The Proto-RTS Game

In my eternal quest to choose the most marketable and popular topics for videos here on the your tubes, I decided I’d put something together about all the real-time strategy games on SNES. That idea was rubbish, as there’s not very many of them and they’re mainly Amiga ports. Throw the Mega Drive in there, though, and you’ve got yourself a video topic. The quick and early reminder, like the Youtube people told me to do: you should subscribe, because subscriptions put hair on my chest and make me smile like this. Also I play Casinoslots Ireland, and any and all support on there is greatly appreciated – even a dollar makes me smile like this. Right, so, the RTS isn’t a genre that’s ever been associated with consoles.

It’s at home on PC; the greats like Command and Conquer, Starcraft, Total Annihilation, and Gender Wars all proving to be classics on the home computer – and at best an afterthought on console, if they even came out there at all. But there was a surprising number of RTSes that came to the Mega Drive and SNES in the late 80s and early 90s. I say surprising, I mean 16 of them. Here’s your list, friends. If you’ve ever paid attention to anything – which I recommend you do, if only to stop you from making those idiotic comments you definitely make all over Youtube – you’ll know Herzog Zwei is one of the very earliest real-time strategy games ever made. You’ll also know what makes it odd in that respect is that it was released exclusively on the Mega Drive, helping to kickstart a genre that would soon find its home on the PC. What a zany world we do indeed live in.

Now going to back to Werner’s finest hour it’s clear that this is very much the proto-RTS. There are elements there you’ll know and instantly recognise, like building units and capturing bases to improve production, but it’s all caught inside some obtuse late-80s Japanese console game logic, coupled with difficulty that actively makes you want to cry. It’s actually a mix of arcade shooter and RTS, with direct control over your main unit – a transforming ship/robot – providing most of the combat as you pootle about and try to shoot down your enemy’s equivalent before you run out of fuel and oh! you’ve lost again. Herzog Zwei also acted as an early inspiration for MOBAs, but seeing as I’ve never bothered with that and have no intimate knowledge of it, I’ll just make some sweeping generalisation about the entire genre and pass it off as Informed Opinion zing. Yeah, Herzog, it’s alright, you know? Genuinely interesting from a historical perspective, and all that. It’s just really hard when you’ve no idea what you’re doing. The game that actually popularised the RTS on PC made its way to Mega Drive too, in an early example of Westwood bothering to bring its games to console.

The Proto-RTS Game