Cascade were a little company, most famous for their “Ace” series on the C64 and other platforms, and infamous for their “Cassette 50” compilation for almost every machine that existed. In 1988, they gained the rights to a popular TV show of the 80’s, titled 19, and were to create the computer game in two parts, releasing part two at a later date.
Similar to Konami’s Combat School, the released ’19 Boot Camp – Part One’ featured training sections such as obstacle courses, shooting, and new features such as driving rough terrain.
The idea was for part one was to train up for the Vietnam war, saving your soldier once trained for the next part of the game. Part two was to offer the chance of loading in your saved soldier into a war zone environment, with plenty of action packed sequences. Thrilling stuff, we hoped.
Part one became better known for its excellent Rob Hubbard mix of Paul Hardcastle’s classic tune, whereas the game itself didn’t perform particularly well. So it remained to be seen if Part Two could ever make up for the disappointment of the first part.
There was only ever the odd clip of news mentioned that part two was being worked on, but no screenshots or any previews would surface, and the second part would disappear without a trace. Contact with Mark Greenshields initially confirmed that the game was in the planning stages, but then Cascade went bust and so the game was never even started. Though it seems this wasn’t quite the full story.
‘A twist in the tale’
Interestingly, it was later learned that there were to be two separate games produced for the sequel. The first game would be an action game set in the Vietnam war created by the Cascade team who worked on the first game. The second game would be a completely different style of game altogether – produced externally by Consult Computer Systems and would feature on the opposite side as a bonus game.
It seems that the action game itself only got to planning stages, but the Consult game would get much much further overall. Development would be by Paul Cole, who went on to convert Strider on the C64. This second game would be a graphical arcade adventure game set in San Francisco, where you had to control a hippy who wrote letters to congress to stop the Vietnam war.
In total, Paul worked on the game for about 3 months before leaving the company. Paul felt that the game was impossible to program and had impractical ideas overall. The game was supposed to understand letters that were anti-war and score points for them. A lot of AI, even by today’s standards. Paul no longer had anything of the game, so there was originally little chance of finding anything.
Well, Mike Lyons got in touch with GTW in December 2022 and revealed that he took over from Paul and finished the game. It was the collapse of Cascade which ensured that the game never saw release – which separately suggests that the action game may have got somewhere further than Mark recalls.
Mike explained that Consult was not a nice place to work, and he had left before the game was finished. However, Cascade agreed to pay Mike to finish 19, which he obliged. When Cascade then collapsed, Mike never got paid. Mike then returned everything back and never heard anything again.
‘Saving Private Graphics’
A few months later after first contacting GTW, Mike then found some disks labelled with “19 graphics”, which contained graphics as you would expect. Sadly after checking many different disks, no working build of the game could be found. Mike has kept the door open though to send anything over if he finds any more disks in the future.
Mike explains that in the game, you would control a hippy character who walked from left to right and right to left, going past scenery and buildings. You would be able to enter certain areas, where the game would flick to an interactive area which showed a small scene picture and gave an area to communicate via the keyboard.
An example would be walking through the main street scene, pressing up at the café building, where a picture is then displayed. You could type to ‘buy food’, followed by ‘eat’ – resulting in the character’s energy levels being topped up.
When looking at the graphics, we were able to get the small scenes displaying to take some screenshots – though the colours are not 100% accurate. A loading screen, a Win and Lose screen – as well as main character sprites and other bits and pieces were also recovered (including some of the text that would have been displayed to the user).
Check out the gallery below, along with a download of the assets which Mike has kindly given permission for us to add. Sadly it is unknown who did the graphics – hopefully some day they may spot this page and confirm their credit.
I was unable to find anything relating to the scrolling scenes, though there are one or two files which seem to have graphics that are compressed down (see “DS.DATA” on the disk). It’s possible that this may contain the scrolling graphics, but it has been confirmed that there is no executable code and very little code in itself.
It is hoped of course that remains of the Action game can some day be found, but also the full adventure game too. Mike has given hope that he may find more disks in the future. For now, check out a glimpse at part of the 19 Boot Camp Part 2 which you never knew existed!
Contributions: Jazzcat, Mark Greenshields, Paul Cole, Gaz Spence, Marco Das, Mike Lyons
Paul Cole talks about work on 19 – Part 2:
“Game was based upon a hippy writing letters to congress to stop the vietnam war. But the design of it ws too big and too complex, it was suppose to be able to understand letters that were anti-war and score points for them, quite a bit of AI even by today’s standards.
With 19, I think the idea was original it was going to be on the opposite side of the cassette version, or second disk, but the game never got finished. I don’t know who worked on the cascade version, as we were a separate development house.
It was to be separate from their battle games and set in San Fransico.”
- 07/08/23 – Added remains of the graphics and updated the page with details about the adventure game.
- 19/12/22 – Possible finding of remains of the game.
- 03/12/22 – New coder details revealed.