>> Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Krisalis Software Ltd was responsible for the 1997 release of "Ultra CD-i Soccer". Without any announcement it looked like a strange release on CD-i, but after a few contacts there was more behind the horizon. Krisalis was the brain behind some important cross-platform developments of Philips Media, including a port of Chaos Control for Sega Saturn and even Sony Playstation. We follow an interesting history of Krisalis.
Krisalis Software have been producers of successful computer & console games started 20 years ago. Based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, the company began life in 1987 as Teque Software, formed by Tony Kavanagh and two experienced games programmers, Peter Harrap (creator of the famous Monty Mole) and Shaun Hollingworth. All three had been previously employed by the same company, and with the advent of the blossoming 16 bit market they saw a golden opportunity to 'go it alone'.
The first projects, completed with just a few new recruits, were a mix of original projects (Terramex, Flintstones, Thunderbirds) and conversions of arcade titles (Pacmania, Xybots, Continental Circus) for other companies, across all the popular platforms of the day, both 8 and 16 bit. As the scale of the company increased it was possible for Teque to release games of their own, rather than rely totally on bigger companies such as Grandslam and Domark as they had done before. It was decided that a new name was required for this and so Krisalis came into being although the original spelling of the name, 'Chrysalis', was changed within weeks of the release of the first game.
The first Krisalis project, released in 1988, was the science fiction exploration game 'Prison'. Although the Krisalis label was now established, Teque carried on producing many successful games for other companies. 1989 saw the release of the most successful game in the company's history: Manchester United The official computer game. Well received by all who saw it, it was the first game to successfully blend a playable arcade style football game with a management side. The Manchester United game concept was developed further with the release of Manchester United Europe, Manchester United Premier League Champions and Manchester United: The Double. As well as Manchester United, Krisalis have also worked with John Barnes of Liverpool & England fame, Graham Taylor in his time as England manager and Sheffield Wednesday.
The Teque name was eventually dropped in 1991 in favour of Krisalis, although one-time sister company Teque London, carry on the name to this day. And the Krisalis building is still known as 'Teque House'.
As computers and consoles have come & gone, so Krisalis have evolved and looked to the next wave of machines. From development of games for Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC and MSX, through Amiga, ST, Megadrive, Archimedes, SNES and 3D0, Krisalis was focused on both original titles and conversions for Playstation and Saturn. This was the time Krisalis and Philips signed a deal to convert CD-i blockbusters on other formats. Curious cross platform games like Burn:Cycle and Chaos Control were not very common in the EMEA regions, but at least Japan got an official release. After CD-i was over, Krisalis continued for Philips converting "UEFA Champions League" for Sony Playstation in 1997. We hope to trace more Krisalis spokepersons and give us details, because now we are left wanting a lot more to know about a former unknown company to Philips and CD-i in general! Mysterious details about the arrival of Ultra CD-i Soccer on CD-i were part of this deal, which might explain the sudden spontaneous release of this title on CD-i in 1997. Hot stuff!