Hidden Total Recall video game rediscovered after 33 years of obscurity

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Hidden Total Recall video game rediscovered after 33 years of obscurity Arnold gritting his teeth

While it wasn't hidden in a crater on Mars, this particular Total Recall game took more than 30 years to track down. A small two level demo of what was supposed to be the very first version of the Total Recall tie-in game for Commodore 64 has been recovered from a floppy disk belonging to one of the original creators.

While the original Total Recall tie-in game was developed by Ocean and published in 1990 for such platforms as the NES and ZX Spectrum, that wasn't all there was to its development. A first version of the game was licensed to Manchester studio Active Minds, tasked by Ocean to develop the Commodore 64 version of the game.

A few months later, the original designer of the project, Mike Lyons, was let go - together with the main artist - by Ocean. The company, apparently, wasn't happy about the work. A second version of the game was, then, hurriedly put together in a few weeks, which was what then hit stores in late 1990.

But what happened to that original version by Active Minds? Frank Gasking of Games that Weren't has been hunting it down for years and, only after 33 years, was he able to find some physical traces. Among the many floppy disks owned by original designer Mike Lyons, finally a demo of the original build he worked on for a few months appeared.


The demo shows what was supposed to be a couple of levels from the game, with level 2 planned to be a overhead driving stage which was never fully developed. It is possible to complete one level by collecting five different objects and then going to the phone booth. Level 3, instead, is a bit more glitchy and cannot be completed.

While we will never know get to play a completed version of the original Total Recall 8 bit home computer game, this is still an amazing find after more than three decades. It shows that you never know what treasure might be hiding inside those old floppy disks.