Image: Thalamus Digital

Cyberdyne Systems' 1988 shooter Armalyte is rightly regarded as something of a classic and is one of the best Commodore 64 games of all time. An enjoyable take on Konami's Gradius and Irem's R-Type, the game was created by John Kemp, Dan Phillips and Robin Levy, with audio duties handled by Martin Walker.

Sadly, despite work commencing on Armalyte 2, we never actually got a sequel – although the Amiga and Atari ST version of the game is effectively a remake, coded by Arc Developments (a GBA remake was also mooted on one point, but never saw the light of day).

Those of you who have been waiting for more Armalyte since 1988 will be pleased to learn that Thalamus is teasing a new entry for the C64 this year under the title Armalyte: The Ultra Edition.

While the teaser does say '2023', it includes 'ish' as well, which hints that the release date could slip.

In 2013, Phillips and Kemp announced that work had resumed in Armalyte 2 but were keen to stress that it would be some time before it was completed and that it might only consist of a single stage. Could this be the result of that endeavour?

Here's what we had to say about the original Armalyte:

Marketed as a sequel to the earlier Delta by the legendary Stavros Fasoulas, the Armalyte team took ideas from R-Type and ran with it – for one or two players simultaneously. The graphic style was refined and revised to result in a beautiful crystalline and metallic look, enhanced by spotlighting effects. Sprites are superbly animated and massive motherships must be tackled. Formations weave and move through the landscapes in well-defined patterns. The player’s ship shoots and collects crystals to enhance its weaponry, with a solo player equipped with a handy drone, and can unleash one of three powerful superweapons (with their own charging system and batteries) to do extra damage. Backing it is a superb soundtrack from Martin Walker (creator of Chameleon, Hunter’s Moon and Citadel, all worth playing), the military drums and metallic sounds adding so much to the atmosphere. It is a challenging and well-made game across eight huge levels. Armalyte deserved its high review scores and represented the pinnacle of C64 shoot-‘em-ups until the recent works of Sarah Jane Avory (Zeta Wing, Soul Force).

Are you excited to play this new version of the C64 classic? Let us know with a comment.