2000 Darkage Software
Platform: Amiga AGA
Whilst many had long abandoned the Amiga as a platform, there were those who were still trying to keep the dream alive, and one such team was the Italian based Darkage Software who were producing a number of games back in 2000.
As well as the impressive 3D title Tales of Heaven, they were also working on a game called Alive, which was a sort of a Super Stardust clone, but with many more objects on screen and moving a lot faster overall…. A sort of bullet-hell version it seems! It was featured briefly in the press of the time and looked pretty decent overall, as you can see from the screenshots in the gallery.
The game was due for release in 2000 by Epic Marketing, who had completed a deal with the team to publish. Alive was described as follows:
“Alive is frantic arcade 2D shoot’em up in the style of Turrican and Project-X. Alive is set in 1999 when Earth has just suffered from seven plagues of the Apocalypse and a new millennium is about to begin but unfortunately that beginning doesn’t look good for evil Aliens are now threatening Earth and it’s in your hands to defeat them.
It can have up to 80 bobs moving simultaneously at 50fps and will feature speech, samples and music in combination.
Alive will run on an plain A1200, but will run better with extra Fast Ram and accelerator boards.”
Paolo D’Urso got in touch to flag up their abandoned game, but why exactly was it abandoned? It was sadly the low sales figures of their other games – when the likes of Tales of Heaven performed badly after so much effort, it gave the team low motivation to complete Alive and wasn’t felt to be viable any longer to support the platform.
The game itself got to a working demo stage, with lots of graphics produced and has been sitting on the developer’s Amiga. The programmer is currently in the UK, and their Amiga is in Italy, so it could be some time until the work is dug up once more to potentially showcase. Paolo also has all the artwork, but that is also in Italy, whilst he is in Poland – and could be a while until he gets back to his Amiga due to the pandemic.
Paolo concluded with some positive news that Darkage Software is active again on the Amiga market, and hoped that work on Alive could be resurrected in the future.
In 2023, Paolo got in touch and provided Games That Weren’t with graphics, music and the intro sequence to add to the page, which you can find below. Sadly there is nothing of the game itself, but this may turn up some day in the future. For now, check out a glimpse of what could have been.
With thanks to Paolo D’Urso for his time and contributions.