We kid thee not… The Alex Kidd rip off was in full production for the C64 by none other than Core Design, more specifically Rob Toone on programming duty, and Terry Lloyd on graphics. Ben Daglish was the man at the helm of music conversion for the game as with the ST/Amiga versions.
Strangely the conversion was never made known about in any magazines as far as we know, and was kept fairly quiet. Production was VERY productive though, and Rob managed to pretty much finish the entire game ready for release. However, for reasons not really known, Gremlin never released it on the C64.
Terry spoke to GTW, and informed us that the game was completed, but they could find no publisher for the game, which suggests Gremlin turned it down and Core seeked another publisher without any luck. Strange that Gremlin were still releasing C64 games back then, and did not release this.
We were swapping emails with both Rob Toone and Ben Daglish, and hoped to find out more about this game and what has happened to it. We do not know how the game played and how it looked, but with Rob now based in the USA it may boil down to the remote possibility of Terry having remains of the game.
Upon looking, nothing could be found… Rob has promised GTW to pass anything on that may be found back in England. It could well be in an attic somewhere. It could well be that this game is now sadly lost, but we will keep trying.
For now, can anyone find mention of the C64 version in the press…. or how about a screenshot?…. If you can help, get in touch!
Sadly when asked again in 2013, Terry hadn’t found anything – and neither Rob or Chris had anything either. It could therefore be lost forever. Terry did say this though…
“Don’t know whether I mentioned it to you before, but any WiP of Axels on the C64 would have been named ‘Wilbur’ as this is originally what I called the game. I was really into the arcade game ‘Wardner’ at the time and that inspired my design and graphics in some areas.
It was Ian Stewart who came up with the name ‘ Axel’s Magic Hammer’ when Gremlin picked up the finished ST and Amiga game for publishing, which itself was inspired by another platformer on the Sega Master System (that inspired my design), called ‘Alex Kidd’.”
See the Creator Speaks page for the time being..
Contributions: Terry Lloyd, Rob Toone, Chris Shrigley
Chris Shrigley speaks about Axel’s Magic Hammer…
Rob & I actualy went and discussed this with Andrew Green, who programmed the Amiga and ST versions. We don’t really remember much. I remember doing it, but for some reason cannot remember wether it was finished or not. I believe it was, but that’s only because i would more likely remember it if I hadn’t completed it.
It was a fun game as you can see from the 16 bit platforms, and Terry Did a great job in getting the design and graphics together. As for why it wasn’t published i cannot honestly say. Sorry.
Yeah, sorry i am no real help. I may have had the disks with the game on and all it’s data, but when i came over here to america those things sort of went missing.
If they turn up with my family in England i shall let ya know :)