Status: Preview, Findability: 3/5

Also known as: Long Haul

Exodus was to be a side scrolling shoot em up that owed it’s inspiration to Battlestar Galactica. A kind of cross between Defender and Uridium.

The game was previously unknown by many until Darren Melbourne shed some light on the game out of the blue. This was to be a game published by Nexus, who were most famous for their American Football game, Hades Nebula and Nexus the game.

This particular game consisted of a variety of levels. Each level was to feature ten massive craft that the player had to defend from swarms of invading enemies. Flying back and forth amongst the fleet the player had to control both himself and his wingment to combat enemies, repair damaged craft and safely see them through the jumpgates and to safety. It apparently looked very impressive.

The game was shaping up very nicely very early on and was hoping to be published by Nexus, but sadly Nexus went into administration and the game sadly never got published as a result. The game was stuck at its very early stage of development

It was never sold on to anyone else, so sadly Exodus was to rot away. A huge shame, as Ned’s graphics were reportedly excellent in the game, and would be very nice to see. Sadly Ned no longer has anything of the game, and neither does Richard who got in touch recently about the game.

So who would have a copy of the game?… we weren’t sure, but we recently found a set of source files which seemed to have the remains of the game. Certainly the charsets are in place, but the map graphics and sprites may be missing. How much can be reconstructed?

Well, Jani Tahvanainen has painstakingly put the game together and has helped us to present a preview showing the early title screen, an asteroids sequence and the main game. It isn’t fully playable, but another one saved and certainly worth a look. The main ships within the game are very impressive, all constructed from just the one character set as Darren originally mentioned – just scroll from left to right to see the variations.

Also, here is some concept artwork to show the ship which Ned had visioned:

Thanks to Jani, you can now check out what is probably the last remaining version of the game. This is pretty much as far as the game ever got sadly, and we may never know if it would have done well – another one saved though in its final state.

Case closed!

Contributions: Darren Melbourne, Rick Paynter, Ned Langman, C64.com, Jani Tahvanainen

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Richard Paynter speaks about work on Exodus…

“Spotted your site whilst randomly googling and noticed myself on there as Rick Paynter (how I used to be known at school). I did indeed know the guys at Paranoid Software back in 86/87 when I was 16/17. I was a commodore 64 programmer back then, although only completed onc game “Worron” for Firebird, which never got released.

I did undertake the programming on the game “Exodus”, but if memory serves me right, I was too young, too interested in University and A’Levels plus the 64 ‘scene’ and the associated company’s were dying.

The game was never completed, only about 50%, was certainly not ready for release… although Ned Langman’s graphics were superb. I’ve not seen or heard from the guys in 20 years. Since then, I’ve gone on to be a software developer in the defence and financial industries, writing the head up display for the Euro Fighter back in the early 1990s. More recently, I have also become a professional musician writing music for television and film, most notably the recent Land Rover advert with Ewan McGregor.

I got involved with Exodus when I met Paranoid Software via some chap called Charles Lawrence (we used to hang around Regal Software in Gillingham) who lived in Medway (where I was living at the time). Charles invited me up to Paranoid’s offices in Beckenham to meet Darren Melbourne, Ned Langman and Mark Greenshields… and we hung out for a bit. I agreed to write Exodus for them, Ned Langman already having some impressive graphics put together.
I forget the details of what happened next, but I think everyone lost interest and the scene was changing. I would be interested in Darren’s details actually – drop him a line… I think he still has a video of mine from 20 years back :) What is he up to these days?

Funnily enough, things have come full circle as I now would be interested in getting into video games from a musical perspective… So in conclusion, not sure I’m worth a slot on your web-site… :) Good luck with the site… a worthy cause I feel.

Funny to have found this link.
My website is www.richardpaynter.com

Not long after Exodus was reconstructed, Richard fed back:

“Wow – that was a blast from the past!

Thank whoever got involved in that for resurrecting that little lot. Strange to see a window into your childhood when I wrote it (I was 17).

If you scroll along, you’ll see all the other ships. Superb graphics. Nice swearing on the title page as well Richard! Haha! Even to this day, I still use uppercase profanity in the log when debugging trading software. Stands out more than anything else. Some things never change.”

Ned Langman speaks about work on Exodus…

“I unfortunately lost the discs that had all the artwork but it was similar in style to Uridium. The game was to play like Defender but instead of rescuing humanoids you would defend giant starships.

I don’t remember who we were developing the game for but I recall them wanting to change the name to Long Haul. I think Exodus had already been used.”

Darren Melbourne speaks about work on Exodus…

“The graphics were nothing short of incredible for the time and featured ten huge spacecraft (think Battlestar Gallactica) which were constantly under attack from the forces of The Emperor Hades (See Hades Nebula).

The player had to fly around the ten ships as they moved through quadrants of space reaching jump gates that would allow them to enter hyper space and to eventually make it to Earth and safety. Rick had the scroll and the mini map/scanner working (map and scanner in the top border and other info in the bottom) and some of the rudimentary code such as star fields etc.

However, when Nexus pulled out of the games industry and pulled our funding the game became another of those Games That Never Were!! “

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