Believe it or not, this screenshot is taken from an animated demo sequence on the Sega Mega Drive. Entitled Bad Apple, and based on the Japanese indy vertical-shooter Touhou, this demo is arguably one of the strongest examples of full-motion video and near CD quality music on the Mega Drive. That’s right, the Mega Drive! In the latest addition to the Mega Drive Unleashed series, MegaBites catches up with Stephane Dallongeville – the man behind not only Bad Apple’s 16-bit Sega conversion, but also a rather special Mega Drive port of a SNES Super FX chip classic.
More on the ‘enemy’ later… First, here’s Bad Apple:
What is Bad Apple?
Initially conceived as a fully rendered full-motion video, Bad Apple was unveiled in 2009, upon Japanese video sharing site Niconico Douga. As a prominent showpiece of the Japanese MAD video subculture, what later transpired was a veritable supernova of ports, conversions, and homages to the iconic Niconico original. However, the origins of the Bad Apple musical theme can be traced even further back, to the mid-to-late 90’s and the cult video game series Touhou.
Revered for its colourful visuals, larger than life characters and addictive – if not obscenely difficult – gameplay, Japan’s Touhou saga is a series of vertical shoot’em ups created by one-man software house Team Shanghai Alice. Coded, designed, scored and illustrated by Junya ‘ZUN’ Ota, the first title in the series was released on the NEC PC-98 in 1996. Over the ensuing years, Touhou spawned a 20 further sequels in rapid succession, eventually making the move onto Windows PC in 2002. From the outset, Touhou received a huge following. However, it is with the fourth game in the series – Lotus Land Story – where our Mega Drive interests lie. Continue reading