Our next entry into the GTW64 vault is a very bizarre title that was leaked back in 1988 by Phoenix (PHX). This is a title which is based on James Herbert’s relatively less known sequel to The Rats, of which the C64 had already seen a strategy game released. In the sequel, London is suddenly nuked by 5 bombs (which corrolates to the start sequence in this game).
What is slightly odd is that the cracker refers to the game being published by Alternative Software. This is the first time that we have heard about the game or any such licence at all. It certainly doesn’t seem to have been released either.
Compared to the title that was released, this is an arcade adventure game where you run around picking up items to then further progress within London and the different rooms and areas.
It’s quite glitchy overall at this stage, and there’s a untidy overlap of the character on the game window before the screen changes. Thanks to Dan Warren, it’s been confirmed that it is a complete game. Here is a play through: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFrM7U9wWCE
There are no credits or details within the game to give any clues as to who the developer was, though the music is clearly by David Dunn in their indistinguishable style. That could well be a possible lead to find out where exactly this game came from, as well as seeing if Alternative Software recall anything too.
Professor Chaos also suggests that the game could have been earlier than 1988, even 1986 – with the year referenced on the introduction screen as “London 1986” and David Dunn’s music routine lacking a few effects that would appear in titles such as Trapdoor (released in late 1986). This does seem a solid theory, so i’ve changed the year for now.
Interestingly as well, Professor Chaos spotted that the font is very similar to the small font used in the C64 conversion of Outrun that was released in 1986. Almost identical apart from some minor pixel differences on some of the characters. Co-incidence?
If you know anything more – please do get in touch, but for now – check out this obscure oddity for yourself.
Contributions: Michael Plate, Dan Warren, Professor Chaos