A surprise finding for GTW in 2012 was made when Richard Bayliss was checking through some loader source files from Paul Hughes’ disks that we backed up recently, and he came across a source code file named “Defender 2”.
Richard recalls about how he came across the game:
“I was browsing all the source disks I had difficulties viewing all of the loader sources on so many disks. I like to see some nostalgic loaders and how they were programmed, but I couldn’t get to grips with Commodore’s Assembler 64 to try and view/assemble the .src files to machine code programs.
However, I stumbled across a .D64 with the Zeus assembler, with some sources. I was tempted to check out the sources. Some were just scrolling messages. Then I tried loading in “DEFENDER 2″ source code into the assembler. I assembled the code to see what it was like. Well, the code assembled but I was missing the graphics files. So I tried loading in OBJECT, SCREEN 1, GRAFIX filenames, got back to the assembler and assembled the source. It turned out to be an unfinished game. So now I have put together the Defender game into one file, with an aid of a couple of tools, and now you can load and run it with pleasure :)”
When this was presented back to Paul Hughes, he was surprised that we had managed to dig out what was confirmed as a very early stage conversion of the little known Spectrum game, Subterranean Stryker. Paul shed some light on the game:
“The story behind the game, was that my local computer shop had a software house in the back – Insight Software. The first game that was being developed, for the spectrum, was a defender-a-like in caves called Subterranean Stryker, so I thought I’d show them a C64 version – the little ship was copied pixel by pixel from the Spectrum all the rest were rubbish little blocks that I cobbled together – not the spectrum maps.
Nothing came of it – in fact I’m pretty sure I never showed them it! Its not really a game its just a scroll and some (crappy) collision detection. I really had buried that one in the darkest recesses of my mind :o)”
It is indeed not much to look at, and is a very early test preview with a ship and a scroll routine – but Paul very kindly allowed us to preserve waht remains of a rare conversion from the early days. Many thanks to Richard Bayliss for helping to preserve it!
Contributions: Richard Bayliss, Paul Hughes