Shadow of the Beast II
Shadow of the Beast II is a platform game developed by Reflections and published by Psygnosis in 1990. It is the sequel to the earlier Shadow of the Beast. Shadow of the Beast II finds the hero Aarbron in half-beast form, wandering the lands of Karamoon in search of his kidnapped sister, she had been taken away from her mother's cottage by the dragon-form of the Beast Mage, servant to Maletoth. Along the way, Aarbron must defeat the evil dragon Ishran. Tree Pygmies in the forest and the goblins in the Crystal Caverns serve as foes; as in the first game, the cover art for Shadow of the Beast II was created by Roger Dean and the game was packaged with a promotional black T-shirt that featured Dean's artwork. The music for Beast 2 & 3 was produced by Tim Wright; these titles featured a more extensive soundtrack and utilised ethnic samples taken from among other sources the same Korg M1 synthesizer, sampled by David Whittaker for the original game. Beast 2 contained a total of 17 tracks, most notable of which are the title theme and the game over theme, both of which feature real sampled electric guitars.
Shadow of the Beast II was ported to the Atari ST and FM-Towns computers, as well as the Mega Drive and Mega-CD platforms. The Mega-CD version had drastic changes made to it, the most noticeable being a new soundtrack complete with voice acted dialogue sequences and added FMVs; the in-game graphics were slightly enhanced, some areas of the game were redesigned to be less difficult than the original. Shadow of the Beast and Shadow of the Beast II were reviewed in 1991 in Dragon where both games received ratings of 5 out of 5 stars. A reviewer for Next Generation gave the Sega CD version one out of five stars, saying that the game had been good at the time of its release on the Amiga four years before, but was now horribly outdated: "Even though the designers tried to spruce it up by adding better music, digitized speech, a few rendered cut scenes, it still doesn't help much considering the game's overall stilted animation and poor control." Shadow of the Beast II at MobyGames Shadow of the Beast II at Hall of Light
Ubisoft Reflections Limited is a British video game developer based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Founded in 1984 by Martin Edmondson and Nicholas Chamberlain, the studio focuses on racing games and it is best known for creating the award-winning Driver series. Reflections was acquired by GT Interactive in 1998 and sold to Ubisoft in 2006; the company works on AAA games in close cooperation with sister studio Ubisoft Leamington. Martin Edmondson and Nicholas Chamberlain started developing games for the BBC Micro under the moniker "Reflections" in 1984, their first game was a Paperboy clone called Paper-Round that took two years to develop but was never released. While working on that game, they started Ravenskull which would be their first published game, released in 1986 by Superior Software; this was followed by Codename: Droid and an Acorn Electron conversion of Stryker's Run in 1987. The name Reflections was first used for their 1989 hit Amiga game, Shadow of the Beast, published by Psygnosis which spawned two sequels.
The original Amiga game was written by Paul Howarth, started out life as a parallax test of the blitter of the Amiga's Agnus chip. A number of other Amiga and Atari ST games followed including Ballistix and Brian the Lion. In 1995, they became known for Destruction Derby, critically acclaimed for its realistic physics and destruction, which become Reflections' specialty. Due to the success, the game had four more sequels over the years. On 9 January 1999, it was announced that Reflections had been acquired by GT Interactive in 1998, for a reported 2.7 million shares of common stock, valued at around US$14.17 million. For became well known for the game Driver, inspired by'70s cop shows like Starsky and Hutch and movies like Bullitt and The Driver, it has been followed by four spin-offs. The company was subsequently renamed Reflections Interactive. In 2004, studio founder Martin Edmondson left Reflections after the concepting stage of Driver: Parallel Lines, sued Atari due to "constructive unfair dismissal as a result of Reflections alleged repudiatory breach of a contract of employment that necessitated Mr. Edmondson's resignation."
