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?

At the time of starting to write this entry, the C64 version had a score of a clean 7 out of 10 at Lemon64 from 125 votes; the Amstrad version had a similar 16.16 out of 20.00 at CPC-Power, and a more impressive 9 out of 10 at CPC Game Reviews; and the archived rating at World of Spectrum (checked through Internet Archive) was 7.67 from 68 votes in 2018. The unofficial C16/+4 version has a surprisingly impressive 8.2 out of 10 from 8 votes at Plus/4 World. Since the C16/+4 Hexenküche is basically an unofficial demake, it has its own brief spot of exposure at the end of this article. Now, here's to hoping the new WOS gets their rating system reinstated some day...



Cauldron was originally planned to be the official movie licence computer game of Halloween, for which Palace Software had gotten the rights for. Reportedly, as Steve Brown worked on his designs for the game, it never really turned out as a good enough representation of the movie, and with protests of violence in movies going on at the time, it was decided that a game based on such a movie was not the most politically sensible thing to do at the time, so the designs for the Halloween game were turned into more child-friendly concepts that became Cauldron. And so far, the only official game based on the Halloween movie that we know of, was released on the Atari 2600.

The game that eventually got finished, combined two distinct genres: shoot'em-up and platforming, both of which have their own unique enough feel not to call them straight rip-offs of any specific game. Sure, the shooting parts feel like Defender and the platforming bits feel like Jet Set Willy, but they have enough of their own thing going on to make it a coherent whole of a unique game experience. The idea is to take the role of a witch, who needs to kill the Pumpkin King, in order to become the Witch Queen.

This is a notoriously difficult game, particularly on the C64. Back in the day, reviewers praised the game's design, but abused it of its ridiculous difficulty level, which was readjusted for the Spectrum and Amstrad versions. When Broderbund finally released the game for the North American market in 1987, the C64 version had also been readjusted to make for a more player-friendly experience. That doesn't mean it's all that much better, but it's good to have alternatives.

What makes Cauldron a more specifically important game is its even more difficult sequel, and the fact that these two games were commercially successful, game Steve Brown more freedom for his biggest effort on the 8-bits: Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior. That alone should make Cauldron (and its sequel) worth having a look at, if you're a retrogaming connoisseur, but for the more common folk, I'm not so sure.



If you're a fan of comparing tape loading times, then, by Jove, you are in for a treat. Sort of. Cauldron was re-released by Firebird's sub-label Silverbird in 1988 for Spectrum and C64, both of which include different loaders from the originals, and the Amstrad version came with two different loaders on either side of the tape. Even later on, Hi-Tec re-released both Cauldron games as a compilation tape for the C64.

AMSTRAD, SLOW: 8 minutes 45 seconds
AMSTRAD, FAST: 4 minutes 55 seconds
C64, PALACE: 2 minutes 28 seconds
C64, SILVERBIRD: 5 minutes 59 seconds
C64, HI-TEC: 2 minutes 19 seconds
SPECTRUM, PALACE: 4 minutes 39 seconds
SPECTRUM, SILVERBIRD: 6 minutes 16 seconds

The most probable reason for using slower loaders for the re-releases is, that they're more reliable than the faster loaders. As the tape ribbons age, the data will gradually get unreadable, and apparently, the lower the volume the data has been mastered and recorded originally, the lower chance of a long survival the tape has. So, if you're not particularly keen on getting the original tapes for their cover art, I would suggest you go for the slower re-releases.

Loading screens, left to right: Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC.

As for the loading screens, the C64 versions offer nothing of value, and the other two feature a pixelated version of the cover art, with the SPECTRUM version getting closer to the source material. It's pretty, but not particularly imaginative. Still, if you're absolutely resolved on watching a loading screen while the game is loading, the SPECTRUM version does load a bit faster than the faster baud rate AMSTRAD version, but it's still about twice the time that the Hi-Tec re-release on the C64 takes.



