From the brains behind CJ, Spike in Trans and Nobby the Ardvaark, came a preview of a great little hack and jump game which featured smart GFX and some great features.
It reminded me of a classic NES game of somesort (Castlevania?). Because of Choice’s demise, Spellcast grinded to a halt after a years worth of work. A shame because I really enjoyed it!… Its a lovely preview, and something which brings me fond memories of when I was growing up, and when I got the megatape from a second hand shop.
Never properly finished.. No chance of finding many other previews, except for the only one that came with Megatape 18.
Ashley Hogg confirmed that one level was all that was really created, though contact with Dave and Jon will confirm if anything more exists. Jon so far believes that only level one was complete.
Jon sheds light by telling us to look carefully at the game’s title screen. As you will see, the game seems to have a map similiar to that in Ghosts and Goblins. Essentially the game was to follow the map, starting in the forest, moving to a village and then gradually to a Castle.
The game was to boast some massive sprites, and feature a lot of elements which Dave and John felt C64 games were lacking. The game was also planned to be a single load, but as more and more got added… the game was for certain turning into a Multiload game. If only it did turn out just that way…
GTW is yet to speak to Dave Clarke about the game, and we hope to hear from him very soon. Maybe, just maybe there are some remains of sketches and ideas, sprites etc for more levels… but time will tell.
Here is something though which may interest people. While scouring through the demo, I came across some sprites which haven’t actually been used in the preview, a nice skeleton like creature, which was obviously going to be used at some point.
Also, if you want a neat little cheat, pop a joystick in port 1 and you can move the log’s in the air, so you can fly your way through the game in the air.
Stunning game, sadly never completed…
Contributions: Jon Temples, Ash Hogg
Available downloads for this entry
Jon Smyth speaks about work on Spellcast...
"Well the game started because David and i were fans of Ghost 'n' Goblins and Barbarian. We had not written any published games yet so we decided to give it a go.
David's programming was starting to take off and so we went into it. The coding was not that re-useable so David ran out of memory and thought about a multi-load option. We then tried to sell it to people but got no responses.
We then tried a cutey elephant game and that's how CJ was born. David and I loved the spellcast game and tried to put as many moves and options into it. The player, hacks, jumps, and uses objects etc.
The levels were meant to progress in the manner of the title screen. The title screen has the Spellcast name but below is a black outline of a forest leading to a castle on the hill.
Well the first level was the forest. Next the swamp. Then the town leading to the castle.
The castle was going to have a very varied level theme. The end of level enemies were huge and if only someone had pumped money into it I could have worked.
As with David, Ashley and myself we loved the games we did and it was the love and the anger
sometimes of the poor conversions made for the Commodore 64. Spellcast had everything I think and we always tried to very our graphic look. If you look at spell-cast, cj's and nobby - its all so different. We always tried to not become type-cast and always be different.
I may have disks in the house or sprites or ideas etc. David and I loved the commodore 64 scene then. All our games got good reviews and some times I feel that now I work in graphic design/product design the excitement of the 1990's is one thing I miss.
I would love screen shots of the Spellcast in various points or sprites as my imac crashes the game on the title screen."
Jon Smyth (Now Temples).