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A big surprise now, but we are happy to learn thanks to Avram Dumitrescu that Backlash (The cool Encounter 2 sequel on the Amiga/ST – was started off on the C64, or at least sort of…

In Michael Rooke’s early days at Novagen, he started a proof of concept with basic graphics and sound effects which caught the attention mainly for the sound effects which were used in X-Terminator and Battle Island eventually. Backlash sadly never got past the proof of concept it seems, and C64 support from Novagen was swiftly dropped soon after Battle Island and X-Terminator.

It could be that it was the fact they wanted to concentrate on 16-bits why they ditched this C64 conversion. Well, Michael got in touch and tells GTW that he produced a graphical mock up demo showing some potential concepts of what the next version of Encounter could be like. It didn’t do very much, but it had some sound effects incorporated (Most of the time was actually spent on the SFX more than on the main mockup itself – using a bunch of macros which manipulated the sound chip and written by Paul Woakes)

The reason for the mock ups being done was that Paul was thinking about Backlash and wanted some ideas from Michael for the game. Michael just by chance chose the C64 to do the mockups, but there were no actual plans to do a C64 version of Backlash. It wasn’t cancelled as such, since it never actually was started either in a funny way. Apparently some stuff was actually not included from the mockups in the final game, but will we ever know?… Did the demos/mockups that were to become Backlash ever survive?…

Sadly Michael confirmed to GTW64 that he binned all his C64 disks back in 1998. All that may remain are some ST disks with some potential SFX, but that is it.

At the very least you can sample the sound effects from the game by loading up X-Terminator and Battle Island. But what was the proof of concept like?… was it any good? Sadly we will never know and as a result the case has to be closed.

As an aside you can read an interview with Michael here…

Case closed…

Contributions: Avram Dumitrescu, Michael Rooke

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