Orcus

Electronic Zoo

Status: Preview, Findability: 3/5

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Electronic Zoo never produced much decent stuff on the C64, but that was to change with the stunning ‘Orcus’. A sideways scrolling shoot-em up which featured a shop with 29 (!) different add-ons on offer. Haydn Dalton informed GTW that the game also featured over 5,000 sprites altogether and many levels of awesome graphics.

JCH supplied the music, an incredible array of tunes, some of which sound almost human like. Luckily these slipped into HVSC, and are available from here to listen to in a suitable SID player.

So basically the game was to feature the full works and playability to potentially match (if not better) Armalyte, and judging by the preview, it had it in it to do so.

Mike Ager contacted GTW and told us that the game was never completed due to him, Haydn and JCH not being paid, and the tight deadlines included.

In the meantime, Jazzcat has uncovered a very rare and much more advanced preview of level one. Infact, level one is stated to be 90% complete in this DCS crack (See a pattern here?). This is a superb look at the game, which gives a much better indication of how it was shaping up. There are colour splits, sfx, more enemies and sophisticated attack patterns. Check it out!

Interestingly enough, all the previews we have were cracked by Donut Cracking Service. It seems that Haydn passed on previews to a guy called Micheal (Mik) Bailey, who MAY have more of the game. Haydn believes he passed a much fuller version onto him… so could there be a more complete DCS crack out there?

Hopefully soon we will be able to bring you Orcus in its final state, which many C64 users have been wanting to get hold of for years.  For now, you can play some early previews of the game, with some basic attack forms and early previews of the main game’s shop.

As an additional bonus, Jazzcat has uncovered some rare music and SFX demos done by JCH. Although the music is already in HVSC, the SFX is not!… and there is a bundle of SFX which has not been used in the game and are quite unheard of. This includes a very cool GET READY and GAME OVER set of effects which sound like speech, but have been cleverly generated using the 3 SID voices. Enjoy!

Unfortunately Mike Ager has never responded to any of our messages regarding the game, so we are left to hope that he may decide to preserve all his old C64 disks and show some of his works.

Will the game ever be fully recovered?

Contributions: Mike Ager, Phil Davis, Jazzcat, Kenz, GRG

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4 Responses to Orcus

  1. Quote, “Interestingly enough, all the previews we have were cracked by Donut Cracking Service. It seems that Haydn passed on previews to a guy called Micheal (Mik) Bailey, who MAY have more of the game. Haydn believes he passed a much fuller version onto him… so could there be a more complete DCS crack out there?”

    I used to be very good mates with Mik Bailey in the 80,s. not seen him however for a very long time. Not even sure if he still lives in Oldham where I live. If I ever come across him I shall ask him about these previews that Haydn passed onto him. I can’t remember if I spoke to him in the early 90s about still having his C64 stuff when he used to work at the local computer shop. I will let you all know soon if I manage to come across him again.

    • Hi there, that would be great if you could get hold of Mik, as if there is more to discover then that would be amazing.

      • Just had a look at the Facebook email you sent me. That is the Mik I used to know. Sadly though I don’t use social media so can’t get in touch with him that way. I’m sure if you send him a message saying that Haydn and myself pointed in his direction then I’m sure he will respond. He was a very generous guy when I used to knock around with him all those years ago. If he still has his disks then he will probably have some demos I did all those years ago. Me Mik and Haydn used to compete with each other making pictures and sound demos before Haydn put his talents to better uses!

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