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 Post subject: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:15 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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It seems strange to me that the most prolific franchises in shootemup history never got a release on arguably the best 16bit shootemup console.

Would they have been the best versions if they existed?
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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:25 pm 



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Seriously, those were two ports I wanted badly back then.

It was more understandable given the politics of the time; most third parties were aligned to one console or another, and RType was already on the PC Engine. Konami, despite also supporting the PCE, was aligned pretty tightly with Nintendo.

They could have been seriously great versions indeed, although who knows what kind of sound we might have gotten :/


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:44 pm 


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Yep, I assume they had some kind of deal with Nintendo at the time. The Master System had a really good port of R-Type, but even that had to be developed my Sega themselves. It makes me think Nintendo may have gotten even tighter with their attempts of 3rd party control when they realized the Megadrive/Genesis may actually turn out to be a legitimate threat.


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:57 pm 


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The first R-Type was a little too early to be ported to the Mega Drive - consequently there were already ports on the PC Engine and the Master System by the time the Mega Drive was released.

Konami had a much more comprehensive deal with Nintendo, which is probably why they went onto the SNES/SFC with Gradius.

DietSoap: the Master System port was developed by Compile though ;)


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:15 am 


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6t8k wrote:
The first R-Type was a little too early to be ported to the Mega Drive - consequently there were already ports on the PC Engine and the Master System by the time the Mega Drive was released.

Konami had a much more comprehensive deal with Nintendo, which is probably why they went onto the SNES/SFC with Gradius.

DietSoap: the Master System port was developed by Compile though ;)

Oh, was it? I was just going off the "Programmed Game © Sega 1988" at the bottom of the title screen.


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:41 am 


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Yeah, one might (rightfully so!) arrive at that conclusion based on that writing.

However, Sega only published it, and development was basically outsourced to Compile, yet no credit was given for the excellent work they did :(
Source e.g. segaretro.

As for the second OP question, I think It's certainly possible that R-Type could have been even better on the MD (a factor not to be sneezed at would certainly have been the audio). But with the two existing ports (the PCE one of which was pretty close to the arcade game already), and the later, near-perfect port on the PS1, I think it's a justified question whether that would have been a smart business decision/which new aspects an MD port could have brought to the table.

For Gradius, well, considering the well-known slowdown issue it has, I guess it could definitely have turned out better on the MD. But luckily, nowadays we have the SA-1 patch :D

Edit: just noticed R-Types was 1998 - somehow the impression snuck in that it was a launch title (like Raiden Project). So maybe referring to that would be a bit far-fetched.


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:50 am 



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
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Konami didn't come to the MD until pretty late, and after Gradius III they didn't do much with Gradius on any platform until GIV in, what, '99? I think Gradius just stopped being a priority for a minute.

Irem didn't do anything whatsoever with MD and all their other releases on Sega hardware were licensed, they didn't make a single one of their Sega ports themselves. I've not seen anything to suggest they were formally tied up with Nintendo during that era (especially as they were all over PCE/CD) but stranger things have happened. M2 did recently say Sega turned down their Leo MD pitch back in the day.


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:34 am 


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GSK wrote:
Konami didn't come to the MD until pretty late, and after Gradius III they didn't do much with Gradius on any platform until GIV in, what, '99? I think Gradius just stopped being a priority for a minute.

Gradius Gaiden came out in 1997, and in between 3 and Gaiden Konami kept themselves pretty busy with Parodius. None of those were ever released on the Mega Drive, though most of the Parodius games would make their way to the Saturn eventually.
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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:41 am 



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Shepardus wrote:
GSK wrote:
Konami didn't come to the MD until pretty late, and after Gradius III they didn't do much with Gradius on any platform until GIV in, what, '99? I think Gradius just stopped being a priority for a minute.

Gradius Gaiden came out in 1997, and in between 3 and Gaiden Konami kept themselves pretty busy with Parodius. None of those were ever released on the Mega Drive, though most of the Parodius games would make their way to the Saturn eventually.


Oh duh, I completely blanked on Gaiden, and Salamander 2 as well if you want to throw that in.

