The NewZealand Story is a 1988 arcade-platform game developed and published by Taito for the coin-ops. It was so famous back then that converted to several home systems such as Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum, Sega Mega Drive, PC Engine, and Virtual Console. The game was also converted for the Japanese FM Towns and Sharp X68000 systems in 1989, providing arcade-perfect conversions, but released exclusively in Japan since both computers were only available there.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You control a sneaker-wearing kiwi called Tiki and the goal of the game is to rescue your kiwi friends who have been kiwi-napped by Wally, a large blue walrus/leopard seal. You navigate in scrolling maze-like levels at the end of which they release a kiwi trapped in a cage. Your starting weapon is arrows but pickups can change these into bombs, lasers or bouncing fireballs. You may also find (or steal) and ride a variety of flying objects including balloons, blimps, and UFOs. These objects can be found ready to use or can be stolen from an enemy. Collect letters during your quest to complete the word "EXTEND" and it will instantly take you to the next stage (as in Bubble Bobble). The levels (and sub-levels) get progressively harder and the puzzles start creeping in (usually there is no obvious way of getting near the cages and rescue kiwis so you need to find a way with careful timing and appropriate shooting several foes and always having in mind the scattered spikes. There are even sub-aquatic sections in which Tiki must swim through tunnels (with limited oxygen) in order reach the cage. Time is actually a problem. Wander around on a stage for too long and a big "hurry up" notice will warn you. A few seconds later, a Devil appears and hits you with his trident and takes one of your lives (similarly situation as in Bubble Bobble as well)!"
GRAPHICS / SOUND The game here features beautiful arcade-like colorful graphics much like the original. The visuals are ultra-cute and varied, covering different environments like mountains, caves and seas. Note that the colors used in the Master System conversion are way more accurate to the original when compared to the NES version. The sprites move smoothly and quite fast on the screen. The sound is nice using the original in-game tunes found on the arcades. Note that the Master System's main rival, the NES, offers one of the best arcade music conversions ever!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A at 3.546893 MHz for PAL/SECAM, 3.579545 MHz for NTSC MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB) Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB) GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918A Up to 32 colors on screen (one 16-color palette for sprites or background, an additional 16-color palette for background only) from a palette of 64 (can also show 64 simultaneous colors using programming tricks) Screen resolutions 256x192 and 256x224. PAL/SECAM also supports 256x240 8x8 pixel characters, max 463 (due to VRAM space limitation) 8x8 or 8×16 pixel sprites, max 64 Horizontal, vertical, and partial screen scrolling SOUND: Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 channel mono sound Yamaha YM2413, mono FM synthesis