The King’s Ransom

1993 ReadySoft Incorporated

Platforms: Commodore Amiga and PC

Following on from Wrath of the Demon was a new title from ReadySoft called The King’s Ransom, with the same level of detailed animations, but a bit more in the way of interactions and inventory. The game was due for release on both the Commodore Amiga and PC back in 1993. The story would go as follows:

Long ago, a circle of the most powerful wizards in the land bound the myriad forces of evil into several small crystals and hid them within a distant mountain. This was not enough to contain them, however, and the evil festered and grew. Your king has asked you, the bravest warrior in the land, to seek out and destroy the crystals before the evil can consume the entire kingdom.


The game was a mix of arcade and graphic adventure – where you would build your character’s attributes and arm them with a variety of weapons and armour to battle over 40 creatures across 150 locations.

The locations would include six cities, the forest of Zur, the twisted mazes of Kheas and the Crypt of the Lost Soul. You would eventually end up travelling to the Mountain of Kandor to battle the vengeful Lukhan in the final struggle.

Technically, the game would feature 60 frames per second multidirectional smooth scrolling. There was also to be over 2500 frames of animation and 500 different characters to interact with. A movie-like soundtrack, with sound effects and speech throughout.

We’re not quite sure if this would be the case with the Amiga version, but the game was expected to require CD-ROM overall. It is plausible that the game could have been yet another CD32 title on the cards.

Overall, the game featured heavily in magazines of the time, with many previews and screenshots shown, indicating that the game had got quite far, and wasn’t just a series of graphical mock-ups. There was even an advert for the game that went out.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until the title mysteriously disappeared with no further status updates. ReadySoft continued to release a few more games up until 1996, when the company was sold off.

Contributor Arthur Y makes a good suggestion that looking at “KingsRansom21” in the gallery, the art style is very similar to Wrath of the Demon, so it could well be that Claude Pelletier was the artist. We’ll try and contact Claude to find out more.

Thanks to Arthur, it was flagged up that a post on the English Amiga Board talked about the game’s development, including input from those involved.

It’s suggested here that the game was indeed supposed to be a sequel to Wrath of the Demon, and was being done by Abstrax. Developer Pierre Proulx replied on a linked thread about his unreleased works:

“The most important one as mentioned in some of the threads here was King’s Ransom. The game was supposed to be some kind of sequel to Wrath of the Demon combining action and arcade-RPG elements. The game had a massive storyline with hundreds of different characters that you could interact with in many ways. The game had been in development for 2 years in parallel on Amiga and PC and was 85% done when it got unofficially “cancelled”.

Another title was called TRIX. It was some original puzzle type game. The game was basically completed but unfortunately never got released. Maybe someday if time allows I’ll code a PC version of it.

We also developed another yet unnamed one which was some kind of Smash TV clone and also one more which was a bit similar to Q*bert. All those were done in the early 90s. Since then, there would be many more unreleased PC and console titles to list but that would be a bit off topic.”

So why was it cancelled? Pierre then popped back in 2015 to explain why:

“After 2 years of development, the game was unfortunately put on hold so the team could be assigned to some more pressing console projects. Regrettably, we never went back to complete it and after a few years, the Abstrax team split off so the whereabouts of the latest version of the game is very much uncertain. I possibly have some parts of the Amiga version sitting in a box in my basement but reviving that would for sure be time consuming and quite a challenging task…”

We hope to learn more from Pierre and see if something can be found of the game from someone who may still have it, so that something can be saved.

Thanks to the thread, we learn that the musician was Eric Heberling, and added a midi file on his old website that was intended for the game. We have found it thanks to Wayback machine and have added it here under downloads.

If you know anything more about this game, please do get in touch using our contact form.

With thanks to Karl Kuras for highlighting, Arthur Y for the artist suggestion and research, Wayback Machine for helping save part of the game’s music, Abandonware Magazines and for the scans.



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