To follow Arsenal winning the English Premier league, Thalamus gained the rights to produce a game based on the big club.
The guy behind the game was none other than the creator of past Thalamus hits, Summer and Winter Camp, John D Ferrari. Not only that, but after reports from the dire Commodore Power magazine, Apex were also lending a helping hand on the conversion. This was part of an interview with John and the Apex twins in 1992, which will be making its way to GTW in a future update (Note the unlinked “Articles” at the top).
Thalamus unfortunately folded soon after Zzap’s publisher’s Newsfield fell through, and any projects left over were left in limbo, including their “Arsenal” licence.
This was concluded after Commodore Force ran a quick obituary to “Arsenal” in a later magazine, supplied with a screenshot of the Amiga version of Emlyn Hughes (Strange eh?). That was it, nothing was ever seen of the game.
However, according to sources, a preview did actually make its way out, or a preview had been seen by some people, who commented that the game was mean’t to be awful. Of course, we’d love to judge that for ourselves one day we hope 🙂
Commodore Power held an interview with Thalamus, which included John Ferrari who was at the time working on the Arsenal conversion. Nothing was really mentioned about the game that much apart from John’s enthusasm for working on the conversion.
According to sources, the game was not shaping up that well, but we may never find out sadly as John passed away in 1996 due to a heart condition. We expect that nothing may exist of any of his earlier work, but we hope to find out soon. A huge shame as John produced many titles that I grew up with.
Check out otherwise the tunes by Warren Pilkington, which was produced and pitched to Thalamus for the Arsenal game, but either rejected or not used because of the game being cancelled. Some extra tunes and sfx were recovered in 2015 and added as well, as well as some notes from Warren himself about the tunes.
A sad end for Gunner fans…
Contributions: Jason Kelk, Brendan Phoenix, Warren Pilkington, HVSC
Warren Pilkington talks about creating music for the Arsenal FC licence:
“I was writing the Football Tunes demo and had pretty much finished the demo. It got a release on 29th February 1992, and originally had references to Manchester City.
However, I soon realised that Thalamus were going to do an Arsenal licence, and so to showcase what I could do, I amended the demo to mention the names of Arsenal players where needed instead of Manchester City players, and sent that particular version off
to Dave Birch of Thalamus. Both versions are available via the same disk I submitted to CSDB here:
A week or two later I had a phone conversation with him, and he effectively asked if I wanted to do the music for the game. It was verbally agreed on that phone call, and basically I’d be put in touch with the programmer at some point to discuss where the music needed to fit in memory etc.
As far as I can recall, that sadly didn’t happen. I went on with producing the music in the meantime anyway, and got as far as I did before finding out that it wasn’t going to happen due to the declining C64 market.”
Notes on how to run the new tunes from Warren Pilkington:
ARSENAL1 – The sequences for the Arsenal SFX
ARSENALV – The voices for the Arsenal SFX
TOGGER1 – The sequences for the Arsenal title theme (work in progress)
TOGGERV – The voices for the title theme
FOOTY END – The sequences for what would become the Football Tunes demo
FOOTYV – The voices
To listen to them in Ubik’s Musik, load up the editor, press RUN/STOP for the disk menu and select to load file. Select 8 for disk and then load the voices file. Do the same again for the sequences.
Now return to the editor and a press of F8 should play the tune. For the sfx, you can go to the menu and select Edit New Tune and select 0-4 for the different effects.