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Metal Dust - About the game
Outside...Here you'll find the Metal Dust story, hardware requirements, technical information and the Making Of. Of course the credits must be mentioned, too!
Although at the moment there is no human ship that could stop Commander LaserRay, there are many handicaps until he can reach the crucial jump position and the New World.
If you want to play his part, you'll need the following:

Minimum system requirements:
C64 or C128 in C64 mode, 1581 or CMD FD, CMD SuperCPU with SuperRAM card (at least 4 MB), 1 or 2 Joysticks.

Also compatible with: CMD HD, CMD RAMLink, IEC-ATA.

This game is PAL and partially NTSC compatible. On NTSC machines, the very last end boss and the end sequence run into timing problems. The rest of the game is fully playable.

Ordering the game:
Digital Download

The Story
Mankind is (once again) near its end. The home world and its many colonies have been devastated. Are there that many enemy alien races? No. As usual, it has been mankind itself. The humans did not learn out of their mistakes. Billions have been killed during many civil wars. What have been the reasons? Technology? Resources? Mutants? We don't know.
However, we can be sure that, in the end, the crucial interests have been influence or money. Probably both.
Mankind has made gigantic progress in technology. But the human being has not developed a bit...

Only rumors, legends and myths speak of a New World - hope for many. It is said to exist in another dimension, another galaxy, another universe. Long time ago, there was a secret clan who knew more than that found in legends. But the Sages only told the questioners, that mankind was not yet prepared for the New World. The Sages and their successors have been long dead, and there is only one person left who knows the way to the New World: Ray Harrison, after a successful fight against a superiority of aliens called "Commander LaserRay".

Now recovery and reconstruction have been started, and again the old and wrong structures are being restored - which in the future will again cause misery for billions of souls. Commander LaserRay makes the decision to reach the New World himself to put an end to the old mankind. But to reach this goal, he needs a space ship that can cross the border between reality and imagination...

The recovery program includes an intensive research program to develop tactical attack and defense weapons. Of course those weapons shall only be used against evil aliens. The laboratories are developing the Full Metal Megablaster Mk.II - a ship with an extensive number of weapon systems and with a never before seen amount of firepower. But only Commander LaserRay understands that this is the first ship that can produce enough energy to cross the border between space and time. If this happens at a certain position, the gate to the New World will be opened...

The Full Megablaster Mk.II prototype has been finished. The simulations have been a complete success - the ship is supposed to do her first test flight. Commander LaserRay realizes that this is his only chance. He volunteers to do the test flight, and although some of the project leaders are surprised that the commander himself wants to test the ship, he gets the job.

Commander LaserRay has taken his seat in the cockpit of the Full Megablaster Mk.II. The start has been successful, the flight and weapon controls are working with highest efficiency. Flight Control tells Commander LaserRay that the ship exceeds all expectations of her constructors. This is the signal for the commander: he ignores Flight Control when it wants him to return to the base. Despite of the imploring radio transmissions from Flight Control, he reaches light speed and sets the course to the coordinates for the jump through time and space.

This is where the game starts - for the single player. Those who want to play in two player mode should read on:

There is no chance to hunt down Commander LaserRay, and because the home world is without any protection now, the Secretary of War decides to built another Full Megablaster Mk.II based on the plans of the first prototype. But the closest friend of Commander LaserRay, who understands the plans of his friend, wants to follow him. Because nobody believes that the ship could be stolen again, and therefore there are almost no security measures, it's easy for LaserRay's friend to escape with the second ship. He accelaretes to maximum speed and reaches his friend shortly before the first critical sector, the asteroid belt Alpha 3. Now the two decide to fight together to reach the New World...

Metal Dust - An Overview
Metal Dust in a nutshell - what you will get:

  • Seven different weapon systems
  • Single or dual player mode
  • Four really big levels with a lot of small, many medium and some very big enemies
  • Giant end monsters with different attack behaviour
  • Overlay color graphic objects and lots of other nice graphical effects
  • More than 1000 blocks of digi music data per level, exclusively composed by the band "Welle:Erdball"
  • Digi music will be played with very high CIA rate
  • Realtime mixing of digis for explosions and game effects
  • Really soft parallax scrolling with high speed areas
  • High end sprite multiplexer that still runs stable while playing high quality digi music
  • Title screen and outro sequence with brilliant graphics

The Making Of Metal Dust
Flash8 In 1995, Big User aka Stefan Gutsch got the idea to program a Shoot'em Up for the Commodore 64 with the 8 MHz accelerator card "Flash8". He started as the only coder and graphician, and because he is not a musician, he digitized selected MOD music from the Amiga, using the DAISY digitizer. But because of the instability of the Flash8 card, Big User stopped development soon after.

Fascinated by the project, some people could persuade Big User in restarting the project later on. Because of the lack of development tools - there was only the (a bit unstable and buggy) "Flash8 AssBlaster" - and due to some hardware problems, development went very slowly. Finally, there has been one level with some enemies and a quite big end monster. This is the level many of you know from scene parties and other occasions.

Ice Guys At this time, about 1997, Stefan Gutsch met Chester Kollschen, creator of the top games Ice Guys and Bomb Mania. Both coders had always dreamed of creating a Turrican-like game. The idea of an (inofficial) successor of Turrican I and II was born. To get every C64 user the chance to play the game, it was decided not to require the SuperCPU for this one. Now Stefan could concentrate on what he can do best, great graphics and creative level design. Chester started with the hard work of programming the game, workname "Turrican 3". T3 The goal was to be not only as good as but even better than the predecessors. Finally music had been implemented, the end monsters got bigger and absolutely flicker free - using a completely new designed multiplex routine. The game could even load data while one could move the player. In 1998, the project was presented to a small bunch of people during a scene party. But during the night, the disk was stolen and the half completed game was spread around the internet. Shocked by the fact that such things could happen even in the fantastic C64 scene, Chester cancelled the work. Simultaneously, Factor 5, makers of the "Turrican" games on Amiga, threatened because of copyright issues. Half a year later, Chester started again to code, this time not a game, but a new operating system that one time shall replace GEOS. He thought that the SuperCPU offers a great deal of power and so much possibilities that there is a need for a new, SuperCPU-only operating system. CLiPS was born.

Fortunately, also Stefan regained his interest for the C64 and started coding. Surprisingly, the - actually cancelled - project "Metal Dust" was revived. Stefan worked hard on the game, although programming was not easy. Three more levels were created, also some end monsters were designed. But frequent setbacks and long bug hunts more and more slowed development down and also took away motivation. Metal Dust died again.

Malte Mundt aka ThunderBlade could not accept the thought that such a fascinating game project should never be finished. He organised a new meeting between Stefan and Chester, where a new cooperation had been decided. Welle:Erdball Again Chester took over the code work and Stefan could concentrate on the graphics. In the meantime, Chester has recoded the complete game engine. The game concept has been redesigned and extended, for example by implementing the two-player mode. Malte and Chester reached an agreement with the band Welle:Erdball to get an exclusive sound track for Metal Dust. The graphics have been improved again, the levels got much better and much bigger. Malte digitized and arranged the music created by Welle:Erdball. The old enthusiasm is back. After a long time of hard work, Protovision can now present you Metal Dust, the first Shoot'em Up for the Commodore with SuperCPU.

CODE: Chester Kollschen
GRAPHICS: Stefan Gutsch
MUSIC: Welle:Erdball & Lars Hutzelmann (Title and Endsequence Music)

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