Status: Preview, Findability: 5/5

A currently unknown game which is still being investigated by GTW.

In a music collection sent out to software houses as a demo by Mark Wilson, Mark mentions music for a game called SHYLOCK being developed by Deesl Designs.

Now, from issue 55 of ZZAP!, there was a news item about Ocean developing a game called THE MERCHANT OF VENICE where the played played the part of Shylock…

"Ocean director Gary Bracey announces SHYLOCK, MERCHANT OF VENICE. A maze game with the characters chased by a pound of flesh.". It was found not to be connected to the version by Deesl.

Mark Wilson (MW20) created music for the game, featured in a music demo, and GTW recently got in touch with Mark about the game. Mark has been porting his disks, and kindly dug out a preview he was sent of the game from Mark Gallagher who programmed it.

It is a very simple space SEU game, with an impressive landscape to fly over… Mark’s music suits the game well… and overall this is a promising preview which no doubt would have done quite well on a particular label had it been released. The game was inspired by Vulcan Venture according to Mark Gallagher and was the result of a small production over the summer holiday and a few weeks.

Sadly after trying to get a publisher after showing the game to everyone at the PCW88 show, no-one picked it up and the game was sadly scrapped as a result. A huge shame.

It is a good find for GTW, and we are glad that Mark shared this with GTW to show people what the game behind his music looks and plays like. Its not much to look at, but its a game mystery basically solved. Read the coder’s own words in Creator Speaks!

This is all that ever existed of the game, so there is no search to be made. It is indeed the end of the road for the search.

Case closed …

Contributions: Gary Bracey, Mark Wilson, Mark Gallagher

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Mark Gallagher talks about work on Shylock...

"Back in 1988, Ed and I decided that we were going to write the mother of all shoot-em-ups on the C64. Over a period of years (with much dogging of school!) we'd taught ourselves how to develop games, me on the code and Ed on the graphics. I've always been a fan of shoot-em-ups especially the horizontally scrolling variety and Shylock was inspired by Vulcan Venture (one of the Gradius series).

Ed's parent's had a holiday home on an island off the west coast of Scotland and so during the summer holidays we went there for a week to start writing the game. We each had a crate of 12x1.5 litre bottles of coke to fuel the development process - I finished my crate after 5 days and started on Ed's, probably explains all my fillings! We got the main bones of the game done in Millport and continued it once we got back to Glasgow.

At the time, I was receiving loads of C64 demos and one demo in particular (Mark Wilson's Outrun remix) stood out, so I gave him a phone to ask him if he'd be interested in doing some music for the game which I was going to be taking down to the PC show in September. Mark very kindly obliged and wrote a suitably atmospheric track in time for the september show.

The night before the PC show was an allnighter, trying to get everything just right with the demo, but alas it was all in vain because after spending the day walking round all the publishers, nobody was interested in taking the game on and after that I lost interest in developing it further."

Mark Gallagher.

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