The original arcade cabinet’s stereoscopic 3D filters produce a “shutter” kind of 3D using quickly spinning discs contained inside the periscope. This stereoscopic 3D technology created jointly by Sega and Matsushita, and it was hailed as groundbreaking at the time since it was a significant advancement over the red-blue anaglyph 3D glasses then in use and a forerunner to the LCD shutter glasses used for the majority of 3D movies and games today.
Contrast this with the graphics found in 3D polygonal games like Virtua Fighter and vector games like Battlezone, because they employ algorithms to show correctly scaled and rotated pictures to provide the appearance of three dimensions in a two-dimensional display. SubRoc’s graphics are two-dimensional, and SubRoc uses hand-drawn, two-dimensional sprites that are arranged in a three-dimensional tableau as its visuals.
The following is from the Arcade Museum:
Subroc 3D is a fairly strange first-person perspective shoot-em-up. The play involves switching between firing at underwater and air enemies. The interesting feature is that it is in 3-D thanks to a special eyepiece.
- Orientation: Horizontal
- Type: Raster: Standard Resolution
- CRT: Color
Conversion Class: unique
Settings: SubRoc-3D Dipswitch Settings
Number of Simultaneous Players: 1
Maximum number of Players: 2
Control Panel Layout: Single Player
The game itself is modelled after old submarine style games in which the player targets enemies through a “periscope” like eyepiece. The play is from a first person perspective. With enemies approaching from the air and underwater. The 3D effect is implemented as a pair of rotating disks in the eyepiece, along with a pair of shifting images displayed on the monitor. Each of these disks is painted half black and the other half being clear. A circuit in the eyepiece synchronizes the two disks so that when one eye is covered by the black part of one disk, so the other can see through the clear part of the second disk.
*pictures are of the actual game for sale*
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