Welcome to Games That Weren't, a site dedicated to unreleased/incomplete/cancelled games and prototypes on both consoles and computers. As well as news, reviews and features, we have platform specific projects with downloads, photos, scans, screenshots, videos, reviews and interviews. Our main platforms consist of the C64 and Amiga, where there is a full digital archive of games being preserved for both machines.

Please feel free to browse and get in touch and help with our quest to document and preserve all that is currently lost.

Latest news

Tony Gibson – a tribute/obituary

Before and since the recovery of the infamous Sigue Sigue Sputnik from oblivion, we wanted to always learn more about the game via its creator, Tony (Gibbo) Gibson.  Attempts had been in vain though sadly.

Seaside_Special

Collect seaweed and throw at famous politicians – Seaside Special, political themed gaming at its best!

Mark Harrison popped up early this year though, and we both shared notes to try and find Tony.   We both found a YouTube channel (with a number of music remixes) and other pages which Tony had created, which hadn’t been updated since around 2012.   Sadly our initial fears were confirmed when Mark Harrison got hold of Tony’s son a few weeks ago.   Tony very sadly passed away in 2013 after a battle with cancer.

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First GTW64 update of 2016

Well, after an entertaining 2015 – the work continues.   We begin 2016 with some quick new entries and a bunch of updates to some existing titles.  Sadly nothing new to play, but that will change soon.  Watch this space!

5 new entries added

Combo Racer, Dragonstone 2, Fists of fury, Nitro, The Horsekiller

14 updates added

Bryan Robson’s Super League, F-86 Sabre Strike, Final Command, Go Karts, Joan Of Arc: Siege And The Sword, Little Knight Arthur, Murder!, Nigel Mansell’s Grand Prix, Nighthunter, Quantarallax, Unnamed Game, Zamzara V1, Ziggurat, Zombies, Undead Or Alive

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Who were 80’s dev team “Softeam”?

Mystery solving has been something we’ve been doing for years now, though there are many times that we hit dead ends and just cannot progress any further.  Solving the mystery of who the 80’s development group “Softeam” were exactly is of those dead ends that we have recently hit.

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Games That Weren’t Christmas update 2015

So where did 2015 go? Only feels like the other month I was doing last years special update :)
It’s been a massive year, with one of the most important lost C64 games finally found amongst one of our most busiest years – and yet there is still plenty more to find and are continuing to be found!

We hope you all have a great holiday and new year, and we’ll see you again in 2016 with more discoveries (of which we have some brilliant ones lined up!). But for now, enjoy today’s offerings:

Sigue Sigue Sputnik found

sigue1

The legendary (and almost thought to be mythical) title has been found in believed to be its final state. This long lost Tony Gibson game is pretty wacky and sadly never got picked up by any publishers at the time to be completed.

Sigue Sigue Sputnik

Worron, lost Firebird game found

worron3

Richard Paynter’s long lost Firebird game that never was, from probably the last remaining copy in existence.

Worron

Firefighter Mario found

A long lost unofficial Mario game. Possibly released commercially (to be confirmed), it hasn’t yet been digitally available.

Firefighter Mario

Urban Warrior final edition added

Richard Bayliss has fixed up Video Images’ Urban Warrior game, so that it is now as originally intended. Complete with linked loading screen, map fix and music.

Urban Warrior

Enemy SEU remains found

An early phase rolling demo of the R-Type clone by Stuart Cook and Ned Langman has been found, including a loading screen and test ship sequence.

Enemy

Various early Ash and Dave games

Ash and Dave were working on a few titles that didn’t get very far at all. For most, we have managed to find some graphic assets which you can check out for the following:

Bob’s Full House V1, Croc, SwitchbladeUnknown football game, Unknown tennis game

Quantarallax preview recovered

A game by Quantum Designs which was the beginning of an interesting Delta clone.

Quantarallax

Nuker final edition recovered

A glitch fixed edition, and what is the very final edition of the game has been recovered and added to the rest of the Nuker versions that have been recovered previously

Nuker

Wildfire, Starlight game remains found

A very early preview of Wildfire, which is believed to be the Starlight/Destiny Software game that never was.

Wildfire

Stellar 7 graphic assets found

Some quick assets for the lost Hades Nebula sequel has been added

Stellar 7

Various Video images and Post-Clockwize concepts added

A brief glimpse at some titles and their graphic assets, thanks to Dean Hickingbottom!

Cavey, Molecale

Various Marcus Wagner titles added

Marcus was a prolific developer on the C64, which meant that there were inevitably some that got away…

Girl Guard, Jupple Dust, Onion Yupy, Paratron, Wizerior 2 , Yloa

Flimbo 1 + 2 bits and pieces added

Firstly, a new Flimbo’s Quest V1 entry has been added with a slightly different title screen, game movement and sfx. Also the proper C64 files for the Flimbos Quest 2 tunes have been added.

Flimbo’s Quest V1, Flimbos Quest 2

Ash and Dave assets page added

Part of our digital preservation work with Ashley Routledge’s disks, has been to find any unreleased demos or graphics by the duo. This page gives an overview of what has been found so far, which you can download for yourself.

Ash and Dave assets

Many lost music files, demos and graphics added!

