Unbeknownst to Turbo fans, TTi would soon retire Bonk and adopt a new mascot for the launch of the TurboDuo console in October of 1992. As you may have noticed, Bonk's replacement graces the cover of this issue—but at this point he's nameless! So, who was this mysterious character? Glam Rock Bonk? Hollywood Bonk?
To find answers to these questions, readers consulted Bonk to the Future, an excellent article that provided a history of Bonk—known as PC Genjin (PC Caveman) in Japan—and previewed two upcoming installments in the series. Here they caught a glimpse of a wonderful new horizontal shooter starring a "future descendent" of Bonk (a cyborg Bonk, if you will). Now, TTi hadn't settled on a name for this cyborg (or the title of the game he was starring in), but they were using Bonk's Thunder Shooting as a working title. Savvy readers who flipped to the Coming Soon column discovered that Bonk's Thunder Shooting was scheduled to the released in November (shortly after the TurboDuo launch). As I indicated earlier, TTi had big plans for this game.
Table of Contents for TurboPlay #13▲
- 01 Cover: Air Zonk (1991, HuCARD). Artist: Unknown.
- Cover art: Yes, this is the first time Zonk is featured on a TG-16 magazine (his debut!), although he is still nameless at this point…pretty crazy, huh?
- 02 Advertisement: TurboExpress Handheld (1991).
- "Some of the most enjoyable things in life are portable. Your choice of four great games FREE when you buy TurboExpress for $199.99."
- 03 Table of Contents for issue #13.
- "The Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago at the end of May brought about some wild news for TurboGrafx-16 owners. Our new Senior Editor, Chirs Bieniek, has detailed all the late-breakimng stories in this issue's TurboNews…"
- 04 TurboMail: Letters from our loyal readers.
- "You've got loads of questions for us, and we've got answers: Will Street Fighter II HuCARD make it to America? Why is Rick's mask red in TG-16 Splatterhouse? Was Altered Beast released on both HuCARD and CD? What are the top three RPG's for PCE? The ending to Impossamole is missing something…What is it?"
- 05 Advertisement: TurboGrafx-16…$69.99.
- "We have the heart. You have the brain. The Courage is free."
- 06 Advertisement: TurboGrafx-CD…$149.99. 06 07
- "This ain't exactly Kansas* anymore, kid." Also featured: the entire (?) existing library of sixteen TG-CD games. Plus, a free 20-minute video promoting the upcoming release of the new TurboDuo console.
- 08 TurboTips: Codes, Tips and Tricks. 08 10
- "This issue, our gurus of games have come up with hot codes for such challenging contests as Bonk's Revenge, Valis III, The Addams Family, Turrican and Raiden."
- 09 Advertisement: TurboPlay Magazine Subscription.
- "Subscribe to TurboPlay Magazine! 6 bi-monthly issues for $9.95."
- 11 Advertisement: Subscribe to VG&CE Magazine.
- "Blast off for big savings! 12 at your door for less than 6 at the store ($19.95)."
- 12 Feature: Bonk to the Future. 12 13 14 15
- "We've gotten our hands on advance information on some new Bonk games, particularly Bonk III and a game containing a futuristic cyborg Bonk…You won't want to miss this!"
- 16 TurboNews: Hardware prices slashed in wake of TurboDuo launch. 16 17
- "New pricing, new games, new system. This report is hot stuff!" Topics include: TG-CD $149.99, TG-16 $69.99. TurboDuo will launch at $299.95 with five bundled games. CD•ROM2 System Card upgrade for exisiting TG-CD owners. Gate of Thunder retail release considered.
- 18 Closer Look: TurboChip and TG-CD Game Reviews. 18 19 20 21
- "TurboPlay gives you honest opinions about the latest TG-16 games: Falcon, Lords of the Rising Sun and Neutopia II."
- 22 Games Around the World. 22 23 24 25 26
- "The Japanese market is a wonderful hotbed of software. Mr. Ireland provides a peek at some of the more recent releases for the PC Engine: Babel, Coryoon, Cyber Dodgeball, Future Boy Conan, Macross 2036 (Robotech), Parodius Da!, Terraforming, Twin Bee and Valis: Fantasm Soldier."
- 27 TurboPlay Contest: Previous Winners and New Contest.
- "Step right up and try your luck with our newest contest. Do you want some free software? If you put it all together, we'd be happy to give it to you. Also, the winners of the Crazy Punch Line contest from our February / March issue."
- 28 Coming Soon: Game Previews. 28 29 30 31
- "There are a lot of games on the horizon for the TG-16, and we'd like to give you a taste of those that are in the immediate future: Bonk's Thunder Shooting, Buster Bros., Camp California, Cosmic Fantasy 2, Darkwing Duck, Dead Moon, Discis Book, Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes, Dungeon Explorer II, Dynastic Hero, F-1 Circus, Falcon, Gate of Thunder, Genpei Toumaden 2, Ghost Manor, Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, Legend of Hero Tonma, Loom, Lords of the Rising Sun, Magical Chase, Mesopotamia, Neutopia II, New Adventure Island, Ninja Warriors, Order of the Griffon, Prince of Persia, Rayxanber III, Shadow of the Beast, Shape Shifter, Splash Lake, CD•ROM2 System Card, Super Sagaia, Super Star Soldier II, Syubibinman and TV SPORTS Baseball."
- 32 Advertisement: Cosmic Fantasy 2 (1992, CD).
- "Beyond Reality. Beyond Imagination. Beyond Belief. An immense RPG only for the TurboGrafx-CD. Believe it."