Martin's brother, Gareth Edmondson, took his place as the studio manager. In July 2006, Atari announced that it had transferred all of the staff and most of the assets of Reflections Interactive Limited, including the intellectual property and technology rights to the Driver series, to Ubisoft for US$24 million. Gareth Edmondson, studio manager, left Reflections after more than a ten-year presence at the studio in November 2011, two months after the launch of Driver: San Francisco; the studio is now headed by Pauline Jacquey. Reflections is working on multiple console formats, including the PlayStation Vita, Wii U and Kinect. May 2013, Ubisoft Reflections announced that they are working on a new game, Ubisoft planned to announce the game at E3 2013. On 10 June, during Ubisoft's press conference it was revealed that Reflections are working with developer Ivory Tower on a new racing game called The Crew, The Crew was released in December 2014. Official website
A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
Rockstar North Limited is a British video game developer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company was founded as Acme Software, in Dundee in 1984, by classmates David Jones, Russell Kay, Steve Hammond, Mike Dailly, was renamed DMA Design in 1987. During its early years, DMA Design was backed by its publisher Psygnosis focusing on Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64 games. During this time, they created successful shooters such as Menace, Blood Money, but it soon turned to platform games after the release of Lemmings in 1991, an international success and led to several sequels and spin-offs. After developing Unirally for Nintendo, DMA Design was set to become one of their main second-party developers, but this partnership ended after Nintendo's disapproval of Body Harvest. In 1997, DMA released Grand Theft Auto, a huge success; the company was soon acquired by Gremlin Interactive. Following the release of Grand Theft Auto 2, Gremlin was acquired by Infogrames. DMA Design was sold to the owner of Grand Theft Auto publisher Rockstar Games.
In 2001, after the release of Grand Theft Auto III, DMA Design was renamed Rockstar North and became part of the Rockstar Games label. After the shift, the company worked on new titles, including Manhunt, provided support to other Rockstar games such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, continued the Grand Theft Auto franchise with Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V. Both games are considered one of the best video games made and Grand Theft Auto V became one of the best-selling games of all time. Leslie Benzies headed the studio since the Take-Two acquisition until his departure in 2016. In 1984, David Jones, Russell Kay, Steve Hammond and Mike Dailly met at the Kingsway Amateur Computer Club in Dundee, Scotland. While Jones used an Amiga 1000, the others used Sinclair Spectrum or Commodore 64, they developed numerous small games while attending the KACC: Jones and Kay developed Moonshadow, Daily developed Freek Out, Jones and Dailly collaborated on The Game With No Name. When attending the Dundee Institute of Technology, Jones began development on a game tentatively titled CopperCon1, as part of a company temporarily named Acme Software, alongside Kay and Dailly.
To publish the game, Jones first approached Hewson Consultants, where Andrew Braybrook played and recommended the game. When Jones was informed that Hewson wanted the game to be the "Amiga version of Zynaps", he realised that sales would be limited, refused to sign the contract, instead signing a deal with publisher Psygnosis; the game was renamed Draconia, with Tony Smith working on Jones designing levels. In 1987, the company chose the new name of DMA Design; the name DMA was taken from the Amiga programming manuals. Draconia was renamed Menace, it was published in 1988 for Amiga, in 1989 for Atari ST, Commodore 64 and MS-DOS; the game sold 20,000 copies generating around GB£20,000, allowing the company to develop more games. This was followed by Blood Money, a side-scrolling shooter which began development in January 1989; the game was in development for five months, was released for Amiga and Atari ST in May 1989. The game was ported to MS-DOS by Tim Ansell of Creative Assembly in 1989, to Commodore 64 by Dailly in 1990.
The company was assigned to porting Ballistix to MS-DOS and Commodore 64. Jones began developing the side-scrolling shooter Walker in 1989, following the release of Blood Money. In early 1990, Jones scrapped Walker and began development on a new game called Gore!. By the end of the year, Jones hired Ian Niall Glancey to continue working on Walker. In 1990, Jones hired Tony Colgan to develop Cutiepoo, assist with Gore! before its cancellation. By the end of the year, Jones was irritated by the lack of progress on Cutiepoo, cancelling the game and firing Colgan as a result. In June 1990, DMA was commissioned by Psygnosis to port Shadow of the Beast to the TurboGrafx-16 and Commodore 64. Psygnosis teamed with Ocean Software to publish Shadow of the Beast for Commodore 64 Games System. Swinfen, subcontracted for his work on the game, found it unfair that Jones was getting paid for the game, despite not working on it. DMA released Hired Guns for Amiga and MS-DOS in 1993, designed by Hammond and Scott Johnston.
