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Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:36 pm
by wickerman1138
Reading the new issue about Mire Mare I was reminded that back in the day when Batty came out on a cover cassette a friend said it was porgrammed by ex ultimate people. Either he read this somewhere or he was a very astute judge of the programmers finger prints on the game. So interested to see form the new issue he was right. Anyone now if this factoid has been reported elsewhere?

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:40 pm
by mlucifersam
I was told Batty was by Ultimate in 1987!
http://www.worldofspectrum.org/forums/s ... hp?t=40151

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:54 pm
by wickerman1138
How weird. I guess my mate had a hunch at the time. I think it was the graphics of the little rockets on the bat that reminded us of that ultimate shiny look.

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:45 pm
by mlucifersam
Look at the menu for Batty. It's almost exactly the same for the menu for Bubbler and Cyberun. All 3 written by Mark Betteridge.

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:25 am
by Darran@Retro Gamer
I'm sure Martyn Carroll interviewed someone who did the C64 conversion of Batty.
This is intriguing...

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:09 am
by merman
Three year bump!

Darran, are e you referring to Dave Thomas? C64 version of Batty was done by Jason Benham.

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:42 am
by MartynC
It is a confusing one this. I did interview Jason Benham about Batty, and most of that ended up as a Q&A in the Covertape Wars feature (issue 97). Essentially Jason wrote an untitled Arkanoid clone for the C64 (the main difference being the addition of a 2-player mode). Elite picked it up.

The Ultimate link surfaced after that interview was published. Paul Byford of Rare revealed that Mark Betteridge left Ultimate for a brief spell in 1987 and wrote an Arkanoid clone for the Spectrum. It was originally called Wipe Out and credited to KB.RAM (an anagram of MARK B). This pre-production version is archived on WoS.

Elite's Steve Wilcox remembers very little about Batty, but it appears that he was approached with two Arkanoid clones (Jason's for the C64, Mark's for the Spec). Changes were made to align them both, and to remove some of the most obvious Arkanoid references. The game was then titled Batty. The Spec version was credited to Mark Crane, as was the CPC version, which suggests that Betteridge also ported the game to the CPC.

Why Betteridge used a pseudonym is unclear. He probably didn't want any issues with Ultimate/Rare (or indeed Ocean!)

Even more unclear is why the Spec version debuted on a Your Sinclair covertape. There's probably a good story there. I've heard a dynamite rumour but doubt very much anyone would substantiate it!

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:58 am
by Darran@Retro Gamer
Mark has also disappeared completely since leaving Rare. Would love to get a big interview with him. He always had fascinating anecdotes.

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:38 am
by dCoding
I didn't realise Batty had an Ultimate connection; very interesting! I loved Batty, and up to that time it was by far my favourite covertape giveaway.
MartynC wrote:I've heard a dynamite rumour but doubt very much anyone would substantiate it!
A rumour you can repeat? :)

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:34 pm
by sidney
An amazing game and even more amazing that it was a covermount. It would be like strapping a triple a title to a magazine nowadays!

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:35 am
by merman
sidney wrote:An amazing game and even more amazing that it was a covermount. It would be like strapping a triple a title to a magazine nowadays!
The "covertape wars" between the magazines resulted in some high quality software making the covermounts - and also some original creations that might not have seen the light of day. The story of one such game is coming up in issue 145's In The Chair...

Re: Batty and Ultimate connection

Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:49 pm
by sidney
merman wrote:
sidney wrote:An amazing game and even more amazing that it was a covermount. It would be like strapping a triple a title to a magazine nowadays!
The "covertape wars" between the magazines resulted in some high quality software making the covermounts - and also some original creations that might not have seen the light of day. The story of one such game is coming up in issue 145's In The Chair...



I look forward to that Merman. I also loved Ocean's Road Race which I believe came before Batty on YS, I think the cover price was 1.50 instead of the usual 1pound because of the addition and I remember being very happy with that for an extra 50p, admittedly it was not the greatest racer ever but it was a bit Enduroish and I didn't mind that one bit!