Back in the summer of 1985, Ritchie Brannan was trying to break into the games industry, and got a gig producing a game based on Fantastic Voyage for Ariolasoft.
Early on it was renamed to Braindeath, probably as Ariolasoft couldn’t get the licence or something along those lines.
As you’d expect, the aim of the game was to go around the body, fixing valves and going down veins to travel around and kill off germs and so on.
Ritchie suggests that there was colour cycling to give the sense of movement, and veins could split to give a choice of direction around the body. Art work was provided by Paul Smith (of Viz Design fame), and the game almost completed.
However, Ritchie suggests that they may have been holding off publishing until all platform conversions were complete (to combine marketing), and during that period – they decided to pull out of the UK market before the game could be completed.
In a strange twist, we showed Ritchie another Fantastic Yoyage themed game from around the same time that never saw release. Ritchie responded that the graphics were certainly the same as what he had for his development.
It seems that there was an earlier development that had been started, but likely abandoned, and graphics from that project were passed over to Paul Smith (who then tidied them up slightly and added more graphics for Ritchie to utilize). Ritchie was never provided any code as a starting point and was never aware of this earlier development.
Ritchie offers some hope that we may be able to see the game some day – and if he finds his work disks, will be posting them down to GTW to preserve (if they still read). This could be a very fantastic voyage in itself.
Contributions: Ritchie Brannan