Status: No Download, Findability: 2/5

Another oddity in the C64 world, thanks mainly to Zzap’s up and coming preview column they used to run. Xybots was given Amiga review treatment with its average 3D tunnel shooting playability, and the C64 version was due shortly afterwards. The Zzap preview section however showed a game which looked far different from the eventual released version.

Zzap’s preview shot was in a good range of colour, including multi-colour sprites and a better shaded tunnel. The eventual released version was a pale spectrum port in comparison which was far too slow to be playable. Even the review later in Zzap actually commented about the missing colourful version they once saw.

Did Zzap see a moving action version with colour graphics, or was this the screenshot (or maybe mock-up?) sent by Domark?… It is possible that this was just a mock-up, especially considering a few discrepancies in the colour palette used. It could pass as C64, but it doesn’t look quite right (Like a hybrid of an Amiga panel with C64 main area).

Thanks to Matt Furness, GTW got in touch with Shaun Hollingworth who was the project manager at Teque Software who did the conversions for Tengen/Domark. He details that the ST and Amiga versions were done first, and then the 8-bit versions – the main programmer? – James Tripp. We have a name :-)

Shaun could not remember any particular problems with the conversions – though he suggests that the game may have been cut down due to memory limitations. Maybe the ambitious graphics were too problematic for the programming team? According to Shaun, the game was ported down directly from the 16-bit versions and reworked.

The question is – who can shed light onto this odd version that might have been, and could we someday see a demo of it?… We needed to try and find James Tripp to find out more and see what he says, but didn’t have any luck.

Domark’s Richard Browne got in touch via the comments, and confirmed that the screens were just mock ups. The Teque C64 game was always just a straight port from the Spectrum version, and no full colour version existed.

So there we have it! No full colour version to find which will blow us all away – and very much now a case closed!

Contributions: Matt Furness, Shaun Hollingworth, Richard Browne

Supporting content

Update history

16/08/22 – Confirmation screens were just mock ups. Case closed.

Posted in: GTW64 archive | Tagged: | 12 Comments

12 Responses to Xybots

  1. Maybe was some other region version (US?) in development by another company, same fate as commodore64 720º differents versions by region?.

    • Hmmm – 1989, i’d say its plausible and there were still games being produced at that time in the US, but just no evidence to suggest there was a different version. Unless there is a situation similar to Enduro Racer / Wonderboy where a different version/earlier version leaked out. Can never say never of course :)

    • Interesting! Might be them getting confused with another version, but who knows. The shot we have here doesn’t look C64 at all, so I still think it is a mock up or from another format at least.

  2. In the color version, those sprites look too good for c64 with more color of course.

    I smell a mock-up screenshot. ZZap64 reviewers didn’t say they played this previous version.

  3. I had this game! Screen shot on the right with the monochrome was how it looked .. terrible conversion to be honest … I probably don’t have it anymore, I picked it up at the Commodore club in Brunssum (in Holland) and my C64 from those days got given away by my parents while I was at Uni :-(

    • Hi Mark, yeah – that was the seemingly rushed version that was done – shame as the colourful edition looked a lot better!

  4. Those do not look like C64 screens, main sprite too high res.for starters.I smell mock-up.Would love to track down James mind.No luck on Facebook Frank?.

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