DMA's major breakthrough came with 1991's Lemmings, a dynamic puzzle game released for Amiga in February 1991. The game sold over 15 million copies, received numerous ports to different consoles; the game led to numerous sequels by DMA: Oh No! More Lemmings, Lemmings 2: The Tribes, All New World of Lemmings, as well as two Christmas Lemmings, it spawned various Lemmings games by other developers, such as 3D Lemmings and Lemmings Revolution. Revenues from Lemmings allowed the company to expand, adding their own motion capture studio and a division called DMA Music, consisting of the team's in-house musicians. Following Sony's acquisition of Psygnosis in 1993, DMA signed with Nintendo to publish Unirally in 1994. DMA spent six months studying development for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, but they cancelled all their plans for the console when the success of Unirally led Nintendo to offer to publish an original DMA game for the u
Roger Dean (artist)
William Roger Dean, known as Roger Dean, is an English artist and publisher. He is best known for his work on posters and album covers for musicians, which he began painting in the late 1960s; the artists for whom he did the most art are English rock bands Asia. The covers feature exotic fantasy landscapes, his work has sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide. William Roger Dean was born on 31 August 1944 in Kent, his mother studied dress design at Canterbury School of Art before her marriage and his father was an engineer in the British Army. He has brother Martyn and sisters Penny and Philippa. Much of Dean's childhood was spent in Greece, and, from age 12 to 15, Hong Kong, so his father could carry out army duties. Dean was keen on natural history as a child, Chinese landscape art and feng shui became particular influences on him during his time in Hong Kong, he has cited landscape, "and the pathways through it", as his greatest influence and source of inspiration. In 1959, after the family had returned to England, Dean attended Ashford Grammar School followed by his entry in 1961 to the Canterbury College of Art studying silversmithing and furniture design and graduated with a National Diploma in Design.
He was removed from a life drawing class by the principal for being "young and impressionable", was informed he could not take it due to maths and physics being his other subjects, leading a switch to studying industrial design. As the school was trying to become accredited in the subject, Dean bypassed its foundation level course but disliked the way the subject was taught and questioned the teachers as to why people had to live in "boxes" and their response in that "form follows function". Towards the end of the course at Canterbury, Dean was faced with the option of pursuing either architecture or industrial design, he enrolled at the college in 1965 to study furniture design and became a student of Professor David Pye. Among his research was the "psychology of architecture" and what made people feel comfortable in buildings, he did a thesis about "producing a sense of tranquillity in domestic architecture". He graduated from the college in 1968 with a masters first degree honours, won a silver medal for "work of special distinction".
By this time, Dean was interested in "designing the future boxes for people to live in". He considered Rick Griffin's artwork for Aoxomoxoa by The Grateful Dead as his "first big visual shock" and bought the album prior to owning a record player. Among Dean's first successes was his sea urchin chair design which spawned from his research at the Royal College and completed in 1967, he filed a patent for it in the following year. It has been considered to be a predecessor to the bean bag, whereby the chair compresses and adapts to the shape and size of the user; the design was completed when Dean was one of the few students picked from the Royal College to design and make objects in famed designer Cherrill Scheer's factory. The chair remains one of Cherrill's favourite pieces, it is now a part of the permanent collection at the Albert Museum. In 1968, during his third year at the Royal College, Dean was assigned a project which involved the design of a contemporary landscape seating area of the upstairs disco at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho.
This led to the design of his first album cover, Gun by rock band Gun, after owner Ronnie Scott asked him to adapt a demonic-themed design that Dean made in his sketchbook for his thesis, for the album's cover. Dean agreed, was paid "around £5,000" for his work. Dean earned more money from the album's cover than he had done with architecture related work, realised covers took much less effort, he decided to venture into cover design not purely for the money, but its wider audience and its use "as a propaganda tool showing people what might be and what could be". Dean began to pick up work where he could, including covers for various jazz artists for Vertigo Records which he disliked, calling them "austere exercises" and too restrictive for the ideas he wished to convey; the experience led Dean to establish a commission before starting work he wanted to do, leading to a short period of financial hardship. At the same time, he wanted to release a book on architecture but faced rejection from 27 different publishers.
Dean designed the logo to the independent label Fly Records in 1970. This led to Dean working on a single for their musician Marc Bolan which involved typesetting the liner notes and lyrics, but Dean had not done the technique before and completed them by hand with the assistance of a graphic designer, in order to show the printing staff where the typesets were to be placed; the positive reaction Dean received from his style of writing led to him handwriting the text for further Bolan singles. This was a similar case for Dean's design for Clear Blue Sky by Clear Blue Sky, where a painting had been completed except the typesetting, "So to bluff my way through the meeting I had to handwrite it all and hope they would never ask about it"; the label's staffers were enthusiastic, which gave Dean the confidence to pursue more handwriting and graphic work. By 1971, Dean's desire to produce artwork for rock bands had grown though continued with architecture and headed a small exhibition of his work in Florence.
