Wolf has been a game in the GTW archives for some time, only known for its Rob Hubbard tunes which have thought to be lost.
We did a bit of research but could find no other games of this naming and any link to Gargoyle games. Maybe Wolf was a working title, but its hard to find anything as a lead. Rob unfortunately did not remember anything about the game when originally asked back in the mid 2000’s
When speaking with Chris Abbott in 2015, we discussed a number of invoiced items that Rob Hubbard had done for the C64. Wolf was one of those for Gargoyle Games, dated 22/07/1987. Rob was very meticulous, and everything he worked on was documented on this list. Notably though, there was no Thundercats game listed – which raised alarm bells for me and kicked off an excited thread on Facebook.
Thundercats is a Gargoyle game, which was released in November/December 1987. The game is most noted for having a Hubbard tune which has no connection to the TV Series at all, whereas Mark Cooksey had created a Thundercats theme for Bombjack 2. Originally we thought that Sword of Samuari turned into Thundercats – however, although close with our assumption, it was in fact Wolf that turned into Thundercats.
It is likely that Wolf was close to completion by around September/October time, Elite saw the game and saw it was an ideal opportunity to re-purpose as a Thundercats themed game. Gargoyle no doubt had a financial motive to go go ahead and make the relevant changes. One thing that did not change though was the music – which Rob had already composed back in July 1987. This now explains why the tunes have no resemblance at all to the TV series. Tunes were already composed, they were Rob Hubbard tunes and Elite had no reason to get Rob to re-compose them. When this theory was posed to Rob, Rob confirmed that actually Wolf WAS Thundercats, and when he was contracted to do the ST music – he was made aware of the name change and asked to do a ST version of Wolf in a hurry before we went to the states.
Interestingly there could be quite a few remnants of Wolf in the game, which make sense now we have the connection. The mountain areas at the top of the screen seem to have indication that there could have been some kind of “moonlight” feature originally – which may have impacted on the game. Maybe you originally controlled a human, which could transform into a Wolf under moonlight? We checked the CVG preview for any remains, and there were sprites that never made it into the final game – which we have added here. The CVG preview also has slightly different SFX too. Could these have originally been for Wolf?
CVG’s Spectrum preview of Thundercats actually features a rather different looking character, which looks very human like – similar to the character from Tir Na Nog. It could be just a test character used in the preview, but maybe it was some kind of relation to the game originally as well?
Sadly, Roy and Greg do not like to talk about the old Gargoyle days and wish to leave it in the past – meaning that games like Wolf could still remain a mystery until possibly they may change their minds. However, coder Jon Simcox was not aware that the game was originally Wolf. He started straight on the conversion of Thundercats, and it seems that Wolf was only ever started as a Spectrum game. The C64 version hadn’t yet been started. Rob Hubbard was contracted to do the music for Wolf though, but this was quite early on.
So it means there is no early version of the game to find unfortunately, and the closest thing to Wolf is to play the released version of Thundercats. Case closed!
Contributions: Jazzcat, Jan Harries, Chris Abbott, Rob Hubbard, Jon Simcox