It's once again time to take a look at one of my prototypes even though this one may not actually fit directly in that category. Years ago I was lucky to get in contact with Phil Mikkelson who used to work both for
Color Dreams and American Video Entertainment. Through the years Phil let go of all of his NES prototypes and this one is another from the second lot I bought from him.
Deathbots was being developed for American Video Entertainment by a small American company called Odyssey Software. The game was a port of an Amiga game Odyssey had released earlier.
This is where this cartridge comes in. Rumor has it that American Video Entertainment wanted to do some in-store marketing of Deathbots and Odyssey therefore cranked out this little running demo which has no
interaction available other than if you press start, the demo restarts.
The demo is hosted in the shell from a Renegade game, it's great to see that Renegade at least could be used for something cause it sure isn't worth playing. What's odd though is that the
game isn't hosted on the actual Renegade board, but instead a NINA-03 AVE board.
One can only wonder why they decided to place it in an official NES cartridge instead of just using an AVE cart shell. Maybe this means that a Renegade in an AVE shell exists somewhere?
There are a few differences between the running demo and the final release. It's the font used, both on the initial American Video Entertainment splash screen and on the actual titlescreen,
neither of these fonts made it into the final game.
Also, in the final game an Odyssey Software splash screen is shown after the American Video Entertainment one, this one was left out in the demo even though the graphics are present in
the character set in the demo.
That not all though, the level shown in the demo is nothing like the first level in the final game and neither are the enemies. This could be on purpose and those enemies could appear later
in the final Deathbots game, I have to admit that I havn't played it much as it sucks badly, sorry Odyssey Software :-)
A funny thing about the demo is that it won't run the ingame part of the demo on a PAL NES, the screen just goes all black and the music continues. So I had to make the video using a
RetroCon console, which is why the colors are a a bit off, damn Nintendo clones. Also the garbled graphics in the ingame part of the demo is not there normally, again thank the clone for
that outstanding performance, doh!.