Dick Special series

Year: 1987-1992

Platforms: Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, PC (DOS) and SEGA Mega Drive

As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are  adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus DLC content to share with you.

Within the book is an in-depth and detailed 16 page story about the unreleased Dick Special by Rainbird for the Commodore Amiga (and briefly Atari ST). However, the story extends beyond the Rainbird title, and covers further developments for Activision and Miracle Games over a 5 year time span. A complex timeline of events which has been untangled and carefully put together. The book includes a number of specially re-pixelled screenshots based on those shown in the magazines of the time.

A slightly rarer screenshot and a different outdoor scene from ACE magazine, issue 2. (c) Future Publishing.

We speak to original developer and designer Sandy White, designer Angela Sutherland, Atari ST developer James Hutchby and later artist Alastair Hearsum regarding the Rainbird edition, with input from Richard Hewison who worked at TelecomSoft at the time. For the later editions, we speak to developers Patricia Curtis and Graeme Ashton, as well as designer Gordon Leggatt.

Overall, we found that there were a staggering 4 separate developments attempted over the years to feature the Dick Special protagonist (including an Another World style title called Dick Special: Phucton Island … I kid you not), with none of them making it out. During our research, we pulled together a number of screenshots and scans from various magazines, making our own hi-res scans of screenshots from physically brought copies of various magazines. Many of which didn’t make it to print in the book and which you can now find here in the gallery below.

However, the big surprise was when artist Alastair Hearsum dug out a video of the final iteration from him and Sandy White, showing the final engine and graphical style before the title was cancelled by Rainbird for dragging on too long. This is the first time publicly that the game has been seen running from this iteration.

We hope you enjoy the findings, and it is hoped that some day in the future we’ll be able to bring you something of the Miracle Games developments, with Graeme Ashton hopeful that he will manage to find the two developments they had underway. Sandy has hinted over the years that he may try and dig out the game again, hopefully for others to see and check out for themselves.

Thanks to Ross Sillifant for the extra scans.



One Response to Dick Special series

  1. Definitely very interesting stuff You started to post here. It is great that we can see this game in action even if it is unreleased. Amiga got lot of games that were changed during development or were unreleased and not many people known about them.

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