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25-Mar-2013

Thunder Mountain Logo Updated on Apr. 20th, 2023

One of the things that makes it difficult to collect software and games for the C64, after all of these years, is knowing who published which games. Although there are some great on-line games databases today, not all C64 games are listed, even today; nor do the publishers seem to match. This was the case for the games published by Thunder Mountain. (Note: this was my experience at the time of writing this, back in 2013 - a much different time in “retro” computing)

In my collection of games on floppy disk, I have a few published by a company called, Thunder Mountain. When I began looking for other games published by them, I could find very little. Even stranger, some of the games that I have on disk, which I could find on on-line databases, were also showing up under other game publishers. I could not figure out as to why these games were under different publishing companies.

Finally, I was able to piece together that some of these game publishers did business under different names. They did this for branding purposes, re-distributing games under “discount” labels - kind of like the way grocery stores sell products made by brand name producers under their “no-name” brand at lower prices.

The first games publisher that I learned did this was Mastertronic. I therefore came to the conclusion that Thunder Mountain was a discount label, too. But, who was their parent company? I couldn't determine that with the games I had in my collection, nor what I could find on-line. But then, one day I stumbled across a write-up on the Personal Computer Museum (Wayback Machine).

According to them, Thunder Mountain was the discount distributor for Mindscape Inc. and only published a limited number of games from 1986 through to 1989.

Also, according to the Personal Computer Museum, here is the library of games that were published by Thunder Mountain during it's brief existence.

Not included in this list are the games:

  • Thunder Mountain Action Pack Vol. 1
  • Thunder Mountain Action Pack Vol. 2
  • Galaxian
  • Star Maze
  • Geopolitique 1990
  • Leviathan
  • Top Flight
  • Murder By The Dozen
  • Felony!
  • PacMan

Trying to pin down a definitive list of games they published isn't quite that easy. For example, I've seen a few photos of the Action Packs (volumes 1 and 2) and not all of them contained the same games. So, were there different action packs published for different regions/countries?

Side note: I loaded up Uridium from the Action Pack Vol. 2 from my collection and noticed that it recognized I was running the game on an NTSC 128, as the game's title screen had (NTSC) (2Mhz) displayed next to the title. I'm assuming this means this is the “128 enhanced” version I've seen mentioned on the Internet in the past. Of course for me, this is how I've always seen the game. It really didn't mean much until I learned all about this NTSC vs PAL and 128 “mode” stuff all these years later.

So, there you have it; the mystery of Thunder Mountain has finally been solved. But what they published seems to still be a bit of a mystery… at least to me.

If you have any C64 games on floppy disk published by Thunder Mountain that you'd like to sell, contact me. If your asking prices are reasonable, I may be interested in buying them for my collection. If you have a collection of them, I also have an Evercade handheld gaming console I'd consider trading for it.

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blog/2013-03-25.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/29 05:12 by David