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A History of Korean Gaming

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Part 1

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스태틱소프트 Static Soft

Founded:

December 12, 1985

Status:

active (as e.wall research)

Key People:

黃善卓 황선탁 Hwang Seontak:
President (1980s)
:
Vice president
김종모 Kim Jongmo:
CEO (today)

Website:

www.ewall.co.kr


Static Soft started its career with producing games for Samsung's 8-bit home computer SPC-1000. Former president Hwang Seontaek founded the company as an outlet for his son's programming passion. Hwang Geonsun, who was a high school student at the time, produced all of Static Soft's game ports and a huge number of more "serious" software products single-handedly. The company's homepage claimed 30 titles delivered to Samsung in 19851, but Staticsoft kept supporting the conglomerate's home computers at least until 1989 with software. They also manufactured VDP units that enhanced the color capabilities of the SPC-1000.

Afterwards, Static Soft continued business in various IT branches, but abandoned game development. On April 7, 2005, the company changed its name to e.wall research. Hwang Geonsun remains vice president of the company until today.

Most of Static Soft's games were ports of PC-6001 or PC-8001 games, although some originals are not yet accounted for. After VDP units where available, they also released a ton of 1:1 conversions from MSX, which are omitted on this page (and others) due to their sheer quantity and the assumption that they were quick and simple semi-automatic conversions.

Only a small portion of the releases is properly documented so far, which is introduced below. There is a lot of software left only known by its title: Thunderball (pretty certainly the ASCII PC-6001 pinball game of the same title), 3D Car Race, IQ 4989, Fruits Field (SPC-1000 & MSX), Annie-ui Moheom ("Annie's Adventure"), Ujuseon Gyeokpa Game ("Spaceship Destruction Game"), Super Pungseon ("Super Bubble") and Gongsu Daejakjeon (the latter two released on two sides of the same tape). Other mentioned titles, possibly either made prior to the foundation of Staticsoft or MSX conversions, are Eunhaeng Kangdo ("Bank Robber"), Hyeongsa Q and Galaga (easy to guess which game this is based on).


Games

달 구조대 (Dal Gujodae) / 루나 시티 SOS (Lunar City SOS) - SPC-1000 (1984)

This game actually predates the founding of Static Soft. A port of the PC-8001 game by Takanari Suzuki (pen name: Geimu Kyouji), it was Hwang Geonsun's first success at the Samsung 3rd Software Competition, where he won a runner-up prize.

The player has to protect the city from an alien invasion. Starting with a single alien mothership, the player's efforts actually make the situation worse at first, as each destroyed enemy splits into two smaller ones, until the last form is defeated. A barrier keeps enemy bullets at bay for a time, but it is neutralized quickly.

Unlike most SPC-1000 games, Lunar City SOS gives players the choice between both the low-res color and hi-res monochrome screen modes, making the best use of each.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Takanari Suzuki

Conversion:

Hwang Geonsun

Publisher:

Samsung

Genre:

Shoot-'em-up




아스트로이드 (Asteroid Belt) - SPC-1000 (1985)

Another port of a Takanari Suzuki game. Given its 1985 "copyright", Asteroid Belt appears to be one of Static Soft's first games. The space shooter takes the barriers mechanic from Space Invaders, but applies more free-form, aggressive enemy waves to the concept. Like Lunar City SOS, the game supports both screen modes of the SPC-1000. The color mode is actually more difficult, though, as bullets do more damage to the barriers because of the lower resolution.

The similarity to SOS Lunar City was the reason that motivated further research into the former game, but actually Asteroid Belt is attributed in the title screen to one Kim Sangbeom. Given that he and Hwang Geonsun worked for the same company, though, it only makes sense that they would have shared their programming techniques.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Takanari Suzuki

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Shoot-'em-up




Super Lode Runner I & II - SPC-1000 (1985 & 1986)

A port of Lode Runner. There have been two releases with different sets of stages.

Quick Info:

Developer:

System Soft

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Action: Single Screen




건담 III (Gundam III) - SPC-1000 (1986)

Gundam III (SPC-1000)

Gundam III of course is based on the immensely popular anime series. Gundam III is also the name of the suit used in the game, and probably also refers to the three transformations that are realized within the game. The game is only known through vague magazine coverage, so there's no information how those transformation states played out.

Quick Info:

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Action: Side-Scrolling

Theme:

Mechas


Gundam III (SPC-1000)


슈퍼 제비우스 (Super Xevious) - SPC-1000 (1986)

Super Xevious is actually a port of the first Thunder Force, based on the PC-6001 version by Tecno Soft. The keyboard controls are a bit iffy. This is one of very few SPC-1000 games that feature background music during actual gameplay.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Tecno Soft

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Shoot-'em-up




명탐정 바베크 (Myeongtamjeong Vaveque) - SPC-1000 (1986)

Cover

Port of the PC6001 game Muday by Compaq. The title Myeongtamjeong Vaveque (Super Sleuth Vaveque) is based off a series in a Korean 1982 puppet show, which once again is said to be inspired by Johnston McCulley's Black Star. It's incredibly hard to find any footage of the series, but the game has nothing in common at least with the novels. The box also steals the title artwork from Legend of Zelda, talk about arbitrary.

Behind the confusing title stands a puzzle action game with a guy who looks like wearing a space suit and has to find colored keys in each of the 64 screens to access a series of doors to the exit. Five enemy types with individual movement and attack patterns try to prevent this, and the labyrinth stages and trampolines don't make the task easier, either. The hero can lie down on the floor to avoid enemy lasers, and also wields a gun himself. Enemies constantly respawn, however, and some are even immune to it.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Compaq

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Action: Single Screen


Myeongtamjeong Vaveque (SPC-1000)

Myeongtamjeong Vaveque (SPC-1000)



우주전자 피리아 (Ujujeonja Firia) - SPC-1000 (1986)

Another space shooter, this time in "monochrome" only. Little to say about this one.

Quick Info:

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Action: Single Screen

Theme:

Space Combat




펜저스피체 (Panzerspitze) - SPC-1000 (1986)

One more shooter, originally released for the PC-6001 by Compac. Here the player takes place in a tank. Panzerspitze (a overgermanization of Panzer Front) is a rather slow paced game, but it plays out quite interesting. The tank cannot move diagonally, but instead its turret can be rotated in 360 degrees. There is only one button assigned to it, though, so one press will turn it clockwise, and the next one counter-clockwise, etc., which takes some getting used to. The tank also uses up fuel, which can be recharged at fuel stations.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Compaq

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Static Soft

Genre:

Shoot-'em-up




톰과 제리 (Tom & Jerry) - SPC-1000 (1986)

Cover

One of Static Soft's last PC-6001 ports, Tom & Jerry is based on Cheese World from PiO '84/08, but renamed to tie in with the famous cartoon of the same title. It's only known from short magazine coverage, but the screen composition is reminiscent of Boulder Dash.

Quick Info:

Developer:

K. Suzuki

Conversion:

Static Soft

Publisher:

Aproman

Genre:

Action: Single Screen

Theme:

Player Character: Animal


Tom & Jerry (SPC-1000)


References
1. Static Soft company history (archived 6/2/2003)


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