In the likely case of not owning an original copy of Cauldron, your mission is to collect six ingredients to boil together in your cauldron: Juice of Toad, Eye of Newt, Wing of Bat, Hemlock Root, Mouldy piece of splintered Bone and Cooled Molten Lava. Once every ingredient has been obtained and boiled together, you need to use this spell to get rid of Pumpking (yeah, that's the official name of the Pumpkin King). To get your hands on all these spell ingredients, you need to find the keys to the four different structures: the Lava Chamber, the Hemlock Cavern, the Crypt and the Pumpking's Lair. As it happens, your success depends quite a lot on the version you happen to be playing. But first, let's go through the controls.

Cauldron was primarily designed to be played with a joystick, so all three versions have joystick controls in common. The SPECTRUM version offers two such device interface options, as well as, exclusive keyboard controls, with Caps Shift and Z for left and right, X and C for up and down, and V for firing your magical weapon, when you're flying. Although not the most convenient keyboard controls, it was still a nice option to have back in the day, if you didn't own a joystick. The C64 version is the only one to offer a pause mode by pressing P, and a chance to reset back to the title screen by pressing Restore.

Controlling the witch isn't really rocket science, but for lifting off and landing, you do need a clear bit of land, because having any trees or other obstacles above or below you will result in loss of a life. Unlike most Defender clones prior to this, if you count this as such, the witch is able to shoot in three directions: straight forward and to forward diagonals. Also, in the platforming sections, the witch has a specific kind of arch of jumping, similar (if not specifically the same) to Jet Set Willy and such.

There are some odd gameplay differences, particularly in the outside area. The C64 version is the only one that uses scrolling, and even more wickedly, you get inertia for turning with your broom. As you change your flying direction, you first slow down and the screen follows you, so you eventually switch the sides, but if you want to slow down and land on a designated clearing, it's much more difficult than in the other two versions. The AMSTRAD and SPECTRUM versions just play like a normal game in that sense, if that's what you're after. What is well worth noting, is that there are two different versions of Cauldron for the C64: the original Palace Software version for European hardcore audience, and the skill-adjusted American version released by Broderbund Software two years later than the original. The most obvious difference between the two C64 versions is in the outdoors section: the European version has a bit more air traffic, and any enemy hit takes 15% off your magical energy, while the American version takes down the traffic just a bit, and enemy hits take off 10% less of your magic than in the Euro version. The full European list of how much collision with each enemy will cost you can be found in the C64-Wiki entry of Cauldron.

Moving onto other platforms, one of the biggest differences is, that in the outdoor section, the SPECTRUM version doesn't feature those infinitely important sparkling spots which replenish your magical energy. This is, frankly, idiotic, because although you do have 9 lives to start with, you lose a certain percentage of magic for every collision with the enemy (usually 4%) and one percent for shooting magic. This makes your magic meter deplete rather quickly, particularly when you're on foot, since you can't shoot while on the ground, and the bats and other evil beings can attack you even when you're presumable covered by trees, which they can't do in the other two versions. The lack of sparkling spots has also made it unnecessary to implement the flip-screen technique for when you're on foot, so you can only move around by flying. For this reason, the keys are always in the same screens as your landing "platforms", whereas in the C64 original, the keys can be found in such places you can only reach by broom.

Now, although the AMSTRAD version also uses the flip-screen technique, it also features the sparkling magic replenishing spots, so you can walk around with much more freedom. The more dramatic change to the game dynamic comes in your ability to only carry a single key at a time, so you need to complete the game in a certain order, and with more backtracking than in the other two versions. Taking hits from enemies is a bit more harsh than on the SPECTRUM, but not as bad as in the original European C64 version: you lose 10% on collision for all the enemies above ground level, and underground enemies range from 5% to 50%. Getting back to the "single key at a time" problem, the AMSTRAD version's graphic design choices has also affected its gameplay in a more drastic manner: the keys are all the same yellow, and the doors also have a similar non-descript colouring, which makes it necessary for you to memorize the overworld map by trial and error, so you know where you're supposed to go.

