We were sceptical at first, but an article surfaced at Hard Core Gaming 101 (Link = web archive) which suggested that a C64 conversion of Wreckers was in production, with eventually only 16-bit editions released.
However, there was no news of any C64 conversion, and it seemed that the game was only intended for the ZX Spectrum and 16-bit platforms from Denton Designs. The ZX Spectrum game was to be 128k, and likely would have hit the same issues as Where Time Stood Still being converted to the C64, hence why an attempt may not have been made.
Additionally – the ZX Spectrum game was never released, although actually completed. It is hoped that version can be found, which would be very special indeed.
Therefore, any such C64 conversion was considered as vapourware – so we were completely blown away when in December 2022, developer Mike Lyons got in touch and revealed that he worked at Denton Designs for 3 months before moving over to Active Minds to work on Total Recall V1. It was during this brief period that he worked on a C64 version of Wreckers.
Denton gave Mike one payment overall, but he never got any proper graphics or music for the game. Very little was done – just a basic scroll with some test graphics, where Mike recalled getting map data and cannot remember getting any animation frames for the character. He pretty much gave up after 3 months after not being given any materials to continue.
Although Mike found a number of his disks with other productions, it was felt extremely unlikely that anything of his brief Wreckers development would surface. However, although nothing much was done – it at least confirms Denton were serious about having a C64 version.
Then in May 2023, when searching through some old work disks – Mike encountered a file called “WDEMO”, and upon loading up was hit with the last build of Wreckers when the project was abandoned. After making a copy, it was sent over to GTW to fully preserve.
So here is a very very early glimpse at Wreckers on the Commodore 64. It is merely a proof of concept at this stage, with a dummy panel area and a map that you can move around with some limited collisions. There is no actual gameplay, and the main character is just a quick port from the Amiga with no proper colouring – but surprisingly some limited animation.
Did the C64 version continue once Mike left? We don’t think so – though who knows what may come to light in the future. For now, take a glimpse at something that was once thought as vapourware.
Contributions: Fabrizio Bartoloni, Mike Lyons