Days of Thunder: Mindscape (NES)
|Days of Thunder|
- This is for the unreleased version of this game. For the released version, see Days of Thunder (NES).
In 2020, the family of late programmer Chris Oberth found several 5 1/4 floppy disks, each containing fragments of code for an NES game he programmed. Unable to get the data off the disks, the family sent the disks to the Video Game History Preservation, who, with much time and effort, were able to not only extract all of the data from the disks, but also compile it into a fully working version of Days of Thunder which was completely different from the one that was released. Unlike the released version which was only published by Mindscape, and developed by Beam Software, this version of the game was developed internally. It was made by only four people; Chris Oberth and Lou Haehn did the programming, design, and audio while Mark Sprenger and Keith Cooper did the game's graphics.
The unreleased version of Days of Thunder is a completely different experience from the released version. For starters, the qualifying mode is in a first-person 3D perspective. The main race is from a birds-eye perspective, and the player controls the car's direction by pressing up and down. The pit stop also only requires the player to fix one side of the car to fix both. However, the engine cannot be repaired, so if it is damaged too much, the car is retired. The player also gets 3 different cars, each with different stats, which requires the player to strategize which one to use for each race. If all 3 cars are too damaged, the game is over. Like the released version, the game has very little to do with the movie, as there are no cutscenes showing the game's story. Cole Trickle, the main character's name isn't even mentioned.
According to a producer at Mindscape, the reason this version of the game was never released was because when it came to testing both this and the Beam Software version, the testers found the Mindscape version paled in comparison to the Beam Software version.
The game went on sale in June 2020 and sold for $75, the profits going to Chris Oberth's family.
The game only has 5 songs, which leaves much to be desired. The game's two programmers worked on all of the audio, possibly because they could not afford or find an experienced musician. As a result, the music is a little subpar compared to the released version's soundtrack. Though the compositions themselves are quite decent, many people complain about the game's percussion mostly using the periodic noise channel, which makes it sound a bit ear-grating.
Though the game only has 5 songs, the game's source code shows there were supposed to be four other songs added that didn't make it into the final build of the ROM. These songs are to be recorded and added to the recording. All four songs are 8-bit renditions of folk songs; The Yellow Rose Of Texas, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Dixie, and Camptown Races.
The game's source code shows the internal names for the songs.
The programmers had to write the music in 6502 assembly macros. Though every other game using Nick Eastridge's sound driver is believed to have been coded by Eastridge himself, because the composers were the programmers, they most likely coded their own music into the driver.
|01||Title Screen||BTR2||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Nick Eastridge||1:25||Download|
|02||Race Schedule/Standings||STAND||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Nick Eastridge||0:44||Download|
|03||Track Screen||RAP||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Nick Eastridge||0:42||Download|
|04||Qualify Results||BEAT||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Nick Eastridge||0:19||Download|
|05||Victory||WIN SCREEN||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Chris Oberth, Lou Haehn||Nick Eastridge||1:01||Download|
- Ripper: MrNorbert1994
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits:
The credits can be seen either after beating the game or getting a game over.
Though the game has credits, they're a little messy. Lou Haehn has only had one other known audio credit, and that was the sound effects to the Atari Lynx version of Rygar, so he probably only worked on sound effects. However, many of these sounds were used in other Mindscape games, all of which lack credits, so it's unknown if Lou provided these sounds. Also, this game appears to be Chris Oberth's only credit for audio.
The game uses Nick Eastridge's sound driver, but he is not credited, possibly at his request, or the fact there wasn't enough room on the credits screen to fit his name. The driver uses the same variant used in Dirty Harry (NES).
Ripping NES music is an arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site. The music was recorded in NSFPlay Synthesia Mod.