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Microcosm

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Microcosm title.png
Microcosm
System(s): Sega Mega-CD
Publisher: Psygnosis, Victor Entertainment (JP)
Developer:
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
$? T-113015
Sega Mega-CD
UK
£? T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
FR
?F T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
DE
DM 119,95[3] T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
ES
?Ptas T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
BR
R$? 063170




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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[4].

Live action footage was recorded at night with an S-VHS recorder, and features members of the team as opposed to paid actors[5]. 2D graphics (and textures) were drawn on Amigas[5].

In total the game's raw data amassed over 6GB[6], with image data being stored in 24-bit colour before being compressed for the various platforms[7]. Initial development cost between $600,000 and $750,000 USD[8].

Legacy

While Microcosm was considered a financial success, the game is not held in high regard, with even Pygnosis treating it more as an experiment for the CD-ROM format than a good video game[9].

Feedback from Microcosm led to a spiritual successor, Novastorm having a greater focus on gameplay.

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

Main article: Microcosm/Promotional material.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
75 №1994-03, p19[10]
75 №, p83[11]
68 №272, [1]
56 №14, p79
70 №1994-04, p60
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[12]
69 №51, p50/51
81 №27, p34/35
Sega Mega-CD
72
Based on
15 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

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega-CD
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
468,948,816 CD (EU) T-113015-50
Sega Mega-CD
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
468,948,816 CD (JP) T-60164
Sega Mega-CD
 ?
CRC32
MD5
SHA-1
468,948,816 CD (US) T-113015

References