Where Time Stood Still

Ocean

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A wonderful game on the Spectrum 128k, and the silent sequel to The Great Escape (As the game was originally billed as a sequel and called Tibet). This was set in the same mould as TGE, and followed on from its success.

After the success of the Spectrum game, talks were made about creating ports to all other machines, including the Commodore 64.

The main problem was that the Spectrum game was fitted into 128k of memory, and the C64 had the job of squeezing it into 64k. Not totally impossible, but a hard task, and something that could not be made into Multiload.

Stuart Fotheringham does not recall the C64 version, but worked on the Spectrum version. He states about the problems of trying to convert this game had it had happened. GTW is told that Ocean recieved the finished game and design from Denton Designs, and Ocean would have contracted other developers to do other versions.

It seemed therefore that it was likely that there was a C64 version in consideration, or even production. Unfortunately we can now confirm that although considered, the game was never started.

John Heap in a recent article with Retro Gamer magazine on Where Time Stood Still on the Spectrum, mentioned to Stuart Hunt that the problem was that the game was 128k for a start, but additionally they had seen the C64 port of Great Escape and felt that was incredibly slow. With both those factors, it was decided that no C64 conversion was to be started and that it would remain exclusive to the ZX Spectrum.

It seems that Gari Biasillo was also close to have been involved in a C64 conversion, as a recent interview with C64.com revealled:

"I joined Ocean as a musician but asked if I could write a game first to help improve my programming skills. This was the first real game I wrote which was a port from the Spectrum version by Dynamic Software (Basket Master)

I had no code to go from so I had to just play the game and come up with my own interpretation. I was actually first asked to port a game by Denton Designs and was sent to their offices in Liverpool to take a look and talk to the guys there. The game was Where Time Stood Still, an isometric game, which would have been too complex for a green programmer like myself to undertake, which I told the boss, Gary Bracey."

The game was later to be released on the Amstrad and ST, but only the ST version made it. But with the C64 version, it is another case we can close the door on.

Case sadly closed 🙁

Contributions: Stuart Fotheringham, Stuart Hunt (Retrogamer magazine, John Heap, Patrick Furlong, C64.com, Codetapper

Supporting content

Stuart Fotheringham talks about the prospect of WTSS on the C64...

"Wouldn’t have been by us, at Denton Designs we tended to create original version of game and then Ocean had third party conversions done.

I can’t remember seeing anything about WTSS on Commodore 64, it was a 128K Spectrum game as so would only have been possible on Commodore 128 and multi-load was out the question.

Ocean were resistant to “variations” like 128K versions, but John Heap really sold them WTSS (I drew the loading screen on the Speccy version); but I think it unlikely C128 would have flown.

I also remember some original game concepts we tried to sell them for C128 and they were turned down flat, also at the time they didn’t think there was any point in Atari and Amiga product either, “not enough sales”."

Stuart Fotheringham.

5 Responses to Where Time Stood Still

  1. Ross Sillifant says:

    Fantastic to hear what really happened to the C64 version.

    I think a lot of Lost games are given false hope by UK Press at the time claiming games had pretty much been started or gave impression games were incoming, by saying expect it to hit in Summer’88 etc etc, not to mention press adverts with coming soon on…..plastered on the bottom, when games had at best, just been talked about.

    ACE issue 12 is guilty here, C64 version is featured in review box-out with IMMINENT as it’s release status.Planned or Under Consideration would of been far more helpful and not given the false hope we saw.

  2. Fabrizio says:

    A freshly released review at HG101 claims something that might lead to yet another GTW64, that is, its spiritual follow up, Wreckers: “So they tried to make one more game in the “trilogy” with Wreckers. Which was similar in tone to Where Time Stood Still, just heavily inspired by the Alien franchise this time and set on an abandoned space station. 8 and 16 bit ports were developed and completed (and even reviewed by magazines), but sadly only the 16 bit versions were ever released.” Source: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/wheretimestoodstill/wheretimestoodstill.htm

    • fgasking says:

      Cheers Fabrizio! I’d be surprised if that included the C64, but i’ll add it to the list. I think somewhere it was confirmed that Wreckers was only scheduled for the Spectrum.

      • Fabrizio says:

        Hi Frank, I’ve been unable to find those alleged reviews of 8 bit ports, so all I could do was to just guess and ask if you knew about them…

        • fgasking says:

          No worries Fabrizio – it’s good to put the game out there anyway and wait for confirmations. So far it looks to be just Spectrum, but you never know!

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