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After Burner (home computers)

From Sega Retro

For other versions of the game see After Burner and After Burner II.
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After Burner
Publisher: Sega,
Commodore Amiga
Amstrad CPC
Atari ST
Commodore 64
MSX
ZX Spectrum
Activision
Developer:
System(s): Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Release Date RRP Code
Commodore Amiga
US
$? ?
Commodore Amiga
UK
£24.99[1][2] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK (The Hit Squad)
£7.99[3] ?
Atari ST
UK
£24.99[4] ?
Atari ST
UK (The Hit Squad)
£? ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[4] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Disk)
£14.99[4] ?
Amstrad CPC
ES (Cassette)
? ?
Amstrad CPC
ES (Disk)
? ?
Commodore 64
US (Disk)
$? ?
Commodore 64
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[2] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Disk)
£14.99[2] ?
Commodore 64
UK (The Hit Squad)
£2.99[5] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Cassette)
£9.99 ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Disk)
£12.99[2] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (The Hit Squad)
£2.99[6] ?
ZX Spectrum
ES (Cassette)
?Ptas ?
IBM PC compatibles
US
$39.95[7] ?
MSX
UK
£9.99[4] ?



The Western home computer versions of After Burner are shoot-'em-up games released between 1988 and 1991. Despite their names, all are actually conversions of After Burner II, and most refer to themselves as such in-game.

Two versions for both the Amiga and Commodore 64 were released; a set for North American audiences (1988) and another for the European market (1989).

The Activision-published versions were collectively the best selling game in the United Kingdom of 1988[8].

Versions

In the arcades, After Burner (II) relies on real-time hardware sprite scaling which was not supported on any of these formats. As such, just like the home ports of Space Harrier and OutRun, the effect is simulated by switching between different-sized sprites during gameplay, giving a choppier and more simplified look. A benefit of After Burner is that the player's F-14 Tomcat travels much faster than the player does in the aforementioned games, so the choppiness is less obvious.

After Burner does, however, simulate the ground using this method. Due to graphical limitations, the simpler home computers opted to use a solid colour as the ground, which means transitions between levels are more abrupt (although the multi-load nature of the 8-bit versions means a pause is often necessary anyway).

These home computer versions have the plane automatically fire its machineguns at all times, likely as standard computer joysticks of the era only had one button (which in After Burner's case is used for missiles). The space bar is used to either increase or decrease the speed depending on the situation.

The Amstrad CPC version does not include any in-game music. The ZX Spectrum 128K and MSX versions are identical (48K Spectrum owners can also play the game, albeit with no music), though the MSX port runs slower due to a lack of optimisation for the system. Neither version offers the bonus rounds.

Two versions exist for the Commodore 64, built by entirely different teams for different markets. The earlier North American version is played in full screen and is arguably the more accurate of the two, but runs slower, has a very limited HUD and has no in-game music. The European version, by contrast, is faster and has music, but plays in a window. There are also colour clashing issues when enemy planes are drawn above the ground, and the level order is different.

The IBM PC version supports VGA, EGA and CGA graphics (though very little separates the VGA and EGA modes, as the former still restricts itself to 16 colours), but only the PC Speaker as a form of sound (which it also uses for music, to varying degrees of success). Missiles are generally harder to avoid in the IBM version, and the HUD is mostly text-based rather than using the icons seen in the arcade version.

The 16-bit Atari ST version is predictably more accurate than its 8-bit counterparts, and features higher frame rates and sampled speech (which causes minor slowdown when playing). The game cannot handle both music and sound effects concurrently so the user has to choose between the two. Similar to Space Harrier, it can also be played with a mouse.

Again, two different versions for the Amiga were produced, one for North American markets and another for Europe, the latter being an ST port, with better music. The North American version uses a full-screen display but runs slower.

Production credits

Amiga version (US)

Programmed by: Jeff Spangenberg
Graphics by: Matthew Stubbington
Level Desgin and additonal graphics by: Darrin Stubbington
Music and sound effects by: Jason Brooke

Amiga version (EU)

Programmed By Argonaut Software Ltd.
Code C 1985 1988 Argonaut Software Ltd
Music and Sound Effects By Uncle Art
Artwork By Focus C.E. Ltd.
A Software Studios Production

Commodore 64 version (EU)

This game has been produced under license from Sega Enterprises Ltd Japan and used by Activision UK Ltd
Coding by: Dalali Software Ltd
Graphics by: Focus CE Ltd
Music by: Adam Gilmore
A Software Studios Production
Copyright Sega 1988

DOS version

Programmer: Jack Rebbetoy
Graphic Artsits: Gerard DeSouza, Faye Hoffman
Unlimited Software Inc.