ANNOUNCED, BUT NEVER RELEASED…▲
Interestingly, the following six games were announced in the Coming Soon column in this issue but were never actually released in North America: Discis Book (an early educational CD-ROM storybook already available for PC/Mac), TV SPORTS Baseball (a HuCARD that was nearly ready to be published if not for TTi's limited resources), Super Sagaia (my best guess is that this is referring to Super Darius, since TTi expressed interest in Taito's CD shooter on various occasions), Rayxanber III, (a horizontal shooter with a reputation for being challenging), F-1 Circus (an overhead racing game) and Ninja Warriors (a fun, arcade beat-em-up from Taito).
HARDWARE PRICES SLASHED…▲
Over the last few issues of TurboPlay, the price of TG-16 hardware continued to drop lower and lower. In this issue, the price for the TG-16 console drops to $69.99 (includes Keith Courage TurboChip). Personally, I think the offer in the last issue (TG-16 + Bonk's Revenge for $99.99) is more enticing, but the $70 price point enabled TTi to make the TG-16 more attractive to folks who were otherwise interested in the NES, SNES and Genesis consoles. Similarly, the TurboGrafx-CD settled to an affordable $149.99 (considering it debuted with a $399.99 price tag, that is), while the TurboExpress still commanded a hefty $199.99 (it launched at $299.99). Despite these price cuts, I suspect that hardware sales were still sluggish. I do not have the sales data in front of me, but if I recall correctly, Nintendo's venerable NES (an "outdated", last-generation console at this point) was outselling the TG-16.
PC GAMES PORTED TO TG-16…▲
Falcon (HuCARD) and Lords of the Rising Sun (CD) are both reviewed in this issue…and they are both ports of computer titles. Cinemaware released Lords of the Rising Sun (a map-based strategy game with arcade-style action segments) in 1988 for Amiga, Atari ST and IBM PC computers (later, a CD-i version appeared as well). Although some aspects of the game were changed in the TG-CD version, it stands out as one of the most memorable, and faithful, conversions.
"For less than [$100] you can get [TurboGrafx-16]. And just to get you started, we'll throw in a [Bonk's Revenge TurboChip], which is a [$50] value that you can have for less than [a penny]."
Spectrum Holobyte released their classic F-16 fighter plane simulation, Falcon, in 1987 for Commodore Amiga, Apple Mac, Atari ST and IBM PC computers (later, a CDTV version appeared as well, but it simply added "radio messages" with real speech streaming from the CD-ROM). Falcon was the first installment in a series that spanned 11 years. Realistic flight dynamics and superb AI were hallmarks of the series, but it remains to be seen if the HuCARD port did justice to the series. It certainly wasn't a popular title in the TG-16 library. To be fair, though, arcade-style games have always been more popular than demanding, technical flight sims, so Falcon's appeal has been confined to a smaller niche of gamers.
It is not widely known that a special two player "dogfight" mode in Falcon, available only with two TurboLinked TurboExpresses, allowed players to battle head-to-head. In fact, Falcon was one of the few North American games to support the TurboLink feature on TurboExpress with an exclusive gameplay mode otherwise unavailable to console gamers. Unfortunately, accessing the dogfight mode required an extensive set up: two TurboExpress handhelds, two copies of the Falcon HuCARD, a TurboLink cable (for connecting the handhelds to each other), and most importantly, two people who were eager to play Falcon. Given the unlikelihood of all of these conditions being met, I think it is safe to assume that only a handful of folks have actually played this "dogfight" mode.
Another simulation game from Spectrum Holobyte, Gunboat (HuCARD), was reviewed in the previous issue of TurboPlay (April / May 1992). Read on for more info…
MORE TG-16 PORTS OF PC GAMES…▲
Originally released for personal computers, Ballistix and Gunboat were later ported to the TG-16 console. Gunboat—a patrol boat simulation set in the Vietnam War—debuted in 1990 on IBM PC (Atari ST and Amiga versions were released the following year). As you may recall, a review of Gunboat (HuCARD) can be found in the present issue of TurboPlay. When the game was ported to TG-16 all three campaigns from the computer version remained intact:
"You've just been put in command of a Navy Patrol Boat. But before you get your orders, you'll receive training as a sharpshooting machine gunner, a deadly artillery expert and a steely-eyed navigator. Once you master these skills, the admiral will give you a briefing and you'll shove off to rescue POW's from the Viet Cong. Or go up against a Colombian drug cartel. Or root up the fanatic rebel army of a deposed South American dictator."
I have always been struck by the seemingly mismatched and disjointed nature of the three campaigns offered in this game, but I suppose the game's designer (Tom Loughry) was simply ensuring that the game was appealing to as wide an audience as possible. With Colombian rebels running drugs, Viet Cong holding U.S. POW's and Panamanian rebels still loyal to Noriega, the only scenario Gunboat is missing concerns the Soviet Army's oppressive operations in Afghanistan.
Falcon, another computer game from Spectrum Holobyte, was also ported to TG-16. Falcon is an F-16 fighter plane simulation. You can read a review ( PART 1 PART 2 ) of the HuCARD version of Falcon in the June/July 1992 issue of TurboPlay.
Psygnosis released Ballistix for the Amiga back in 1989 (Atari ST and IBM PC versions followed shortly). You can read a review of the HuCARD port of Ballistix in the previous issue of TurboPlay (February/March 1992). Needless to say, many computer titles have been ported to TG-16 (and PC-Engine) over the years, and we have only scratched the surface of the topic here. A future article will dig into this topic more deeply.
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