December 31, 2016

Lost Gems: "Frantic" for Colecovision

Now that the holidays are almost over and Christmas has come and gone, I feel like I can share a project I've been keeping under wraps for a couple of months.

Several years ago, Scott Huggins and Joseph Kollar teamed up to create a game called Frantic for the Colecovision. Loosely based on the Berzerk sequel Frenzy, Scott and Joe hoped to create somewhat of a Super Frenzy for the Colecovision. Adding in things like rescuing hostages, zapping laser turrets, power-ups and a cool communicator sequence between levels. All the while maintaining the spirit of its predecessors.


5 words took 240 hours to travel across space. "Landing party captured on Mazeon" was all it said but it only took 5 hours for the mission to get started. This was the third Interstellar Organization ship to go to Mazeon to try and establish an embassy with the Automazeons but it seems to have suffered the same fate as the first two. Capture and imprisonment at the hands of the Automazeon robots called Eviscerators.

Based upon your skill and rank you've been picked to lead the rescue mission in prison complex Rallok 96. You're equipped with a hand laser and teleportation tags for the prisoners. Blast open the prisoner cells and tag the prisoners to immediately teleport them to the rescue ship in orbit around Mazeon. There are 25 rooms spread out over 5 levels in Rallok 96 and you'll need to get all 3 keys to exit a room after saving the prisoners. You can leave prisoners behind but you'll be sacrificing them to the Eviscerators. There are five generations of Eviscerators guarding Rallock 96 on the various levels. The IO recuse ship will communicate with you between levels regarding your progress."
- Scott Huggins

I really enjoy Frenzy as most of my friends know, so I was of course interested in this as soon as I had learned about it. I did all the reading I could on its development and to my dismay, eventually learning of its abandonment. I couldn't imagine living without this on cartridge after knowing about its existence. I asked around, but finally gave up hope on seeing it released.

I guess the guys just got busy with life and had to let the project slide. Time passed and a little progress would be made, but finally, development came to a halt. I'm sure lots of us have been in a similar situation at some point in our lives. I know I have. In fact, it's taken me maybe 20 years to finally have the means and know-how to begin making myself and others game cartridges.

Well, now that I'm more confident in my creations, I decided it was probably time to tackle making Frantic into a physical cartridge. I had boards fabricated by Elecrow, received the clear shells from TeamPixelboy and decided to top it all off with laser printed clear labels.

I created 4.5 of these cartridges(yes, one copy is still sitting on the bench!). I gave copies to my two friends Mike and Tom and a copy to Mr. Scott Huggins. This coincided with the holidays encroaching, so I chose to give Tom and Mike their copies for Christmas. I love giving surprise gifts out of nowhere, so it was really fun for me hearing the responses I received.

As far as the game being "unfinished", well... I have spotted a couple of small graphic glitches, but haven't gotten far enough to know if you can complete all 25 rooms in this version of the ROM. I believe you can and it also feels complete enough for me to really enjoy playing it.

The game is really fun and it's an interesting take on the Berzerk/Frenzy franchise. Frantic totally deserves to be finished and given an official commercial release.

So far, I have gotten to I believe the 7th or 8th room. I find it very challenging, but Scott assured me it's not that difficult, once you learn how to use the power-ups to their maximum potential. I'm not all that great at Berzerk and Frenzy, so it's not too surprising! I will fight on!

I think most people that tried this game out, most likely used an emulator or Atarimax Ultimate SD Cart, but that wouldn't do for me. I needed to give this game a proper place in my gaming library, thus the need for the cart.

I am very thankful to everyone above and everyone that helped me out in some way or another in this endeavor. It's great I was able to get into contact with both Joe and Scott. Being able to give Scott his own cartridge was a good feeling. I really believe it's important to show gratitude in this life and although Joe politely refused his copy, it's nice to know he is aware of my appreciation.

And not to toot my own horn, but before anyone sends me an email asking if this cart is available for purchase, sadly the answer will be no. I have no plan to sell any copies of these, unless I get an email from the Scott and Joe saying they'd like to see that happen. My suggestion, if you're interested in a copy for yourself is either making your own or figuring out some way to finally get this finished and given an official commercial release.

The original thread on AtariAge can be read here and it should have everything you need to get going.

Take some time to check it out! Happy Holidays!


Besides handling the game graphics and level designs, Joseph Kollar also designed a box cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!