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SEGA 1986 Played in: MAME 0.33 (.35 has bugs)
Wonderboy Deluxe is one of my all-time favourite platform games. I have the spend uncountable hours in front of this game in the arcades when I was a kid, amongst other reasons because it is not too difficult and you could go quite a longtime on one credit. It is a jump and run platform game with cutie graphics which does not seem to a spectacular at first sight. Its unrivalled game play however which is the strongest point about this game and which will have you hooked for ages.

Once you have memorised the enemies and the locations of the traps as well as the hidden bonuses you can fly through the levels at a furious pace. This is also helped by the little skateboards which you can find in some of the surprise eggs. You will not be able to stop on these and with a little experience glide through the levels at a really smooth pace. Your weapon is a hammer which you throw at your enemies. Once you lose a life you will also lose this hammer which then forces you to avoid your enemies by jumping over them.
You can also move your character at two different speeds, accelerating by holding down the shoot button. The experienced player will hold down this button continuously during movement in order to perform higher at and longer jumps to reach the fruit up in the trees. Collecting as much of the fruit as possible is essential for keeping the vitality meter out of the red zone. Should you run out of vitality it will mean the end of your life.

The smooth gliding action of your character and the speed of the game play make for a very enjoyable gaming experience. There are lots of levels to cover. I used to be able to play something like 45 minutes on one credit, get near to 1 million points and still never made it to the end. Thanks to Mame I'm still trying...

 

 

Capcom 1985 Played in: Mame32 version.35b2
Ghosts 'n Goblins is the game which probably had me hooked the most. It's another jump and run platform game and it is undoubtedly one of the hardest of its kind. As in countless other video games you are the hero Knight moves quest it is to free a princess who had been kidnapped by a giant devil/dragon like creature.

On the way you encounter zombies which pop of the out of the ground, hooded flying the creatures, smaller devils and huge snakes, tiny devils and tatooed stomping monsters. The thing which makes this game so difficult are the unforeseen patterns some of these monsters follow. Especially when you lose your rhythm once you can easily be caught out.
The brilliant animation, the really arcady sounds and challenging game play make this one of my all-time favourites ever, it is probably in the top ten of most retro gamers. I have managed to get to the last monster twice, yet I still have to be this giant devil. I'll keep trying... gifs/

The sequel Ghouls 'n Ghosts is even tougher. I never got anywhere there and I think it lacks some of the charm of the first release. It is definately also worth a look though. Check it out on Callus.

 

 

Capcom 1987

Played in MAME32 version .gifs/

1943 is one of the classic action shooters and also one of the first real coin eaters of the genre. Great game play, fast action shooting and a variety of weapons are the main features of this game. Despite these obvious attractions it does remain a very difficult game and although I have seen many wizards on the trigger buttons few of them have gone very far without popping large amounts of coins into the slots.

You'll have to fight yourself through hordes of incoming enemy fighters of varying sizes. Helping you on the way are different weapons and energy boosts. These become available as you shoot down attacking enemy formations. You can change the attributes of the power ups by shooting at them before collecting them.
This will become more hectic and stressful as you advance through the levels attempting to choose the weapon best suited for the situation in the midst of enemy fire and incoming fighters as well as firing ships and aircraft carriers.

The two player option is especially attractive with both of you on at the same time and since with MAME you won't have to worry about lack of credits you'll keep going on and on...
lack of credits you'll keep going on and on...