Sunday, 26 April 2009

The quest for the Holy Grail

Greetings once again retro chums!

A forthcoming Psytronik C64 release that I'm particularly looking forward to is Knight 'n' Grail. The game is being programmed by Mikael Tillander with additional graphics (and box artwork) by HÃ¥kon 'Archmage' Repstad and it really is shaping up into something special.

I've been playtesting the game recently and the more I've been playing it the more it has been impressing me. So much so in fact I thought I'd devote a blog entry to the game just so I can bring you some screenshots from the game. Before that though, here's a preview of the superb box artwork by Archmage to whet your appetites:-

The game features a brave armour-clad Knight on a quest to find the legendary Holy Grail. The game begins in a castle which you must explore. Scattered around are switches that open up new areas when you smash them with your sword. You must also find special suits of armour and swords which are important for your quest.

The game is made up of over 200 (!) screens split into different scrolling areas. During your quest your will encounter various monsters and an assortment of rather large bosses. Lets take a look at some screens from the game shall we?

The picture above is from quite early in the game. The Knight is wearing the the armour of water which he has just collected. This will make him immune from the water dripping from the ceiling. Using the elemental armour is an important part of the game - but that's all I'm going to say about that! :)

Another screen from inside the castle. The knight is battling some spinning stone nasties here. These guys are made of pretty solid stuff so it's better to dodge underneath them as they bounce up and down rather than waste time hurling your sword at them. You can use your sword to kill a lot of the enemies in the game and certain swords are more effective against certain enemies.

Here's a shot of the Upper Cave. The Knight has encountered a tall stone Golem who takes a quite a few hits to kill. One of the things I like about the game is how it uses scrolling. The areas you explore in the game scroll smoothly horizontally. This is very impressive especially considering how much colour is being displayed on screen.

Here you can see the Knight riding a mine-cart in the game! Wheeee! Not only do you use the mine-cart to travel along this part of the game but you will also need to stand on it to reach some objects high up on the screen.

Our brave night has found the well of wishes. This is actually a teleport that allows you to travel from one end of the map to the other instantly (which saves a lot of time as this is a BIG game!)

I love this section of the game - it really reminds me of the bridge section from Ghosts 'n' Goblins. The fireball that you can see in front of the Knight has actually burst through the ground from the lava below. I love the use of colour in this area - superb! One of the (many) things I like about this game is how it rewards you with some new gorgeously drawn background graphics, monsters or even a boss confrontation as you progress through the game. It really makes you keep wanting to carry on playing just so you can see the deeper levels of the game!

Here be dragons! This is just one of the awesome bosses that you will encounter in the game. This particular dragon attacks you with a hail of ice. Wearing the correct armour will protect you from that - but you still have to defeat the dragon itself!

Here's our hero battling through the lower temple. Not only has the Knight got to contend with claws bursting through the floor but an evil wizard is trying to Zzap! him with magic too. I guess you could say it's a hard days Knight (gnn!) Dig that shiny gold armour though - you will have to work hard to earn that (but lets just say it's definitely worth the effort!)

Knight 'n' Grail is really coming together nicely now and most (if not all) of the screens are now in place. I've just played a version that includes music for the first time and it works really well and adds lots of atmosphere to this beautifully constructed game (the title tune is reminiscent of the classic C64 theme from Ghosts 'n' Goblins - how cool is that?!) All being well the game will be available to order on disk for the C64 in June 2009 from so please keep an eye on the website (and this blog) for more details.

Thanks for reading!

Kenz /

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Armalyte on the PC - oh yes!!

Greetings once again gamers!

I've got some very exciting news for all you shoot 'em up fans out there. I'm very pleased to announce that the first Psytronik Software PC title will be released on CD-ROM later this year. It will be a PC conversion of the classic CBM 64 game ARMALYTE - complete with specially updated graphics, animation, music and sound effects!