Following discussions with A&R man David Howells, who had assigned Dean the sleeve for The Gun, Dean agreed to work on the cover of Osibisa by afrobeat band Osibisa. The design is a result of a brief that Dean described as "credible African fairytale imagery" and features "flying elephants and not a
The Amstrad CPC is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it established itself in the United Kingdom, France and the German-speaking parts of Europe; the series spawned a total of six distinct models: The CPC464, CPC664, CPC6128 were successful competitors in the European home computer market. The plus models, 464plus and 6128plus, efforts to prolong the system's lifecycle with hardware updates, were less successful, as was the attempt to repackage the plus hardware into a game console as the GX4000; the CPC models' hardware is based on the Zilog Z80A CPU, complemented with either 64 or 128 KB of RAM. Their computer-in-a-keyboard design prominently features an integrated storage device, either a compact cassette deck or 3 inch floppy disk drive; the main units were only sold bundled with either a colour, green-screen or monochrome monitor that doubles as the main unit's power supply.
Additionally, a wide range of first and third party hardware extensions such as external disk drives and memory extensions, was available. The CPC series was pitched against other home computers used to play video games and enjoyed a strong supply of game software; the comparatively low price for a complete computer system with dedicated monitor, its high resolution monochrome text and graphic capabilities and the possibility to run CP/M software rendered the system attractive for business users, reflected by a wide selection of application software. During its lifetime, the CPC series sold three million units; the philosophy behind the CPC series was twofold, firstly the concept was of an “all-in-one”, where the computer and its data storage device were combined in a single unit, sold with its own dedicated display monitor. Most home computers at that time such as Sinclair’s ZX series, the Commodore 64 and the BBC Micro relied on the use of the domestic television set and a separately connected tape recorder or disk drive.
In itself, the all-in-one concept was not new, having been seen before on business-oriented machines and the Commodore PET, but in the home computer space, it predated the Apple Macintosh by a year. Secondly, Amstrad founder Alan Sugar wanted the machine to resemble a “real computer, similar to what someone would see being used to check them in at the airport for their holidays”, for the machine to not look like “a pregnant calculator” – in reference to the Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum with their low cost, membrane-type keyboards; the CPC 464 sold more than two million units. The CPC 464 featured an internal cassette tape deck, it was introduced in June 1984 in the UK. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC464 were GBP£249.00/DM899.00 with a green screen and GBP£359.00/DM1398.00 with a colour monitor. Following the introduction of the CPC6128 in late 1985, suggested retail prices for the CPC464 were cut by GBP£50.00/DM100.00. In 1990, the 464plus replaced the CPC 464 in the model line-up, production of the CPC 464 was discontinued.
The CPC664 features 64 KB RAM and an internal 3-inch floppy disk drive. It was introduced in May 1985 in the UK. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC664 were GBP£339.00/DM1198.00 with a green screen and GBP£449.00/DM1998.00 with a colour monitor. After the successful release of the CPC464, consumers were asking for two improvements: more memory and an internal disk drive. For Amstrad, the latter was easier to realize. At the deliberately low-key introduction of the CPC664 in May 1985, the machine was positioned not only as the lowest-cost disk system but the lowest-cost CP/M 2.2 machine. In the Amstrad CPC product range the CPC664 complemented the CPC464, neither discontinued nor reduced in price. Compared to the CPC464, the CPC664's main unit has been redesigned, not only to accommodate the floppy disk drive but with a redesigned keyboard area. Touted as "ergonomic" by Amstrad's promotional material, the keyboard is noticeably tilted to the front with MSX-style cursor keys above the numeric keypad.
Compared to the CPC464's multicoloured keyboard, the CPC664's keys are kept in a much quieter grey and pale blue colour scheme. The back of the CPC664 main unit features the same connectors as the CPC464, with the exception of an additional 12V power lead. Unlike the CPC464's cassette tape drive that could be powered off the main unit's 5V voltage, the CPC664's floppy disk drive requires an additional 12V voltage; this voltage had to be separately supplied by an updated version of the bundled green screen/colour monitor. The CPC664 was only produced for six months. In late 1985, when the CPC6128 was introduced in Europe, Amstrad decided not to keep three models in the line-up, production of the CPC664 was discontinued; the CPC6128 features an internal 3-inch floppy disk drive. Aside from various hardware and firmware improvements, one of the CPC6128's most prominent features is the compatibility with the CP/M+ operating system that rendered it attractive for business uses; the CPC6128 was released in August 1985 and only sold in the US.
