Well, let me begin… Throne of Fire was to be published by Melbourne House, and indeed was published on both the Spectrum and Amstrad and well recieved – but the C64 version went walkies…
The game was by Mike Singleton and was a graphic adventure where the action took place across 100 rooms of the Burning Citadel. The objective was to seize the power of the Citadel; achieved by a player taking his Prince to the Throne Room after disposing of the other two Princes. On gaining the Throne, that Prince then would become King, power would be his and the crown presented.
The game came with a split screen display where up to two players could play, or a single player against the computer. It was very much a medievil Spy Vs Spy game, with the Princes able to pick up various weapons and fight when they met in a room.
So after various adverts, what happened to the Commodore 64 version?… Chris Pink got in touch with GTW and told us that he did the Amstrad version of the game. It was found that Tim Rogers and Darrin Stubbington (Stoat and Tim) were infact behind the conversion on the C64… one of their first big titles.
GTW got hold of Darrin Stubbington, thanks to Craig Grannell, and found that the game had not been complete. One castle was up and running with a character running about. The game was basically very hard to be copied from the Spectrum and Amstrad due to some of their particular hardware strengths, so there were some changes. Darrin informed GTW that Tim Rogers was the coder and where he could be found.
Eventually, we managed to find Tim and we asked him about the game… Imagine our surprise when the reply that comes back has an attachment with all the remains of the game! The files were broken, but Glenn Rune Gallefoss has very kindly helped fix everything for GTW… A big thank you required in Glenn’s direction :)
The preview that we have features a loading/title screen, and also a playable early preview showing two screens and controllable characters. It’s not really playable at this early stage, but you can get a general feel and see that it seemed to be shaping up very nicely. You will notice that the split has been done horizontally rather than vertically, but it works well. There is no music, but could Rob Hubbard have stepped in? … we may never know.
It is a huge finding for GTW and another big title preserved. We are unsure why the game never got finished and released, but we believe that the game was delayed due to the problems that Stoat and Tim had, and thanks to the delay – Melbourne House learned that the game was not a run away success like they hoped, and thus they cancelled it. Not a bad theory? (Well, Tim and Darrin cannot remember why exactly, so we have to guess :) )
An open and closed case… sit back and see what could have been…
Contributions: Glenn Rune Gallefoss, Chris Pink, Darrin Stubbington, Tim Rogers, Mat Allen