Right, just to start but the System 3 link isn’t quite true, and we think this was based on the developers who were enthusiastically trying to produce games on the C64 and may have used the name in the hope that System 3 would be interested in publishing the game. The game was never meant for commercial release, though Maham confirms that it was released around March 1995 in some Iranian computer stores.
The game seems to be borrowing rather heavily from Last Ninja 3 and replaces some of the maps with a few tweaks, the main ninja with a brown beast and keep the same LN3 characters as the enemies, what we have is Beauty And The Beast.
Additionally the preview disk consists of an introduction and outro which features various graphics and music taken from other previously released sources, such as Wrath Of The Demon, Myth and even Arnie makes an appearance. Music, although credited unofficially to Reyn Ouwehand, actually consists of music from Tusker (Matt Gray), Shadow Of The Beast (Moppe) and various other tunes.
All in all, this basically looks like a hack, which pretty good bad considering it borrows from various sources. Maybe this demonstrates a possible use for the Last Ninja engine. There are quite a few levels to play, which differ slightly from LN3 and features some new enemies, such as guard dogs. This is pretty much as far as the game got.
Reza Shamsian got in touch around 2005 time and mentioned that the game was produced in 1995 when the guys were all around 16. This was whilst living in a country where you could not breathe freely and there were many constraints. The game was produced for the love of the C64 and because the machine gave them a lot of joy. The game was pieced together through various sources and learning assembly from a half translated book with many mistakes.
As a result the developers were afraid to introduce themselves to the world of full C64 development in fear of being mocked. It is a huge shame that the game never got quite finished, though unfortunately there would have likely been trouble with the game borrowing so much from the Ninja Series. Still, its nice to see and great that it has been preserved in some way.
In 2012, Maham Samanpajouh got in touch with GTW64 and shared some more background about the game’s development as well as a TAP image of the game with System 3 style loading from Last Ninja 2. Sadly he informed us that Reza had passed away as well.
Please see Creator Speaks for Maham’s notes on the game, and thanks for the extra screenshots which we have also added.
Contributions: Maham Samanpajouh
Maham Samanpajouh talks about work on Beauty and the Beast:
My name is Maham Samanpajouh producer of Beauty and the Beast in 1996 for Commodore 64. Thank you for your review on the GTW64. As the programmer and project director of this game, I have to say; I had only 16 years old when I finished the game. The original game was on Tape, which I do not know if you had it before or not. (I attached it for your reference).
Since I worked hard those days in order to finish the game, I would be glad if you could consider the followings into your review too.
- We used music of different artists, because nobody was expert that time on creating sounds and music for C64. Furthermore, there was not any Software for composing tracks on C64 as well.
- Me and Reza tried so hard to daub lots of the graphics for the game ourselves. I didn’t use the Last Ninja engine at all. I develop a basic compression method instead of Last Ninja Level Mapping Engine and this is the reason we don’t have more than 6-7 screens per level. This is while Last Ninja game normally has more than 20 screens per level.
- I developed the tape loader from scratch. It looks a lot like Last Ninja Cyberload Loaders but it is not. I’m sure Tape experts can proof this is a new loader and identify this as well since it is a new loader.
- The game totally has Developers Introduction, Initial Demo, 3 Different levels (Village, The Wood and The Castle) and a Final Demo. The game end is accessible by normal play.
- There may be many bugs inside the game because this game never tested by other people except us.
- We started to develop an other game named “œMountain Combaters” after Beauty and The Beast but the game never completed because it was too late. Basically, the game was ISOMETRIC like LN series and It was technically more advance than Beauty and The Beast. I manage to use raster techniques a lot and a level graphics engine like LN. Some Screenshots and an Initial Intro is available.
- We never published the game, we did not earn a penny and no one appreciated us for creating such game. Those days are gone now but one thing is still true that we do love C64 forever.
- My final sad words is Reza Shamsian who was my long-term school friend and involved with Storyboard and Graphics of both games is not with us anymore. He passed away 5 years ago because of a sudden Heart Attack when he was only 27. God bless him.
I hope I could give some comments about the only game, which was developed in Iran for Commodore 64 in 1996.
At the end, I appreciate your job done for Commodore 64 preservation. I would be glad if I could help on any part of this legacy project.
24/07/22 – Updated release year and added a note about its commercial release.