The Ravaging is a cancelled action game that was in development by Pukka Games around 1998 – 1999, to be published by Telstar on PC. The team was co-founded in 1998 by Clive Townsend, Anatole and Damon Branch, but unfortunately never found much success and is mostly known for a couple of Thunderbirds tie-ins for Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. Most of their projects never saw the lights of day, titles such as Tracers, Life Force, Chaos and Chariot Racer.
The Ravaging would have been their first game, but Telstar closed down during development. As we can read from their old website:
“The ravaging is a tactical/action 3D game set on the planes of Hades, an enormous hierarchical structure ruled over by the Angel of the Abyss, Satan. The planes are divided into sections, called Sub-Planes, containing a horrendous assortment of demons, puzzles and traps, all of which stand in your way. As a newly qualified Demon Lord, your natural desire is to slash, burn, maim and deceive your way to the top, where on, completion of the game, you take Satan’s place on the ice-cold ebony altar of pain which is his throne.
To progress through the game you make challenges on the rulers of Sub-planes. If you are successful your Status will rise and you will gain in ‘experience’ which may be ‘spent’ on improving your abilities or that of your horde. You will also earn the right to demand demons from the loser to add to your own horde. Magic skills can be improved through learning, discovering or stealing artifacts. In this way as you progress through The Ravaging your magic powers and legion will grow ever stronger.
However, thousands of Pithounds and the ability to summon Demogorgon, the Lord of Chaos, do not a successful challenger make. All of The Ravaging’s characters are endowed with enough intelligence to make life very difficult indeed. Sneaky, tactically devious and incapable of mercy, the inhabitants of Hades have more than one way to fry an upstart baron. It is up to you to find their weaknesses, the one chink in their leathery hides that renders them vulnerable. (If a 110 foot, psychopathic lava-god could ever be considered vulnerable.)”
Today the project is mostly forgotten, but former Pukka Games developers talked about it in a few interviews. Clive Townsend was interviewed for Jogos 80:
“J80: Did you think at the time about releasing a third installment? There are mentions of a third game on World of Spectrum that hasn’t been released.
CT: I’ve wanted to make a Saboteur 3 for many years, but never had the financial backing to make it happen. In 1998 I teamed up with some colleagues to form Pukka Games, and the plan was to complete The Ravaging then use the game engine to make Saboteur 3. Despite having an amazingly advanced 3D engine, the publisher (Telstar) closed down so the deal fell through and we had to resort to making Game Boy games to pay the bills”
On Retro Gamer (Issue 011-015) we can read another interview with Clive:
“After getting permission from Robert White, I set up Bacchus Software Projects and started work. The 3D revolution had hit but 3D hardware was still a rarity, so I started creating a software 3D engine. After working alone for 18 months I finally had everything working; all my maps, models, bitmaps, textures, sound effects… At this point I joined up with two friends – Anatole and Damon Branch – to form Pukka Games. Saboteur 3 was put on hold while we created The Ravaging for Telstar.”
In September 2017 user 10ahu posted a playable The Ravaging prototype on the Assembler Games forum:
“The ravaging was a pc game developed by Pukka games back in 99 early 2000. It was a action game. You play an angel from hell…and…I don’t remember the story at all :D Based in Wells Uk Pukka games was a very tiny studios but full of great people. I ve worked here few months before joining bits studios. They mostly know for GB and GBA games. Sadly The company closed door in 2002.
I ve found this demo on one of my old rotting cd from back in the day (18 year old cheap cd don t age well). they was more assets on the disk. some video…but the files got corrupted. Fortunately the part of the disk with the demo was still working!! Don t expect a full game, this is a really early build…really rough…
From what i ve could figure out you play with the mouse and the arrows… the demo seem to only have one level. but on the cd i ve got the data s for a few more, so they maybe more I haven’t try all the menu…I remember 4 arms gorilla enemy that I haven’t seeing so far in the demo.
The Team was small but very dedicated to the game and it was still being worked on when I ve left the company so they maybe other demo with more gameplay.”
You can download The Ravaging proto from here (100 MB). We tried to run the game but without much luck. If you are able to play this and record some footage, please let us know!
It’s very buggy, but I did manage to get the prototype working just fine. Choose the lowest challenges from the game menu and they should load for you. Good luck with the controls as they are bizarre. Walk forward by pressing one of the mouse buttons. You’re on your own from there. I managed to throw a spell in one of the levels, but have no idea how. This is obviously a very early build.
I got this working too a few years ago. There are one or two unused enemies in there somewhere. I’ll see if I can dig out some of the info.