After the popularity of Tau Ceti, it was inevitable that a sequel would appear. Pete Cooke was responsible for the original game on the Spectrum, and John Twiddy the C64 version. The C64 version is confirmed by the release platforms in the ACE magazine feature.
Read Attack on Centralis for more info, but basically John Twiddy was working on this unofficial sequel, but had it turned down by CRL before it could be finished. Pete had however started an official sequel called Academy and finished it on the Spectrum. By this time it seems that John Twiddy had moved onto pastures new, namely System 3, and left CRL without a programmer with possibly enough knowledge to create a conversion of Academy on the C64. So the game never surfaced.
Clement Chambers (Head of CRL) had the following to say:
“Academy came out; I’m pretty sure. However Attack on Centralis didn’t. My development head got poached and took Pete Cooke (Tau Ceti) with him. Academy was Pete’s last game for CRL and Twiddy did the C64 port and hence would have done the C64 Centralis port. Hence Twiddy evaporated and went off. The company in question went bust and left them all in the lurch; so in the end it evened out.”
So could Academy have really been finished off by John, but for reasons unknown unreleased? Maybe John left just before his conversion was complete. It is big news, but John Twiddy is trackable, so who knows what could be uncovered in the future.
Jeff Lee confirmed he was mastering the Spectrum version, but never recalls seeing a C64 version at any point. Was it canned early on?
Does anyone know how to get in touch with John?
Contributions: Andrew Fisher, Alex Ross, Clement Chambers, Jeff Lee, Peter Weighill