Update #4 [Mon 30th Oct, 2023 09:30 GMT]: The demo for Andrea Baldiraghi's fanmade port of R-Type for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis is finally here. You can download it now from itch.io for free
Here is a full playthrough of the demo courtesy of ShiryuGL:
Update #3 [Mon 23rd Oct, 2023 09:30 BST]: Andrea Baldiraghi's fanmade R-Type port for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis has just received its first-ever trailer ahead of its upcoming demo release.
According to the trailer, the demo will include 3-stages and a bunch of customizable options, such as a range of ships to pilot (including a prototype Leo), a choice of background music arrangements (arcade or Mega Drive), and the ability to tailor the play area to your tastes.
You can watch the trailer below:
We're also seeing videos from people who have access to the demo:
Update #2 [Mon 21st Aug, 2023 09:50 BST]: We have another update on Andrea Baldiraghi's R-Type port for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
In a video, posted two days ago on the creator's channel (August 19th), Baldiraghi showed off the first playthrough of a 16-bit rendition of the Master System's bonus stage.
This was a secret stage that wasn't present in the original arcade version of R-Type, but that the Master System developer Compile added into its own port at the end of the fourth stage. It could be accessed by maneuvering your ship to a specific point at the top of the screen and was filled with a gauntlet's worth of enemies. Baldiraghi teased the stage might make an appearance in December of last year after fan requests, but this is the first time we've seen it being played from start to finish. What are your thoughts on the video? We'd love to hear them!
Update #1 [Thu 27th Jul, 2023 15:30 BST]: It's been a while since we last checked in on Andrea Baldiraghi's R-Type port for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and it seems that the project has made some vital progress over the last month (thanks @KingMonkey25 for the tip!)
Posting on Twitter, Baldiraghi revealed that they have nearly completed all the gameplay systems and are almost ready to start working on the additional levels. This could potentially mean that we're another step closer to a public demo for the project.
Baldiraghi had initially planned to release a demo back in early 2023, but progress slowed down due to "fatigue" and various other factors. Development now seems to be back on track though, and it is shaping up quite nicely judging from some of the videos online!
Original Story [Wed 7th Dec, 2022 12:00 GMT]: We've seen some truly impressive-looking Sega Mega Drive/Genesis homebrew ports enter development over the last year. In the past, for instance, we've covered @Pyron and @Format_C's attempt to port Windjammers to the Mega Drive/Genesis, as well as Ray_Castello's Simpson's 16-bit arcade port. Yet, it seems we're only still scratching the surface of the sheer amount of incredible work being done in the Mega Drive/Genesis community.
Case in point, while scrolling through Twitter today, we stumbled across another impressive Mega Drive/Genesis project that ended up catching our eye: Andrea Baldiraghi's 'R-Type' port for the 16-bit machine. Andrea Baldiraghi (better known as TheRoboZ online) was previously behind the fan-made Pico-8 port of the game and now seems to be applying his skills to Mega Drive/Genesis development with the help of the open-source SGDK toolset.
On Twitter, Baldiraghi recently shared a closer look at this port, and it is looking fantastic from what we can see so far. It shows off a brief section of the first level and features smooth scrolling, arcade-quality sprites, and a beautiful remix of the music to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine's YM2612 sound chip.
As you probably already know, the arcade developer Irem first released R-Type in the arcades back in 1987. The game later went on to appear on several consoles including the Sega Master System but never had an official port for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
According to Baldiraghi, their plan for the new port is to eventually release it as a 4-stage ROM for free, and then publish the source code so that others can add more levels to it. A free demo of the first level is also planned for the next month or two. We'll try and keep you posted on when it's released.