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