Thanks to Jarrod Bentley, we have learnt about yet another Codemasters title that was never released on the C64 – and making the original Commodore Scene story in 1996/97 about there being 22 unreleased Codemasters games looking more and more true.
Fresh from completing Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, Fists of Fury was to be a new Visual Impact title for the C64, Amiga and MegaDrive – and specifically a Streets of Rage clone of sorts. It was discussed originally towards the end of writing Crystal Kingdom Dizzy – so in preparation for a visit to Codemasters to see Dizzy in its final play testing, Jarrod got some hero sprites animated on the C64 (and some concept sprites for the 16-bit versions). Fists of Fury also required a licence for the title from the Bruce Lee Foundation, though it may not have directly been related in terms of characters.
At this point, Dave Thompson was working at Codies as a projects manager – but still wanted Jarrod and Craig Kelsall to run Visual Impact as a development studio. Craig worked at Leamington Spa to get familiar with 16-bit development, but Jarrod didn’t want to make the move and moved onto pastures new.
Jarrod isn’t too sure what happened next, but it is possible that no actual code was started and the project didn’t get off the ground after Visual Impact broke up. We’re currently chatting to Dave and Craig to get their input. Jarrod doesn’t believe that a lack of a C64 version would have been down to the dwindling market, as back around the time of Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, the C64 was still reasonably buoyant to warrent new titles being written for it.
Hopefully some day Jarrod may find his sprite work, but its unlikely and we’ll just have to imagine what this Streets of Rage clone could have been like. Watch this space!
Contributions: Jarrod Bentley