I went through my old mails again. Back then, I created a dirty hack which allows moving to the next level after you collected all notes. Around 2003/2004 there were some plans to release the game, but it is much less complete than it may seem. There would be quite a lot of work involved to make it really playable. And we would have to make assumptions about the game play. E.g.
- How was the scoring planned after you collected all required notes? What would give you how many points?
- What happens when the music ends? Do you have to reach the exist before? If not, do you loose a life? Do you still progress to the next level?
- Any chance for extra lives?
- Was any kind of difficulty selection planned?
- How should we fill in the missing sounds and music?
- The level design also only seems only preliminary.
So basically we have a prototype, which demonstrates the general game play idea, but lacks most detailing.
From playing Thwocker and other games of the era my theories:
1. No idea, but I'm sure an educated guess could be made
2. I always assumed you had to reach the exit before the music ended or you lost a life and had to start the level over. I suppose you might have just had to recollect the notes and try again without losing a life, but that seems too easy.
3. Yes. Activision games generally allowed for extra lives
4. Yes. There are 16 variations selectable from the title screen so I assume some of these are difficultly changes
5. No idea, but I'm sure an educated guess could be made
6. Do they? I guess I never noticed.
Honestly most of these are minor issues to me. But if you're trying to actually finish the game then I can see how you'd want to know the answers. All I really want to know is:
1 .Why you can't finish a level in the current prototype (bug or missing gameplay feature)
2. What else was planned from a gameplay perspective (are there still missing features?