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One of the most infamous of GTW games comes in the form of a well sort after game “Bamboo”.

What a better way to introduce the game, but for a clip from Finnish computer magazine “Mikrobitti” in December 1988, thanks to Seppo…

“Boys without brains, who programmed the game Hawkeye, are making a new revolutionary game for the C64. The idea of Bamboo is to rescue your beautiful girlfriend from an evil witch. Like Hawkeye, the boys are pushing the C64’s graphics to the limit. The amazing effects are possible thanks to a 8-directional bitmap scroll-routine coded by Mario van Zeist. Bamboo smoothly scrolls in its 8 directions for its example graphics made with Koala painter, at the speed of 1-100 pixels per screen refresh.”

Jori Olkkonen wrote this text, who is rumoured to have known the guys behind Bamboo, and have seen a demo of the game running, due to his knowledge of the game’s technics.

Commodore User described the game as “Featuring a cute main character, the game is based on the Ghost n Goblins/Wardner style of play, and features some technically clever hi-res scrolls, whatever that might mean.”.  A demo was apparently to be shown at the PC Show in 1988.

This was then later written in an issue of Games Machine magazine:

“Crazy Dutch programmers The Boys without Brains – creators of Hawkeye – are delving into their Commodore’s insides to find a game with the (tongue-in-cheek?) title of Bamboo. Although little is known at present, it’s a massive shoot-em-up with a nifty eight-way directional scrolling routine. Plans are afoot for a Christmas release if the dykes hold, and we’ll bring you the full preview very shortly.”

Zeldin, a past GTW contributer with informations and games, informed GTW of his past contact with Mario van Zeist, who proclaimed his new game as far superior to Hawkeye. What makes things rather interesting, is the fact that Zeldin remembers that his bitmap scroller was for a very colourful SEU in the style of Armalyte. Zeldin pointed out that he could not be precise if this is what he saw. Of course, all of this a very long time ago.  It seems that thanks to Jan Schulze, that Zeldin had infact seen another game in production called Hydrogenese and not Bamboo!

Contributor Jan Schulze found some information in ASM magazine issue 7/89 which stated that Mario van Zeist and X-ample were hired to make games for Digital Marketing.  Regarding Bamboo, the snippet stated that  “a hero had to travel through five levels – a fairytale land,  a cave, the realm of the dead, ancient Japan and a future world.  In these levels, the hero had to solve puzzles, find secret rooms and rescue friends.”

The article also confirmed that Thalamus WERE to publish the game.

A link to help finding the crew behind the game, could possibly sit with the fact that Jacco van t’Riet (Jaws), did the graphics ad he was part of the demo/hacking circuit in Holland. So possibly people from this area will know of him, or even have contact?  One final link… to Mario himself is that possibly a MWS/Radwar still has contact with him. If you are MWS, then can you help?

To round off though, the game never surfaced as you may have guessed, and it was canned, with Flimbo’s Quest being their next game to actually make it. How far did it reach, and does this amazing game exist in any form still? We hope to find out soon from Mario and possibly Jacco too. We’ve added Thomas Detert’s music for the time being, which is quite oriental.

All we know is that it could be very soon we get to see something of the game, as in recent times (2010) remains of Hawkeye 2 have been preserved and it is being checked if anything of Bamboo is out there.  Interestingly in 2013, we found in Games Machine June 1990 – a reference to Bamboo 2 actually being Hawkeye 2 (see scans).  Were they the same game?

A mouthwatering prospect of a game, lost…

Contributions: Seppo Aikas, Zeldin, Steve Day, Jazzcat, Jan Schulze

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