Update [Fri 7th Apr, 2023 15:35 BST]: JOTD's homebrew port of Xevious to the Commodore Amiga is now finished (as spotted by IndieRetroNews). You can download the "final" version of the game from its itch.io page here.
Original Article [Fri 10th Feb, 2023 13:00 GMT]: Namco's 1982 arcade hit Xevious is a seminal entry in the shmup genre and triggered a wave of copycat titles, as well as a series of sequels.
Like so many of popular '80s arcade titles, it was ported to home computers, including the Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad and even Atari ST – but one platform that didn't get a conversion is the Commodore Amiga – a real shame, when you consider that the hardware would have been capable of a pretty faithful port.
Thankfully, homebrew developer JOTD is currently working on a conversion of the game for that very same system (thanks, Indie Retro News). The work is based on the efforts of Mark McDougall, who is working on porting Xevious to the Neo Geo.
This isn't your typical conversion project, as JOTD explains:
"Well, it's not that easy for a 1:1 port because of the strange local palettes the game uses. Game uses 128 colors, which could be reduced but it also has an OSD. ATM I'm focusing on an AGA port which should run on bare A1200. There are also memory constraints because of all the lookup tables and various palettes to emulate. This project was initiated by Mark McDougall, a talented coder who is doing the NeoGeo version which is way beyond the amiga version, but the cool thing is: I don't have a clue about how the game works. All Z80 to 68k reverse of the game logic is done by Mark and I 'just' have to implement the hardware dependent calls that he designed."
It's still very much up in the air as to if we'll actually see this project finished, but it's certainly an interesting glimpse into the hard work required to get even quite old games running on systems like the Amiga.