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Archer Maclean materials

1984-198? Archer Maclean

Platforms: Commodore 64

Whilst going through Archer’s work disks, we found a few bits and pieces lurking on the disks, which might be unseen artwork or work that Archer has done. We’ll add to this page over time as more comes to light.

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First up we have a series of Doodle pictures found on Quicksilver’s Doodle disk that were saved, including oddly work stages for New Generation Software’s Escape. But also a set of train images, which we are wondering if they are linked to 3D Tunnel at all. There’s an unfinished Sceptre picture too. Did Archer know the artist, and was he given the disk?

According to correspondence from Archer – Quicksilva were in talks with Archer about potentially publishing Dropzone (before U.S. Gold took it on). Maybe they provided Archer with a copy during the time he was speaking with them? Continue reading

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International Karate prototypes

1986 Archer Maclean / System 3

Platform: Commodore 64 (Atari to come)

In late 2023, Games That Weren’t was tasked with trying to preserve all of the late Archer Maclean’s work disks – including Atari and C64 formatted disks. At the time of writing, work is still ongoing, though we have been given permission by Chris Wilkins (Fusion Retro Books) to add any executable/early prototypes to show you that we find along the way.

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First up are a small selection of prototypes from the first International Karate game, including a non-playable demo with two fighters interacting, and with no score panels or sound. There is a more advanced second prototype with the same kind of thing, with music and no sound effects.

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IK+ prototypes

1987 Archer Maclean / System 3 / Activision

Platform: Commodore 64

In late 2023, Games That Weren’t was tasked with trying to preserve all of the late Archer Maclean’s work disks – including Atari and C64 formatted disks. At the time of writing, work is still ongoing, though we have been given permission by Chris Wilkins (Fusion Retro Books) to add any executable/early prototypes to show you that we find along the way.

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Next up are a selection of prototypes from International Karate + (aka IK+), which show how Archer’s early idea for creating a 3rd fighter would start to blossom and build up into the IK+ game that we all know and love. If you haven’t already, we recommend checking out this great documentary on how both IK and IK+ were created: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRFZS9wzt7s

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Polar Bear in Space prototypes

2023 Silvan Reinhold / Psytronik Software

Platform: Commodore 64

If you haven’t seen Polar Bear in Space already, then you are missing out on a wonderful shooter/platformer which has elements of Wizball, Retrograde and even Dropzone with the explosion of the main protagonist.

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At the time of writing, a new Black Edition of the game is immiment, which features new music by Jon Wells and a specially produced loading screen by Robin Levy. Silvan has also written a brilliant book that details how the game was all put together, which we recommend you keeping an eye out for. Continue reading

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