Tuesday 12 March 2013

Lone Wolf and The Ice Halls of Terror (Commodore 64, 1985)

The first Lone Wolf Gamebook I have ever read was The Caverns of Kalte and I always wanted to see a videogame porting of one the best chapters of LF Saga. Unfortunately, even if a game was planned (HCP for C64 & ZX Spectrum), it never actually happened and the only official visual is represented by the advertisement below.

Computer Gamer, Advertisement, 1985

The advertising above, even if visually interesting, it wasn't revealing anything about the game itself. Luckily I managed to find a more accurate ad appeared on the Lone Wolf Club Newsletters (Summer Special 1985). 

Lone Wolf Club Newsletter, Summer Special 1985

The promise was quite inviting: 3D animation and graphics, unique combat system and multidimensional plot lines (?); the possibility to order the game was a quite unusual choice especially when probably neither a playable preview nor a demo was available. Anyway a small note at the bottom of the page was remarking that almost 30 days were needed for the delivery. What happened to this title so? 

Time for more digging. 

And yes, here's my copy of Caverns of Kalte. 

One thing I've discovered reading the English version of the Gamebook, was that for unknown reasons, in the Italian version, Vonotar (the main villain of Kalte) was renamed as Vonatar. A (repeated) typo or just a phonetic choice? Who knows why.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Dungeons of Death (Vic-20, 1983), Preserved.

In a previous post about Dungeons of Death, I've mentioned that the only available dumped version was completely unplayable: a major bug was affecting the progress of the game.

The original major bug which stopped the game at the first dungeon door.

Thanks to one of  Hokuto Force's coders Flavioweb, I'm glad to announce that Dungeons of Death has been now fully restored and finally playable.

The dungeon is now fully explorable.

An example of combat from the working version.

The restoring process has started from the bugged dumped tape where Flavioweb spent a good amount of hours trying to fix all the glitches in the Basic code. However, despite the struggle, after a few days we were able to test the first working copy I have ever seen of this obscure dungeon crawler from Aardvark Games. 

You can download the package with the working .tap file and documentation from the link below. Just remember to use an expanded Vic-20 with 8k or 16k memory on either real hardware or emulator. Also, since the documentation is essential to play the game properly, I've spent some time to ocr the scans and correct various minor typos and inconsistencies. 

Original Supply: Dr. Strange
Documentation: Dr. Strange
Code Restoration: Flavioweb