Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Ultimate CRPG* Available Soon (*For the Commodore 64)

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 15, 2010

Okay, news of the simultaneously goofy and AWESOME…  Ultimate Newcomer is going gold.  This is a massive, sprawling CRPG that has been twenty years in the making. It will be available soon for your Commodore 64!

Protovision’s Ultimate Newcomer

What? You don’t have a C-64? Me neither. I hope it’ll run in my emulator (I use CCS64).  The C-64 was my computer back in the 1980’s.  I loved it. But I think the last time I touched a real one was around 1992 or so. We were at a friends’ apartment, and we played a four-player game of M.U.L.E. on it. We had a fabulous time.

Sigh. Okay. Nostalgia geeking. Done now.

Anyway – this game. Was totally off my radar until I heard about it on Rock Paper Shotgun, RPGWatch, and a couple of tweets. Apparently it has been through a couple of previously-available iterations. RPS has a way of putting weird stuff on everyone’s radar.

The game promises 180+ NPCs you can interact with, and ten or more that may join you in a party of up to six characters.  180,000 + words of text. Let’s see, at an average of 5 characters per word, one byte per character… that’s a mere 879 K – almost a full meg of text data alone.  On the “real” C-64, that would have taken up about six floppy disks all by itself. Yeesh. I expect those screens like the one above for the intro and outro are about 32K each, using up a whole disk in 5 screens or so.

Yeah. A company would have gone bankrupt trying to sell this game in the old days. Distribution costs would have topped $100 in 1985 dollars. It may be old tech, but it’s something that simply could not have been done back then for practical, commercial reasons.

It’s a funky, weird thing, making a game for a (mostly) long-dead platform. But cool.

I am definitely playing this one. Probably not to completion, but there’s no way I could let this one pass by without giving it a try. After all, this was the machine which introduced me to CRPGs – via Telengard, Ultima III and IV, The Bard’s Tale, and others. I may as well give it another test-drive for old times’ sake and one last hurrah.

Filed Under: Indie Evangelism, Retro - Comments: 8 Comments to Read

  • Brian \'Psychochild\' Green said,

    The big question is… when will the CRPG Addict get around to playing it? 😉

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Never, according to his rules. He plays games based on their release date for the PC (DOS or Windows) – since this is technically a C-64 release, then it doesn’t qualify.

  • getter77 said,

    One of those amazing accomplishment releases—I now wonder if there are some secret projects at work for the likes of FM Towns, Amiga, 3DO, and Jaguar…

  • Brian 'Psychochild' Green said,

    You are a killjoy for not enjoying my joke. 😛

  • Miral said,

    I have a real C64 in a box somewhere. And a real BBC. And an MSX. And a ZX Spectrum. All in working order, last time I checked. (Also several pieces of a ZX81, but that’s not in working order.)

  • Calibrator said,

    Brian \’Psychochild\’ Green said,
    > The big question is… when will the CRPG Addict get around to playing it?

    Sadly never, as it is no PC CRPG (DOS/Windows).

  • skavenhorde said,

    I’m grabbing the boxed edition as soon as it’s released. The disks will be all but worthless since my poor C64 disappeared in my many many moves, but still I hope the poor guy/guys makes some money off this thing.

    My god if this had been advertised in RUN magazine back when I was a kid I would have had a VERY LONG wait. I remember drooling over the advertisements of Ultima V back then. I would have gone insane waiting for this one 🙂

    BTW, it’s an IGF Entrant: http://www.igf.com/php-bin/entry2011.php?id=354

    If this thing doesn’t win something at IGF I’ll be surprised. Actually, I’ll just stage a one man boycott of IGF after that 😉

    You can read their story here: http://playthisthing.com/project-multiple-dev-generations-igf-2011



    Interesting story spanning multiple generations. I am never going to look at Hungarian developers the same way:D

  • Calibrator said,

    Bonus trivia:
    The company distributing this game has the same name as the mysterious game company Matthew Broderick is trying to hack in the movie ‘War Games’ (“Protovision”).