Lunar Jetman (C64)

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1985 Ultimate

Lunar Jetman shotLunar Jetman was part of a huge classic genre on the Spectrum that spawned a few games by Ultimate featuring the Jetman character. The range of games however never quite made their way onto the C64. Spectrum users had Jetman, whereas C64 users had to make do with Sir Arthur Pendragon in a series of games.

However, little do many C64 users know, but Lunar Jetman was actually in development on the C64 (albeit for a short period) back in 1985. What might be more surprising is the fact that the conversion was being carried out by SIDs own maestro, Martin Galway. As well as being a superb musician, he could code a bit too you know!

During some quiet times for Martin back in 1985, attempts were made to convert the classic to give himself something to do. With the conversion and Martins perseverance, nothing was sacrificed from the Spectrum game. This was not a pure Spectrum port, but coded from scratch with all original screen dimensions kept. A very faithful conversion was what Martin wanted with nothing spared, and that was what was emerging.

After less than a months work, Martins career took off as a musician at Ocean Software after impressing with his BBC music and other freelance tunes. Coding games was put aside as this career blossomed, which meant that the C64s Lunar Jetman was promptly shelved and long forgotten about.

In recent years, Martin passed all his disks to the guys at C64 Audio to archive all his tunes in their full glory. The surprise finding was a disk labelled Lunar Jetman. Upon examining the disk, a series of sources files were found. After compiling the sources, it was found that all the score panels were working; sprites were animating and the screen scrolled a bit, but sadly nothing was ever near playable. But it was Lunar Jetman on a C64.

All thats left is a mere glimpse that a translation of the game would have performed well on the C64, and that there was more of Jetman on C64 screens than once thought. A tragic shame it never quite made it, but its another case of What if?

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