Sunday, November 21, 2021

Ports of Entry: Synergistic Software

Unknown lead platform:



First released for Amiga and Arcadia arcade system in 1988.

Ported to Atari ST and PC in 1988.

Arcadia was an Amiga-based arcade system, so the arcade and Amiga versions are nearly identical. That said, it's unclear whether it was originally intended as a coin-op game and the Amiga version is an arcade-perfect home port, or if it's more like a Nintendo VS. System situation where it was first intended as a home computer game and adapted into a coin-op one running on similar hardware.

J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth

Released for Amiga, Apple IIgs, Atari ST, and PC in 1989.


Screenshots of the Amiga version show 32 colors while the rest use 16, suggesting to me that they are converted from the Amiga version.

There's also the question of the 8-bit versions by Mike Singleton. Mobygames describes them as simpler versions of the 16-bit game, but CRPG Addict thinks the 8-bit design is the original, while Synergistic added RPG elements to their 16-bit version. Which is it?

Conan: The Cimmerian

First released for Amiga and PC in 1991.

Released for PC CD-ROM in 1992.

The Amiga and PC versions look identical to me, which I think suggests Amiga as a lead platform as it means the game doesn't truly take advantage of VGA hardware. I don't know if the 1992 CD-ROM release confounds this issue though - was this a tacked-on enhancement, or was it always intended?


Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance

Released for DOS and Windows in 1996.


It's always tricky to tell whether a DOS/Windows game was coded for DOS or Windows first, especially when both versions came on the same disc.

Select chronology: 


Apple II era:

Title Date Contemporary ports
Dungeon Campaign 1978-12
Wilderness Campaign 1979-6
Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure 1980
Crisis Mountain 1982 1983 port to Atari 8-bit

16-bit era:

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
SideWinder ??? 1988 1988 release on Amiga and arcade
1988 ports to Atari ST and PC
The Third Courier DOS 1989-10
J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth ??? 1989 1989 releases on Amiga, Apple Iigs, Atari ST, and PC
Low Blow DOS 1990
NY Warriors Amiga 1990 1990 ports to Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum by The Big Red
Software Company
1991 port to PC
Conan: The Cimmerian ??? 1991 1991 releases on Amiga and PC
Homey D. Clown DOS 1993

32-bit era:

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Thexder Windows 1995
Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance ??? 1996 1996 release for DOS & Windows
Hellfire Windows 11/24/1997

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