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 graphics on the X68000 can be considered as "arcade perfect" since this is the only home conversion that's almost identical to the original and superior to its counterparts (the Amiga and Atari ST respectively). The game's backgrounds (mountains, seas, etc) look stunning and the sprites are cute and move smoothly on screen. At the same time, some of the foes (especially the end-level bosses) are really large and very detailed. Also, the four-way scrolling is perfectly smooth. The X68000 conversion's sound is 100% replicating the original arcade's tunes and sound effects.
CPU: X68000 (1987) to SUPER (1991) models - Hitachi HD68HC000 (16/32-bit) @ 10 MHz OR XVI (1991) to Compact (1992) models - Motorola 68000 (16/32-bit) @ 16 MHz OR X68030 (1993) models - Motorola MC68EC030 (32-bit) @ 25 MHz Also there is a Sub-CPU available (Oki MSM80C51 MCU) MEMORY: 1-4MB RAM (expandable up to 12 MB), 1MB ROM (128 KB BIOS, 768 KB Character Generator), 1056KB VRAM (512KB graphics, 512KB text, 32KB sprites) GRAPHICS: GPU (graphics processing unit) chipset: Sharp-Hudson Custom Chipset
Color palette of 65,536 (16-bit RGB high color depth) and maximum up to 65,536 colors on screen (from 256x240 to 512x512 resolution), up to 64 colors (from 640x480 to 1024x1024 resolution)
Graphics hardware: Hardware scrolling, priority control, super-impose, dual tilemap background layers, sprite flipping.
Graphical planes: 1-4 bitmap planes, 1-2 tilemap planes, 1 sprite plan
It supports 128 sprites on screen (16×16 sprite size), 32 sprites per scanline, 256 sprite patterns in VRAM. SOUND: Yamaha YM2151: Eight FM synthesis channels
Yamaha YM3012: Floating point DAC with 2-channel stereo output
Oki MSM6258: One 4-bit ADPCM mono channel @ 22 kHz sampling rate