A bit of a surprise, but whilst flicking through issue 7 of ACE magazine, we found a write up on Maelstrom games, where the 16-bit title Grimblood was mentioned.
When discussing about if the 8-bits were being abandoned, they were clear that they were not and gave an example of Grimblood having to lose frames of animation on the C64 to be squeezed into memory.
Therefore we have a clear indication that a Grimblood conversion for the C64 was under way – possibly well under way!
The final game didn’t get a release until 1990 by Virgin, so possibly by that stage they had decided to ditch the C64 market. Andy Elkerton confirmed that the game was being looked at for the C64, but it was decided that the restrictions of the machine were just too much to do a competent enough version.
Was the conversion ever actually started then? This part is unclear, so we may still need to do some more digging to find out who may have been on this project or if it was decided early on before a byte of code was even written.
Contributions: Andy Elkerton
Andy Elkerton talks about work on Grimblood:
“Grimblood was also well under way when I joined. I did the 16 bit art for the loading screen, winning screen, losing screen, and various in game icons and bits and bobs. It was a sort of Medieval Cluedo set in “Castle Grimblood”. Members of the team wear dressed up in suitably Dark Age clothing and wear then digitised into the game. It also had computer generated speech. On paper the whole thing looked very promising, but in reality it looked horrible. To differentiate one room from another, and one character from another, there was a bit of code that automatically coloured a section of the ceiling, or the a piece of a digitised characters clothing, from a colour palette chosen by Singo.
Now, Mike may have been a phenomenally creative designer/programmer but his eye for colour was abysmal. As a result the game often looked garish and ugly. A C64 version would have been an unholy mess. I think it was talked about but the restrictions of the machine were just too much to do a competent enough version.”