In the early 90’s, the 16-bits were greeted by a new style of adventure game with a character not far off from that of Impossible Mission. Another World and Flashback by Delphine were two of the biggest breakthrough’s of their time, with amazing animations and interluding sequences. It was the shape of the future.
Never in a million years would you think that it would make the C64, but Russ Michaels thought otherwise. With the amount of C64 upgrades available from CMD in America, and with the hope that people in the UK would buy this hardware, a game like Flashback was thought a lot more possible, even its animated sequences. But even the game was planned for standard C64’s, without the video footage.
This ambitious project would require a Ramcard/Ramlink to be played, due to the video footage in the game. The game would therefore remain faithful to the other 16-bit incarnations, featuring all the levels, animations, soundtracks, cut-scenes. After seeing Vermes’ Another World style intro in a standard C64, it was not hard to see the possiblities of it being a reality.
Russ Michaels pushed out his idea to the C64 UK public, releasing a small two screen slideshow to the subscribers of Commodore World magazine who recieved the free disk with each issue. Russ gave the option for people to pre-order the game for around £12.99. If enough people showed interest, the project would go ahead.
Unfortunatly with no pre-orders recieved, the game plan was scrapped. Leaving remains of just a slideshow to get people dreaming. After talking to Russ, it seems that a little more was done than just two screens. Infact, pretty much of the first level was ported over and most of the character animations and collision detections were complete. All graphics were ported from the Amiga, and required some heavy tidying up, which Russ did for the majority of images (Including those in the slideshow).
Russ unfortunately gave all his disks away, though one person who did obtain some of the disks is currently looking to see if they have anything. Recently though a slideshow was recovered thanks to Kevin Tilley, which includes another Flashback convert screen.
Ambitious, but thats about it.. More to see soon though I hope.
Contributions: Jason Kelk, Russ Michaels, Kevin Tilley
Russ Michaels speaks about work on Flashback…
“The entire first level (jungle) was digitised from Amiga and ported over to the C64. All the screens needed to be seriously touched up on the c64 to convert into 16 colours. the screens in the slideshow were the ones that had been cleaned up.
The sprites and animations of the main character were mainly done, and I had done some work on the bitmap collision detection so that he could walk on the level..
I had a bitmap level editor for building the flashback levels and had some of level graphics already built in the level editor. ”