After our release of a Missile Defense 3-D Prototype
last year, we stumbled on more good stuff...
The February 1987 issue of "Computer Entertainer" a trade publication made available to retailers and purchasers in the US introduced the 3-D Glasses:
"Games in 3D
Another new peripheral, the 3D Imager with glasses, was shown in a darkened room with WALLBALL-3D (a racquetball game) and 3D GUNNER (a space shooting game for the use with the Light Phaser). The futuristic, goggle-like glasses come with an interface unit with plugs into the Master System Power Base. (A $65 package, 3D Imager with Glasses and WALLBALL-3D, was announced at CES. Two weeks later, however, WALLBALL-3D was scraped due to lukewarm response from show-goers. As of presstime, the 3D Imager witrh Glasses as to be sold by itself for $50, with 3D games set to retail at $40 each.). The 3D glasses employ liquid crystal technology which can make either lens instantly opaque. Using special game software which alternately displays slightly different pictures for the left and the right eyes, the glasses block out one eye at a time in synchrony with the software. The picture on the TV screen appears to vibrate when viewed without the glasses (an easy way to make yourself quite dizzy), but snaps into an illusion of 3D reality when the glasses allow each each to see only its special image. Viewed in a completely darkened room, the way Sega showed the glasses and games, the effect is quite good and suffers only the barest minimum of flicker."
This has been discussed in https://www.smspower.org/forums/15531 and other places however we generally discussed WALLBALL-3D mostly, and assumed 3D GUNNER was an early name for Missile Defense 3-D... we were wrong!
Introducing 3D Gunner for the Master System
, an unreleased early prototype we managed to acquired recently.
The game is a 32 kilobyte ROM so as you can imagine it is a very simple piece of software and predate the more full fledged Missile Defense 3-D
. Althought we couldn't get confirmation of it, we can imagine this was maybe programmed by Mark Cerny
who also programmed Shooting Gallery and Missile Defense 3-D (and worked on things such as Marble Madness and the PS4 console).
The games requires both 3-D Glasses and Light Phaser and may be usable in all setups. What more, there was a bug in recent Meka build which prevented 32 KB from accessing 3-D Glasses registers...
For an ideal experience, you can use MEKA 2019-12-13
which is released today. Otherwise if you use an older version of MEKA you will need to this line in your meka.nam file:
SMS 56dcb2d4 9FA930C396F93600 3D Gunner [Proto]/EMU_MAPPER=0/EMU_INPUTS=LIGHTPHASER/EMU_3D
Please note that MEKA 2019-12-13 will give you a largely more confortable Light Phaser emulation experience for the game.
It may or not work in other emulators, and of course should work on a real system should you be equipped with a Light Phaser, a pair of 3-D Glasses and a CRT screen :)
Bonus midly related beautiful scan of early 3-D Glasses prototypes: