1986/87 Durell

Platforms: ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64

Trojan was a Capcom arcade title which was due for conversion across to the likes of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 in 1987. Tasked with the conversion for Elite Software was Durell Software, at least for the ZX edition.


For years, much was unknown about it – until in more recent years it was established that Rob Hubbard had composed a some tunes for a game called Trojan. Clive Townsend then confirmed he had also developed the Spectrum edition, and had all of his Microdrive disks backed up by Steve Brown of TZX Vault- which revealed playable remains of the game.

Thanks to Philip Bee, we were given a series of recordings showing rare clips of Trojan on the ZX Spectrum. You can see various versions below that were recovered from Clive’s disks.

Years later, thankfully remains were released into the wild, and you can play the game for yourself (see download below). But what is quite fantastic, is the inclusion of Rob Hubbard’s lost music – which gives a hint of how the C64 tunes would have sounded (and which seem to be sadly lost).

When we spoke to Clive many years ago, he had this to say about the development:

“I remember having the arcade machine in the Durell offices and playing it repeatedly, and I remember that other versions were being worked on alongside my Spectrum version. The other Commodore programmers were Ron Jeffs and Nigel Dewdney if that helps at all.”

It isn’t known exactly why the game was cancelled, but we are thankful that something has managed to surface after all this time.

The C64 version is still at large (more on our C64 archive entry here), but there exists a few small demos that may have been done by Ron Jeffs or Nigel Dewdney at Durell. We did have suspicions about Gargoyle Games or even Stephen Green – who programmed 1942 on the C64. The reason why Stephen has come up, as because tucked away in the Hitpak version of 1942 were a series of ninja sprites which may have been for Trojan. It seems most likely to be Ron Jeffs or Nigel Dewdney though.

If you know anything more about the C64 edition – including how to find the missing demo, then please get in touch!

With thanks to Clive Townsend for his input and also TZX Vault for the downloads.



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