As with Solider of Light, it seems even Alien Syndrome once had an earlier edition in production by a completely different team. However, with this entry – it was being developed for publication by a completely different company.
Similar to the situation with Airwolf between Ocean and Elite, U.S. Gold were intending to convert and release the game to home computers and had commissioned Adventuresoft (via Mike Woodruffe) to do the Commodore 64 conversion.
Assigned to the task was developed Mat Ellis, with graphics by Simon Dunstan. The team were sent the arcade machine for about a month, where the team got to work getting as much of the game converted as possible. However, after just a month of work – the deal had fallen through and The Edge/ACE had got the licence instead. Mat feels that had they been able to continue, their conversion would have been superb.
To try and make some money back and make use of what was a great looking engine coming together, the team decided to rework the game into an Alien Syndrome clone called Subclavian, featuring robots as main characters.
When asked if anything of the original Alien Syndrome edition had survived before it was changed, Mat sadly confirmed that he no longer had anything. Copies had been shipped weekly via Red Star, so it is possible that a few copies may exist somewhere – but nothing has been forthcoming. Mat sadly had all his work stolen from their offices in May 1991.
At the very least though, you can check out Subclavian for an indication of how it was shaping up. The name of the ship called “VEGA” being a subtle change from “SEGA” of course. There are bits of the Player 2 panel present at the top as well. Looking through the code, there seemed to be no other remnants left, of old unused sprites or similar.
Hopefully some day something of the earlier Alien Syndrome themed edition will be found.
Contributions: Mat Ellis