Monday 5 April 2021

Coming Soon! Retaliate DX & Endless Forms Most Beautiful (Commodore 64)

It's been crazy busy here at RGCD for the past month or so. Not only have I been ramping up production of Monstro Giganto, but I have also been working on preparing a number of other games for launch, including Endless Forms Most Beautiful and Retaliate DX. Oh, and I've assembled and flashed 150 copies of Icon64's Arcade Daze for backers of the Zzap 2021 Annual Kickstarter by Fusion Books as well!

One of these games - Retaliate DX - I have covered in some detail before. Since the last update, apart from the usual pre-launch fixes and tweaks, the only significant change has been the addition of a SNES pad control option (using the TexElec adapter). We're just waiting for the manuals to come back from the printers and a new delivery of GMOD2 to arrive and the game will finally be available to buy in our online store.

However, I've just realised that this is the first time I have made an announcement about Endless Forms Most Beautiful for the C64, so really I need to rewind a little bit and explain what this project is all about.

As explained in this article here, back in 2012 RGCD worked with Locomalito to remake David Hughes' modern ZX Spectrum homebrew game EFMB for the PC. More of a re-imagining than a straight remake, Locomalito's version carried his distinctive 1980's coin-op style - and with it's two-player mode it was really more akin to games like Snow Bros or Bubble Bobble than original. Back in the days when CD releases were still a thing for the PC, Locomalito even released a limited edition physical version of the game (which I proudly have in my collection). In short, if you haven't already checked it out, I strongly recommend you do so.

Jumping forward to 2019, one of RGCD's regular customers dropped me an email asking if I'd seen this new game called Endless Forms Most Beautiful on the Commodore Scene Database. I immediately assumed that it would be a port of the ZX Spectrum game - after all, that would make sense. But no, here was a game that was actually a demake of Locomalito's remake - making it a C64 demake of a PC remake of a ZX Spectrum game!

The C64 conversion of EFMB is really impressive and succeeds in staying as true as possible to Locomalito's vision. In fact, I was so enamoured by the game that I contacted Locomalito and suggested that we work with the developers to create a physical cartridge release. And that's what we've done - complete with packaging that has remained as faithful as possible to Locomalito, Gryzor87and Marek Barej's PC CD release.

Both EFMB and Retaliate DX are in the final stages of production and should be available to purchase soon!

Saturday 3 April 2021

Monstro Giganto Available on Cartridge! (Commodore 64)

Well, it's been hell of a couple of days. To coincide with the launch of the Godzilla Vs. Kong movie, on the 31st March RGCD & The Pirates of Zanzibar released the much-anticipated MONSTRO GIGANTO for the Commodore 64. With only 70 GMOD2 PCBs left in stock here at RGCD HQ, I tentitively opened up sales with an initial batch of 50 copies - and within hours, all of those had sold. With an order of 100 more PCBs already placed with Individual Computers, I decided to re-open sales again as a pre-order for a second batch (with a shipping estimate for the end of April), and here we are, two days later on the verge of selling out again. This makes Monstro Giganto one of our fastest selling and most popular games to date!

I already had a head start on building the physical packages (before even opening sales I had 50 flashed and assembled cartridges), but of course there's more to shipping out an order than just that. So far I've put together 100 internal packs (manuals, stickers, badges etc. in polythene bag), assembled 50 boxed games and physically shipped 25 orders before running out of bubble wrap and packing peanuts. It was areally sunny day yesterday (for a change) so I moved the entire operation out into the garden - I didn't want to waste the opportunity for sun and fresh air by being cooped up inside my cramped office - but I do wonder what the neighbours must have thought with the patio covered by a mix of game packaging, cartridges, packing materials and about three loads of family laundry!

I hope to ship out another 25 copies early next week, and then the rest as soon as my incoming GMOD2 shipment arrives. I'll be keeping the pre-orders open after the second batch sells out, but please note that there will be a significant delay before these arrive at their final destinations!

Anyway, enough talk about logistics - here's the game launch blurb!

Brought into existence through human misadventure, four gigantic beasts have emerged to duke it out toe-to-toe in an epic brawl across the continents!

Take control of the monster of your choice and battle against the AI or another player in this furiously-paced PESTCII party-puncher! Who will be hailed as the King of Monstros in the MONSTRO GIGANTO hall of fame?!

Developed by Antonio Savona, Lobo and Aldo Chiummo of The Pirates of Zanzibar, MONSTRO GIGANTO is a one or two player brawler of epic sized proportions! Featuring relentless arcade style gameplay, huge and highly animated player characters, 101% PETSCII graphics, over 250 words of digitised speech (your Commodore 64 has never been this chatty!), a killer sound track, on-cartridge high score saving, unlockables and full PAL/NTSC compatibility, MONSTRO GIGANTO is a game worth fighting over!

MONSTRO GIGANTO is an RGCD Production. The cartridge version of the game is presented in a custom RGCD banded three-part cardboard box with a glossy outer sleeve. The cover art was illustrated by Lobo and the game comes complete with a professionally printed 20-page A6 manual, vinyl RGCD and MONSTRO GIGANTO stickers, a 4-piece badge set, post-cards and a 170gsm matt-finished A3 poster. The GMOD2 PCB is housed in RGCD branded black cartridge shell with a 3D domed label.

MONSTRO GIGANTO was programmed to run exclusively from cartridge, as it continuously streams data from the ROM during play. For this reason, a D64/Disk version is not available. Instead, a downloadable .CRT is available in both GMOD2 and EasyFlash format with every purchase to use via emulation or on real hardware devices such as the Ultimate 1541-II. Please check that your hardware is compatible with these formats! (Note that a stand-alone digital download of the game will be available to buy soon).

Finally, and this is VERY IMPORTANT. MONSTRO GIGANTO will sound DREADFUL if played on an Ultimate64 without a real SID Chip. I'm sure the Ultimate's emulation will be improved in time, but for now, it just doesn't cut it. It does however sound great on both the MEGA65 and even TheC64!

The All-Important Links:

  • Buy the cartridge version HERE for £35 (from RGCD).
  • Buy the download version (COMING SOON!) HERE (from The Pirates of Zanzibar).