The NewZealand Story is a 1988 arcade-platform game developed and published by Taito for the coin-ops. It was so famous back then that converted to several home systems such as Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum, Sega Mega Drive, PC Engine, and Virtual Console. The game was also converted for the Japanese FM Towns and Sharp X68000 systems in 1989, providing arcade-perfect conversions, but released exclusively in Japan since both computers were only available there.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You control a sneaker-wearing kiwi called Tiki and the goal of the game is to rescue your kiwi friends who have been kiwi-napped by Wally, a large blue walrus/leopard seal. You navigate in scrolling maze-like levels at the end of which they release a kiwi trapped in a cage. Your starting weapon is arrows but pickups can change these into bombs, lasers or bouncing fireballs. You may also find (or steal) and ride a variety of flying objects including balloons, blimps, and UFOs. These objects can be found ready to use or can be stolen from an enemy. Collect letters during your quest to complete the word "EXTEND" and it will instantly take you to the next stage (as in Bubble Bobble). The levels (and sub-levels) get progressively harder and the puzzles start creeping in (usually there is no obvious way of getting near the cages and rescue kiwis so you need to find a way with careful timing and appropriate shooting several foes and always having in mind the scattered spikes. There are even sub-aquatic sections in which Tiki must swim through tunnels (with limited oxygen) in order reach the cage. Time is actually a problem. Wander around on a stage for too long and a big "hurry up" notice will warn you. A few seconds later, a Devil appears and hits you with his trident and takes one of your lives (similarly situation as in Bubble Bobble as well)!"
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Atari ST conversion is greatly resembling the coin-op and looks similar to the Amiga counterpart! The graphics look particularly cute with their vividly colored backgrounds like mountains, caves and seas. Unfortunately, the gameplay area is a bit smaller than the other 16bit conversions. The animation is solid (no slow downs this time) and some of the foes (especially the end-level bosses) are really large and nicely detailed. The sound on the ST is equally good, offering a variety of sound effects and including the arcade's fun music tune!
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).