The inside areas are pretty much the same across all three versions - flip-screen style platforming with plenty of blind jumps and annoyingly unavoidable deaths, unless you have memorized each map perfectly (and by that, I mean pixel-perfect), so I won't be getting into the platforming bits all that much. Perhaps the most notable differences of any value are differences in the collision detection and the maximum fall distance before you explode. In the SPECTRUM version, most of your indoor deaths happen due to falling through platforms, even though you seem to hit them enough, which doesn't really make much sense, when you're able to almost stand on your last sideways pixels before making a jump. In the AMSTRAD version, this problem is clearly less of a problem, and in the C64 original, even less so. And the other thing: the C64 version allows you to fall much further, before you decide to not be able to take the hit anymore, than the other two versions. There are also some differences in platform placing and general design of the indoor bits, due to the screen size differences between the three machines, but that wouldn't be as much of a problem, had the collision detection been perfected. That said, the collision detection isn't exactly perfect on the C64 either, but it is the least worrisome. And as a more minor problem, the moving platforms take you on like a lift on the C64 version, but the AMSTRAD and SPECTRUM versions require you to walk on them.

Depending on how experienced you are in Cauldron, you might have a differing opinion to the large majority of retrogamers, who have never gotten anywhere near the end of the game. I got this game for my C64 in the early 90's, and I never really got anywhere in it, and I blame it for being the PAL version. The NTSC version is much more enjoyable, even if it still isn't particularly player-friendly, but I can at least claim being able to get all the keys in one go, without losing any lives, which is nearly impossible in the PAL version. The SPECTRUM and AMSTRAD versions have the overworld bit easy enough as well, but it's the platforming bits that get you in trouble. In that regard, the SPECTRUM and AMSTRAD versions lose to the C64 spectacularly, but the SPECTRUM version can be considered just about playable. However, none of the versions can be called intuitively playable.




I might as well say it now: graphics are Cauldron's strongest suit. Each and every character, be it the protagonist or any of the enemies, are meticulously animated and offer enough of detail to keep you entertained in the otherwise relatively limiting playing environment.

Commodore 64 title sequence

For any old ordinary game, a solid title screen would do well enough. The designer, Steve Brown, clearly meant to make Cauldron a more cinematic experience - likely a remnant of its origin as a computer game based on the horror movie classic, Halloween. So, instead of a run-of-the-mill title screen, the original C64 version has a three-screen sequence with Pac-Man like animations running through them. The actual title card features the witch walking over the game title and then flying below it; the credits screen features the witch walking at the top of the screen, and a pumpkin bouncing on from left to right over the copyright text; and finally, the instructions screen features the witch running left at the bottom of the screen, being hunted by three different pumpkins, with Pumpking heading the group.

Title screens for Amstrad (left) and ZX Spectrum (right)

By contrast, neither of the conversions feature anything more than a solid title screen, featuring credits and control options in the SPECTRUM version. The SPECTRUM version doesn't even feature the game title as its proper logo, so the AMSTRAD version takes a small lead here.

Inside the witch's hut, left to right: Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

The way the game starts, is by showing you, the witch, walking up to your cauldron, stirring it for a few turns and walking back through the invisible door on the left. The AMSTRAD version is the only version, in which the witch doesn't walk, just stirs the cauldron.

Around the cauldron, you can see six opened scrolls settled in a circular sort of fashion, all of which are initially empty. The flashing items you hopefully manage to pick up during your adventures will then get placed within those empty scrolls. In the C64 version, the two scrolls siding the info panel at the top remain empty throughout the game, so they're little more than props, but the SPECTRUM version utilises them for the two additional items you need to pick up, which you need before you can pick up the corresponding ingredients for the spell.

The info panel itself only features the score, your magical energy in percents and the number of lives shown as icons of the witch's face under the "Hags" tag, unless you're playing the SPECTRUM version, in which case the icons are green brooms. You can judge from the AMSTRAD version's info panel, that the colour white is not something you're going to be seeing often in that particular version, which will be further demonstrated by the next screen.

