The Subroc-3D wiki last edited by Jagged85 on 02/17/15 10:25PM View full history


Subroc-3D is a stereoscopic 3D, sprite-scaling shooter, that takes place from a first-person perspective. It was released in Japan and North America in 1982, and in Europe in January 1983.

In its original form, the game features a large, periscope-like controller that mounts to the front of the arcade cabinet. Not only does this provide the controls used to play the game, it also provides the filters necessary to display the action in 3D. If 2D play is desired or if the game is installed in a more traditional cabinet that doesn't have the periscope, a DIP switch on the game's board allows the operator to switch off the 3D effect.

Moving left and right scrolls the player's viewpoint around the sea, while moving a control lever up or down determines altitude. With boats on the water and jets and UFOs flying overhead, players will need to rise or fall to aim at multiple targets. Most enemies fire back with missiles, torpedos, or grenades. If these items are on-screen when they reach the player's position, they explode and a life is lost. As avoiding enemy fire is as easy as scrolling shots off-screen, the early rounds in Subroc-3D aren't especially challenging. Later rounds feature more active enemies that fire faster and more frequently.

Stereoscopic 3D

The 3D filters in the original arcade cabinet are rapidly spinning discs that are housed inside the periscope and create a "shutter" style of 3D. Jointly developed by Sega and Matsushita, this stereoscopic 3D system was considered revolutionary at the time, as it was a major improvement over the red-blue anaglyph 3D glasses used for movies at the time, and was a precursor to the LCD shutter glasses used for most 3D movies and games today. However, the motors used to spin these half-clear, half-black discs are said to be somewhat cheap, which often led to malfunctioning units.

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