Gotta have that SuperFX chip
Randy Linden has seen some shit.
He’s worked on Dragon’s Lair, the infamous Home Alone and Where’s Waldo NES, the emulator Bleem, and even Doom SNES. Gaming Reinvented caught up with him recently to allow him to share a few development stories around the campfire, and one in particular that called to me was his journey to create Doom on the Super Nintendo.
Seeing it as a challenge first and foremost, Linden and the team crafted the development hardware from a “hacked-up StarFox cartridge,” mostly so they could utilize the SuperFX chip. The process also involved splicing both modified SNES and Amiga controllers, and a lengthy toolkit that had to be written before development even began.
Linden notes that due to the ROM size they nearly filled up the cart as best they could (there were 16 bytes free in total), but were unable to include as many levels at they’d like. He also reminds us that SuperScope, Mouse, and XBand modem support were officially supported. While a lot of people assume Nintendo would have been hell to work with on this fairly violent project, Linden recalls that as long as the blood wasn’t red, they were good.
Hearing backstories like these fill in the gaps between my visit to the local video store and popping a game into my console are among my favorite parts of my gaming experience.
Interview; Dragon’s Lair, Doom and Bleem Developer Randy Linden [Gaming Reinvented]