Enduro Racer V2

Electric Dreams

Status: Preview, Findability: 3/5

After what was an abysmal conversion, Electric Dreams were seemingly keen to make up for some reason.

Instead of just forgetting about the conversion, a later PCW show (Zzap issue 32) had reports from Electric Dreams about
working on a new revamped version of the game.

Now we are not sure if this would have been from the same perspective, or from a new Zaxxion perspective which was adopted by the Master System version. It is likely that they would have had a better programming team, or the same team with new techniques to improve the conversion.

But the big question is why Electric Dreams considered doing another version?….

In 2011 we had a very interesting email from Kevin Tilley who (based in Australia) had a copy of the Big Box 30 compilation by Beau Jolly. Previously I had found there to be a rather different version of Wonderboy in the compilation (with an enlarged main sprite), but Kevin’s version had a very different version of Enduro Racer in place.

A crack of this version seems to have existed for quite some time, but has been tucked away without much fuss and named “Super Enduro Racer”. The game seems unfinished with a number of glitches, but it is fairly close to completion and upon closer inspection, we noticed the words “By Orlando” written at the start.

Now Orlando is better known as Nick Pelling, and we need to find out more – but Nick has had a connection with Enduro Racer from the very start – even being credited to the game conversion that did make it (when actually it was Doug Anderson who was behind the conversion!). Was Nick behind a reworked version of the game, or was this entry actually a V1 rather than a V2?

The game feels much much better than the final version, featuring rolling hills, better graphics and better looking sprites. Speed is a bit slow though, but you can see the promise. There are about 5 stages in total too – though you can drive all over the place, and the collisions aren’t quite sorted.

Nick Pelling got in touch with GTW64 in 2014, and confirmed that he did work on a new enhanced edition of the game.  It was an enhanced disk only edition which was intended for the US market (simply as sales of the 1541 were low outside of the US).   Nick believes it was cancelled fairly close to completion and was never properly released – with no payment being made for the work.

How did the unfinished game come to end up on a random copy of Big Box 30, when no-one else had that version?   Nick believes that it was likely a simple mistake from someone within Activision who grabbed the wrong master disk – why for the Australian version we do not know.  We may never know either!

We’re not sure if there is more of the game to be found or why it was actually cancelled, but we hope Nick will confirm that soon.

Contributions: Kevin Tilley, Tony Williams, John Buckley, Nick Pelling

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Nick Pelling talks about work on Enduro Racer V2:

“Yup, I worked on a version of Enduro Racer for Activision/Mediagenic: as I recall, it was intended as an enhanced disk-only version of the game for the US market (simply because at that time sales of the 1541 disk drive were low outside of the US). I can still remember the game’s version of the arcade music (though was that done by David Whittaker? I can’t remember). 🙂

However, I’m reasonably sure that it got canned very close to completion and was never released. I certainly don’t recall getting any royalty statements. 🙁

If it ended up on a Beau-Jolly compilation, that was probably a mistake aboard the Activision mothership, someone grabbing the wrong master. Happens!”

Update history

31/08/14 – Nick Pelling confirms details about his conversion.

14 Responses to Enduro Racer V2

  1. The whole compilation is a bit strange, with the disks containing weird, frozen versions of most games, multiload games missing files and alternate versions of some other games such as Wonderboy. I don’t think a lot of time and effort was put into it. I’ll archive the disks one of these days.

  2. Wowza!.Fantastic to see the legend that is Nick Pelling on here!!!.Firetrack on C64 was all kinds of superb.Huge thanks for the info Nick.Do you feel the C64 was ever really ‘suited’ to the conversion of Enduro Racer ?

    Also, i’d love to do a mini-interview with your goodself in the near future.If your up for it, please drop me a line (Frank has my details).Ta.

  3. Yup, I worked on a version of Enduro Racer for Activision/Mediagenic: as I recall, it was intended as an enhanced disk-only version of the game for the US market (simply because at that time sales of the 1541 disk drive were low outside of the US). I can still remember the game’s version of the arcade music (though was that done by David Whittaker? I can’t remember). 🙂

    However, I’m reasonably sure that it got canned very close to completion and was never released. I certainly don’t recall getting any royalty statements. 🙁

    If it ended up on a Beau-Jolly compilation, that was probably a mistake aboard the Activision mothership, someone grabbing the wrong master. Happens!

    Cheers, Nick Pelling (AKA “Orlando M Pilchard QC”)

  4. Just seen this. I apologise Vincey if you felt I was giving you any stick – certainly was not my intention to make you feel like that and nothing I set out to do. I’m just here to read about this whole era and hopefully very occasionally (well, 1 find in 7 years isn’t bad? :/\) help Frank with the excellent work he’s done to date, not to start fights 🙂 Peace

  5. You are assuming it’s not an early master – but it’s not out of the question for superior versions of games to have been scrapped and restarted for whatever reason. Just look at the situation with R-Type for that.

    Check this page Frank put up earlier in the year:

    https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/2013/04/wonderboy-c64-a-rather-different-looking-version/

    It sounds like your version of Wonderboy may be the one referenced on this page as from the BJ pack. They’re not massively different, outside of the main sprite and the skateboard missing in the BJ version.

    If I had to guess, I would say the Wonderboy situation is two versions at different points in the game’s development – one version is just more advanced than the other whereas BJ Enduro is a completely different game to the trash that was released. I haven’t played the BJ version so I can’t possibly comment on if it’s better or not but what leads me to thinking that both are V1s is that crucial missing content in the BJ Wonderboy – the missing skateboard is a big thing.

    Whether it’s better or worse is irrelevant to finding out why development on it was stopped, or altered – for both games.

    • Yeah, from what I have found the Beau Jolly only ever released that odd version of Wonderboy with the single expanded sprite, not the version with two sprites and the skateboard. I’ve never seen a copy of the pack with the corrected version, but there is a chance that there could be copies out there. Hopefully the coder will come forward and shed some light some day… if we can find out who it was (not Jim Smart though!)

      Enduro Racer is still a very odd one though… Was Orlando’s version the original? Or was it to ammend the wrong of the eventually released version. Neither developer of either version has ever replied to me (i’ll chase again), but thinking about it now – it is very possible that Orlando fell out with Activision and decided not to finish the game… then Doug Anderson came in and did a conversion quickly (ala R-Type).

      Time will tell hopefully! 🙂 Certainly Activision really had some issues back around 1987-1988!!

        • Vincey – neither myself or Hank have given you any stick. I actually said that it is very possible that you had played a different version of Wonderboy than the rest of us. The only version i’ve seen is the expanded sprite version, but I was saying that there is a chance that there could be different versions… very much like it has been proven for Enduro Racer. You may have had a rare case of a different mastered copy.

  6. The more likely scenario is that Activision sent Beau Jolly the wrong masters in the first place. Although it remains to be explained quite how they would’ve sent an early master of Wonderboy and a V2 of Enduro Racer – unless we’re looking at this all wrong and Orlando’s Enduro Racer is actually a V1. Not impossible I suppose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*