Blog:Deep Blue Something

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Deep Blue Something

by CRV (talk) | Originally posted April 1, 2019

This is what I would call one of the quintessential TurboGrafx-16 games, as far as the US market is concerned, because it makes me question the judgment of those who decided to release it over other, better games.

Deep Blue is the saga of a "Fish Attack Sub" that takes on evil aliens and the aquatic life that have been mutated in their wake. It's like Darius...kinda.

As soon as you turn the game on, you're immediately struck by the ostentatious presentation. Music worthy of any undersea epic accompanies large, detailed graphics that make for great screenshots on the back of the box. It's clear why NEC decided to bring this one to the States.

Unfortunately, all that 16-bit, next generation flair is undermined by the game design, which consists almost entirely of shooting at wave after wave of enemy fish that move in repetitive patterns. They don't shoot; they just ram into you. If you're not careful, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

On the plus side, you have a power gauge and can take multiple hits. You also heal automatically over time. If you can get the hang of things, this is a playable game, but it's understandable why most people don't like it.

Deep Blue was originally released in Japan by Pack-In-Video. The developer has been harder to pinpoint because there are no credits, but it was a company called Hi-Score Media Work, publisher of the game magazine Hi-Score. (You can read more about Hi-Score Media Work in my Zombie Hunter post.)

A writer who once worked for Hi-Score magazine tweeted the following in 2021:

"When I was working at Hi-Score, I remember K-san was working on the program in the development room next door. I often saw him being rushed by his superiors, as the development seemed to be lagging behind. By the way, the editorial department was not involved in the development of the game, and I remember that we only played it briefly. (We were not asked to debug anything.)"

He also said in 2020 that "K-san had little knowledge of STG [shooting games]."

In 2017, animator Itsuki Imazaki posted sketches and a design proposal (written by the aforementioned K-san? [1]) on Twitter. [2] [3] [4] According to the replies here, he was working in the Hi-Score editorial department at the time.

Yasuo Torai did the original package illustration for Deep Blue, as well as the original source character design, logo design, and manual cover illustration for Zombie Hunter, and illustrations for Hi-Score magazine.

Post updated May 11, 2021