Thanks to screenshots from various magazines for an Amiga version of Nighthunter, it can be confirmed that this is in fact Nighthunter by Ubi-soft.
In the game, you control a nice Hi-res overlaid Dracula who must roam around his castle. Pressing down on the joystick turns you into a wearwolf type character.
The first two previews have no sound, and the first preview doesn’t have very good scrolling. Preview two has much smoother scrolling, but little more than the first preview. There are a few glitches and bugs in both, but this can be put down to the stage reached by the previews. Dracula can actually walk in the air, and moonwalk too!
The third preview actually contains music by Jeroen, and allows you to go outside of the castle. This seems to be a later version of the game, and possibly this is how far it reached.
Jereon Tel’s awesome music sits in the HVSC with its awesome samples and can also be downloaded from here. Apparently the tunes were done in a rush thanks to Ubi-softs quick demands.
Originally it was not known why the game was cancelled, as Ubi-Soft continued to produce C64 games until 1992. Possibly the game was too hungry for sprites, as the main character is very well animated, two sprites high and has a overlay. Certainly by hacking into the game’s code, the player seems to have all his animations which he would have had in the full game. There were no other sprites made.
So how did this game sneak out then?… why are these previews out there?… Was the programmer in with a cracker?… Why?… How?…
Well, thanks to a contributor – we learn that the coder was a chap called Guy Mille – who worked on Iron Lord previously for Ubi Soft. Although the game was seemingly progressing well, Guy was under huge pressure regarding the graphics and fixing glitches, freeing additional scanlines. Some of the demands were a bit too much, and Guy called it a day with Ubi Soft and moved on. Bruno also confirms that this was the case sadly.
As a result it seems – Ubi Soft decided to cancel the C64 version. Did Guy release the remains of the game as a result of this? Nope – Guy had handed over the source code after leaving the project for pastures new.
There does exist a version which features enemies and sprites, which is what started to cause the glitches and issues that evented in cancellation of the game. Sadly the demands put on the conversion were too much, and so Guy decided to call it a day.
It is now very unlikely that the last version of this game will ever see the light of day, but you never know. It is lucky that this version at least did make it!
Contributions: Ross Sillifant, Unknown, Bruno Kortulewski, Nimo, Guy Mille, Nemo