Around this time he also developed the game Gryphon (for Quicksilva) which again showed off the graphics capability of the 64 and what his programming talent could do – utilising large character graphics and smooth animation.

You control a Gryphon which can fly around the screen. Your objective is to collect gold bars which you can use to create a path to progress to the next stage - there are three stages, the Mystical Woods, Surreal Cities and the deadly Darklands. Unfortunately marauding ID monsters stand in your way (which look suspiciously like ghosts!), but you can use bolts of magic to avoid them.

The game also included a hidden demo that imitated the 'test card' that you would see when a television station in the United Kingdom went off the air. It was simple but clever!
Gryphon by Quicksilva

Tony Crowther was interested in more than games programming and it was only a matter of time before he moved onto something more adventurous. Crowther had a strong interest in computer generated sound, especially on the Commodore 64. Crowther composed music for a number of his own games, like Killer Watt and Suicide Express. His best friend Ben Daglish was an accomplished computer musician and was also responsible for the Jarre sound track on one of Crowther's early games Loco. Crowther asked Ben if he would be interested in forming a company with him to bring together a number of talented computer musicians to specialise in producing computer music. Ben agreed and the company W.E.M.U.S.I.C. (which stood for We Make Use Of Sound In Computers) was born.
William Wobbler
William Wobbler by Wizard Developments

Crowther also decided to start his own computer game company called Wizard Developments. This gave him the creative freedom he always craved.

Shortly after setting the company up, he developed the game William Wobbler, an interesting game and concept with a large main graphic character, quite visually impressive.

Unfortunately it did not prove that popular and was certainly not the best start for Crowther's new venture - Wizard Developments did not last that long and after a short while its fate was sealed.

I have often wondered what would of happened if Crowther was financially capable of starting his own company like Wizard earlier on in his C64 career. I suspect it would of been very successful.

Eventually, Crowther moved on and produced another game for the Alligata software company, called Trap.

A space shoot-em-up with tough gameplay and a superb soundtrack by Ben Daglish.

Like other Crowther games, Trap included a hidden demo, that was also released separately to promote the Compunet service, and encourage more C64 users to buy a modem and subscribe to Compunet. The demo contains a running text commentary and has superb background music by Ben Daglish which is really 'cinematic' in places. Its well integrated into the demo and the music bursts to life at key moments throughout. A flash video of this demo is available below.

Trap by Alligata

Trap Demo (Flash video - press play button to start)

In later years Crowther went on to produce games on other machines including the Amiga and its console the CD32. One of his finest achievements on the Amiga was the Captive game on the CD32 that also happened to be one of the first games released on this format.

There can be no doubt that Tony Crowther was a Commodore 64 genius and at the time produced games that were technically more advanced than most of his competitors. He is indeed a legend and has earned his place in not only the Commodore 64 but also computer gaming history.