The Konix Multi-system Games
Here are the know games that were either in development for the Konix Multi-system or had been planed to be. Some have screen shots from magazines and some have videos provided with kind permission of Jon Dean (the guy that actually filmed them). Please don't distribute or re-produce these videos as they remain Jon Dean's Copyright.
Attack of the Mutant Camels 1989 - Llamasoft
"My nipples explode with delight" is just one of the captions that appears while this game is being played, and it is a clear sign that you are playing a game written by Jeff Minter. His classic game found its way onto the KMS, and on its way it got a considerable facelift. This was the game that probably pushed the KMS the most of all the games we saw. It threw large colourful sprites around the screen and made good loud shoot'em'up sound effects played over the top of the unique algorithmic generated music. This had the promise to be a very entertaining shoot'em'up.
Attack of the Mutant Camels '89: Video 1
Attack of the Mutant Camels '89: Video 2
Attack of the Mutant Camels '89: Video 3
AMC fits quite snuggly under the banner of 'Defender clone'. However, although Jeff had, and can, write brilliant original games, he often wrote games in his own inimitable style that were clearly based on a classic gaming genre or theme. Jeff often managed to surpass the original game he was basing his versions on, and the end result was usually greater than the sum of its programming.
Although not taking advantage of the car/bike/plane controls of the Slipstream, it shows the technical prowess of the machine and confirmed that it was more than capable of arcade style graphics in the home - which was the intention of the machine after-all. Interestingly, there are two pictures of people sat in the Power Chair 'playing' AMC'89.
In both pictures, the 'players' (Ed Semrad of EGM Magazine, and Jeff himself) are seen using the recoiling light gun. I don't believe this was ever part of the play mechanic of the game and was used entirely for promotional purposes. After all, how easy really would it have been to manoeuvre your ship with both hands wrapped around the Konix gun?
Compared to the 16-bit machines, the Multi-system version's graphics could only be described as luscious. Strong and vibrant colours washed over the screen. It was so much more engrossing than the plainer looking 16-bit versions. It looked like Jeff had found a machine he could really have fun with. Despite his comments about coding for the 8086 processor in comparison with the Atari ST's 68000 processor being an annoyance to him - he obviously overcame those annoyances quite easily.
Jeff seems pretty proud of the computer generated music routines he
included in this game. I'd hope he was equally proud of the whole package -
it would have turned heads. If this was running in a shop, people couldn't
have helped but notice it and it may have made the machine fly off the
shelves - making Jeff and all involved quite wealthy (again, which was of
course the intention of the machine!).
The KMS offered great scope for a clever mind to be creative.
Of Mutant Camels, Jon Dean had this to say:
MUTANT CAMELS would have been a killer app, because it was so fast, so colourful and so loud, I can show video of the game even today and people want to play it. Jeff could always write very playable and great looking games.
Quote from Jeff relating to the Konix version of AMC'89:
Date: Thurs, Jun 8 1995 12:00 am
Unfortunately Konix ran out of dosh before they could bring the thang to market and it died a death (although ISTR a couple of years ago there was an attempt to revive it, with a 386 as the CPU, they even tried to get me to dig out the old code for AMC but by then I was working on the Jaguar so I said no way).
Video content © 2004, JP Dean. May not be used or reproduced
without prior written permission.
Finally, the following is a video posted to Youtube of Jeff giving a lecture about the history of Llamasoft. The uploader has very kindly shared just the section of Jeff talking about the videos of AMC'89.
Sorry about the varied quality of these screenshots, they are all from the Multi-system version though. Some are obviously captured from the VHS videos from the time of the development on this page, some scanned from magazines.
I will get around to uploading pictures from the emulator as they are much clearer obviously. But that means I need to stop playing it to take them ;)
If you're thinking that this game doesn't look very good, then compare it with these pictures of the Amiga version of Revenge of the Mutant Camels (effectively the sequel). Watch the videos and then make up your mind ;)