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Super Road Blaster, the impossible Laserdisc-to-SNES port

10:00 PM on 05.28.2012

Tony Ponce

Contributor

Once in a blue moon, something comes along that defies all the rules -- a technical feat that shouldn't exist. Super Road Blaster is just such a marvel.

You guys remember how Nintendo and Sony planned to release a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo? Those plans fell through, and the fallout from the two companies' split led to the creation of the PlayStation. If it weren't for that (admittedly significant) outcome, you could say Nintendo dodged a pretty big bullet. CD-based consoles of the era seemed like the next big thing, but their libraries often consisted of grainy FMV and barely interactive movie-game hybrids. Still, it would have been nice to see what the SNES CD attachment was capable of.

Matthias "d4s" Nagler wanted to do the impossible. He took Road Blaster, a 1985 Laserdisc arcade game with animation by Toei, and somehow ported it to run on Super Nintendo hardware, full FMV animation and all. Dubbed Super Road Blaster, the ROM file is a whopping 6320 Mbit -- the largest SNES cartridges only had a 48 Mbit capacity! Matthias was able to achieve this thanks to the MSU-1, an enhancement device like the SuperFX chip only much, much more powerful. If you want to play it, you'll either need bsnes, the only emulator with MSU-1 capabilities, or the sd2snes, an SD card adapter cartridge that will allow you to play the game on the physical SNES hardware.

The game itself is... well, it's like Dragon's Lair. You watch a cartoon and push a button at key moments in order to avoid death and keep playing. You can actually play the iOS port if you really want to, but it's worth seeing the game run on an SNES. What a remarkable console, wouldn't you say?

Super Road Blaster v1.1 [dforce3000]

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