Status: Preview, Findability: 5/5

A rather ambitious title which sadly never made it as more current life commitments came about.

This was to be a cross between Narc, Splatterhouse and Final Fight, featuring some nice graphics similiar to those in Rubicon, and over 200 frames of animation. The bitmaps were quite large, so the 1541 had to be hacked quite well to load in the graphics at good speed. Music was composed for the game and worked very well with the game. The game was being produced around 1990/1991 time.

It took about a year to come up with a fully playable level of a game which was very ambitious to say the least. It was demoed to people, but no-one really picked up the project, and eventually it was realised that the game was just TOO ambitious to be created for the C64, especially for the tape market!

GTW first learnt about the game back in 2006, and things stalled a little with the fixing of the game to present to you due to real life commitments.

But in December 2010, GTW is finally proud to present you with all the remains to Undead. This includes a specially produced slideshow and tidied up and running version of the game by Conrad! The slideshow in particular is superb!

Thankfully you get to play the first level so you can get the chance to see how things were. Overall its quite like Splatterhouse more than the others! Although there are glitches and things are not quite complete, it is quite fun to play and pick up objects and there is a large amount of controls to know. Here is an overview from the author:

Use joystick in port 2

Fire – hit / fire gun / use item / throw, it will alter on three different hits. If zombie is close, player will grab it and hold.
Left / Right – move forward or backward. Hold fire to turn
Up – pick item from the wall (not useful in this demo)
Down – pick item / crouch (fire when crouch will activate the kick)
Space – use gun / put gun away

Tips: You can use zombie as club, let them come close and press fire to grab, if you hold fire and press left / right, Jon Plissken will wield zombie
You can take up to three bites, then Jon will fall down and lose a life. He will get up when you move the joystick

When playing the demo, some frames are not visible when moving left, unfortunately. Game will load up 16-colour bitmap screens while you walk, but there are only few of them. After the graphics run out, you will only see garbled mess.

Additionally there is a music demo which you can run and several story files. We have also included all the work disks with picture files and the original loader materials supplied from Miha, incase you want to have a sift through.

Overall it is a huge shame that this game never quite made it, as it looked to have a lot of promise. Maybe if the game was done in a slightly different way, it could have been released by a big company back in the day and done well. Still, thankfully the game has survived and now you can check things out for yourself!

Also check out what the authors had to say in Creator Speaks, but also enjoy the game and pics! :-)

Here at last and case closed!…

Contributions: Pekka, Miha, Conrad

Supporting content

Available downloads

Creator speaks

Miha Rinne and Pekka speak about work on Undead...

"Undead was my first project I collaborated with a programmer. I was responsible for game design and artwork. The way I designed it was gleefully amateurish; I simply wanted it to be the epitome of everything I felt was cool at the time; (especially Splatterhouse coin-op and the movie 'Escape from New York'). So Undead was to be a mix of all these things.

We planned this to be a cartridge/1541 release, and few collaborators for the project were Sami Louko/Proton, who did the original disk loader routine which loaded more backgrounds while progressing, and Petri Reimann/Anvil, who did a great title tune. AMJ also collaborated with a
fantastic tune.

It took us a year to come up with a playable level, once we had that we sent it to Jukka Tapanimäki and asked if he could share some publisher contacts. Answer never came, but I think he was already retired at the time. I didn't yet know Stavros at the time, but when I showed him this demo years later, he just commented: 'Well. Someones have clearly had to code lot of animation there.' (he was never particularly flattering when it came to c64 products from other developers)

I got very fond memories on working on this game. What was great about Pekka that he was always able to somehow figure a way on how to do a feature I requested. I "did" have some idea on the basics what c-64 can do (8 sprites for horizontal maximum, etc) but I didn't really know how
hard it was to code it all in. But he was like a miracle man; I asked something, he did it! I don't think I ever had a collaborator like that ever since!

Anyway, it was certainly way too ambitious and it would have been a nightmare to complete, so it was just left to, eh, rot, until now when Triad contacted us and said they wanted to rescue it. This made us excited enough to dig through all the old archives again. What's maybe the best thing is that we still got all the workable source code, so if someone feels brave (or maybe mad) enough, they can try to develop this further. I can still make additional graphics and I still got all the original tools and equipment left, plus the design ideas and notes."

Miha Rinne.
May, 2006

"Undead was a game project that I participated in some 16 years ago. With great graphics and some nice technical tricks to it, the game had great potential. I still admire the graphics, especially the backgrounds, and some details like the hearts indicating player energy level. Technically it would have been impressive too, I'm not sure if anyone has ever done a C64 game with scrolling bitmaps as background graphics. Atleast I had not heard of such game way back then.

Programming the thing was challenging, with endless timing issues and the like. At some point I had to migrate programming work to Amiga, as compiling was just too slow on C64 due to large amount of source code that was involved. Actually one of the biggest problems was that the source was growing too big, it would not fit into the memory. Apparently I had'nt yet discovered that projects can have multiple source files, or maybe I just needed some excuse to buy more hardware ;)

Unfortunately the project was way too ambitious for two teenagers to complete, and the project was abandoned. But now after being buried for 15 years it seems that the Undead will live up to it's name. The dead walk!"


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