It was thought that this possibly may have been released as Combat Crazy, due to the fact that the game has a tune in it mean’t for G.I. Hero, and also G.I. Hero and Combat Crazy sound like two similar styled games. However it was found not to be the case.
G.I. Hero was a game originally released for the Spectrum and Amstrad. It received poor grades and even in play testing the play testers thought the game was a joke.
It sounded impressive with the use of Mike Singleton’s technique from Dark Sceptre to have large sprites walking around on the Spectrum without colour clash, but it was still a rather shite game. At the end of the day, it was merely a simple maze game where you walked around with a rifle and shot a few random soldiers. You had to get out of the jungle alive, and finding your trusty dog would help you out.
Adverts were released for G.I. Hero, but it sounds like the game was so terrible that they decided wisely not to release the C64 version which was slightly delayed at the time. We assume that is the case based on information told by Richard Hewison.
Richard also had this to say which shed light on the game further…
“I got in contact with a C64 artist for info on a published Rainbird C64 conversion (Weird Dreams) and it turns out that he also did the graphics for the C64 conversion of GI Hero.
His name is Steve Hall and I’ve told him you’re interested in any info he might have. He was doing the graphics for Daisysoft (aka Delvin Sorrell) and as soon as he mentioned this I vaguely recalled Delvin’s involvement in G.I. Hero. ”
So it seems that we have some leads now, and could possibly find something of the game.
We got in touch with Delvin (now Patricia Curtis), and she informs us that the game was ported across from the Spectrum along with Steve Hall, and the port was actually complete. She believes she was actually given back a mastered copy of the game at some point too, though feels it could have been the Spectrum edition.
It is great to hear that the game was completed – but sadly it seems very much that this has been lost in time. Patricia confirming that she no longer has any of her development disks. Steve was the same as well sadly, so it could almost be a case closed 🙁
Contributions: Please get in touch!, Richard Hewison, Patricia Curtis, Nemo
Richard Hewison speaks about GI Hero from his Firebird days…
“GI Hero was a Firebird game that was released for the Spectrum and CPC in 1988. I had the misfortune to playtest it – the game was woeful. GI Hero used the same technique (on the Spectrum) that was used in Mike Singelton’s game ‘Dark Sceptre’ – allowing large sprites to walk around without the dreaded attribute clash (all they did was put a large thick 8-pixel outline around the large characters!). It was a simple maze game where you walked around, collected a rifle, ammo and had to find your trusty Alsatian dog to help you get out of the maze alive. It really was a terrible game to test – I distinctly remember it being ridiculed during the testing phase for being so bad!
GI Hero did involve your soldier having to shoot a few other soldiers as he wandered around the maze – it relieved the boredom a bit I guess if nothing else! 😉
Dave Rogers wrote the music (he coded a Silverbird game called ‘Biospheres’ which was for CPC only – it turned out to be the last game he ever wrote as he then concentrated on music). Blitter Animation designed and coded the game and (I think) Richard Cheek did the graphics.
I don’t remember ever seeing a C64 version, but it might have been planned and then dropped once they realised how awful the game was!
As for Combat Crazy, that was written by Martyn Chudley (last seen at Bizarre Creations) as Powerslave Developments. The chances are that the music commissioned for a possible C64 conversion of GI Hero was economically re-used for Combat Crazy. There’s no other link except that Colin Fuidge was project manager for GI Hero (as far as I can remember – it was 17 years ago now!) and he also managed the Silverbird budget range. Both games had a military theme so I guess it was simply used for the budget title instead.
I certainly don’t remember any GI Joe license being involved at any stage of either game. Combat Crazy was simply a budget game with a military theme.
I had a quick look around the web and found the music by Jeroen Tel. As you say, it’s been called GI Hero but I guess you’d need to track him down to ask about its origins?”
- 01/05/20 – Page tidied up
- 22/03/17 – SFX credit added thanks to Nemo
- 25/01/15 – Patricia Curtis sheds light on the development of GI Hero.
- 28/05/14 – Added scan thanks to Ross Sillifant