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Game info

The King of Chicago

The King of Chicago
DeveloperMaster Designer Software
Reviewed byndial
The King of Chicago is a game initially developed by Doug Sharp for the Apple Macintosh computers, in black and white visuals. The game was then given a complete redesign by the in-house Cinemaware art team and was published by Master Designer Software for the Amiga in 1987. It was later ported to other systems and was eventually released for the Apple IIGS, Atari ST, PC (DOS) and Sharp X68000 home computers.
The King of ChicagoSTORY / GAMEPLAY
The infamous Al Capone is transferred to Alcatraz leaving his Southside gang in the hands of dangerous Tony Santucci. Pinky Callahan is a rising mug for the Northside organization and he is the second to take the leadership; but he just hates Chicago's bloody civil wars. Ahead of him are the discredited Old Man and his chief advisor Ben both of whom he can be persuaded to stand down...! The action begins somewhere in 1931 and ends in 1934 (the year the leaders of organized crime held a meeting in New York to form the National Syndicate). Pinky has only three years at his disposal to establish such a commanding position in Chicago (where gang wars seem to cease). The game is quite unique for its time, generally divided by still shots containing hints in what will follow or what you will be called to do. Many times, these contain a tinge of irony or some kind of black humor. All scenes involve Pinky and one or more of the other characters he interacts (or sometimes shoot!) with. Pinky's thoughts appear in speech balloons (!) and choosing one translates into appropriate comments; and the game runs automatically again. The interaction involves strategy so any choice can affect the outcome which will have a later or immediate consequence (there are hundreds of different paths to follow). The game's story is not linear so every decision will give a different outcome. Though scenes may re-appear, different actions are required, leading you to a wrong or a right path. The actions are too slow however and the game will make an arbitrary choice for you. King Of Chicago is great, its plot is interesting and I think this is one of the best adventure games released for the 16bit home computers! The only thing that can be frustrating is the disk swapping in some versions.

The Sharp X68000 version is similar to the Amiga (with up to 32 colors on screen). The graphics combine beautiful evocative still images with detailed and appropriately grim characters. The X68k's version sound is good, with a nice 30s style variety of tunes along with some sampled sound effects (like gunfire, explosions, screams etc).
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
Comparable platforms

16 colors
Apple IIGS

32 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

4 colors

2 colors
Apple Macintosh 68k

32 colors
Sharp X68000
Hardware information

Sharp X68000

Sharp X68000CPU: X68000 (1987) to SUPER (1991) models - Hitachi HD68HC000 (16/32-bit) @ 10 MHz OR XVI (1991) to Compact (1992) models - Motorola 68000 (16/32-bit) @ 16 MHz OR X68030 (1993) models - Motorola MC68EC030 (32-bit) @ 25 MHz
Also there is a Sub-CPU available (Oki MSM80C51 MCU)
MEMORY: 1-4MB RAM (expandable up to 12 MB), 1MB ROM (128 KB BIOS, 768 KB Character Generator), 1056KB VRAM (512KB graphics, 512KB text, 32KB sprites)
GRAPHICS: GPU (graphics processing unit) chipset: Sharp-Hudson Custom Chipset
Color palette of 65,536 (16-bit RGB high color depth) and maximum up to 65,536 colors on screen (from 256x240 to 512x512 resolution), up to 64 colors (from 640x480 to 1024x1024 resolution)
Graphics hardware: Hardware scrolling, priority control, super-impose, dual tilemap background layers, sprite flipping.
Graphical planes: 1-4 bitmap planes, 1-2 tilemap planes, 1 sprite plan
It supports 128 sprites on screen (16×16 sprite size), 32 sprites per scanline, 256 sprite patterns in VRAM.
SOUND: Yamaha YM2151: Eight FM synthesis channels
Yamaha YM3012: Floating point DAC with 2-channel stereo output
Oki MSM6258: One 4-bit ADPCM mono channel @ 22 kHz sampling rate
The Sharp X68000 (default) color palette
16bit RGB 65,536-colors palette (16 to 65,536 on screen)
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