Another entry we sadly don’t know too much about, and one we need to question Haydn about slightly to find out some background to it.
We have no ideas of publisher or anything like how the game was shaping up. But Haydn tells GTW that it was to be a Arcade Conversion of a Taito game of the same name. Funnily enough, Elite had already done a conversion (a poor one) under the name of Great Gurianos. However, early on they were not able to do the conversion justice, so they turned it into a side scrolling hack and slash instead.
In 2012, we heard from Bill Caunt, who said that he worked on Gladiator- a conversion of the arcade machine. It is possible that Bill may have worked with Mike Ager on the conversion for Virgin Mastertronic, as they did Continental Circus. Now it is also possible that Bill canned the conversion, and Mike Ager had another attempt for another developer company. Something we hope to confirm in the future.
We know that Haydn hasn’t really kept any of his disks, and Solar Jetman surfacing was a pure fluke. Sadly it seems that Bill no longer has anything either. Chances of this turning up are very remote, until get a response from Mike at least (who sadly doesn’t respond to any messages).
The game was advertised as coming soon in April 1989. So it looks like it was on the way, but didn’t make it for whatever reason.
Contributions: Haydn Dalton, Bill Caunt
Bill Caunt speaks to GTW64 about Gladiators:
“I did some work on a game with gladiators based on an arcade machine, I think it was ‘Gladiator’ or maybe ‘Gladiators’. But we couldn’t do the game justice on the C64 so it was canned.”
Haydn Dalton talks about work on Gladiator:
“This was supposed to be an arcade conversion of the Taito game of the same name. In the arcade version, they had 2 huge guys who’d fight to death, you could swipe parts of the enemies armour off and then strike for weak points. We couldn’t find a way to this properly, so we ended up doing a side-scrolling hack-n-slash instead. Mike Agar was doing the C64 and David Broadhurst was doing the Amiga/St version of it.
Again, as for why this was canned. I don’t know. I speak with the co-founder of Software Creations quite regular, so I’ll see what he knows about this title, plus I work with David Broadhurst , maybe he has something on an old drive somewhere.. “