We had it all, over a decade of quality C64 games for our beloved machine. But it all had to end sometime. As the C64 started to make way for its 16-bit counterparts, titles were rushed and often shoddy ports towards the end. There was the odd gem though which made the C64 proud towards the end of its commercial life, and Rubicon was one of those titles.
Rubicon was dressed to impress, with an array of phenominally good graphics and some kick ass gameplay to boot. It got good reviews from the magazines, but sadly never lived up to its high quality, due to various troubles with Hewson and 21st Century Entertainment going under. Although the game was released, it never got the full spread as it should have done, and probably was the cause of its low sales. A shame.
But this did not deter the efforts and imaginations of the game’s creator, and so a sequel was put into development to continue a success, although if it wasn’t via its sales.
Rubicon 2 was put into development in around 1992, initially for the Amiga, but consideration also was given for a C64 version so late into its life. The game was to be coded on the C64 by a new set of programmers, while the first game’s original coders would concentrate on the Amiga version.
Joachim Ljunggren, known as The Sarge to many on the C64 scene, was allocated to the C64’s graphics like he was with the first game. Joachim got set to work on the game’s graphics, whilst also drawing up a series of plans and sketches to map out the whole game.
Sadly however, once the sketches and plans were pretty much complete, the game was cancelled and never progressed past their ideas and initial C64 screens. It’s not quite known exactly why it was cancelled on all systems. Hopefully we will find out more soon.
But in recent years, The Sarge has been in strong co-operation with C64HQ, a very popular C64 site with deals with all kinds of C64 news, interviews and other items of interest. It is here where The Sarge had a gallery set up for all his work, which included previously unseen screens from Rubicon 2, and also a whole series of scanned sketches.
Thanks to Andreas Wallstrom, GTW has been given permission to use and show these sketches within our own preservation of the game. The scans can be viewed however in much greater detail than here from C64hq. The scans show some very impressive ideas.
The Sarge has been in touch recently, and has uncovered a very rare demo of Rubicon 2. And also a Zoom effect which was unused in Rubicon, and may not have been seen before, included as a bonus.
This is a very very early development demo which
demonstrates the game graphics moving left and right. It is possibly one of the only code demos ever made for the game, but there could well be more and i’m sure we will bring this to you in the future if it turns up. The graphics are amazing anyway.
A potentially stunning title which was maybe a bit too late…
Contributions: Andreas Wallström
Joachim Ljunggren spoke about Rubicon 2 on c64hq...
"After Rubicon we decided to move over to the Amiga. We hoped that the game we just had completed would sell truckloads and that the world would demand a sequel.
Well, Rubicon was not a success as far as I know but we decided to try anyway. Gamemaking was fun! For some unknown reason we stopped developing Rubicon 2 right after all the planning was done.
These sketches were found when searching through old archives, and it's mostly scattered drawings of level designs, weapons and vehicles."