Monday 30 March 2015

Rick Dangerous (Rainbird/MicroPlay, 1989)

Developed by Core Design Ltd.

Coding by Simon Phipps. Graphics by Simon Phipps and Terry Lloyd. Music and sound effects by Ben Daglish, David Pridmore, Simon Phipps and Terry Lloyd. Other miscellaneous bits by Bob Churchill, Rob Toone, Simon Phipps and Terry Lloyd.

AMSTRAD CPC conversion by David Pridmore. COMMODORE 64 conversion by Stuart Gregg with music by David Pridmore. DOS conversion by David Pridmore and Stuart Gregg, with art by Terry Lloyd. SINCLAIR ZX SPECTRUM conversion by Terry Lloyd. Published for the European market by Firebird Software Ltd., and for the North American market by MicroPlay Software in 1989.

Unofficial conversion for the MSX2 by Paragon Productions in 1992. Another unofficial conversion for the ACORN ARCHIMEDES by The Hitmen Software in 1995. Remade for the 128k AMSTRAD CPC+ computers in 2009 by Carl-Stephane Berquez, BDC Iron and MacDeath.



One of the most important platforming games of the late 80's was born alongside the hype of what was at the time supposedly final part in the series of Indiana Jones movies - the Last Crusade. Rick Dangerous did what hadn't been properly done before: it brought the action aspect of Indiana Jones successfully into computer games - much more so than Montezuma's Revenge. All the official Indy games had been more or less half-arsed attempts, but Rick Dangerous was made as a humorous, although playable and challenging tribute to everyone's favourite archaeologist. The style of the game was familiar to most 80's gamers, of course, since most of Core Design, the team behind the game, had been former employees of Gremlin Graphics. Such a success the game turned out to be, that it spawned not only a sequel, but worked as the basic blueprint for the same company's greater success formula in Tomb Raider. But let's focus on the original, shall we.

Sunday 22 March 2015

LED Storm (Capcom, 1988)

Planned by Piston Takashi and Tomoshi Sadamoto. Designed by Tomoshi Sadamoto. Programming by N. Kaneko, Akikoro, Ken.Ken and Maekawa. Character Design by K. Ashenden. Graphics by Puttun.midori, Inu and Innocent Saicho. Sounds by Ogeretsukun. Hardware design by Masayan.

Released into the arcades worldwide in 1988 as "LED Storm Rally 2011", and into the Japanese arcades as "Mad Gear" in 1989.

Converted for the Amstrad CPC by Software Creations: Coding by Dean Belfield, Graphics by Wayne Blake and John Tatlock, Music and sound effects by Tim Follin, Published by Go! in 1988.

Converted for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga by Software Creations: Coding by David J. Broadhurst, Graphics by Andrew R. Threlfall, Music driver code by Mike Follin, Music and sound effects by Tim Follin, Published in the USA by Capcom and worldwide by Go! in 1988.

Converted for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum by Software Creations: Coding by Mike Follin, Graphics by John Tatlock and Andrew R. Threlfall, Music and sound effects by Tim Follin, Published by Go! in 1988.

Converted for the Commodore 64 by Software Creations: Coding by Stephen Ruddy, Graphics by Andrew R. Threlfall and Mark Wilson, Music and sound effects by Tim Follin, Published in the USA by Capcom and worldwide by Go! in 1989.



There seems to be a focus on racing games currently on the blog, although some of it is purely coincidental. This time, the comparison stems from another request/suggestion made by slenkar at the World of Spectrum forums a few months ago, but I confess racing games usually make for easier writing, which is one of the reasons I chose to do this one now. So, hopefully this meets your approval.

Thursday 12 March 2015

TWOFER #10: Racing Special!

John Anderson's Rally Speedway

Written for the Atari 8-bits and Commodore 64 by John Anderson. Released for the Atari 8-bits through Adventure International in 1983, and for the Commodore 64 through Commodore International in 1984.

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race

Written for the Atari 8-bits by Alex DeMeo. Converted for the Commodore 64 by Alex DeMeo and Kevin Kalkut. Converted for the Apple ][ by Ivan Manley for Synergistic Software Inc. Published by Activision in 1985.



Because of the current controversies with Top Gear, I got myself in a bit of a racing mode, so decided to hurry up my work on this two-for-one entry, which is another thematic one, similarly to the last couple of twofers. Actually, my original idea was doing another Format Wars article for the RESET magazine about Rally Speedway, but I had already done a versus battle against the Atari too recently, so I took a long and hard thought about what should I lump to go with it. Another John Anderson game would have been a great choice, but since Arex was just barely available for the C64, and it could only be played with a lightpen of all things, I went for a more comfortable choice instead, and took another racing game, which I had at some point considered for Format Wars: The Great American Cross-Country Road Race (a bit of a mouthful, isn't it?) from Activision. Both games have something else in common to make it even more fitting for a twofer, but more on that later on.

Thursday 5 March 2015

Firepower (MicroIllusions, 1988)

Created and designed by Baron Reichart Kurt von Wolfsheild. Coding by William A. Ware. Produced by Silent Software, Inc. for the Commodore Amiga in 1987, and released by MicroIllusions in 1988.

Converted for the IBM-PC compatibles by Mark Snow. Released by MicroIllusions in 1988.

Converted for the Apple //GS by Stephen P. Lepisto. Converted for the Commodore 64 by Stephen C. Biggs and Ken Grant with graphics by Les Pardew. Released by MicroIllusions in 1989.

Some sources (Wikipedia and MobyGames) claim that a version also exists for the Atari ST, but none of the major Atari websites support this claim. Also, unreleased versions were reportedly made for the Macintosh Classic and WebTV. This article will not talk about those - you can find all the necessary information on Wikipedia.



Let's start this month on another foot, and focus on the 16-bits for a change. Somehow, Firepower (or "Fire Power" as it is written on the cover) was one of the most widely circulated Amiga games in my area at the turn of the decade. I don't think any of us ever really saw the game as anything more than a pirated copy, and it seems that most people on the internet have had a similar acquaintance with the game, because hunting down a good cover picture took more time than it has ever done for any game on this blog previously. There is one problem with the game that makes it less attractive for the collectors who collect games to play: it's basically a two-player game. Also, the game is surprisingly rare as an original MicroIllusions release for any machine, and the CDS re-releases look hideous enough that no-one but the most obsessed collectors would think of adding it to their collection.