After the first great puzzler, Demonware decided that a sequel was in order, and so the C64 version was put into planning… but how about production?
We are not sure, but Peter Thierolf tells us that he remembers not much, but that a group from Berlin was developing the C64 conversion. This was all he knew (see Creator Speaks).
We are not sure how much more the sequel would have offered from the original game, though it will be interesting to find out and see how far this game ever got. Mentioned in Commodore Format as one for the future, we know that plans at least were certainly made for its creation.
Jazzcat additionally found some notes on a Youtube video which said the following:
“This was an unreleased Sokoban/Bomberman-like puzzle game and one of the few games made by the German company Kaiko. It was supposed to be the successor of Gem’X. Unfortunately, a copy of the Amiga version got stolen at a fair in Cologne, Germany. So, it was canceled as well as the versions for Commodore 64 and PC, although the latter two were almost completed. The music was done by Chris Hülsbeck, who also composed the music of games like Gem-X, Turrican, The Great Giana Sisters and R-Type.”
Chris was questioned about his involvement on the game and he didn’t recall anything sadly. It is assumed that he would have composed the music. Well, after a bit of browsing through HVSC, we find that it seems to be Matthias Hartung who was behind the tune. We have added the music (Dated 1993) to the archive. Could Matthias know more?
Well, he did… and he was the original composer for the game. He confirmed that he was asked to compose the music by Frank Michlick, who was based in Berlin at the time (which ties up to Peter’s story). So we have now contacted Frank and hope to find out more very soon.
Maybe you know more as well?… It seems very likely that the C64 and PC versions were indeed almost complete, which could mean a very exciting discovery for the future?
Contributions: Peter Thierolf, HVSC, Matthias Hartung
Peter Thierolf recalls work on Gem-Z for the C64:
“I am sorry to say that I actually have very little to offer. I have been shareholder of the company that created Gem’Z which is Gem’X 2, and I have been the original creator of the game idea, but I don’t have access to files from that time any more.
The C64 version had been given to an external company – if I remember correctly that was a group of people from Berlin – and it has not been finished.
I am probably doing the C64 guys wrong, but I remember that we had problems in the cooperation and the quality was rather poor so we decided to stop the production.
I think, the version just had one demo level from the multiplayer part running but graphics were ugly and we just didn’t believe in the feasability of it any more.
Sorry, but that is about what I can contribute.”
31/10/13 – Matthias Hartung confirms that he did the official game music. Contact given to chase about finding out more about the game. Coder now confirmed!