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Microcosm

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Microcosm title.png
Microcosm
Publisher: Psygnosis, Victor Entertainment (JP)
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega-CD
Original system(s): PC
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega-CD
JP
¥8,900 T-60164
Sega Mega-CD
US
$? T-113015
Sega Mega-CD
UK
£? T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
FR
?F T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
DE
DM ? T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
ES
?Ptas T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
BR
R$? 063170



Microcosm (マイクロコズム) is an on-the-rails shoot-'em-up game developed for the Sega Mega-CD by Psygnosis.

Gameplay

In Microcosm, the player controls a small ship, travelling through the human body to destroy aliens. As an "on-the-rails" shoot-'em-up, the player has control over the ship's horizontal and vertical movements, but movement into the screen along the third axis is dictated by the game. The limitations of the Mega-CD mean a pseudo-3D effect is achieved through full motion video. While some versions of Microcosm opt for a first-person perspective, the Mega-CD uses a third-person view at all times.

The ship has mutliple weapons, alongside a standard shot with limitless ammo. Multiple hits can be taken from enemies before the ship explodes. While it can take roughly 40 minutes to complete the game in one sitting, a password system is also offered.

Unlike other Mega-CD titles, Microcosm chooses to limit its full motion video sequences to 16 colours (a quarter of the 64 available to the system), presumably as a space saving measure.

History

Development

Microcosm was first seen in demo form for the Amiga CDTV platform in 1991, but soon became an FM Towns title, with development partially funded by Fujitsu prior to the game being ported to other platforms. The full motion video was rendered using Silicon Graphics Indigo workstations alongside life action footage[3].

Live action footage was recorded at night with an S-VHS recorder, and features members of the team as opposed to paid actors[4]. 2D graphics (and textures) were drawn on Amigas[4].

In total the game's raw data amassed over 6GB[5], with image data being stored in 24-bit colour before being compressed for the various platforms[6]. Initial development cost between $600,000 and $750,000 USD[7].

Versions

Microcosm was released for a variety of home platforms, including the 3DO, Amiga CD32, FM Towns and IBM PC. All other versions are able to output higher quality full motion video than the Mega-CD version, and in many cases, at higher resolutions.

Magazine articles

Main article: Microcosm/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

{{|}}}}

EGM US 052.pdfEGM US 052.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #52: "November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Game Players (US) Vol. 6 No. 12 "December 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[8]
  • GamePro (US) #54: "January 1994" (199x-xx-xx)[9]
{{|}}}}

SegaVisions US 16.pdfSegaVisions US 16.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #16: "December/January 1993/1994" (1993-xx-xx)
{{|}}}}

GamePro US 054.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
GamePro (US) #54: "January 1994" (199x-xx-xx)
{{|}}}}

GamePlayers US 0705.pdfGamePlayers US 0705.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Game Players (US) Vol. 7 No. 5 "May 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #59: "June 1994" (1994-xx-xx)[10]
{{|}}}}

CVG UK 146.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #146: "January 1994" (1993-12-15)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
56 №14, p79
83 №28, p94/95/96
91 №16
79 №17, p26/27
89 №9, p38/39
60 №25
60 №16, p80/81[2]
69 №38, p122
60 №2, p108[11]
69 №51, p50/51
81 №27, p34/35
Sega Mega-CD
72
Based on
11 reviews

Mega-CD, US
Microcosm MCD US Box Back.jpgMicrocosm MCD US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Microcosm MCD US Disc.jpg
Disc
Microcosm mcd us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega-CD, EU (Big)
Microcosm MCD EU Box Back Big.jpgMicrocosm MCD EU Box Front Big.jpg
Cover
Microcosm MCD EU Disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, EU (Small)
Microcosm MCD EU Box Back.jpgMicrocosm MCD EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Microcosm MCD EU Disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, JP
Microcosm MCD JP Box Back.jpgMicrocosm MCD JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
Microcosm MCD JP Spinecard.JPG
Spinecard
Microcosm MCD JP Disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, BR
Microcosm MCD BR Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMicrocosm MCD BR Box Front.jpg
Cover

References

  1. Press release: 1994-01-06: PSYGNOSIS INTRODUCES 'INTERACTIVE CINEMA' WITH THE DEBUT OF MICROCOSM
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:MeanMachinesSega16UK.pdf, page 81
  3. File:Edge UK 001.pdf, page 71
  4. 4.0 4.1 File:Edge UK 001.pdf, page 73
  5. File:Edge UK 001.pdf, page 72
  6. File:Edge UK 001.pdf, page 74
  7. File:Edge UK 001.pdf, page 77
  8. File:GamePlayers US 0612.pdf, page 152
  9. File:GamePro US 054.pdf, page 188
  10. File:EGM US 059.pdf, page 142
  11. File:SegaMagazine UK 02.pdf, page 108