Beebchase – The BBC Micro gets its own version of Deathchase

Chris Bradburne has made a BBC Micro conversion of Deathchase, the ZX Spectrum game by Mervyn Estcourt.

Deathchase was originally released in 1983. It is a first-person vehicular combat that involves the player controlling a motorcycle and chasing down enemy bikers while avoiding obstacles in a forest environment. The game was published by British software house, Micromega, a British software company that was active in the 1980s.

At the time of its release, Deathchase received positive reviews from critics and players alike, with particular praise for its fast-paced gameplay and challenging difficulty level. The game’s innovative use of 3D graphics also made it stand out from other games of the era.

Deathchase didn’t recieve any official contemporary ports at the time, though unofficial ports have been made for the Amstrad CPC in 2008 (by Richard Wilson), and the Dragon in 2009 (by James McKay.)

Beebchase author, Bradburne, said on Stardot, “I know nothing about the ZX Spectrum architecture and don’t know Z80 code so this was never going to be a direct conversion and is rather my take on it. My implementation is slightly different from the original version but follows the same principals. So the entire tree movement from back to front is simply done with pre-calculated lookup tables for whether it moves left/right, where the bottom is and how tall the tree and leaves are and how wide trees are. I took the decision to use mode 5 (or a reduced width version at least) because each frame requires a considerable amount of drawing to the screen and having a 10K screen means that this is faster. This also allows me to do double buffering to allow smoother movement (there’s significant tearing in the original).”

You can download the game in .ssd format on Stardot, and also look at the code on Github

Read more about:

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *