Friday 30 October 2020

Cauldron (Palace Software, 1985)

Design and graphics by Steve Brown
Programming by Richard Leinfellner
Music and sounds by Keith Miller
Published originally for the Commodore 64 by Palace Software in April 1985.
Published in North America by Broderbund in 1986.

Conversion for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum:
Programming by Simon Dunstan and Tony Barber as "The RamJam Corporation"
Graphics by Steve Brown
Published by Palace Software in June 1985.

Conversion for the Amstrad CPC:
Programming by Richard Leinfellner
Graphics by Steve Brown
Music and sounds by Richard Joseph
Published by Palace Software in November 1985.

Also released as "Hexenküche" in Germany.

Unofficial version for Commodore 16/+4 written by Thomas Sasvári and released as "Hexenküche" by TCFS in 1990. (NOTE: This was brought to my attention after the original post by a reader, and the entry has been updated accordingly.)



The sudden appearance of yet another Halloween in the calendar prompted me to dig out this beast of a game from my to-do list. Cauldron was never one of my particular favourites in its genre, due to reasons you will likely understand shortly by reading this article, but for its history of conception, it deserves to be featured on the blog. Besides, it's b-side (Evil Dead) has already been compared many years ago, and of course, what would Halloween be without a properly thematic entry?

Thursday 22 October 2020

FRGCB YouTube channel update

This year, I have been concentrating more on creating video content for FRGCB's YouTube channel than last year, which has made things a bit slower here on the actual blog. Well, that will not be changing for at least another year or so, but I will be attempting a change of pace in some manner. But for now, the FRGCB YouTube channel's exclusive content will be taking a break of at least a few months, and you can expect My Nostalgia Trip Games and Let's Play series continuing sometime before the second quarter of 2021. Until then, comparison accompaniment videos will proceed when necessary. All the videos released so far can be found in the Videos section. Thanks for watching. 👍

Thursday 1 October 2020

TWOFER #21: Mr. Do's Wild Ride! (Universal Co., Ltd., 1984) + Kong Strikes Back! (Ocean Software, 1984)

Originally developed and released by Universal Co., Ltd. for the arcades in 1984.

Ported for the MSX computers by Masamitsu Kobayashi, and published by Colpax in 1985.

Re-branded, developed and published by Ocean Software as "Kong Strikes Back!" for Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1984, and Amstrad CPC in 1985, with cover art by Bob Wakelin.

Spectrum version written by Nigel Alderton and Jonathan Smith.
Amstrad version written by Michael Webb.
C64 version's programmer currently unknown.
Music for Amstrad and C64 by Martin Galway.
Loading screen by Frederick David Thorpe.



An odd choice this time. Mr. Do is one of those arcade characters that don't necessarily connect to all that many retrogamers, particularly those who grew up with the NES or Sega's equivalent. Somewhat perversely, the original Mr. Do game did find its way to Super NES and even Game Boy in the 1990's, and it's also one of those games that had its fair share of direct clones for various machines, which is why I chose not to write about the original game - at least, not yet. Instead, I chose the third game in the series (which features five games all in all) - Mr. Do's Wild Ride, which I got to know first as Kong Strikes Back! on the ZX Spectrum as a wee lad. It took me a good while to find out the origins of this game, well into the 2000's, because Mr. Do was never as interesting to me personally, as anything based on Donkey Kong was. Only when I found out a couple of months ago, that the game was actually ported for the MSX computers with its original title, I began considering writing a comparison of it, and here we are.