stuff from the older Comikets might be missing. When I look at everything Siter Skain did in the past I only wonder what else was around back then. (In the period before 2000 and before the explosion of the Interwebz.)

I'll start googling but if you guys are now legally able to at least post a link to this, I would rather pick it from here, with the peace of mind that it'll be fine.

Maybe an english translation can be worked into the game?
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:28 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
Bonus items shaped like dog bones? Hmm...still, a very neat find!


But he missed the ice cream cone! :o
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 Post subject: Re: Sideline PC shmup
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:22 am 


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The new legislation is certainly a good thing, but a "directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works" does not mean every random Internet guy is now legally allowed to spread around old, forgotten games. This particular directive, if I'm understanding it correctly, doesn't even cover digital works like video games. So, unfortunately, download links will not appear here.

Observer wrote:
Maybe an english translation can be worked into the game?


I don't think it's necessary, the menus are simple enough. And how many people know how to hack old DOS games anymore?
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