Neo Geo

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Credits
Descriptions by
Henrynguye5

Captures by
Henrynguye5

Editions by
Henrynguye5

Background

Neo Geo is a family of video game hardware developed by SNK. On the market from 1990 to 2004, the brand originated with the release of an arcade system, the Neo Geo MVS and its home console counterpart, the Neo Geo AES.

The Neo Geo MVS was successful with arcade operators worldwide. Both the MVS and AES were powerful for the time, and the AES allows for fully authentic versions of games released for the MVS. However, the high price for both the AES console and its games prevented it from directly competing with its contemporaries, the Sega Genesis, Super NES, and TurboGrafx-16.

Years later, SNK released the Neo Geo CD, a more cost-effective console with games released on compact discs. The console was met with limited success, due in part to its slow CD-ROM drive. In an attempt to compete with increasingly popular 3D games, SNK released the Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade system in 1997 as the successor to its aging MVS. The system did not fare well and only a few games were released for it. A planned home console based on the hardware was never released. SNK later extended the brand by releasing two handheld consoles, the Neo Geo Pocket, and later Neo Geo Pocket Color, which briefly competed with Nintendo's Game Boy. Soon after their release, SNK encountered various legal and financial issues - however, the original Neo Geo MVS and AES continued getting new games under new ownership until officially being discontinued in 2004, ending the brand.

In December 2012, SNK Playmore released a handheld console based on the original AES, the Neo Geo X. As of March 1997, the Neo Geo had sold 980,000 units worldwide. The Neo Geo Pocket Color also has been given praise for multiple innovations, and a very substantial library, despite its short life.

Neo Geo

(April 26, 1990-July 15, 2004)

Logo: On a white background, we see the text "NEO•GEO", which is reversed, unfold. The background turns black as "NEO·GEO" flips up to its correct side, then "MAX 330 MEGA PRO-GEAR SPEC" is being typed out, and a SNK logo flashes on the screen.

Variant: For games that use ROM sizes larger than 330 megabits, after the Neo Geo text unfolds, we would see a white line with "GIGA POWER" on it, followed by "PRO-GEAR SPEC" typing out below, then the SNK logo flashing below.

Technique: The logo flipping and turning, the remaining text being typed out.

Music/Sounds: As a synthesized "news teletype"-like sounder plays, we hear eight synth xylophone notes, pausing between the fourth and fifth notes, and the last note leaving an echo.

Music/Sounds Variants: Depending on the game, the instrumentation of the music would change. Some of these had lighter versions of the tune. Others can be heard here, with the most special ones described below:

  • On Gururin, a sped-up version of the jingle was heard.
  • On Quest of Jongmaster, a jazzy and quite dissonant version of the theme is heard.
  • On Neo Bomberman and Stakes Winner, a drumbeat can be heard.

Availability: Common. Seen on all Neo Geo games for the MVS and AES systems during its attract mode, being a very long-lived platform. It was preserved on Wii Virtual Console releases of certain games of the system’s library and is currently preserved on their respective Arcade Archives releases for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch (the Giga Power intro on all Giga Power titles were cut, however).

Neo Geo CD

1st Logo (September 9, 1994-1997)

Neo Geo CD startup 1.jpg

Logo: On a black background, we see a CD in the middle. "NEO-GEO CD", in gray, and with "CD" in a gold outline, spins around the CD, then when it settles to the bottom, the letters clump together toward the left and stretch out. The CD then flips to reveal two orange half-octagons, one smiling and one in shock (similar in concept to comedy and drama masks).

Technique: The text spinning around the CD, the CD flipping.

Music/Sounds: A futuristic whoosh sound, then a synth chime.

Availability: Rare. Seen when a front-loader Neo Geo CD (only released in Japan) is turned on.

2nd Logo (1995-1997)

Neo Geo CD startup 2.jpg

Logo: We see a CD against a shooting space background. "NEO-GEO CD", this time in orange for "NEO-GEO", and an orange outline for "CD", flies all around the CD. The words then shoot forward as the shooting space background turns black and the CD flips up to reveal the same half-octagons from the first logo, this time colored black for the smiling octagon, with a silver outline, and colored silver for the shocked octagon. Sparkles are seen on the octagons when "NEO-GEO CD" turns silver, and then, we fade out.

Technique: All the animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: Two "whooshes" that sound like a jet taking off, then a downward majestic synth sounder.

Availability: Seen when a top-loader Neo Geo CD is turned on. The games are rare, so you may want to check eBay or Amazon to find them.

Neo Geo Pocket

(March 16, 1999-2001)

Logo: On a black background, the white letters "NEO GEO" fly out, rotating themselves into place. Afterwards, a thin pulse is fired out, the screen turns white, and "NEO GEO" turns black, actually fading in on the left side of the screen. Also, an abstract tilted red "P" appears, with the word "OCKET" next to the "P", which has red lines appearing over it; forming the word "POCKET", and a blue SNK logo appears below.

Variant: There is a version in black-and-white as well; the Neo Geo Pocket was originally a black-and-white handheld console when it launched in late 1998 before getting a color upgrade a few months later.

Technique: All the animation in the logo, which is much better than the previous two logos.

Music/Sounds: An 8-bit chip-tune fanfare, with what sounds like a rising slide whistle in the middle of the jingle.

Availability: Seen when a Neo Geo Pocket or Neo Geo Pocket Color is turned on. The latter is hard to find outside of Japan, as it did not sell very well, but it should be easier to find in Japan, as it was a little more successful there. The Neo Geo Pocket was only released and sold in Japan. We've heard mostly positive reviews about both systems on YouTube, so they are worth a look.

Hyper Neo Geo 64

(September 10, 1997-May 21, 1999)

Logo: On a white background, we see the words "NEOGEO", in a faded Brock font, fading in letter-by-letter, rotating themselves into place. "HYPER" later flies around the other text, and when "HYPER" positions itself over "NEOGEO", the logo zooms away and turns steel gray as the background goes dark and a blue "64" appears.

Variants:

  • The standard animation is extended on Road's Edge and Xtreme Rally. On Samurai Shodown 64, the animation is sped-up.
  • On Beast Busters: Second Nightmare, each of the three elements flash in one-by-one.
  • On Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage, the logo appears by a red flash.
  • On Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, both texts come out upside-down over a black background, with the 64 later joining in. The logo rotates into the center before a beam effect appears and the screen flashes, as the darkened logo is shown.
  • On Buriki One, the logo zooms out into place.

Technique: All the animation in the logo.

Music/Sounds: Depending on the game:

  • Road's Edge and Xtreme Rally: A majestic synth sounder, a "THUD!", and a zapping sound.
  • Samurai Shodown 64: A held-out choir note.
  • Beast Busters: Second Nightmare: None.
  • Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage: A sci-fi explosion.
  • Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition: Three whooshing noises, a hit and a held-out synth note.
  • Buriki One: A mechanical hitting sound effect once the logo stops zooming.

Availability: Seen when a Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade cabinet is turned on. Only seven games were made for that cabinet.

Neo Geo X

(December 18, 2012-late 2013)

Neo Geo X startup .jpg

Logo: Same as the Neo Geo logo, but there's an "X" after "NEO·GEO" and the animation plays more slowly, and the words "MAX 330 MEGA PRO-GEAR SPEC" doesn't type in, making the SNK logo appear suddenly after the background turns black.

Technique: Same as the Neo Geo logo but with some differences.

Music/Sounds: Silent.

Availability: Rare, due to manufacturing only lasting a year. Seen when a Neo Geo X console is turned on.

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