1990 Ultra Games
Platform: Commodore Amiga 500
It was announced in January 2021 about an unofficial conversion of the MSX classic Metal Gear to the Amiga – very nearly complete, and should see some kind of release very soon. However, there was also an official conversion in the works way back in 1990, courtesy of Ultra Games.
Both the PC and C64 editions of the game were in fact released. The advertised Amiga edition in RUN 73 and Amiga World Vol 6 was never to surface at all. It became the subject of much questioning over the years from Amiga fans as to what happened to it.
Several years ago we did a joint Amiga post on Contra/Gryzor, where commenter Termie Gen found a developer commentary from Charles Ernst that suggested Banana Development was also given responsibility of the Amiga development. We checked this lead out and Charles confirmed that he had no involvement personally on the conversion or was aware of it, and suggests that Banana Development also only ever worked on one other Amiga game from what he recalls.
How far did the development get? Well, a single screenshot in an advert didn’t say too much – so it wasn’t clear if it was anywhere near completion or not. However, contributor Max Whyte spotted additional Amiga screenshots on the back cover of the PC release, which suggests that it must have got pretty far, and even completed.
Super C programmer Foster Hall recalled that Konami pulled all games for the Amiga at one point in the US due to waning sales on the Amiga. This is most likely why Metal Gear never saw release in the end.
We checked with the head of Banana Development, Matt Markwalder – who confirmed that it was only the PC edition that they worked on, so the search goes on for the developer of the Amiga edition. If you know anything more – please do get in touch!
Apologies also to Termie Gen, as we accidently suggested that he had established that Banana Development was behind the conversion, when it was just a lead being highlighted. The article has been corrected above accordingly.
With thanks to Termie Gen, Ross Sillifant, Matt Markwalder, Chuck Ernst, @nivrig, Mobygames (for the box scan) and Max Whyte.
When browsing through MobyGames, I came across several screenshots of the alleged Amiga port. Since these screenshots exist in the first place, I would doubt that no effort went to the port at all. Something should have been left behind for sure? Please check these screenshots of the cover art and make your own judgement: https://www.mobygames.com/game/metal-gear/cover-art/gameCoverId,14330/ (note esp. the three screenshots top right, the graphics differ from all the other ports). I was convinced enough myself.
Great spot Max, thanks for that! Added the screenshots to the piece and updated the text with a credit to yourself.