I recently picked up some Sinclair User magazines at a market stall, and whilst browsing through I had a look at the Frankie Goes To Hollywood advert on the back. Nothing unusual you might say, as it was pretty much plastered around in the press back then.
What was strange was the screenshot of a scene I had never seen before in the final game. Looking at the others, there were a number of differences. I’m not sure how I hadn’t noticed them before! When I got back home and did some more investigations, I found that the advert was in fact an earlier advert featuring what seemed to be screens taken from the graphical editors directly – most likely whilst the game was still early in development for both the Spectrum and C64. The give away seems to be with the white cursor squares in the corner of most of the screenshots.
Comparing against the final release, here are the screens I found which are quite different. The most interesting of the images has to be the Frankenstein/dungeon scene, which is clearly C64 based and didn’t make the cut. Hopefully we will learn soon what this part may have entailed. Is anything of it still tucked away in the final game?
Recently I checked with Karen Davies and Ally Noble if they could recall what it was. Karen couldn’t remember it at all, but Ally recognised it – but couldn’t place it. Ally suggests that it may have even been for another game by Denton that didn’t make it – which seems very plausible considering the material doesn’t seem to “fit” in the FGTH design.
In July 2015, Vinny Mainolfi found a magazine snippet which shows another early screenshot of the puzzle room.