Ok, before you start shouting – yes, Pac-Land was indeed released on the Commodore Amiga, and it was pretty terrible too. However, it seems that things could have been very different indeed, when contributor Hank highlighted a video on YouTube showcasing a very different and much improved version.
We also made a quick video to show you it in action here:
As you can see, it looks and feels a lot better than the version that we ended up with. It is quite advanced overall, though it crashes at present when you get past Stage 7 (where you can also walk on the water).
The question is where did it come from? It seems that this earlier development was leaked quite early on and has been around for some time, but not really covered in much detail or its existence covered. It is so different from the final release, that it must have been by a different development team.
We asked C64 developer Allan Ogg if perhaps it was the work of his co-programmer, the late Martin Gannon. He explained that it was highly unlikely, given how stressed and burnt out the team were after doing the C64 conversion – but he concluded with “Never say never”. So at present it is unknown who exactly was behind the development – but maybe there are some clues tucked away within the preview?
Codetapper has very kindly gone through the preview, and first of all has extracted all of the graphics out to include in our gallery. Everything seems to be fully used, with nothing that wasn’t included.
Sadly they found no clues as to who was behind the game – with nothing obvious within the code. Codetapper hopes to compare the music to confirm the author and possibly at some date to some analysis of the code to see if it matches anything similar by someone else.
With thanks to Codetapper for the supplied sprite sheets and help with digging through the demo.