Rex Hard

Rack-IT

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Another brief one which was mentioned in The Games Machine’s news section. This was a budget title coming soon, but we know little more than that.

Thanks to contributor Pablo Freire, we learn that a young developer from Spain called Javier Fáfula had created an isometric explorer game called Rex Hard on the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and MSX and tried to sell the game.   The title was a sort of Indiana Jones exploration game,  similar perhaps to Indy and the Fate of Atlantis,  some years before the 1992 US Gold game.

After releasing the game in Spain in 1987,  he managed to get to the UK to try to sell it there as well.  Ocean were originally interested, but were no longer once they learnt the game had been sold already in Spain.

In desperate measures, Javier ended up selling the game on the cheap to Hewson, who were likely to release the game on their new Rack-It budget label.  However for reasons unknown, the game never saw its UK release.  Perhaps they also found out that it had already seen a Spanish release?

But it begs the question therefore if a C64 version ever existed at all?    With no C64 version developed by Javier,  Hewson would have had to have arranged for a conversion to have been started.  It seems though that it never even got to a stage of trying to arrange anything.   Maybe we are wrong, and some kind of conversion was started?

Hopefully we’ll learn more from Andrew Hewson in the future.

Contributions: Pablo Freire

3 Responses to Rex Hard

  1. Pablo Freire Amoedo says:

    Thank you!!! Fáfula was a freelance coder back in the day, and not very well known, so the interview where he talked on Rex Hard is probably the only one about his career in 30 years.

  2. Pablo Freire says:

    Hi.

    This was a Spanish game developed by a young programmer called Javier Fáfula. In this recent interview (in Spanish), you can read more information about it. The name of the game in Spain was “Rex Hard” not “Rex Harde”, probably a typo in the magazines.

    http://videojuegosretro-upm.blogspot.com.es/2018/04/entrevista-javier-fafula.html

    According to Fáfula, he developed the game between 1984 and 1985 and his intention was to sell the game in the UK market first. But he didn’t have enough money to travel to the UK to display the game there, so he had to sell the game to a Spanish videogame company to get the amount he needed for the trip. Finally a good friend of his and fellow programmer, Paco Menéndez (programmer of very well known Spanish games such as Fred, Sir Fred and La Abadía del Crimen), offered him to publish the game under the label established by his father, called Mister Chip. The game was finally published in Spain around November 1987.

    Previously to his travel to the UK, Javier Fáfula sent some video tapes with his game to several UK videogame companies, but only three were interested: Ocean, Hewson and probably Codemasters (the programmer doesn’t remember well). Once in the UK, Ocean wanted to buy the game after doing several changes in the graphics side, but at the same time they wanted to have exclusive rights, so when they knew the game had been already released in Spain, they were not interested anymore, so they refused to buy the game.

    In the end, Fáfula ran out of money to stay in the UK (and didn’t have enough money to return to Spain). In extremis Hewson bought the game for a low price. At that time Hewson had created a new budget label (Rack-It), and that’s why in some magazines we read “Rex Harde” as a new game in development. However the game was released in Spain in Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and MSX, so at least for the Spanish market there wasn’t planned a C64 version.

    Javier Fáfula believes that Hewson copied his game and released Pyracurse instead, but that’s really unlikely since when Rex Hard was released in Spain at the end of 1987, Pyracurse was in the market for around a year and a half.

    Thank you! Keep up the good work

    Pablo

    • fgasking says:

      That was brilliant Pablo! Thank you very much for the great information, which i’ll get updated into the piece now 🙂

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