LaserActive and Taito Super D3BOS – Unlikely Origins

It’s been a while, folks. Sorry that things have been rather quiet around the LAP Project for… a while now, but I figured this was a cool story to upload! I recently did a little research that led me to the origins of Pyramid Patrol and Rocker Coaster, two MegaLD titles from Taito. That origin is none other than the Taito Super D3BOS!

The Taito Super D3BOS (or DYNAMIC DIRECT DIMENSION BURST OUT SYSTEM – the three D’s more likely standing for the three axes of motion) was a 1993 upgrade to the original Taito D3BOS, both of which were 360-degree rotating seated motion simulators, similar to the more famous Sega R360. Unlike the R360, however, the Super D3BOS was merely a motion theater, rather than an arcade cabinet, making its content non-interactive. The Super D3BOS could seat two riders at a time (for a hefty 1,000 yen each), who could pick from up to four different rides loaded at a time.

d3bos

One of those rides, visible on this flyer, went by the name of Pyramid Patrol. Sound familiar? It should! But it may look a little different than what you’re expecting. The gold shiny ships in that thumbnail are, of course, nowhere to be seen in what we know of as Pyramid Patrol on the LaserActive. But there is one place they CAN be seen…

…Zoom Volume 7! You can find some good snippets of what the D3BOS version of Pyramid Patrol looked like in the sizzle reel starting around the 6-minute mark.

I think it’s safe to say that the LaserActive version of Pyramid Patrol was made using some of the ASSETS from the D3BOS games, re-arranged and re-rendered alongside new assets. (Taito did this yet again for the 3DO “port” of Pyramid Patrol, Pyramid Intruder, which was more like a remake that added significant amounts of new, higher-fidelity CG).

As for Rocket Coaster? Here, the history gets a little more obfuscated. Internet discussion says that Rocket Coaster was actually made using assets scrounged from various other D3BOS games – I think that Bayside Cruise on the above flyer may be a candidate, since the pictured car looks awfully similar to the ones in Rocket Coaster. This theory makes sense, since the visuals of Rocket Coaster are all over the place.

Well, there you have it! A little bit of LaserActive trivia to brighten your day.

Sources:

http://magweasel.com/2011/05/06/did-you-enjoy-your-adventure-full-of-actions/

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/D3BOS

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Retsupurae Plays Don Quixote!

Retsupurae – the long-standing, let’s play-lampooning duo of Diabeetus and Slowbeef  – just finished up an entertaining let’s play of Don Quixote: A Dream of Seven Crystals (MegaLD) for the LaserActive! We previously uploaded an (abridged) longplay of this game as part of our preservation efforts, but having an option with funny commentary never hurts. You can give it a watch here!

MegaLD/LD-ROM² Dumping Project

Hungry for more LaserActive preservation? Have some MegaLD or LD-ROM² discs lying around and collecting dust? Care about future generations being able to PLAY these games, and not just view them?

The geniuses over at the SpritesMind (Genesis development) forum have the answer! A project is currently underway to dump the data contents/rip the properly timecoded and interlaced video content of the LaserActive’s LD game library! This will allow for emulation efforts in the future, and will ensure that the discs are preserved in a digital format.

If you want to contribute to the project, or are just curious to see the discussion, follow the link below!

http://gendev.spritesmind.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1647

The End of an Era (LaserActive Preservation Project has lost its LaserActive unit)

We at the LaserActive Preservation Project come to you today with sad, but not wholly unexpected, news. As of February 13th, 2016, our LaserActive unit is no longer functioning. This can be traced back to the failure of the Sega PAC. The status of the failure is currently unknown but under investigation. In the likely event that the failure is too catastrophic or expensive to repair, we will begin the process of selling off the rest of our LaserActive components – the CLD-A100 player, Pyramid Patrol, Rocket Coaster, 3D Museum, Hyperion, and Triad Stone (along with some miscellaneous Laserdisc movies) – individually to interested buyers and/or eBay.

This has been an incredible journey – this blog was run by two people, one of which (me) had little to no knowledge of the LaserActive when I first got started around 4 years ago this time. Over the past 4 years, I’ve learned so much about a platform which was essentially lost to time, and we’ve been able to archive so much footage to ensure this platform will not be forgotten. I’d like to thank everybody who helped make that possible, especially Tom Porter of Maine for his countless Laserdisc and footage donations.

There are still many games left to be cataloged on the Youtube channel – 3D Virtual Australia, both JB Harold games, Hi-Roller Battle, Quiz Econosaurus, and some of the Japan-only titles stand out as examples – so our preservation work is far from over. However, from here on out, it will depend exclusively on the help of other interest footage donors.

Thank you all again for making this experience possible. I hope the world of gaming history is a little bit richer thanks to this blog!

Special Report: Interview with Jotaro “A-Key” Nonaka (MmCN)

We are pleased to announce that we have published an interview with one of the key figures behind the LaserActive Multimedia Creators Network (MmCN), Jotaro “A-Key” Nonaka! Nonaka-san’s interview is incredibly enlightening, and even resolves some of the mystery behind one of the LaserActive’s cancelled titles!

Read the interview here.