As a larger part of general preservation work over a series of collections, we have extracted a number of lost music, Compunet demos, graphics and other pieces of interest – which are not really GTW material, but things you may find interesting.

Lost music, demo and graphic assets

3 other new entries added

Beatle Quest – Parts Two and Three, Little Knight Arthur, The City of ‘Ehdollah

And… 9 entries updated…

Atlantis, Dempsey & Makepeace, Ilogicall, Murder!, Outside, Quadrofender, Speed Fighter, The Greedy Dwarf, Zamzara V1

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Ash and Dave assets

Ashley Routledge recently in 2015 loaned his C64 disks for GTW64 to do a large preservation job.  Mostly to try and see if we could recover Daffy Duck, but also to preserve any potentially lost demos, artwork and just Ash’s work in general before the disks deteriorated.  A massive thank you to Ashley Routledge allowing us to preserve his disks with the hope that we could find some lost works by the famous duo.

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Lost tunes, demos and graphics

It’s been a very busy few months, doing a lot of digital preservation work for ex-C64 developers and artists – but a very fruitful few months too.   Very often, we find music files and demos which are not online anywhere and which get passed on to the relevant sources to make sure they are made available.

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Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge early proto

Ok, so we’re not talking about a majorly different conversion that was in the works, but some fairly significant differences compared to the final edition that eventually ended up on the C64.

Many of you may remember the rolling demo of Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge on the C64 and being wowed by it.  Did you spot the differences between that and the final version?  No?   Well, here we go…

lotus-demo

The Commodore Format demo from Power Pack 4

Of course, very often when a preview is released – there can still be some significant amount of work left to do or changes which are requested.   Seems like Lotus was no different, and there were some visible changes made just before release.

The final release

The final release

Firstly, there are two cosmetic changes which stand out.   One where the score panel has been improved and bulked out a little – nothing too special.  The other is significantly the removal of the red and white road banding that appears at the side.   It’s a shame, as it looks great in the demo – but we are guessing that it was removed to compensate for speed – which does seem a lot quicker in the final release.

There also is the inclusion of a white counter in the top right corner of both screens, but the final different is a bit more subtle…

If you check the top cars in both of the above screenshots, you’ll notice that the demo features an extra frame of animation where the car turns inwards more.   It’s been cut out for some reason on the final game, which we’re not entirely sure why.   Maybe it was to squeeze more road objects into the game?

Looking into the game a bit more – it seems that the cars were entirely drawn via character blocks in the demo version, with the red/white bands being handled by expanded sprites which were overlaid onto the sides of the road.    When the banding was dropped in the final game, it seems those sprite frames were replaced by the main car in its largest state – with the smaller state (where the car is in the distance) handled by characters still.

In early 2016, this was spotted in an old issue of Zzap 64 …

lotus-early2

Sadly no colour screenshot, but here you can see the status panels being different yet again, a familiar red/white road effect (using expanded sprites like in the rolling demo), but it seems very different looking cars and darker shading effects on the mountains in the distance. There may not have been any raster bars either at this point – so a very early version!

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Soul Gem remains found and more!

Another big finding for 2015!….

Soul Gem Of Martek recovered

Unfortunately not the full game (which may not have existed), but GTW is proud to present remains of a title that has been missing for over 30 years.

soul1

Amazingly, not just remains of the game were found – but the actual inlays and tape were present and have been preserved via scans:

Soul Gem of Martek

1 new entry added

Tobor

9 updates added

C64GS cartridge titles, 3-2-1 Quiz gameCaptain Stark, Haunted, Knuckles, Laser Cycle, Last Ninja V1, Myth 2, Twister, Your Computer Software Exchange

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Three full games recovered and released!

We’re back after a short break with some more C64 recovery work with the following new findings and updates:

Quadrofender full game found and released

A complete 1990 budget title from Clockwize has been recovered from disk and released for the first time, including unheard Sonic Graffiti tunes.

quadro2

Quadrofender

Quadrant 4 full game found and released

And yet another full budget game from Clockwize – this time a simple 1989 Uridium clone which never saw the light of day until now!

quandrant4-2

Quadrant 4

Urban Warrior full game found and released

And to complete a hat trick – here is a commercial SEUCK title from 1988 that was due for release by Video Images, but never made it due to a design bug which made it unplayable in places.   Who fancies fixing it? 😉

urban-warrior3

Urban Warrior

4 other new entries added

Day Of The Pharaoh, Fight Night V1, Rob’n Run, Time Fighter

And also 13 updates have been made:

Alien Vs Predator, Chess, DDT: Dynamic Debugger, Daffy Duck, Go Ape!, Heavy Barrel, International Karate Deluxe, Murder!, Psyclapse, Rhyme Land, Speed Fighter, Twilight Beyond, World Cup Carnival V1

More to come soon!  Watch this space!

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Tarzan Goes Ape V1 remains recovered!

Another surprise finding, this time of an aborted early conversion of Codemasters’ Tarzan Goes Ape game, which looks very different to the final released version, with far better graphics.

tarzan1

It isn’t sadly too playable, but you can sort of move the character around and use Q and A to scroll the map. Download the preview and checkout the story behind its finding here:

Tarzan Goes Ape V1

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