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Possible Commodore Vic-20 game prototype found - Ice Palace


Dougmanct

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I recently purchased some Vic-20 carts from an auction in PA - which was for the estate of an individual who I am told was a game programmer and had worked for numerous companies including Coleco.

 

Wondering if anyone has any ideas/insight on this. I have yet to get my hands on a Vic-20 to test this cart. I also do intend to read/dump the EPROM. 

 

 

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Ice Palace was a planned Xonox title for the C64, Colecovision, and Vic-20.  A non interactive demo for the Colecovision version surfaced some years back from Anthony Henderson, but I don't think that was ever dumped (there's a video of it though). 
 

Please dump this!  And if you can, take a screenshot of it running (or describe it).  I wonder if the Vic-20 version got further than the Colecovision version.

 

Were there any other prototypes in the lot? 

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10 hours ago, Supergun said:

What’s also interesting is how the original sticker on the double ender cart itself is actually the same game twice? Very strange indeed.

I didn't even notice that.  If you look really closely though I think you can see the remnants of another label there.  So it's just two different labels.  Actually it's the same label twice, just put on in two different orientations then half the top label was ripped off.

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It’s unusual to say the least. One label appears to have been torn off, but the other one has clearly been even sliced or cut off.

 

For reference purposes, Xonox released 8 games for the Vic-20, and all 8 were made available on 4 Double Enders. And Motocross Racer was the game paired with Tomarc the Barbarian.

 

IMG_0719.jpeg.95c52b1118cfca4da8c5aa990788e6f3.jpeg

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apologies for the gap between replying here.

 

This is going to be dumped and I do intend to make a video of the testing! Please, understand it is going to be a few weeks because, I am at the moment in the process of moving. We bumped up our plans to move shortly after my original post due to being made a crazy offer for our home contingent on a fast close. But yes, one of the first things I am going to get to once I arrive and begin to unpack is to document, dump and share this rom.

 

Someone asked about other items I got from this estate -

 

 

Chuck Norris  Pic.png

Motocross Racer  Pic.png

Robin Hood Pic.png

Sir Lancelot  Pic.png

Vic Prototype Pic.png

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There was a Xonox contractor called Product Guild Ltd. that seems to have been based in Pennsylvania. They subcontracted at least two Xonox games (Chuck Norris Superkicks and Robin Hood for VIC-20) out to Boone, which was out in California.

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10 hours ago, CRV said:

There was a Xonox contractor called Product Guild Ltd. that seems to have been based in Pennsylvania. They subcontracted at least two Xonox games (Chuck Norris Superkicks and Robin Hood for VIC-20) out to Boone, which was out in California.

Hmm... That might explain the two Boone pre-production carts.  Perhaps this was another PG or Boone developed game?

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14 hours ago, Tempest said:

Hmm... That might explain the two Boone pre-production carts.  Perhaps this was another PG or Boone developed game?

Or Interplay, which was started by former Boone employees. We know they developed the C64 version (also unreleased) for Product Guild.

 

The president of Product Guild may have passed away earlier this year.

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The C64 version of Ice Palace WAS released, but I assume it's very hard to find. The one shot of the front cover on the Internet: https://www.grouvee.com/games/95381-ice-palace/

 

To summarize: We don't know anything about the VIC-20 version of Ice Palace, but the C64 version was developed by Interplay for Product Guild. The ColecoVision version was being programmed by Anthony Henderson. He programmed three 2600 Xonox games for Product Guild. I believe he was based in Texas.

 

VIC-20 Chuck Norris Superkicks and Robin Hood were programmed by Rebecca Heineman at Boone for Product Guild. 2600 Motocross Racer and Sir Lancelot were programmed by Anthony Henderson for Product Guild. VIC-20 Sir Lancelot was also a Product Guild game. The only through-line of all these (except maybe the Boone pre-production carts) is Product Guild.

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Somehow I missed seeing this post until now.

 

The Boone carts used to be considered super rare, but a bunch of NOS got found a great many years ago and sold off, so they are more quite rare nowadays instead. Never seen pre-production copies however, and should be dumped just to compare if they are any different (unlikely as Tempest notes) to the release versions.

 

Never heard of Ice Palace being lined up by Xonox, so VERY intrigued to see that dumped. Entry at GB64 for the C64 version of the game: https://gb64.com/game.php?id=3689

 

@Dougmanct if you're interested in letting the Vic20 Lancelot and Robin Hood CIB carts go, I'd be interested. I've got all four double enders and five of the eight single enders CIB, so these two would tick off only then needing one. Also if you need any advice or a hand dumping Ice Palace, ping me a message, had plenty experience over the years getting ultra rare Vic20 (and C64) titles out into the wider circle for people to play. If you've got an actual Vic20, cartridge port switcher and Commodore disk drive, you don't have to remove the chip from the board either.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi folks! Apologies for it taking so long. I have finally gotten settled in to my new home and procured a working Vic.

 

I have plugged in this cart for the first time and powered on the Vic. This is the opening scene. I am going to make a full video telling the story of how I got this and trying to experience as much gameplay as possible. Just wanted to get something out to those waiting for an update. 

 

I am also, to be clear, going to sort out dumping the eprom in this and will make it public to all. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

Looks like it could be complete if it has an opening demo and title screen.  Looking forward to seeing the rest!

So there is definitely a first level. And I, having spent some time on it, was unable to complete it. It's extremely hard due to IMHO the unfinished game mechanics, specifically the poor little penguin so easily getting trapped in spots he can't jump out of.

 

But nonetheless - I can also report that using the amazing Retro Chip Tester device, I was easily able to dump the one 2764 socketed EPROM on this cartridge and here it is.  

 

I've never done this before but my intention here is that this is abandonware and should be free for anyone to use and enjoy. It would be against my personal code of ethics to try to sell or otherwise directly monetize this find. It belongs to history.

 

Please respect that. 

 

Also please consider checking out my video on this find when it's ready (probably in the next week or so). But I will not receive any money for that as my YouTube channel is not monetized.

 

I would LOVE to see videos of folks trying to complete the first level of this to see what happens!!!!!

 

IcePalaceVic20.bin

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  • 2 months later...

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