Amiga Gaming Retrospective: Part 4 - More on Crystal Hammer

A continued look at this Amiga breakout/arkanoids classic

By Michael Webb, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief,

I probably didn't say it, but the you are all welcome to write me if you have any thoughts you'd like to share, details you'd like to point out, or questions you'd like to ask in reference to any of the old games I'm looking at in this series. It's always fascinating to reminisce with others who remember those days. If any particularly interesting information comes up, we will publish it. That includes the two games I've already looked at, MarbleMadness! and Crystal Hammer, as well as those I'll review in the future.

Last month, after reading my Crystal Hammer review, Per Jonsson and Hal Lewis decided to send me messages, and I learned some things I had never heard before. I'll share them here with you, as you may find them interesting even if you never heard of Crystal Hammer.

I just wanted to point out that the maker of the music was the Legend Karsten Obarski who made the first SoundTracker which fast became a standard and today ten years later the newest tracker is based on that.

I think that this makes the game tune worth a lot more in your score than just a "good tune".

Per Jonsson

And in a second letter...

:-) I have had my Amiga for about 10 years now; how could I forget Crystal Hammer? Among with lot of other games and demos.. (sentimental sob...)

I have tried to find Obarski on AltaVista, asking, people and so on, but I think he must have gone out of biz. (I have come to the conclusion that Obarski is a rather common name in Germany though :-)

I don't think he's active today; the last thing I "saw" by him was the game tune to the game Oil Imperium for 5-6 years ago..

PS: If you find him, TELL ME!!!

Per Jonsson

That's a fascinating piece of history. It's also rather ironic that the "secret" connection Karsten Obarski and modern Amiga MOD music was revealed to us twice in one issue: once from Sidewinder, and again now.

And now I have somewhat of an "assignment" for all the readers of this magazine: it would provide a very interesting link to the Amiga's past if we could find Karsten Obarski, and perhaps contact him. If anybody can provide any information whatsoever regarding the possible whereabouts, or perhaps E-Mail address, of Mr. Obarski, please feel free to send us that information; it would not only provide a sense of closure to our look back at Crystal Hammer, but also give us an intriguing connection to those earlier days.

Michael Webb,
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

An excerpt from a letter:

Let me tell you a story:

Several years ago, I had one encounter with the game Crystal Hammer and it blew my socks off. Fifteen minutes of one day of my life were crazy. I got to play for 5 minutes. I spent 10 listening to the music...

From one fan to another,
Hal Lewis

Thinking back, I realize that it truly was a great game...and not just for its era, but for the Amiga in general. Too bad you only saw it for 15 minutes...but the music was, I must say, very well-done.

Michael Webb
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief