The game Chambers of Shaolin was not supposed to be Thalion Software's first title in the United Kingdom. That honour was originally planned for Dragonflight, a massively ambitious role-playing game in the vein of Ultima. Dragonflight was the dream project of Erik Simon and Udo Fisher, two Atari ST demoscene WizKids, who had founded Thalion in October 1988.
One year later, the Ultima-killer was still not getting closer to completion, and the Christmas season was just around the corner. Thalion was in a bind. They just could not afford to miss the single most important sales period of the year.
Chambers of Shaolin was the first commercial release on the ST which showed graphics on the lower border.
Enter the Shaolin monks of Marc Rosocha. Coding genius Rosocha had been working on a clever beat'em up, inspired by 1970s kung fu flicks among other things. The game consists of two parts; one where the player trains their warrior in the titular chambers, and the second one where the warrior uses his newfound skills to save his sister from peril.
Thalion fast-tracked Chambers of Shaolin and made it a Holiday title. Maybe it was a Christmas miracle, maybe just the intensive crunch period, but the team pulled it off and Thalion had the release of its first game – in time for Christmas, no less.
Fighters and fight sequences were pixelated by Günter Schmitz, a trained martial arts fan.
The game was programmed by Marc Rosocha. Graphics by Günter Schmitz. Soundtrack by Jochen Hippel. Game design by Holger Flöttmann. Additional Graphics by Holger Flöttmann, Erik Simon and Monika Krawinkel. Texts and novella by Richard Karsmakers. STE Support and Bootloader by Michael Bittner. File Packing by Lothar Becks. Sync Scrolling Research by Niclas Thisell. Cover Artwork by David John Rowe.
Like Gerry I always thought Warp was released first in the UK but now can’t find anything to back that up
Was CoS really Thalion’s first released game? A lot of reports and competitions in magazines of the time name Warp as the first release.