Brides Of Dracula was a strange game from a relatively unknown company on the C64, Gonzo Games. However, Paul Smith and Steve Howard were known from their days at Viz Design, where they had created Werewolves of London and Brides of Frankenstein. This new game would be an unofficial sequel to that latter game.
The game would feature a split screen huge smooth scrolling game area with nice GFX. You could enter various rooms or go outside picking up various weapons and solving puzzles with either 1 or 2 players controlling either Dracula or Van Helsing.
Encountered each other, you then would have the chance to hinder the other players progress. Similar in most ways to the Spy VS Spy trilogy with more to do etc.
Alan Botwright, the game’s creator, spoke to GTW and informed that the reason this game was never released, was due to the fact that Gonzo did not pay Alan or any of the team for their work and Gonzo Games subsequently disappeared. It is most likely that Gonzo Games went under before the C64 version could be finished and the team paid.
When asked about the game’s existence now, Alan replied.. “It was 98% finished! I Might have an old version in a floppy disk somewhere. Unfortunately I now longer own a 64 or disk drive!”
With some more contacting to do with Alan, and possibly the off chance of him allowing GTW to find the game, we may see the game one day soon in the archives. A competition was ran in Zzap 64 (87), as with Daffy Duck, and the following people were promised a copy of the game with a leather jacket with the game’s artwork.
Mr M Yeoman, Kenton, Middlesex wins game plus leather jacket with game artwork on back. Runners-up are; Mr A Fraser, Moy, Inverness-shire; Master E Frawley, St Pauls, Glos; Chris Pearce, Meole Village, Shropshire; Steve Bromfield, Ashton-under-Hill, Evesham; David Madon, Hemsworth, W Yorks)
Did any of these people get a full game? It is very unlikely, as Alan confirmed that the game wasn’t actually finished. In 2014, we got in touch again and the news wasn’t great. Alan has many disks, but it is unknown what is on them – most will be just random code from his demo coding days.
There could well be Brides work on some of the disks, but they will likely be in PC format – as the game was developed on a PDS based system. Alan offers hope that some day it could be dug out, but with family commitments – it may never happen. GTW has offered its assistance with checking out any disks and preserving though, so you never know.
Paul Smith of Gonzo Games could now be the last remaining hope, but with a name so common on the internet – we may never find him. Alan suggests he was the last person to have the game for certain and the development system itself. Could Paul be found some day to shed some light?
Contributions: Alan Botwright, Peter Weighill, John Christian Lønningdal
Jason Green speaks about work on Brides Of Dracula…
“I was doing the artwork for Alan’s C64 version. The Amiga and ST versions were completed at which point the company owner, Paul Smith, skipped out of the country with our money. The C64 version wasn’t completed at this point, so its progress was halted.
I don’t know about the C64 music, the audio bloke for all versions was George Wilkons. It played okay, pretty much like the other versions but less complete.
I don’t have anything on disk of the C64 version.
Jason Green .