Porting retro games: M2

M2 Complete Works


As part of my exploration to better understand how games can be preserved and made accessible through play, I have been using the Youtube platform to explore the variety of channels related to video games culture. Retro gaming focused channels have been a specific way of looking at the topic of preservation and accessibility through play. 

 MyLifeinGaming YouTube channel is one such example,  they recently produced a  short documentary about M2 a Japanese game development company that has built a reputation for authentic and  innovative “porting” of arcade games from the golden age of Japanese gaming called M2: Complete Works.  M2’s signature consist of adding something extra and/or improving the original play experience of the game while preserving its original soul. This one hour documentary tells the story of M2’s twenty five year history in as 


The M2 documentary is an opportunity to explore various preservation and accessibility questions around video games. This includes questions of assets, code base, gameplay experience (nostalgic accuracy), challenges in translating to home console format from unique arcade setups.  Other porting challenges discussed are input lag,  CRT colour accuracy when scaling to HD, preserving aspect ratio and reproducing sound fx and music from the original hardware.

Specific moments that show M2 approaches emulation and preservation are:

  • the process to porting the Galaga the arcade game and maintaining the star stuttering fields in the background.
  • Developing virtual dip switches to simulate original arcade machine
  • Developing 3d versions of classic Sega arcade game for Nintendo 3DS

Additional facts:

M2 contributed to the “arcade collection” genre on Sony PS2,

M2 worked on a series updated Konami games for  Wiiware games for digital download service

M2 developed the Sega Genesis mini / Turbo Grafx 16 mini console of games where they developed custom emulation to preserve the original games experience


How do we move forward preserving and making games accessible as hardware and setups change? 

What is the value of emulation vs original hardware ?

What is the knowledge captured behind  their process?

What is the value of preserving these games?

Is it important to preserver these games, 

Will they just always be reported? 

How do we apply this .. and what is the future of indie games? 

What happens after the nostalgia period for these games run out and there is no longer market demand to fund the preservation of these games?


My Life in Gaming

Join Coury Carlson and Marc “Try4ce” Duddleson as they recollect their experiences with video games over the years, explain how to get the best picture from your retro consoles, and occasionally mash up new video games with VHS technology from the 80’s and 90’s. 

source: MyLifeinGaming Youtube channel about

M2 Official Website

M2 Wikipedia page

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