Magazine articles

Main article: After Burner (home computers)/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

{{|}}}}

VG&CE US 10.pdfVG&CE US 10.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #10: "November 1989" (1989-xx-xx)
{{|}}}}

CVG UK 085.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #85: "November 1988" (1988-10-15)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #14: "November 1988" (1988-xx-xx)[9]
{{|}}}}

CVG UK 086.pdfCVG UK 086.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #86: "December 1988" (1988-11-xx)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #15: "December 1988" (1988-xx-xx)[10]
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #87: "January 1989" (1988-12-xx)[11]
  • ACE (UK) #16: "January 1989" (1989-xx-xx)[12]
  • ACE (UK) #17: "February 1989" (1989-xx-xx)[13]

Physical scans

Amiga version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №21, p77[1]
31 №68, p69[14]
50 №18, p39[15]
29 №69, p60[16]
Commodore Amiga
45
Based on
4 reviews

Amiga, US
AfterBurner Amiga US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngAfterBurner Amiga EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner Amiga US Disk.jpg
Disk
Amiga, UK

Amiga, UK (The Hit Squad)

Amstrad CPC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
67 №19, p84[17]
81 №41, p40[18]
68 №17, p31[19]
Amstrad CPC
72
Based on
3 reviews

Amstrad CPC, UK (cassette)

Amstrad CPC, UK (cassette) (alt)
AfterBurner CPC EU Box Cassette Alt.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, UK (disk)

Amstrad CPC, ES (cassette)
AfterBurner CPC EU Box Cassette MCM.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, ES (disk)
AfterBurner CPC EU Box Disk MCM.jpg
Cover

Atari ST version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
69 №16, p54/55[20]
47 №15, p59[21]
63 №4, p32-34[22]
Atari ST
60
Based on
3 reviews

Atari ST, UK
After Burner AtariST EU Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngAfter Burner AtariST EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner AtariST UK Disk1.jpg
Disk 1
AfterBurner AtariST UK Disk2.jpg
Disk 2
Atari ST, UK (The Hit Squad)
AfterBurnerII ST UK Box Back THS.jpgNospine-small.pngAfterBurnerII ST UK Box Front THS.jpg
Cover

Commodore 64 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
52 №16, p54/55[20]
45 №7, p43[5]
39 №22, p47[23]
70 №63, p16/17[24]
29 №15, p59[21]
17 №47, p78[25]
20 №69, p60[16]
Commodore 64
39
Based on
7 reviews

Commodore 64, US
AfterBurner C64 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngAfterBurner C64 US Box Front.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner C64 US Disk.jpg
Disk
Commodore 64, UK (cassette)

Commodore 64, UK (disk)
AfterBurner C64 EU Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngAfterBurner C64 EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner C64 EU Disk.jpg
Disk
Commodore 64, UK (The Hit Squad)
AfterBurner C64 EU Box THS.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner C64 UK Cassette HitSquad.jpg
Cassette

DOS version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
77 №3, p145[26]
IBM PC compatibles
77
Based on
1 review

DOS, US
AfterBurner DOS US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngAfterBurner DOS US Box Front.jpg
Cover
AfterBurner DOS US Disk1.jpg
Disk 1

MSX version

MSX, ES (MCM)
After Burner MSX EU MCM Box.jpg
Cover

ZX Spectrum version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
66 №16, p54/55[20]
90 №86, p52/53[27]
82 №113, p72[6]
83 №15, p59[21]
ZX Spectrum
80
Based on
4 reviews

ZX Spectrum, UK (cassette)

ZX Spectrum, UK (disk)

After Burner Spectrum EU Disk.jpg
Disk
ZX Spectrum, UK (The Hit Squad)
Afterburner zx-spectrum eu the-hits-squad outer-sleeve.jpgAfterburner zx-spectrum eu the-hits-squad inner-sleeve.jpg
Cover
Afterburner zx-spectrum eu the-hits-squad tape.jpg
Cassette
ZX Spectrum, ES
After Burner Spectrum EU MCM Box.jpg
Cover
ZX Spectrum, ES (alt)
After Burner Spectrum EU MCM Box Alt.jpg
Cover

References


Games in the After Burner Series
Arcade
After Burner (1987) | After Burner II (home computers) (1987) | G-LOC: Air Battle (1990) | Strike Fighter (1991) | Sky Target (1995) | Sega Strike Fighter (2000) | After Burner Climax (2006)
Sega Master System
After Burner (1987) | G-LOC: Air Battle (1991)
LCD handheld game
After Burner (1988)
Sega Mega Drive
After Burner II (1990) | G-LOC: Air Battle (1993)
Sega Game Gear
G-LOC: Air Battle (1990)
Sega Mega-CD
After Burner III (1992)
Sega 32X
After Burner Complete (1995)
Sega Saturn
Sega Ages After Burner II (1996) | Sky Target (1997)
Windows PC
Sky Target (1997)
Java 2, Micro Edition (J2ME)
After Burner II (200x)
Sony PlayStation 2
Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 10: After Burner II (2004)
Sony PlayStation Portable
After Burner: Black Falcon (2007)
Xbox 360
Sony PlayStation 3
After Burner Climax (2010)
Nintendo 3DS
3D After Burner II (2013)
Google Android OS
iOS
After Burner Climax (2013)
After Burner related media
Music
Sega Game Music Vol. 3 After Burner (1987) | After Burner (1990) | Strike Fighter (1991) | Yu Suzuki Produce After Burner II (1997) | Yu Suzuki Produce G-LOC/R360/Virtua Racing (1998) | After Burner Climax Sound Track (2006) | Retro Game Anthology #5 -AFTER BURNER in DREAM- (2007) | After Burner 20th Anniversary Box (2007)
Film
After Burner (1987) | After Burner / Super Hang-On (1987)