Imported and distributed by Indescomp, Inc. of Chicago, it was the first Amstrad product to be sold in the United States, a market that at the time was traditionally hostile towards European computer manufacturers. By the end of 1985, it replaced the CPC664 in the CPC model line-up. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC6128 were US$699.00/£299.00/DM1598.00 wit
FM Towns system is a Japanese variant of PC, built by Fujitsu from February 1989 to the summer of 1997. It started as a proprietary PC variant intended for multimedia applications and PC games, but became more compatible with regular PCs. In 1993, the FM Towns Marty was released; the "FM" part of the name means "Fujitsu Micro" like their earlier products, while the "Towns" part is derived from the code name the system was assigned while in development, "Townes". This refers to Charles Townes, one of the winners of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, following a custom of Fujitsu at the time to code name PC products after Nobel Prize winners; the e in "Townes" was dropped when the system went into production to make it clearer that the term was to be pronounced like the word "towns" rather than the potential "tow-nes". Fujitsu decided to release a new home computer after the FM-7 was technologically overcome by NEC's PC-8801. During the life of the FM-7, Fujitsu had learned that software sales drove hardware sales, in order to acquire usable software the new computer was to be based on Fujitsu's "FMR50" system architecture.
The FMR50 system, released at 1986, was another x86/DOS-based computer similar to NEC's popular PC-9801. The FMR50 computers were sold with moderate success in Japanese offices in Japanese government offices. There were hundreds of software packages available for the FMR, including Lotus 1-2-3, WordStar, dBASE III. With this basis of compatibility, the more multimedia-friendly FM Towns was created. NEC's PC-9801 computers were widespread and dominated in the 1980s, at one point reaching 70% of the 16/32-bit computer market. However, they sounds. Just as Commodore saw an opening for the Amiga in some global markets against the IBM PC, a computer with improved graphics and sound was considered to overcome the PC-9801 in the home-use field in Japan. With many multimedia innovations for its time, the FM Towns was that system, though for a number of reasons it never broke far beyond the boundaries of its niche market status; the FM Towns lost much of its uniqueness by adding a DOS/V compatibility mode switch, until Fujitsu discontinued making FM Towns specific hardware and software and moved to focus on the IBM PC clones that many Japanese manufacturers—who were not players in the PC market—were building by the mid to late 1990s.
To this day, Fujitsu is known for its laptop PCs globally, FM Towns users have been relegated to a small community of aficionados. Several variants were built, its package includes a mouse and a microphone. The earlier, more distinctive models featuring a vertical CD-ROM tray on the front of the case were referred to as the "Gray" Towns, were the ones most directly associated with the "FM Towns" brand. Most featured 3 memory expansion slots and used 72-pin non-parity SIMMs with a required timing of 100ns or less and a recommended timing of 60ns. Hard drives are not standard equipment, are not required for most uses; the OS is loaded from CD-ROM by default. A SCSI Centronics 50/SCSI-1/Full-Pitch port is provided for connecting external SCSI disk drives, is the most common way to connect a hard drive to an FM Towns PC. Although internal drives are rare, there is a hidden compartment with a SCSI 50-pin connector where a hard drive may be connected, however the power supply module does not provide the required Molex connector to power the drive.
The video output is 15 kHz RGB using the same DB15 connector and pinouts as the PC-9801. The operating system used is Windows 3.0/3.1/95 and a graphical OS called Towns OS, based on MS-DOS and the Phar Lap DOS extender. Most games for the system were written in protected mode Assembly and C using the Phar Lap DOS extender; these games utilize the Towns OS API for handling several graphic modes, sounds, a mouse, CD-audio. The FM Towns is capable of booting its graphical Towns OS straight from CD in 1989 - two years before Amiga CDTV booted its GUI-based AmigaOS 1.3 from internal CD drive and the CD-bootable System 7 was released for the Macintosh in 1991, five years before the El Torito specification standardized boot-CDs on IBM PC compatibles in 1994. To boot the system from CD-ROM, the FM TOWNS has a "hidden C:" ROM drive in which a minimum MS-DOS system, CD-ROM driver and MSCDEX. EXE are installed; this minimal DOS system runs first, the DOS system reads and executes the Towns OS IPL stored in CD-ROM after that.
The Towns OS CD-ROM has an IPL, MS-DOS system, DOS extender, Towns API. A minimal DOS system that allows the CD-ROM drive to be accessed is contained in a system ROM. Various Linux and BSD distributions have been ported to the FM Towns system, including Debian and Gentoo. A version of GNU called GNU for FM Towns was released in 1990; the FM Towns features video modes