Amiga Forever 2006 Released

Matt Barton's picture

AmigaAmigaOne of the most frequently asked questions on this site concerns Amiga emulation. Those of who were lucky enough to have Amigas growing up love to talk about how advanced and ahead-of-their-time these multitasking masterpieces really were. This kind of talk tends to get folks interested, but when they try to get an emulator like WinUAE working on their PC, they're flummoxed. Where are those ROMs??? Furthermore, even died-in-the-wool Amigans may find it tricky to dump the ROMs and get everything running smoothly. Well, one turnkey solution to the whole mess is offered by Cloanto and Amiga Forever, who have just released the 2006 Edition of their Amiga emulator. The price for the online edition is $30, which you can download and have running in minutes. Cloanto has been doing some great work for the Amiga community, and I'm excited about the enhancements to this commercial emulator. I'm downloading my copy at the moment and will hopefully have a review up soon! Press release follows the fold.

Amiga Forever 2006 Released and Shipping

Cloanto released Amiga Forever 2006, the latest version of the award-winning Amiga preservation, emulation and support suite for Windows and other platforms.

The Amiga computer, launched by Commodore in 1985, combined superior multimedia technology with ease of use, inspiring millions of the most creative and enthusiastic computer users ever. The different editions of Amiga Forever, which are published by Cloanto, Amiga developers since 1986, blend high-quality software and original content with the ultimate set of videos to chronicle and let the public experience firsthand the history, culture, challenges and passion behind the Amiga.

Amiga Forever 2006 is available in an Online Edition (compact download for Windows), a Plus Edition (downloadable cross-platform CD ISO image) and a Premium Edition (CD plus two video DVDs). All versions of Amiga Forever make it possible to run Amiga software on non-Amiga computers, giving access to thousands of Amiga games and demoscene productions which are available for free download from software publishers and Amiga history sites alike. The Plus Edition and Premium Edition include more preinstalled games and demos, additional items of historical interest and several hours of videos.

Compared to the previous release, Amiga Forever 2006 features 200 MB of new Amiga games and demoscene productions (CD version) and hundreds of enhancements. Some titles, such as Eric Chahi's Another World, have been re-released as a special build for Amiga Forever 2006. Amiga Forever 2006 features enhanced compatibility with popular Amiga add-ons such as AmiKit, AmigaSYS and AROS for Amiga (AFA), while introducing new third-party ROMs. "These recent developments are only a small sign of the work we are doing to make Amiga Forever more open and appealing to a diverse audience", said Cloanto's Michael C. Battilana, who was recently uncovered as "The man with green hair" next to Jay Miner, "father of the Amiga", on the Amiga Forever back cover.

Presented by the people who made it all possible, the videos on the two Premium Edition DVDs provides a unique insight into the history of computers and multimedia, exposing the relationship between Commodore, the Amiga, an increasingly mature PC market, and the ups and downs of the video games industry. "This DVD set has some incredible footage from the early Amiga days. I really enjoyed watching the launch of the Amiga and interviews with the creator of the Amiga, Jay Miner," said Brian Bagnall, author of On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore. "If you want to know more about what was going on behind the scenes, this is for you."

The Amiga Forever team will meet to present Amiga Forever 2006 in person at Codex Alpe Adria, the yearly event organized by Cloanto the first week-end of July. Bernd Schmidt, the original author of the UAE Amiga emulation software that made the first version of Amiga Forever possible in 1997, will join the small crowd of Amiga and alternative computing developers, sceners and enthusiasts in two weeks.

The Amiga Forever team would again like to thank the Amiga Community for its support during these 20 years of Amiga and almost 10 years of Amiga Forever.

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Amiga Forever

Well, I must say that it doesn't get much easier than this to get Amiga emulation up and running on a PC. I got the PLUS edition, so I was pre-loaded with some great games and demos. If you don't know what I mean here by "demos," that's a good reason to get this package. Demos for the Amiga aren't "previews" or playable ads for games; they are stand-alone programs that show off the hardware's immense capabilities. Generally they are put together by hackers (the creative, not the criminal kind!) who want to show the world their skills. Back in the day, nothing would make an Amigan prouder than showing off these amazing demos to his PC friends, who were limited to monochrome and CGA graphics, not to mention the world's crappiest sound. It took a long time for even high-end PCs to catch up with the Amiga in terms of graphics and sound.

