(released in 1990)
ARC is a platform game with flipscreen action. With beautiful graphics, it captures the player who is then drawn into the intruiging puzzles which complement the action. You are qarat, an android capable of morphing into a speeder, on a quest to destroy the Arc.
What MSX Club Magazine said about Arc (1990) :
(no 33, jan-feb 1991, pp 58-59.)
What MSX Computer Magazine said about Arc (1990) :
(no 44, feb 1991, pp 45-46.)
ARC has always been 'the odd guy' to me. It is the most expensive
game I've ever sold, due to the hardware copy protection.
The main innovation (technically speaking) was that we no longer used hardware sprites, because I'd devised a system that could handle software sprites very quickly by exploiting various peculiarities of the MSX video-hardware. This way, we could have multi-coloured sprites all over the place, without too much loss of speed. This made the game unique for the time, because no one had dared to code software sprites and ended up with drab colours for their sprites.
Innovation number two was 32 colours on screen. It was the first time this was done in any game outside of Japan, and I recall that at that time only the Japanese Herz company (who created Psycho World and Hydefos, among others) used screen splits at all. Screen-splitting is a (now very well known) technique whereby you use the Video Display Processor to generate an interrupt signal when reaching a certain horizontal scanline. When tapped correctly, you can have two or more different palettes (of 16 colours) on screen at on time. (But it can be used for many other things too, but I won't explain that here.) It was quite revolutionary at that time.
Some thought the end of game boss was too hard. It isn't, really. Just crouch, and fire like hell with the 'bullet' weapon. It takes a lot of hits, but you should be able to kill it. If you avoid the explosions from the lasers...