The thing I love about working on Games That Weren’t, is that even after over 20 years – we still get the odd surprise surface. Our next entry is a title by an author who created a VIC-20 game which is very close to my heart.
Lordsfire is a title by Jeremy Walker, who had previously produced Envahi on the VIC-20 for Virgin Games in 1983. Jeremy knew the C64 was the machine to have and produce for, and got to grips quickly with the hardware to produce his very first game on the platform.
His idea was for a very loose interpretation of the Thomas Covenant books by Steven Donaldson, with a multi-part game – testing out the potential of the C64’s video and sound chip, and what Jeremy felt was “a ridiculously large memory of 64k!”.
In the game, you were to control a young Lord of the castle-in-the-sky, where you have inherited a mighty winged steed and a powerful fire-staff, but more importantly the hand of a beautiful princess in marriage.
Furious at being overlooked on the wedding guest list, a coven of witches steal and lock her away in a distant tower and cast your staff deep into a volcano. Heartbroken, you head eastward on a quest to save her.
The game would take place across 6 distinct locations overall, including: The Wood, The Volcano, The Battle, The Cerulean Caves, The Well and The Coven. It was a neat and ambitious first development by Jeremy, all crammed into a single load and developed over a 2-3 month period.
However, Virgin Games would sadly reject the game. Jeremy felt he had missed the boat, and games were now written by teams of dedicated people and his new game didn’t quite make the cut, even though it is a pretty impressive first effort. Unfortunately we wouldn’t get to find out if Jeremy could improve on things, as he decided to leave the games industry at that point.
Rotting away on a disk for 38 years, Jeremy managed to find a copy of his game and kindly sent it over to GTW to fully preserve after Simon Birrell put us in touch. So now for the first time in almost 40 years, you can play this multi-part game from 1984 that was intended for Virgin Games.
Looking at the title, I’ve certainly seen far worse games see a release – so it seems quite harsh of Virgin Games to reject it. The main character sprite looks brill overall, especially the winged steed!
So here it is – we hope you enjoy it, and a detailed chat and piece on the game with Jeremy will be found in a future issue of FREEZE64 too, so be sure to check it out!
Contributions: Jeremy Walker, Simon Birrell, Vinny Mainolfi