Outside the witch's hut, left to right: Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Once you venture to step outside to face the moonlight and considerable peril, you will see your yellow cabin's door open, your avatar walk out of the cabin some distance away from it, and the door then closes. Finally, smoke starts coming out of the chimney, just as you gain control of the character. The SPECTRUM version differs in map design a little, by giving you a clearing for take-off right next to your cabin, as it is impossible to walk to any adjacent screen.

This is where you can see, that the C64 and AMSTRAD versions are actually a lot closer to each other in general graphical terms, than either of them to the SPECTRUM version. Really, all the details in background graphics and the witch are basically the same. The only really big difference is, that the C64 version has monochrome hi-res sprites for the enemies, instead of lo-res multicolour sprites. The rest of it has more to do with each machine's palette.

Various outside screens; Commodore 64.

The outside area is a vast, looping map of various different segments. Your cabin is, as you saw in the earlier picture, seated within a vast forest area, which also contains two dungeon entrances at almost exactly the opposite ends. Surrounding the forest, you get a cemetary, featuring an entrance to the crypt, a volcanic area with another entrance to a fiery dungeon, and a few other different areas in between, which hold no entrances, but might feature keys and/or magical recharging points, depending on which version you're playing. The screenshots above have been taken from four different outside areas.

Each area features its own specific enemies and structural hazards, which you must avoid. The background is not animated, nor does it scroll, which would be considered primitive by 1986 standards, but here, it only gives a stronger sense of locale and fantasy. The real party piece of the C64 version of Cauldron is your position on the screen as you fly around in the endlessly scrolling map, which has already been mentioned in the Playability section, but now you can see it in the above screenshots.

Various outside screens; Amstrad CPC.

As I hinted earlier, the AMSTRAD version feels a bit less colourful than the C64 version, because there's much more green here, the doors are all the same colour, and you can scarcely see any white in the game. The ghosts are just a rare example of something white in the game. Speaking of which, the enemies in the CPC version are all multicolour lo-res sprites, because the CPC can't handle multiple graphic styles within the same screen area. For hi-res things, you would need a separated area on the screen, which has been actually done with the info panel. And of course, this version flips the screens, not scroll, so while it does give you a better illusion of freedom of movement than the C64 scroller, making progress on the map does tend to feel more tedious on the long run. But other than that, the CPC version looks very close to the C64 version, and I suppose the actual feel of the graphics with their relative lack of colour and fluidity of movement can become a matter of taste, rather than simple matter of technicalities.

Various outside screens; ZX Spectrum.

Compared to the other two, the SPECTRUM version feels a bit crammed, but it doesn't really matter all that much in the outdoors section. Like the AMSTRAD version, it's a flip-screen affair, so you can move around on each screen anywhere without a fear of becoming disoriented in the least, but neither is it as impressive to look at as the C64 version for that specific reason. Everything is clearly less colourful than in the other two versions, but as you know, Speccy games do hi-res monochrome graphics better than the alternative.

Various indoors screens; Commodore 64.

The four dungeons are rather repetitive in their presentation. Other than the crypt, which is a brick-based structure with plenty of flat stone platforms, all the other dungeons have a red tint to them with either green or turqoise basic colour in rock-based structuring. All dungeons, however, can be clearly distinguished by their specific enemies: the crypt has skeletons, the Lava dungeon has fireballs, the Hemlock dungeon has those blue jaw flowers flying around (not very much like actual Hemlock, eh?) and Pumpking's dungeon has nothing but pumpkins. Obviously, I've chosen to show the final screen of the game here, because it's one of the easiest places to reach in the game.

Various indoors screens; Amstrad CPC.

Here, the AMSTRAD version gets to shine a bit, because the dungeons all have a more finetuned look to them, than in the C64 version, and Pumpking's dungeon is actually coloured differently from the others, making each dungeon stand out on their own with no regards to the enemies. Also noteworthy: similarly to the C64 version, Pumpking is notably bigger and more threatening than the usual pumpkins elsewhere in the game.

Various indoors screens; ZX Spectrum.

