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ICOM Simulations: Deja Vu, Shadowgate; 'CD-i was uninvited'

>> Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've seen these ICOM point and click adventures coming up several times over the course of my love for the CDi. (I even remember seeing the game in "coming soon" format in one of the catalogs when I bought my original system, thinking how great it would be, since I loved the original version on the NES.) I keep hearing people say different answers to the question, "Was it ever released on CD-i". The ICOM titles remain a mystery to CD-i, as far as I know nobody has ever seen it on CD-i. There are only rumours and references in CD-i Magazines, and hunting down some old ICOM members is still on the agenda, so who knows! Deja Vu, Uninvited and Shadowgate; These games were called the ICOM Trilogy. Shadowgate was by far the best title of the series IMHO. These games are also available for the NES. How I wish these games were ported to the CD-I.

As far as I know shadowgate was never released. It did come from the same publisher as the Deja Vu games (ICOM) and seems to be the same genre/kind of game.. The Deja Vu games were announced several times, possibly even developed, but as far as I know never published. Same could be true for shadowgate.. Most of the CD-i information available on the net besides this close knit community of websites tends to be completely wrong and outdated. However, always the chance that this game may have been developed for CD-i at some point. It certainly warrants further investigation in anycase!!

Still there were lot of rumors surrounding those ICOM/Mindscape adventures coming to CDi. Deja Vu 1&2, Uninvited, Shadowgate all have been rumored to come to CDi. Same style games, same publisher, loads of rumors.. and Deja Vu and Uninvited were even listed in the Philips CDi catalogue, same as CDi magazine! They couldn't be cancelled due to technical difficulties, because the core engine was baded on a very simple text based adventure, with very simple graphics. The most believable reason for cancelling would be the transfer of ICOM to Viacom, who changed the publishing scheme due to licensing or royalties.

Shadowgate: It was one of the best ICOM games. It is essentially a text adventure with still images of each room in the castle. You play Jair, a brave knight who has been sent to Castle Shadowgate to stop the evil Wizard from completing his spell of destruction. You really just have to play the game to understand. It is easily available on the net as a rom for the Nintendo entertainment System via NES emulators. I could just imagine a CD-i version with beautifully rendered backgrounds and a CD quality soundtrack.

Uninvited: Another game using the graphical adventure interface found in Deja Vu and Shadowgate, Uninvited comes with a "horror" theme. While driving on a lonely road at night, a strange figure blocks your vision causing you to swerve and crash your car. When you regain consciousness, you find that your sister is missing. The only place she could have gone is a creepy old mansion which looms in front of you. With nowhere else to go, you enter the mansion in search of your sister. It turns out the mansion once belonged to an old wizard and his apprentice, and somehow it has become infested with the Undead.

Don't hold your hands up believing ICOM was developing 5 cd-i games with none of them being released in the end. Perhaps they were on the drawing board or one of them got into some development time. These base-case titles should be relatively easy to convert, but in the end - well who knows... I don't believe in any shadowgate proto.

Merijn found this old bit of info by a CDi tester:"I know nothing about Rocket Ranger but I do remember the others. Dark Castle was an early release and was a port from the Mac I spent hundreds of hours testing this title. Deja Vu and Uninvited were also mac ports but they were early Mac games, back when the Mac was a 9 inch black and white monitor. These games were designed for that format and worked well, but they looked like crap on CD-i, what looked ok on a 9 inch screen didn't translate well to a 20 inch TV set in color. From what I remember it came into test for documentation, the documentor complained about it, the engineer who put it together refused to do any more work on these two (I believe it was the same person who did Dark Castle), he was already too burned out from making all the fixes to Dark Castle so the two projects (Deja Vu and Uninvited) was killed off without ever being tested."

ICOM Simulations was formed in the early 1980s by Tod Zipnick. With the MacVenture series, ICOM pioneered the point-and-click adventure interface and later multiplatform CD-ROM development with Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. The company was acquired in 1993 by Viacom New Media which closed its operations in 1997. Renamed to Rabid Entertainment, VNM/ICOM was dismantled in 1998. The rights to ICOM's game portfolio is currently held by the company Infinite Ventures.

As you can see in the catalogue scan below, both Uninvited and Deja Vu were listed in the Philips Media CD-i catalogue:

Screenshots taken by the PC version (Interesting details about the graphics being polished a lot, if you compare them with the 1987 originals on the NES. Who knows what kind of color pallet was going to be used in a possible CD-i game...)

5 reacties:

Victor April 30, 2008 at 4:59 PM  

The Icom games were, indeed, wonderful, but the original versions, as you say, weren't for NES, but Apple McIntosh and called MacVentures. As for Shadowgate itself, it was released in this order:

1987 (Mac & Amiga)
1988 (PC)
1989 (NES)

The NES graphics are inferior in just about every way to the Amiga version.

Check out Shadowgate's Wiki entry for more info:

Thomas Hudson December 22, 2015 at 9:05 AM  

I know this is a very old post, but I just stumbled on it and want to verify at least one thing. The game Deja Vu DID get made for the CD-I. I have a copy of it right now. However, the copy I have is a test copy given to random owners to beta test and review. It is a fully working copy and has a plain gold color disc in a jewel case with a plain white cover with the title written on it. No cover art.

So, yes, Deja Vu was made, at least somewhat.

Bas December 22, 2015 at 9:33 AM  

Wow, that is the first time anyone confirms Deja Vu was actually in a completed state. Can you make a copy of it, and try it on a CD-i player? This is really valuable news for the CD-i community!

Thomas Hudson December 25, 2015 at 6:37 AM  

I've tried to copy it, but my PC doesn't recognize the disc. It tries to read it, but it just spins the disc and gives a "insert a disc into the drive" error.

Thomas Hudson December 25, 2015 at 6:43 AM  

To also give a little more info, the disc is a gold color Yamaha CD. On the clear part of the disc at the center, it has "Deja Vu (050), V 0.13 11-07-92" written on it. The game is in a white jewel case and on the white sleeve is written "Deja Vu v 0.13, 11-07-92, 11-16-92, and (050)" To me, the (050) either references that there are 50 copies that were made, or that I received copy #50 out of however many they made. The fact that there are 2 dates listed tells me that there were two versions of the game made, a version .10 and a version .13. Either way, this can't be the only copy that exists and there must be more. I just wonder how many of us that received this game still have them. Is it possible that I have the only one that exists still? If so, I'd have to wonder about the value, and no, I don't intend on ever selling it.

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3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
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Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
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Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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