Some of you may remember a little game from the covermount of Commodore Zone some years back, called Quota, a neat little game. Created by the talented Chris Young around 1989, Chris had previously been working on a game before then called Gyro Shoc in 1987 for Lynsoft.
The game was a bi-directional horizontal scrolling shoot-em-up that featured a orbital object around the player. This was the idea of none other than Jason Kelk, who was good friends with Chris Young.
The game was based loosely on ideas from Dropzone and Wizball, amongst other popular games of that time, where you could build up your weapons like Wizball and clear various waveforms. Although Chris wasn’t able to find a copy of the game when we preserved his disks, luckily Jason managed to find a 90% complete version. Although not the final version (possibly now lost), it featured most of the game, but had some bugs and no sound.
Jason was originally to tidy the game up for the covermount of Commodore Zone magazine in the late 1990s, which then closed its doors in early 2000 or so before he had the chance. In subsequent years, he always wanted to go back to it and complete for release – though there was an issue with the game consuming too much memory. It needed a lot of work.
Separately, around the time Sailor/Triad helped Matt Young (Chris’ brother) put together The Bubbler for GTW – Matt had given Sailor PDS sources for Gyro Shoc to take a look at. However, as Jason had still plans to tidy up and release the game, it was left for Jason to instead polish off the game for a future release on GTW. However, Jason tragically passed away in June 2021 from the effects of COVID-19 and would never get to do this in the end.
As a result, Sailor decided to carry out the work that Jason was planning to do, so that it could be released in Jason’s memory and showcase what could have been. Both Sailor and Taper/Triad got in touch with GTW to coordinate a release of the game this Christmas in 2021 in Jason’s honour, and so here it is.
The game has been carefully re-built from the old PDS sources, with some relocation of data and general tweaks where necessary to get it all running properly. It is a lovely title by Chris, which once again showcases his talent back then and also Jason’s influences.
Although nearly complete, we can’t quite call it a full game because it is missing sound and music and a bit of final polish. There are several levels and many different waveforms, and some cool weapons to upgrade to. The Wizball influences are clear to see.
We still hope that some day Chris or Matt may find something of the last build of the game – if they do, we’ll update the page once more. In memory of Jason this Christmas, please enjoy and see a glimpse of what could have been a great space shooter.
With thanks to Taper and Sailor/Triad for their hard work putting the game back together.
Contributions: Jason Kelk, Sailor/Triad, Taper/Triad, The Ignorance