After Burner Soundtrack (C64 – Europe), Adam Gilmore / Hiroshi Kawaguchi, 1988
The immersive 3d-action and visual fireworks of 1985’s Space Harrier were unparalleled for its era. Sega quickly realised they were on to a winning formula and began to churn out several games that made more and more advanced use of the company’s Super Scaler technology. After motorbikes (Hang-On) and racing cars (OutRun), Sega chose fighter jets for 1987’s action extravaganza After Burner. In many ways, After Burner is the perfect summation of the arcade game experience: blinding speeds, non-stop action – and a difficulty level that focuses more on parting gamers with their quarters rather than providing a fair challenge. The latter point was less of an issue for the many, many console and home computer ports that this genre classic and franchise starter saw in subsequent years. Some platforms even received two After Burner ports – for example, C64 users got to choose between a European and a US version.