By buzz_clik 7 Comments
SID-licious is a series of blogs where I post Commodore 64 SID tunes (I swear it'll get back to being weekly soon). They'll be available for download until the next entry goes up, when I'll be pulling the previous week's files down. I'll probably have the mp3 floating around, though, so if there's some tune(s) you're reading about in a past blog and want to grab a copy, shoot me a PM.
Back in the day, legendary UK publication Zzap!64 would come with a cover-mounted cassette, known as the Megatape. Every month, this spooled wonder would be filled with complete games and/or demos for upcoming releases. For some reason, enjoying the software that came on this tape felt different to playing other games I had, and even thinking about loading something from a Megatape taps into an indescribable sub-genre of my nostalgia.
Megatape 18 came with the demo for an upcoming title called Spellcast. The game was a sparse and rough (but still very playable) single level demo for a side-scrolling hackyslashy affair. While my memories of the gameplay aren't the clearest – I remember I liked it but there wasn't enough there for too much repeat play – the thing that has stuck with me all these years is (you guessed it) the music.
While Spellcast had no in-game music to speak of, it did have one tune that sprang to life on the static credits screen when you met your end. I loved that music, and while I would never die on purpose to hear it, the fact that it took the sting out of losing just made it more special.
So, what happened to Spellcast that it's only got one song to recommend? Well, the project was scrapped and the Zzap!64 demo was all that ever emerged for the public to see. If you want to read more about the fate of Spellcast and the people behind the project, head on over to Frank Gasking's Games That Weren't 64 and check out the info there.
The final footnote to this entry is that, once again, the High Voltage SID Collection has taught me that a beloved chip tune from my younger years is actually based on a "real" piece of music. And yes, once again, I find that I prefer the C64 version to the original (although the original sounds like something out of a Castlevania game, which I guess is no bad thing).
[ Here's where the music was. I've probably still got the mp3 if you wanna PM me! ]