Martin Hooley was the owner of Imagitec and responsible for five Raiden ports
First of all, how did imagitec land the gig to do the atari conversions of Raiden?
Well, it all started when I was introduced to Jack Tramiel by Robert Stein of Andromeda Software and it kind of went from there, really. Once he saw what we could do he was very interested in working with us and gave us loads of support in terms of giving us development machines and hardware to work with. The first title we did for Atari was licensed to them and was to develop a port of Viking Child on the Lynx. From there we ended up working on numerous games for the Atari 7800, Atari ST, Falcon, Jaguar, Jaguar CD and Lynx. We already had experience of porting arcade shoot-’em ups, with both Silkworm and Gemini Wing, so Raiden seemed like a natural fit.
What support did atari give you?
They gave us a real arcade machine, which was really good, as we usually just got a board and had to connect it up ourselves. In terms of a dev kit we were given some Atari TT computers, but these were upgraded to Falcons with 14MB of memory and hard drives.
Did anyone from atari get involved in the development of Raiden?
The producer at Atari was John Skruch and his assistant was Julie Long – they were bloody fantastic folk. Imagitec already had a great relationship with them and they always gave us loads of useful feedback. As you know, the effective boss of Atari was Sam [Tramiel] – who was a really good bloke. The CTO was his brother Leonard
– he was a different matter. He would hear no wrong to their hardware, if you got into it about problems with the hardware his standard answer was that ‘maybe it is your skill/aptitude at fault – not our hardware’, so we generally stayed out of his way!
Raiden already had a fantastic soundtrack but imagitec added two extra tracks for the Jaguar version. Can you tell us about the decision to do this and how you kept it in keeping with the original music?
We already had a great reputation for our audio studio and had created lots of freelance music for companies such as Gremlin Graphics and Electronic Arts. So we already had expert musicians who knew what they were doing, I pretty much let them do their own thing as I trusted them to provide the goods. I do remember that our music player on the Jag was a modified Protracker player so all our existing Amiga Mods would play, making conversion work easy. We had eight channels of sound with four for music and four for effects. Atari ended up licensing this from us to use on other games.
Was converting Raiden a big deal for imagitec?
Oh yes, most definitely. After we did the cancelled Panther, Jaguar and Falcon versions of the game we were also making ports for the PC and Amiga, too. Atari were going to publish the PC version, but we couldn’t find a publisher for the Amiga port so that was scrapped. We ended up getting the licence from Fabtek to publish the PC conversion ourselves.