Franko 2: No Mercy

1995-2003 Mirage Media / World Software / Horn

Platforms: Commodore Amiga 1200/CD32, PC and Game Boy Advance

It may have been a basic fighting game with simple graphics, but Franko: The Crazy Revenge did pretty well in the Polish games market in 1994 and has a hardcore set of fans today. It resulted in a sequel that was started in 1995, with a whole host of new features and enhancements over the original game.

Early build on either Amiga/PC.

When mentioned in snippets as early as 1995, the game was said to be including digitized backgrounds and characters, with a series of new moves being developed. You would be able to interact more with your surroundings, picking up garbage cans and the like and using as projectiles, and the game was to be a lot gorier! Your main character would also have over 200 frames of animation, compared to the dozen or so which the original game’s character had.

The main target platform initially was the Amiga 1200 with CD drive, though a CD32 edition was planned too. Graphics and design were handled by Jarosław Szubert and Mariusz Pawluk, with the code being handled by Tomasz Tomaszek (who had coded the original game). Sławomir Mrozek would once again handle music/sfx.

Mariusz spoke with in an interview, and mentioned that Franko 2 was to be a game like no other. They had two concepts planned originally, a fighting game with a traditional push scroll in one direction. The second concept (which would take precedence) was a partial scrolling game very much in the style of the 1987 Renegade arcade. You would be able to control one of four different characters, including Franko, each with their own fighting strengths and techniques.

There would be a whole series of weapons, such as shotguns, swords, pipes, Molotov cocktails and chainsaws for example. Lots of interactive blows to characters too, such as being able to hit an opponent’s head on the hood of a car, with lots of blood and gore throughout. When the Amiga began to die out, the project was moved across to the PC in 1996. According to Tomasz Tomaszek in an interview with, the PC edition was due to be published by a company called Horn.

Tomasz also revealed that the game was in development on the platform for around half a year. AMOS was replaced by C++, with procedures for displaying objects and scrolling done entirely in machine code and optimized for the Pentium processor. A good chunk of the engine was ready, with the ability to fight with one opponent and with advanced keyboard controls, similar to that of Mortal Kombat, where you could press buttons multiple times in different sequences to cause different attacks.

Unfortunately, when DirectX started to take off, it was found that they would probably need to redo everything codewise, which would heavily slow down the project. However, when Horn ran into some problems, the project failed and the team members went their own separate ways.

gba scaled
Screen from the later GBA edition.

A few years later, members of World Software group would try to resurrect the project in 2003 – this time for the Game Boy Advance. Mariusz would be involved once again, this time with Adam Goiński on programming duties. The game would be an extended version of what had been planned for the Amiga.

The game was sadly cancelled due to Nintendo not consenting to a game that violent being created for their platform. The game had apparently got quite far on this particular platform, with at least a single level demo produced.

Over 10 years later, it seems a fundraiser was made for a PC edition of the game (at which point had changed names to Franko 2: Emigrant Blood), but the game had no further updates, even though the developers suggested the game was still in development in 2017 and gave evidence with a series of screens. We hope to learn more about this version soon.

When looking at trying to salvage materials for the GTW archive, an old archived website from 2004 suggests that source code for Franko 2 has sadly been lost, including the PC edition from 1996/97. Tomasz revealed that sources were lost on a CD lent to a friend back in 1998. Sławomir Mrozek suggests that he still has music that he composed for the game, and Jarosław Szubert dug out sprite sheets and graphics (which you can see below). There are apparently early versions of the GBA game still around, but have yet to be released.

An unreleased intro sequence from the game managed to sneak out in 2010 on YouTube (of which we’ve also added a download here), but there isn’t anything else out there yet apart from various graphics and animations that were intended for the game. If you know anything more about this game, or possibly may have something of the GBA edition – please do get in touch.

Thanks to Tony Aksnes, we afterwards learned that a sequel of sorts was eventually released for the PS4 in 2023, as well as PC called Skinny and Franko: Fists of Violence. So potentially ideas from the second game have sort of made it out into the open.

With thanks to Rygar for the images and information, Tony Aksnes for information about the PS4 release and for snippets and info from the developers.



2 Responses to Franko 2: No Mercy

  1. Very interesting material. Alw why does the link to the Skinny and Franko review lead to the most game-hating review ever? The guy crushed her there with idiotic, untrue arguments. The game is great, although it had some challenges, and many people don’t like it. This is a mistake

    • That’s a good point! Apologies for missing that. I had originally thought it was just an overview of the game, and missed the “bashing” part of it (added in a bit of a rush, so my bad!). I’ve instead linked to the Steam page on the game, so people can check it out and play.

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