One of the things I love about unreleased games and the demos that are out there, is that sometimes you can uncover something hidden within which reveals something about the game. In this case, it was about another game entirely!
Hacking around in Technodream’s Dreamraider game, I came across some odd text that talked about a game called Zanga-duck and the gribblies. Same credits, but with some odd references to “stars” and “shockwaves”. Zach Townsend had previously done a conversion of S.T.U.N Runner for Domark the year before, which has “stars” and “shockwaves”.
It seems that Zach had seen an opportunity to re-skin his S.T.U.N Runner work to create a completely different game with a duck as the main racer. How this got to be mixed up within the build of Dreamraider is a bit of a mystery – though unfortunately it only seems to be text that is tucked away. No graphics or sprites from the development from what we can see.
Further in the code is a high-score table, with Zanga-duck referenced, as well as funny pre-set names. Now most of those names are actually from the high-score table in S.T.U.N Runner, with just the two top names changed. Essentially this confirms Zach’s intention.
So what happened? Potentially Zach may have found it too risky to proceed in case Domark spotted similarities, or they couldn’t find a publisher like with Dreamraider. As for finding a copy of the game, it will depend if Zach ever gets his work disks back from his brother (whom he gave his C64 gear to many moons ago). It’s likely to be long lost – unless Joe Brown happens to have anything.