My understanding is the Parodius teams didn't always overlap a whole lot, and the home STG devs were constantly scattered and reassembled from different teams: the MSX crew got shifted around on PCE, MD, etc; the X68 devs were also put on second-string SNES games and so on.


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:05 pm 



Joined: 03 Jun 2008
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Gradius would have fared well on the Genesis. I'm thinking of the Slap Fight MD soundtrack Yuzo Koshiro did which mimics it pretty well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdrekb4_E-4

I honestly never put any thought into why R-Type or Gradius weren't on the Genesis back then. Maybe I was just too young to even consider it. I know we got Sagaia (Darius II) on the Genesis and Darius Twin on the SNES pretty close together, and I did prefer Twin's more colorful look and sound, but I loved the Thunderforce series and Gaires far more on the Genesis.


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:09 am 



Joined: 26 Jan 2015
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pablumatic wrote:
Gradius would have fared well on the Genesis. I'm thinking of the Slap Fight MD soundtrack Yuzo Koshiro did which mimics it pretty well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdrekb4_E-4

I honestly never put any thought into why R-Type or Gradius weren't on the Genesis back then. Maybe I was just too young to even consider it. I know we got Sagaia (Darius II) on the Genesis and Darius Twin on the SNES pretty close together, and I did prefer Twin's more colorful look and sound, but I loved the Thunderforce series and Gaires far more on the Genesis.


I always wanted to play Gaires back in the day because the look reminded me of Phantasy Star. I know, different type of games, but still. Then about 5 or so years ago I bought it, and after much suffering and time, I 1cced it. great game!!


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:28 pm 


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neorichieb1971 wrote:
It seems strange to me that the most prolific franchises in shootemup history never got a release on arguably the best 16bit shootemup console.


The "best" STG console in that era was PCE and both Gradius and R-Type were on it. I'm not sure what the sales trajectory of the MD was in Japan over its whole lifecycle, but it has been said that it did not perform well at all (similar to PCE's popularity in NA), so maybe that has something to do with it?


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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:04 am 


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R-Type and a port of arcade Gradius would have been cool, but I always wanted a brand new Gradius title for the MD. They did it with Castlevania and Contra. Those along with Gradius were the trifecta of Konami action goodness to me back in the day.
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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:59 pm 


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Austin wrote:
R-Type and a port of arcade Gradius would have been cool, but I always wanted a brand new Gradius title for the MD. They did it with Castlevania and Contra. Those along with Gradius were the trifecta of Konami action goodness to me back in the day.


Yeah, a MD/Genesis exclusive Gradius title would have been amazing, especially given the additional CPU speed of the hardware, and what Konami was able to do with the sound hardware. We could have had a really interesting Gradius game, a sort of Gradius "gaiden" before the actual game was released.
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 Post subject: Re: How did Rtype and Gradius not get a Megadrive release?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:20 pm 


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Same thing can be said about a lot of franchises from names like Konami , Capcom, Irem etc. I often lament how little support the Mega Drive got from many of my fave devs (now with 20/20 hindsight), especially Konami! Just think about how well suited the hardware was for sprite action like Contra, Castlevania, Gradius but what did eventually come was too late. I didn't even know that Mega Drive got Castlevania and Contra games and I was an MD owner in the early '90s, I only found out after getting back into MD games via emulation in the late '90s.

There's various reasons that are well documented. One obvious and maybe biggest? is the console was never that big in Japan (not that I knew this at the time, but that's what you read now), so I presume was always last to be be considered by Japanese publishers compared to SFC, PC Engine etc. Also like has already been said, the SMS and PCE got R-Type ports very early on just before the Mega Drive's existence (this is a real pisser, if only Sega had had got Compile to do the port as an early MD game!!!!), and Nintendo had a tight grip on the likes of Konami and Capcom for most of the Mega Drive's life. A lot of this can be blamed on Sega's incompetence in some areas. I love Sega, my first consoles in the 80s were SMS, then Mega Drive, but I feel they were never quite prepared to deal with how big the home console market everntaully became and made a lot of mistakes, and didn't capitalise on their obvious talents, which is very sad for console fans.

Incidentally, there was some progress with a homebrew port of Gradius III but that was a couple years ago so i guess thats's dead now :(
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