Anyway, Amiga Forever 2006 comes with a "launcher" that makes it point-and-click simple to get these games and demos up and running. No need to bother with configurations and such; these can be a nightmare for inexperienced Amiga users because of the bewildering array of OS versions and chip configurations required by the software. A program that runs fine on 1.0 won't run at all on 1.3, and so on, to say nothing of the problems associated with ram and graphics chips. Trust me, you want the launcher.

The pack-in games are some of the best on the Amiga system. Mindwalker was the first commercial game for the platform and remains one of the best (seconded only by Defender of the Crown) in my opinion. It's staggeringly original and sets a psychedelic mood like no other. The ambient marimba music alone makes it worth checking out. Also included is Deluxe Galaga, one of the best shoot'em ups I've ever played, and a game called Ports of Call. This last game is a graphically rich strategy game (by Sachs, same guy as Defender of the Crown) involving cargo ships. My dad and I stayed up all night playing this game on countless weekends.

Of course, there are some priceless Amiga treasures missing here, so you'll need to hit a site like Back to the Roots (which appears to be down at this moment) to get gems like Defender of the Crown, which any Amigan worth his AREXX will tell you is the best Amiga strategy game, period. Other must-see Amiga titles include the Shadow of the Beast series, The Settlers), Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Stunt Car Racer, Turrican (1-3), and Syndicate. There are many other Amiga classics that are available in decent form on other platforms, but these are the ones I'd expect to see in any serious Amiga collection.

The Amiga Forever package also includes Workbench 3.x, which has some interesting tools on it--including a web browser. I wasn't able to login to this site with it, but was able to surf the net a bit and think of what might have been. Honestly, though, at this point I don't know who would be using Amiga productivity software unless they were nostalgic. As far as I'm concerned, the Amiga never even had a top-notch word processor, though Deluxe Paint IV was one of the most user-friendly yet powerful graphics editors I've had the pleasure of playing with. The games are the only thing that keeps me coming back!

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
great deal indeed

My Amiga emulation needs were met by a previous version of Amiga forever / Cloanto. It's very easy to setup indeed and comes with all sorts of profiles resembling specific amiga machines. But I wanted to run a newer Workbench and I ended up going for the newer WinUAE releases that allow me to run Workbench 3.9 and a proper workbench configures just like it was on my old real system. But the applications on the Amiga are getting outdated, there's no need to go back and run Wordperfect for Amiga or Graphics programs like Dluxe Paint since there are better, more versatile and more compatible programs on Windows, Linux, MacOS. Emulation of the games that is what takes me back to the Amiga platform - if you want an easy to configure Emulator and play games at 100% perfect speeds and emulation go for Amiga forever. You'll be able to use more kickstarts legally. There is a freeware alternative frontend to WinUAE that works like the Gamebase releases catering emulation of other platforms, providing compatible WinUAE settings, screenshots and game management.
I am on the Mac right now and don't remember the exact name of that package. Sebastian Brassard recommended it for Amiga Emulation on the old forums.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Cloanto Includes Cracked Arkanoid!

I was a bit surprised to discover that the version of Arkanoid included with the Amiga Forever Plus package is a cracked version--the same "Always rember[sic]: Star Frontiers!" version I played as a youth. :-)

No comment!

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Cracked Games in Official Products

Ironically that's the only way to make some classic games runnable, Matt. I remember Jeri had to modify the cracked versions of game for her to get them to run on that Commodore 64 in a joystick product from a few years back. Piracy is bad on its own, but sometimes it's helpful in ways never anticipated.

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Kristina_A
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Joined: 08/04/2006
Amiga Games

I've read your posts and I just wanna write one more interesting website with good collection of amiga games. Here's the link: http://www.download-full-games.com/amiga/games/index.html This website is full of free download games, overviews and screenshots. Good luck and have fun!

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