Cyclone was to be a helicopter game released by Ocean Software in the UK back around 1985. It was produced by Tony Pomfret shortly after Hunchback 2 was released.
The first we hear of the game was from Martin Galway in an interview with C64.com, that the Ocean Loader 1 tune was meant to have been used on an unreleased game called Cyclone.
After a bit of digging, we found that Cyclone eventually was released as Helikopter Jagd, but not in the UK! It was only released in parts of Europe under the Quelle Soft label. Essentially the same game, but just with a title screen and name change.
It was revealed in Retro Gamer recently in 2020 that Tony Pomfret was asked to convert Vortex’s Cyclone to the C64. He thought the game was a bit shit, so decided to make his own game based on an earlier title he produced before joining Ocean called Bushfire.
It seems the deal for Ocean to release Cyclone fell through or something, as Vortex released the game themselves, and Ocean only released Tornado Low Level. The game stalled, and was eventually renamed as Helikopter Jagd and given a limited release.
Some theories so far are that the game was actually originally to be the Ocean conversion of Airwolf, before Elite got the licence. If you look at the title screen, the helicopter is almost identical to the one in the Airwolf adverts that Ocean released. Another theory was that the game was simply not good enough and was sold off to make a small profit to Quelle Soft to launch. Tony has mentioned no link to Airwolf, so this can be dispelled.
We believe there is still a story to tell with this game, even though a release was actually made. What happened to the UK release, and what really was this game mean’t to have been? Hopefully Tony will shed a bit more light some day.
Contributions: Martin Galway