Indeed, there was another version of Penguin Tower in production, by non other than Ewen Gillies.
After the non-appearance of the original game by Jani Hirvo, Ewen was very disappointed and decided to create and finish off the original game for people to play, though project work stopped at one point. Ewen had started the whole game from scratch, using the graphics from the original.
While in conversation with Wayne Womersley of Art Ravers, Wayne found out that Ewen had this game that was in production, but he needed a musician. Wayne, a big fan of Andrew Fisher’s music, got them both in contact, and a co-op version of the game was to be produced.
Andrew created a series of jolly tunes for the game (Which are currently in HVSC), but sadly Ewen only really completed a few previews before stopping work to move away from the C64 scene for good.
Ewen also got Kevin Tilley involved, and asked Kevin to design all the levels and some additional bits for the game. Kevin did so, though Ewen never got to see the designs, and Ewen disappeared and scrapped the game due to PC commitments.
The game was very near complete, and what with Kevin’s level designs and Andrew’s music.. this could be a almost complete Penguin Towers game. It JUST needs to be bolted together really. The game played very fair to the original title by Jani Hirvo (It’s not known if Jani knew about this conversion).
The preview still exists, and now thanks to Ewen and Andrew, they can now be downloaded. Basically the zip file consists of the preview itself, all the SID music that Andrew composed, a Level editor for the preview and some level maps. Hopefully one day I will be able to present a more complete version with title screen and the music integrated.
This is an accurate version of Penguin Towers, and you may be surprised. What with the Level Editor being present, the potential of finally seeing Penguin Towers on the C64 in some form was a reality. Well, in 2023 – the original game was finally finished off and released by Jani, which you can find here.
A case closed once more for GTW, and a successful one at that.
Contributions: Wayne Womersley, Andrew Fisher, Kevin Tilley, Ewen Gillies
Ewen Gillies speaks to GTW about ”Penguin Towers v2’…
“Penguin Towers. Even to this day it’s like “ooooh no, not that <Censored> thing again!”.
Basicaly my little brother (Lucky) showed it to me, he simply LOVED it. Of course he was disappointed that it was never released. From my point of view, it was quite a good conversion and it could work on the C64.
So, to avoid any copyright problems, I actually started to rewrite portions of the code so the original author couldn’t moan about me stealing his code (there was also a few parts that would work better recoded). I spent most of one day printing off the source to it, along with the masses of tables used.
Andrew Fisher was kind enough to port over a lot of routines to the PC for me, including the game. So, out with the old C64Diasm and into MSWord with it (of all things to use !). Okay – not very honest, but I recognised at the time there was a lot of people feeling REALLY let down at the time – Lucky and me included – that there was no final version.
As you can see, I left a lot of the original artwork in the preview thats out along with a few levels that me & Lucky made using the editor (that editor was merely a “quick and dirty” method for making the levels. I was toying with the idea of allowing people to create thier own levels). I was hoping to also include some “inter-level” levels just to keep it from the mundane “play through 100 levels”.
To cut a long story short. I got involved in the PC quite heavily – mainly on the “security” side as well as a full time job that was _VERY_ demanding, the C64 scene just seemed to “slip away” in it’s level of importance.
There was a working title screen and highscore screen (with a nice little cheatsystem built into it) – although I lost a lot of my PC 64 things and only have whats on that site, although my 64 floppies are still somewhere in England.
Maybe one day I will get around to finishing that game just for the hell of it – it seems to keep comming back and haunting me !
23/11/23 – Tidy up and link to finished original.