Friday, 10 August 2012

Could Mire Mare Finally See The Light of Day?

Regular readers of Retro Gamer magazine will surely be aware that issue 105 (Daley Thompson cover) featured an in-depth investigation into Ultimate's long lost title, "Mire Mare".

Along with the disappointment readers will no doubt have felt in learning that the title most likely failed to get further than some artwork and a few basic design details, it was exciting to see some fantastic mock-ups of just how the game may have looked had it surfaced.

These wonderful graphics were drawn by World of Spectrum forum member BiNMan, who was asked by Martin Carroll to simply draw a sprite. Thankfully for us he got a little carried away.

Here's what BiNMan had to say;
[This was] done as a favour for MartynC, he only wanted a sprite!! But to keep it looking and feeling like an Ultimate game, I reused some graphics from Sabre Wulf and Pentagram, font and menu is from Underwurlde (but this wasn't used)

The sprite's an original inspired by the GBA version of Sabre Wulf, as is the loading screen which I tried to do in a similar style to Nightshade and the border around the gaming screen, Martyn was of the opinion that the main character would be a large detailed sprite exploring a map that would scroll from left to right (and vice versa) but would flip up and down.
For the in-game mock-up, BiNMan explained that he'd simply placed an energy bar at the bottom of the screen. However, prior to the screenshot appearing in Retro Gamer, this had been replaced with a location - "The Foothills of Mount Sol", by Martin. Ex-Ocean Software artist Mark Jones, spotted the mock-ups on The World of Spectrum Forums, commenting;
That's a fantastic job. You should do a game based on those graphics. I would if they were mine!
This quite clearly got BiNMan thinking, as he responded with;
It would need a good story line that would fit into the Sabre Man universe and tie up the other games etc

Hmmm. I can envisage a sprawling map centered around a lava lake in a mountainous region, according to the article and what MartynC came to understand (said this in an earlier post) that the game would scroll left to right but would be flip screen going up or down but the game would be more like Sabre Wulf than the Knight Lore or Underwurlde.

[I] need to read the article again to see if he gleaned a back story or what the object of the game was.
Clearly these are very early days. This may not get anywhere at all, but with Mark Jones showing an interest, some excellent graphics (albeit stills) already put together, and a keen community, perhaps Ultimate's long forgotten title may finally see the light of day, even if it's a fan made production.

We'll have to wait and see!

The full thread can be found here on the World of Spectrum Forums.

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