Hi Master M,
I was shocked to hear that the original disks and code for Parasol Stars were destroyed. I was curious to learn more so I did some digging, and found that thankfully it wasn’t the original console version of the game that was destroyed, but an ill-fated Commodore 64 port that never saw the light of day:
It was going to be Ocean Software’s last C64 game, but by the time it was destroyed, the marketing push had already been made and they couldn’t afford to wait a few more months for the game to be redone. So it still sucks, but at least the original version probably exists somewhere, unless some unpublicised disaster happened to it.
If you read the article, be sure to click the hidden-in-plain-sight “Creator Speaks” button at the bottom to see what he himself had to say about the ordeal. His wife left him at FIFTY years old, poor guy!
Looking back, it’s kind of weird how the fate of some games used to rest entirely on one or two people’s shoulders. Maybe that was a PC game thing? In any case, that’s better than today where it seems like pretty much every (non-indie) game needs hundreds of people behind it.
I do not think that link’s story was written correctly or entirely coherently. They didn’t seem to realize that Parasol Stars never had an arcade version either.
Yes, it was the original source code that was destroyed. Programmers would use the original source code to port the game over. There is a reason why Parasol Stars has never been ported to a system since then. It has been emulated, but never ported. The source code was lost.
Many brilliant games have lost their source code. Perhaps the greatest RPG of all time, Ultima 7, has its source code missing. Fans have been trying to backwards engineer it for years with Exult.
Games losing their source code is not uncommon especially in that time period.