Beat’em ups were at an all time high around the early 90’s since the launch of Street Fighter 2 in the arcades. The C64 managed to get in on the mix with a poor conversion. However, other beat’em ups were popping up elsewhere, clearly inspired by the franchise.
Death Blow was one such title which was being developed by demo coder Rob Rawson-Tetley, who is better known as Demi-God, and contributed a lot of demos and bits to Binary Zone PD back in the day.
Clearly the game was never completed, but for reasons as yet unknown. It is possible that Rob may have moved on from the C64 to pastures new, maybe real life got in the way? But the stage the game got to is pretty good and promising so far. There are titles, character selection and level selection screens – though none seem to have any effect just yet in the game. There is one sun set background which looks reasonable, though you cannot actually properly move your players it seems (only being able to kick at this stage).
Is it possible that Rob compiled this up and put it out there, knowing that the game was never going to get finished?
Well, we managed to track down Rob, and he confirmed that the game was never completed. The title was believed to have been started in response to the disappointing Street Fighter 2 conversion, and to prove that a better job could be done.
Rob was 17 when he started coding the game, and it was just done really as a bit of fun. By the time of 1994, he had turned 18 and was working full time, doing a business degree at college and writing business software on PC. Rob commented that developing C64 games by yourself was pretty laborious and time consuming, and in the end he didn’t have the time to fit it in with other commitments. So it was left unfinished and abanoned. Oddly, Rob has no recollection of himself releasing the demo, so he can’t recall how it got leaked!
When asked if any more was ever written, Rob replied that this demo was as far as it got. There is sadly nothing more to show!
So thanks to Rob, we can close the case on this game!
Contributions: Rob Rawson-Tetley