International Karate

2017 Eric Hilaire

Platform: Commodore Vic 20

Our next VIC-20 entry is sadly one only announced in recent years as a new development. A conversion of System 3’s classic one-on-one fighter International Karate.

Started in 2017 by Eric Hilaire and announced on the Vic 20 Denial forums, the conversion would require an 1024KB Ultimem cartridge to be able to run and hold around 186 large software sprites and features.

There would be up to two players with joysticks via the use of the Protovision 4 player interface.

The sprites were stored as data, with 4 copies of each of the sprites 2 pixels-shifted and with their corresponding masks. The sprite data would also take up 300kb unpacked.

Eric posted some screenshots of his progress, and also an early video – and it was looking pretty good overall.

It isn’t sure how the music would have been handled exactly, but we suspect there would have been a conversion of Rob Hubbard’s famous music. The graphics would be ported from the C64 and tidied up at a later date too. The video above shows a very early set of placeholder graphics.

Unfortunately, Eric decided to cancel the development in 2020 after losing motivation on the project, due mostly to comments about the choice of requiring Ultimem to run the game.

Eric was asked about releasing remains of the development, but doesn’t wish to do so. It is hoped that he may decide to return to the project some day.

Sometimes we need to be more mindful of what a privilege it is to still see new VIC 20 games being produced today, no matter the hardware requirements.

With thanks to Fabrizio Bartoloni for flagging up.

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