Lure of the Temptress cover art

Story including dead millionaire, car thief, but no lure or temptress

The history of Revolution Software begins in 1990, when the company was founded by Charles Cecil. This was Charles Cecil’s second company. The first was Paragon Programming, which was specialized in porting American games to European platforms. However, this was not his first experience with the development of computer games. At Manchester University he was friend with Richard Turner, who had co-funded company named Artic Computing in 1980. Turner offered Charles if he wanted to participate in the development of one game. Charles accepted so they started doing text adventures together. They didn’t have any distributors, so they distributed their games by themselves to other countries. Once or twice in a half-year they came to the house with a van, filled it with cassettes and went to sell them at sci-fi and fantasy cons. This means that at the time of the founding of Revolution Software, Charles Cecil had 10 years of experience in the gaming industry.

One of the first games Charles Cecil made
Cover of one of the games Charles Cecil made with Artic Computing

Charles Cecil started his company with a loan of £10,000 from his parents. With this money they bought a residence in the town of Hull above a fruit shop. They choose this place because it was cheap. This place was so cold, that one of the first things they bought there was a gas heater. The disadvantage of this device was that the room was too small and the fire produced carbon monoxide which is poisonous. So they had a choice of either choking slowly in a warm room or freezing with fresh air. That was the beginning of Revolution Software!

Revolution Software team
Revolution team
(left -> right): Tony Warriner, Adam Tween, David Sykes, Stephen Oades, Dave Cummins and Charles Cecil

Luck also played a role in the development of the Lure of Temptress. Revolution software had meeting with Mirrorsoft, company that provided the funding to this game in return for publishing rights. Charles took his 386, of which he was incredibly proud and uploaded their version of the game on there. Charles drove to London with the computer on the back seat of his car and left it there. When he returned, he found out that somebody broke in. He realized that he left his £2,000 computer on the back seat. The color drained from his face. They couldn’t have afforded a new PC. He looked in the car and the computer was still there under the sheet. The thief took only the car radio. Thankfully, the car radio thief was not interested in the rest of the car.

It is little known fact that the Lure of the Temptress was originally supposed to be called Vengeance, the name was changed by Mirrorsoft’s marketing department. Since the lure or the temptress were not in the game, the story of the game and the graphics had to change. It added a few months to the development time.

Before the game was released, another important event took place in its development. Robert Maxwell, a media mogul who owned Mirrorsoft and with him the rights to the Lure of the Temptress, died on his yacht, it is still unclear whether he was killed or drowned himself. After his death, Maxwell Communications, which managed all of his other businesses, disbanded and its subsidiaries ceased to exist. The agreement between Revolution Software and Mirrorsoft stated that the termination of one of the two companies would transfer part of its publishing rights to the other party. Thus, Revolution Software acquired the rights to their game, which they had almost completed. The game was finally published by Virgin Games, which have collaborated with Revolution on other their titles.

The development of the game Lure of the Temptress was really exciting. Little would be enough and we would never get the game or it would be completely different. The game itself is revolutionary in many ways, what else to expect from a company with such a name. I will dedicate a separate article to the game as such and its playability.