Tyger! Tyger! logo - Firebird - Unpublished

Tyger Tyger

Memories

Gary Liddon was an ex-Newsfield magazine journalist who was best known for reviewing games for Zzap!64 magazine, published by Newsfield out of Ludlow, Shropshire.

The game title appears to be a reference to the famous William Blake poem of the same name, but there is little else to connect the game to this literary prose!

The game itself was a simple arcade platform game, where you jumped around (or swam) through different levels, avoiding nasties or shooting them to gain coins that could then be spent in shops upgrading items. For some strange reason, the shop keeper looked remarkably like Groucho Marks!



The game was mentioned (but not shown) in issue #6 of TelecomSoft News, which was a glossy, colourful newsletter produced a few times each year.

Tyger! Tyger - TelecomSoft News

This edition was timed to coincide with the PCW Show at Olympia, London in September 1988. A brief plot for Tyger! Tyger! is mentioned:

Blazing through the forests of the night comes Lance Tyger, seeking the shards of the Magic Key to unlock the ogre's prison. Legions of Trolls lie in wait for our hero, who's unarmed save for a gun, flame-thrower, bazooka and a few sticks of dynamite. Things look tricky ...

It's interesting to note that the release date was a vague 'Available New Year' and it was also due to have Sinclair Spectrum and Amstrad CPC versions.



At one point, I can clearly remember Gary Liddon paying visits to TelecomSoft's New Oxford Street offices and trying to do some coding there in an effort to make some progress. Unfortunately, progress was slow and the game just fizzled out in the end. Gary playing Rainbow Islands probably didn't help! I don't remember it being officially cancelled, but it's demise was probably confirmed once MicroProse bought TelecomSoft.

The graphics were neat (drawn by Paul 'Dok' Docherty) but playing the game was always a bit simple. However, it's not fair to pass final judgement because the game was never finished.

Resurrection

Some compiled code for Tyger! Tyger! (written using the PDS development system) was passed on to some Commodore 64 gurus a few years ago, and they have been able to resurrect an old development version of the game from November 1988. Full details of how this happened can be found on Frank Gasking's Games that weren't C64 website.

Tyger! Tyger! - Commodore 64 - Advert

Tyger! Tyger! was advertised in early 1989, just before TelecomSoft was officially put up for sale. The advert showed a couple of C64 screenshots and the summary was a little different from the earlier newsletter:

Take up your sword Lance Tyger and prepare for a deadly sortie into the bottomless depths of the Earth.

Marauding aardvarks and monstrous beasts of every shape and size crouch in dismal shadow, thoughts of death riddle their evil minds.

To survive in this world of dark and fear you must kill without mercy - or you yourself shall feel the tear of tooth and claw.

In hindsight, enough managers at TelecomSoft knew the company was likely to be put up for sale, so early adverts for games that were still in development were a way of advertising the company's up-and-coming portfolio to prospective buyers. Having said that, an advert showing a giant pink hero wearing what looks like a nappy might not have been the sort of advert to entice people to buy the game, let alone the entire company!

What do you think?