Quark was due to be released by PSS (Personal Software Services) but for some reason it doesn’t seem to have ever been released.
Usually in these incidences you can look at the release list for a company and see that perhaps they were quite small and disappeared as quickly as they appeared, or that the game fell outside the boundaries of their usual released, but PSS released nearly two dozen games between 1983 and 1988 and although their main area of expertise seems to have been war strategy games, they released several arcade games, such as the famous Macadam Bumper, Hyper Biker and the brilliantly titled Bath Time.
Quark is described as a ‘3D-Space Simulation’, you control an ‘astro fighter’ and the aim of the game is to take off from your planet and seek out enemy ships and engage them in combat before they destroy the main reactor on your planet. Although the advert states that it would be ‘in shops 2nd June’ there are no in-game screenshots, only a picture of what would presumably be the cover of the game.
Thanks to Shadowmancer, it seems that Quark was to be the UK release of Quark 9, which was released in other countries by Commodore and Andromedia according to Gamebase. However, the author Viktor T. Toth is unsure how the game actually got released as he states the game was never released. What happened exactly?
Well, Andromedia was the Hungarian outlet for Viktor’s games – so maybe it was just released. It doesn’t explain though about the UK release not getting out there. Was PSS’s game the very same title, or maybe they cancelled it because it clashed names?
For now we’ve added the screenshots and the downloads to archive. Check it out, its not a bad little game! We hope to learn more soon!
Contributions: Peter Weighill, Shadowmancer
Available downloads for this entry
Viktor T. Toth talks about work on Quark:
“The real reason why we were working on advanced graphic algorithms was of course not so that we can draw a silly iceberg. We wanted to create a flight simulator game with a moving horizon. This was a tremendous technical challenge on limited hardware; indeed, we were told flat out by the folks from Commodore that the machine doesn’t have enough firepower for this. In response, we sent off a prototype program that demonstrated the moving horizon with over 10 screen updates per second…
That prototype grew into a game that we called Quark 9. The original version had a music score that was an adaptation of Bartok’s Allegro Barbaro; I still believe it was one of the finest scores ever written for the C64’s SID chip, even when combined with “energy weapon” sounds that sounded more like hungry chicks in a nest. Sadly, we were told to take the music out; it was eventually replaced by a hideous, barely recognizable tune that was supposed to be the Star Wars theme song (I wonder if anyone ever thought of paying royalties to John Williams? Then again, we would have had even more copyright difficulties with Bartok’s work) and an even more hideous, totally unrecognizable version of Also Spracht Zarathustra from Richard Strauss (the theme music of 2001: A Space Odyssey).
The choice of the game title was also unfortunate: we of course had the ultimate subatomic particle in mind, but since none of us spoke any German, we were unaware of the fact that the word in Germany (one of our major markets) meant a kind of cottage cheese…
The game was never released, or at least we never received any royalties for it. How a copy found its way to a server in Norway, I have no idea!”