The PC conversion is being handled by S-A-S Designs - a team consisting of Stuart Collier (code), Trevor 'Smila' Storey (gfx & design) and Infamous (music & sfx). These guys have been responsible for some superb PC remakes of classic games including Hunter's Moon and Bruce Lee to name but two. If you've seen any of these remakes you will know these chaps are seriously good at what they do!

So how did all this come about then? Well, it's basically a story of everyone being in the right place at the right time. After the Psytronik re-release of Mayhem in Monsterland proved to be so popular I decided to contact Dan Phillips to ask if I could also re-release Armalyte on the C64. He gave the idea the thumbs-up so I contacted the owner of the Armalyte IP (Andy Roberts) and he also approved the idea. Smila mentioned that he and Stu C were busting to do a remake of Armalyte for the PC so I ran the idea of releasing a PC remake of Armalyte commercially past Dan & Andy and the Armalyte PC version was given the green light!

As we didn't have permission to use the original artwork from the game Smila produced brand-new artwork for the game based on the original design. The fantastic picture Smila produced was ideal not only for the C64 re-release but also the PC version as well! I then produced a new logo for the game that was reminiscent of the original logo but sufficiently different to avoid any problems further down the line.

The PC version of the game will be presented on a CD-ROM in a white Wii-style DVD case. It will be available to pre-order from the Binary Zone retro store very soon and as a special offer there will be no extra charge for postage and packaging if you pre-order the PC version!! You will even be able to 'try before you buy' as the complete first level of the game will be available as downloadable demo very soon. Keep an eye on for more details.

Thanks for reading!

Kenz /

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Massive May Releases!

Greetings gamers!

It looks like May is going to be a busy month for Psytronik as there's a selection of MASSIVE titles lined up for release!! Here's some previews of the new game artwork to whet your appetites.

First up is Creatures 2 from Apex Computer Productions! One of the slickest (or should that be 'sickest!' hehe) C64 releases of all-time. Due to the nightmare tape multiload this release will be DISK ONLY and will be available in deluxe and budget disk flavours. The excellent artwork was produced by Trev 'Smila' Storey (which I reckon is even better than the original game artwork - ooo! controversial!)

I'm also very pleased to announce that Psytronik Software will soon be releasing a special C64 disk version of the legendary C64 shoot 'em up - ARMALYTE! Side 1 of the disk will contain the COMPETITION EDITION of Armalyte which was produced by Cyberdyne Systems. This special version of the game allows you to start on any level, alter the enemy bullet speed and you can even sit back and admire the scenery in a special DEMO mode. Side 2 of the disk will contain the loading picture, two Walker's Warbles music demos, some rare Armalyte game previews and an early demo of the unreleased Armalyte 2. The superb artwork was once again crafted by Smila (based on the original game artwork).

The long-awaited disk release of Joe Gunn will also be available very soon. This will be a joint Psytronik & Protovision release of the Gold Edition of the game. The disk will contain both the English and German versions of the game along with a new demo of the stunning forthcoming Psytronik release Knight 'n' Grail (which I will be talking about in more detail in a blog entry soon). The splendid box cover art was produced by ... you guessed it! Smila!

Another release that has been taking up a lot of my spare time recently is The Last Amazon Trilogy. I've been busy working on the bitmap loading screens for all The Last Amazon games and the good news is the loading screens for the Last Amazon Intro + Last Amazon 1 & 2 are now complete. All I need to do is produce a loading screen for The Last Amazon Special Edition and then my work for that release is done. The games themselves are all very nearly complete apart from Last Amazon 2 which is still being worked on at the moment. Here's a sneaky pic at the disk box which features superb cover artwork by Alf Yngve:

And that's not all! As well as the fine releases mentioned above there's a couple of exciting new releases in the works - including a special version of a brand-new C64 title and the first ever Psytronik Software PC release! But I can't tell you any more about those just yet ... Keep an eye on this blog for a special feature on the forthcoming C64 epic Knight 'n' Grail (along with a mouthwatering selection of new screenshots) + all the very latest Psytronik Software nooz.

Thanks for reading!

Kenz /