It was slightly beyond belief when this game turned up on Commodore Format’s powerpack. Sadly it signalled the end of another C64 company as the C64 slowly died.
Beyond Belief had planned Shellshock to be released on their label, after the mention in the interview with Jim Scott in Commodore Force. Unfortunately, even though the game was complete, Beyond Belief went under just before they could release the game.
To recoup some lost income, the game was sold to Commodore Format and put onto their powerpack in an official exclusive release.
The game is a Commando clone, with rather flat graphics and confusing backgrounds which make the sprites and bullets hard to see. Other than that the game is quite playable and worth a few goes.
It seems that before the game was to be released, the bug fixing never happened, and there exists a few glitches that were never fixed, though they are nothing too major and nothing that really affects the game that badly, though the main character can get stuck in places.
Alan Benson recently got in contact with GTW about his game, and explained that the game was a subject of a rush job for Beyond Belief after another coding crew pulled out, and basically the game was knocked together in about 2 weeks. Not bad for two weeks I think!
Also, Alan sent me a rare MP3 recording of what should have been the original musical score for the game, but was left out in favour of some old music knocked up by Alan and Craig while doing the Mc Donaldland conversion. Now you can download what was mean’t to be the original score in MP3 format. The actual SID file sadly seems to be lost, unless Nigel has it himself.
What also seems beyond belief (Sorry!), is that a sequel was in production and got 75% completed, which draws the question about why a sequel was created when the first game was never completed. (The sequel review is also on the site).
Hopefully Alan will elborate more on the story of this game very soon.
Case closed, but then not for the sequel…
Alan Benson talks about work on Shellshock…
“Thanks for being kind to the old girl in the review. This game is crap because we got the project from Jim Scott at Beyond Belief on the Moday before “Comic Relief” in 1993 and we were posting off the (Semi) finished game on Comic Relief Night….
If you would like for your page. I still have an MP3 of the original Music for the game which I can send you. This is composed by Nigel Smith who’s name only appears in the Shellshock code if you do a “monitor” search from Hex Address $4000 onwards/ (boring stuff I know……)
The terrible music that is in Shellshock one isn’t Nigel’s original score. That is something that Me & Craig Wight knocked up while we were doing Mcdonaldland on the 64 a year earlier so unfortunately the credit is correct for that :( . We had to use it as we only had a week to start and “finish” Shellshock as Jim Scott had been let down by another coding team”
Alan Benson .
It got onto the c64 because I hacked Hubbard’s music driver and converted Nigel’s tune to it – directly programming the sequences in that residential assembler program that we had. (not the SDK.. The one that was ok to code tools and stuff, but you couldn’t do a game as the source and object code were both on the 64 – memory hogging)
If Alan is reading this, he should remember, among other things, the ‘banana bullets’ that were never debugged! By that I mean that if firing a bullet horizontally (the bullets were characters and not sprites) and then scrolling the play area vertically, the bullets never remained straight, they followed the scroll so appeared to curve. Rush job, laziness. Lol
Hahaha… I’m glad you finally came clean on this one.. It had the names the wrong way to keep this off your resume while you were still active ;)
Hope you are doing ok, Craig.
I was been sarcastic there, 1 third of the raster time to be fair!
I do vaguely recall that music – don’t recall how it was intended to get onto the 64 though in the time available as if my memory serves me correctly it was done originally on the Amiga. The naff SID that was used is in the HVSC no doubt.
Curious reference to McDonaldland – the game that was murdered by the musician (who’s name I won’t mention) been good enough to use Electrosound which took nearly three thirds of a monitored screens raster area, which made getting the NTSC version to work a lot less than a laugh.
Thanks Craig, good to hear from you regarding your work. Although yourself and Alan didn’t think much of the title, I pretty much enjoyed it at the time when it was released on a magazine covermount.
Shellshock 2 was being written in our spare time as we were embarrassed by the lack of quality in part 1.
Part 1 was a rush job for Jim.