Unfortunately, the SPECTRUM version takes on an even easier path, and apart from the crypt, the other three dungeons have an otherwise exactly similar look to each other, apart from the Lava dungeon having lava at the bottom instead of water. Another major disappointment comes in the form of Pumpking himself - he looks no different from the other pumpkins in the game.

Game Over screens, left to right: Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

One of the more commendable peculiarities in Cauldron is its Game Over message, which has no mention of either word. Instead, we get a short poem essentially urging you to have another go at the game, followed by the final score of your just ended attempt. The differences are clear and simple. The C64 version has two spaces prior to the fifth and the final line in the text, and the main text is in green, while the score is shown in turqoise. The same colours have been used for the SPECTRUM version, but there you get no such elaborate spacing. The AMSTRAD version has the entire text in red, and the only space line is before the fifth line. I rather like the clarity of the C64 original here.

I'll be honest with you here: prior to starting to write this comparison, I always imagined Cauldron was a Spectrum-original, because of its overall style. What I didn't take into account then was, how big a part of the game's feel the manner of flying actually made in the C64 original, which seems rather obvious now. Having said that, I think Cauldron can be equally enjoyed with the flip-screen method in the other two versions, and due to its other peculiarities, the SPECTRUM version in particular feels almost like a completely different game. But there has to be an order here, and I'm feeling a bit sorry for the other two - the AMSTRAD version in particular, because it does its fair share of good things going for it - but the C64 version takes yet another win here, with an easy lead due to the much more elaborate title sequence.




To be frank, Cauldron's theme song isn't particularly memorable, nor does it take advantage of the SID chip's quirks in any interesting manner. It does feel like any classic 80's horror movie title theme tune in its essentials - static and haunting, with some well-established horror movie music clichés in the melody - but it starts with a long percussive bit, and it's slow in evolving into anything interesting, and you're bound to start the game before hearing anything more than long low notes, so chances are, most fans of Cauldron might not even recognize the title song when hearing any part after the first 10 seconds of it. Harsh, but so it is.

The sound effects in the C64 original are a bit more interesting, though. While flying, you get a constant up-and-down whirling melody with a nicely muted fluty tone and a stem for it. Shooting magic doesn't make any sound, but refueling your magic in the designated points does make a weird ringing noise. Some of the effects, such as getting hit by an enemy and walking are nicely muffled, creating a surprisingly interesting and dynamic environment. All the dungeons also have their own specific type of background noise, enhancing each area's specific character. So, despite the slightly unfortunate choice for a theme song, the C64 version's sounds are very well produced.

For the AMSTRAD version, they've kept the theme tune as close to the original as possible, which isn't much of an achievement. Unfortunately, the sound effects are lacking severely in both quantity and quality. From a quick check of all the necessary areas in the game, I counted no more than five different sound effects, two of which were different kinds of explosions, which were very similar to each other.

Even less fortunate is the SPECTRUM version, because it features no theme tune at all, and since the game is only playable on a 48k Spectrum, beeper sounds are all you get. What sound effects you get from the beeper, are not much - just a couple of differently pitched blip noises: one for taking a hit, and one for shooting an enemy. You can, therefore, see how this will end.




If you've read through this entire article, the Overall results will not come as much of a shock. The cold, hard fact is, that the platform that the game was originally designed for, got the best version of the lot. And I cannot help but think, it could have been so much better for both AMSTRAD and SPECTRUM, but for starters, the Spectrum version couldn't even have had a 128k soundtrack, because the 128k Speccy wasn't launched until three months after Cauldron was out, and the collision detection problems in both conversions' platforming sections practically ruins the experience for me. So, the stupidly mathematical scores are as follows:

1. COMMODORE 64 NTSC: Playability 4, Graphics 3, Sounds 3 = TOTAL 10
2. COMMODORE 64 PAL: Playability 1, Graphics 3, Sounds 3 = TOTAL 7
3. AMSTRAD CPC: Playability 1, Graphics 2, Sounds 2 = TOTAL 5
4. SINCLAIR ZX SPECTRUM: Playability 2, Graphics 1, Sounds 1 = TOTAL 4


And here's a video from mikroman01's channel to show you all the essential versions of the game, which means the NTSC version for the C64 is missing, but I couldn't be bothered to make my own video just to get that in there. But that's Cauldron for you. I cannot claim to actually like this game, but I do appreciate the effort now more than I ever did. For most gamers' skills, it's probably going to be a bit too much to handle for a while, and as usual with the endings in old games, the completion is not worth the effort. But it's still a lot less painful than trying to beat the sequel, in which you play as the Pumpking, apparently trying to get his revenge on the witch from the first game. But if you're still howling for more...

