Many of you may recall playing Fire and Forget 2 by Titus back in the day, although it was sadly a fairly “forgettable” game on the C64 at least from the author’s point of view.
Something which I had never noticed, and was brought to my attention by Karl Kuras, is that the adverts state that the game was based on the arcade game by Titus – complete with an actual photo of the cabinet too.
Oddly though, there seems to be no evidence that the arcade ever made it to full production, with nothing in MAME preserved and only placeholder entries on various Arcade databases (with the arcade cabinet photo from the advert).
So what happened? Did it ever get complete, did it have perhaps a limited release in Europe? And crucially, could something of the arcade actually be found to be properly preserved in MAME? The screenshots within the advert don’t seem to be from any particular platform conversion, so they either seem to be mock ups or are images from the arcade machine itself.
Thanks to contributor MT226 (see comments), it seems that it was proven pretty much that the cabinet was a modified Afterburner: http://web.archive.org/web/20181230214157/https://mamedev.emulab.it/undumped/index.php?title=Fire_%26_Forget_II
The question still remains if the game itself was real, or was it merely just mock ups. It is early days, and first steps will be to try and contact those at Titus at the time to find out more.
If this was real, then there is a distinct possibility that the game could have been a modified/hacked version of Afterburner. Titus feasibly done something similar to what GCC did with Pac Man. Maybe Titus did a proof of concept, and then went to SEGA to get permission to release their own “modification kit”? Maybe SEGA refused it?
Curiously though – Fire and Forget 2 was released on the SEGA Master System, the only Titus game that saw release on the platform. Was this a mere co-incidence, or part of a bigger conection? Did Titus have some kind of negotiations going on with SEGA for the game and big ambitions? Many questions still to answer, and too many theories for now ;-)
If you know anything more, then please do get in touch!
Thanks to Grzegorz Antosiewicz and MT226 for finding clearer shots of the arcade from Zero issue 11 and an Amstrad magazine, and Ross Sillifant for additional scans.