It’s 1996 and games on the C64 are slowly drying up completely, the enthusiasm of creating new C64 games for mail order sale was dying too.
Fanzines were the only real hope in the UK of any progress for the C64 scene, and one magazine called Commodore Scene tried desperately to take the C64 forward even further. Part of its quest was aided by Mike Berry, whom decided to create a one final hurrah on the C64 in the form of Savage Platforms, a free game for the readers of Commodore Scene.
From what started out as initially a clone of the classic “Frantic Freddie”, the game evolved and blossomed into the weird and wonderful creation, often advertised with the slogan “Miner Willy is a Sissy”.
Diaries were a regular feature on the game, with Mike giving his progress and even the odd screenshot. Readers were also asked to take part, creating various sprites and ideas to put into the game. The game become cult within the pages of Commodore Scene, and the enthusiasm towards it was fantastic. Mike was surrounded by support and encouragement for his new free title.
After many months, Mike eventually released a demo to the community, with the harsh warning to crackers not to touch his game. Sadly Mike was broken into, and had some of his disks stolen, which included most of Savage Platforms. Mike however strived to carry on and finish the game, but soon the diaries stopped and so did mention of the game.
When asked in recent times of “When will it be finished?”, Mike mentioned that someday it would be complete. But of course this was never to be. Now Mike has stopped all C64 activities, with his C64 in his attic, so development has ceased to be now. It is also very unlikely that we will ever see it completed.
Recently for the Christmas 2006 update, Andrew Fisher dug out some of the work he contributed to the project, which include some R2D2 droids and other various bits. We have added this to the archive, including a version of the preview with different sprites.
All that currently remains is a 1 level preview, full of colour and animations, and contains the building blocks for a rather playable game. There is no sound as present, though Dave Green did compose all the music.
Mike has kindly agreed to dig out all remains of Savage Platforms, which could be anything from around 4 playable levels to up to almost 50. It depends how much was recovered from when he was broken into.
In December 2011, Mike managed to find David Green’s two tunes that he composed, including a Pulp Fiction cover. I’ve added the music demo to the main download, and Ian Coog/HVSC has kindly provided us with the SID file as a music download.
Additionally here is a disk inlay preserved from the Commodore Scene days and its preview release. And Mike Berry also recently dug out some artwork (Which may not have been seen before) regarding the game by Simon Reece.
A big thank you also to Allan Bairstow, who has very kindly spent a whole afternoon scanning all of the diary entries for us. These can be located as a download at the top of the page. Be warned the zip file is about 6mb in size. Please note that one or two pages are slightly corrupted, so I will be fixing these when I next get access to the magazines.
A promising and exciting title which the axe fell upon…
Contributions: Andrew Fisher, Mike Berry, Allan Bairstow, Ian Coog