Cauldron 2: the Pumpkin Strikes Back (Palace Software, 1986)

There are actually two sequels for Cauldron, but since Cauldron 2: the Pumpkin Strikes Back was still released strictly for our three usual contestants, that's the one people tend to be more familiar with. Cauldron 2 is firmly a flip-screen platformer, in which you control an infinitely bouncing pumpkin, which has aggravated many a gamer of old. In fact, I'm even less of a fan of Cauldron 2, than I am of the first game, but it does have some redeeming qualities to it. The other sequel, Super Cauldron, was another platformer, and primarily a 16-bit game, but in addition to Amiga, Atari ST and IBM-PC compatibles, it was also made for the CPC. However, it was made by a French team, and released by Titus in 1993, so it's not actually an official sequel, even though it can sometimes be seen mentioned it in the same context.

Cauldron had an attempt at a conversion for the Commodore 16/+4 in 1990 by Thomas Sasvari, who is a very familiar name in the Plus/4 scene, and Commando and Krakout from his efforts have been previously featured on this blog. As you might have come to expect, this version is more of a demake than a proper conversion of the original. Not that it doesn't attempt to be as close to the original as possible, but I can't imagine the machine being particularly suited for action of this degree of wickedness.

Screenshots from the Commodore 16/+4 version "Hexenküche"

This version plays nowhere near as smoothly as it is supposed to. The witch walks with an impossibly slow pace, so it takes a week to get to the spot where you can actually take off and fly. Then, when you find the spot, getting your broom off the ground is more tricky than in the original, as you need to first take a position and then go up, but it takes a few tries to actually hit the correct space where you can actually take off. The same problem is repeated when you need to land. You have no method of defending yourself, but then you only have one bat harrassing you. The platforming sections are, if not worse than in the original, then at least very different in both design and style of jumping around. It's a very different experience overall, so I couldn't really compare it fairly to the official versions.

As luck would have it, a new remake for the ZX Spectrum was released just a couple of weeks ago on This game by Serranito is called THE WITCH, even though it is a very obvious Cauldron remake. I tested it for one full go on the day of its release, which was enough to give me a clear idea of how is it different from its source material.

The Witch (Serranito, 2020)

Some of the "faults" with the original Spectrum version have been addressed, such as walking over to the next screen, having the keys in places that are sometimes practically unreachable on foot, and having the collision detection improved for the platforming bits. However, it doesn't really have the feel of the original game all that close. You cannot shoot your magic weapon to any other direction than straight forward, all the enemies have much clearer movement/behaviour patterns, and platforming bits are superbly awkward - meaning, the witch walks as she's got arthritis and glue in her shoes, but she jumps higher than Mario, and she can fall down any height without dying. There are no energy refillers in The Witch, so your recalibrated skills are all you've got to survive and defeat the Pumpking once again. So, it's partly easier, but for the majority of it, it's uncomfortable. Probably due to it having been made with the Arcade Game Designer, but I'm rather confident it could get closer to the original with some tweaking.

Of course, if you want to experience Cauldron on a more contemporary platform, it has been turned into a couple of PC remakes - one by Markus Hohmann from 2014, and one by Andy Enever from 2019.

That's it for this year's ghostly festivities, perhaps we'll have something less obvious for next year. But until then, we still have another 11 months to go, so let's get moving on towards Christmas, then... pip pip, and Happy Halloween! 👻


  1. This is the Commodore Plus/4 unofficial conversion from TCFS:

    1. Well I'll be damned! Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Bancsicsa, I'll need to check that out and write an update for this entry at some point.