Platform: Commodore Amiga (and later PC)
In Thalimar: Land of Chaos, you control a powerful mage – a servant of darkness who wants to take over and burn villages, kill innocent people, and carry out other unceremonious acts of evil. A bit of a twist on the usual hero role like you get with most games.
Whilst solving a series of puzzles and completing various missions, you would cause chaos by desecrating temples, use dragons to raid villages, cause tensions between different regions – all attempting to accumulate with disorganization of political and social life and dethrone the king.
Produced by Insomnia back around 1999, the game was very similar in style (and no doubt inspired by) to the Ishar series of games, being a 3D RPG dungeon crawler style game. The project as a whole was initiated by Paweł “Zombie” Ząbek, who was responsible for the graphics and musical setting of everything you can see within the screens and the prototype.
In 1998, Paweł advertised in Amiga Computer Studio magazine for developers, artists and screenwriters to help with the game. A year later, the name was finalized and it seemed that progress was being rapidly made.
There were big plans for the game which was coming at a time where the Amiga was already struggling badly with new releases. There was to be a huge world to explore, lots of rendered movie clips and music which played straight from CD for example. It was a hopeful and welcome relief for gamers who were starved of new releases.
A demo was released on Amiga Computer Studio magazine (which you can check out below), which gives a promising glimpse of how the game was shaping up. The team were already promising to increase the size of the game window from 191×111 to 220×134 at a later date too and better graphics were being produced as well. AGA Amigas would eventually be the minimum, with a CD reader – though RAM size was to be decided at a later date.
As the Amiga further declined, so did the work on the game. On one forum, one of the developers named Marcin Nowak revealed that the project had failed as the team was scattered, a roadmap for development wasn’t present and no deadline was set. Also, it was an extremely complex game to implement, and the team didn’t really have the budget to see it through to completion.
Marcin had got involved very early on with the project after answering Pawel’s original advert. He had worked alone with Pawel for quite some time until the published demo was released.
It was felt that there was a lack of experience showing too, but the team had a lot of fun and with a lot of people involved from those initial adverts. It became a labour of love for many of the team as a whole.
There were plans to resurrect the title in 2006 (likely for PC), and a project website was created too with early tests with a 3D engine. There was no interest from the former team, and so that died out too. Marcin suggested the possibility of putting things out there as source code to maybe finish (if legal issues could be resolved), though it seem the Amiga sources were accidently destroyed – which is tragic news to hear.
There was also mention that at some stage a “shoot-em-up” demo version was created, where you could shoot marines with a shotgun. All of which was done for fun. Apparently this might be out there somewhere, so if you have this – please do get in touch.
Marcin listed some people who had been involved on the project, which included Frag[2k], Slayer, Adam Rucki, Marcin “Little Horror” Jaskólski – who were a few of many who were apparently involved at some stage or another. “Little Horror” in particular would do the job of adding the storyline to the game, planning the world map and may have been responsible for the later press releases.
At the time he was hoping to get in touch with them again to discuss the game (and possibly get permission to release/use their work). An artist called ‘Slide’ then revealed that he had some avatars and gui that he had created with Frag on his hard-drive.
Apparently, Slayer’s graphical work was more or less in the original style like you can see in the prototype, though Frag would do things differently in hi-res.
Another developer called ‘Jokov’ revealed that he had also been producing a game with the same name, and was annoyed to see this game announced back in the day. In 2012 – he was looking to resurrect the title, possibly using some of the assets that were produced for this game. This unfortunately seemed to stall. Marcin tells us that he and Pawel are the only ones who have the rights to the title at this time.
We hope to learn more about Thalimar some day, and maybe even have something more of the game to show here. For now, check out the demo for an early glimpse of how it was shaping up. Will we get to see the more improved builds that were done later on or will this be it?
Marcin recently gave some details regarding the Shoot-em-up demo which you may find useful when checking it out:
Shoot’em up joke has slightly enhanced engine.
8 – go forward
7 – turn left
9 – turn right
4 – strafe left
6 – strafe right
5 – go backward
Additional keys (Shoot’em up):
z – fire!
d – debug info
c – toggle between “camera” and “look” modes
In “look” mode:
[ – previous look
] – next look
In “camera” mode:
, – previous cam
. – next cam
However, multiple cameras seems unfinished.
To enable hidden 3rd person mode:
– enable “camera” mode
– hit “m” to enable “motion camera” (MCam: 1)
There are more hidden features. If you find them, write a comment!
Have fun! :)
Thanks to Rygar, we have now added some additional Assets below, which includes the Shoot-em-up version of the game which Marcin mentioned. DamienD has very kindly also packaged up a nice HDF, which contains 2 versions of Thalimar (the original demo, patched – and the shoot-em-up fork of the game).
With a huge thanks to Rygar for the scans, links to downloads and information about the game, DamienD for creating the HDF package of both versions, and to Marcin Nowak for additional information, corrections and assets (as posted at ppa.pl)
- Thalimar-Land-of-Chaos-AGA-HDF (2 versions, packaged thanks to DamienD)