Hidden to the internet res publica for 31 years, in 2014 the Spanish version of M.U.L.E. for the Commodore 64 was rediscovered and preserved for posterity, thanks to the good folks of Commodore Plus.
Wait – there is a Spanish version of M.U.L.E.?! That’s how I reacted when I first saw Commodore Plus’s message informing me of the fact. After some clarification from Commodore Plus (at first I thought it was a rogue fan translation!) and digging a bit further on the internet, it actually turns out to be a professionally published Spanish-language version of M.U.L.E., published by DroSoft in Spain. This is an exception to the publishing of the game in the rest of Europe, where Ariolasoft was the publisher of the game (and for example did not translate the game into other European languages such as German or Italian). It appears that DroSoft was a subsidiary of the Spanish electronic music band Aviador Dro. I could not find any “hard evidence” though that it was a licensed version of the game – although the professionalism of the Spanish translation and Spanish box&cover art clearly suggest that.
Thanks to the good folks of HobbyConsolas, who must’ve gotten their hands on an original game at some point, there are even photos available from the Spanish box&cover art, which I copy here for posterity’s sake as well. As you can see, it resembles the original U.S. box&cover art – again, unlike the “standard” European Ariolasoft version, which had a rather dull box&cover art.
The gameplay itself is apparently unaltered compared to the original U.S. version. As you can see from the following screenshots, the Spanish translation is complete and covers all aspects of the game.
I had to laugh heartily when I first started up Spanish M.U.L.E.! Ever since I was a little kid, I always played with a green Packer. Obviously, the Packer was DroSoft’s favourite character as well – otherwise, they wouldn’t have renamed him to “Drocuman”! 🙂
Finally, here is the download for the game. You need a Commodore 64 emulator to play it. The Zip Archive contains a so-called “.tap” file, which is a binary representation of the original C64 cassette. Again, thank you very much to Commodore Plus for preserving this for posterity!
M.U.L.E. C64 Spanish (.tap) (236.1 KiB, 419 hits)
And now, I wish all of you Spanish M.U.L.E. afficionados good “Vampus” hunting! 🙂
P.S.: Anyone from Ozark Softscape or Aviador Dro / DroSoft reading this? I would be happy to include your story(ies) in this article, and would like to answer a few more pressing questions of the M.U.L.E. community, e.g. how did you go about the translation process in the 1980’ies?, how many copies have been produced and sold?, are there any gameplay differences to the U.S. original (maybe a hidden Siesta mode 😉 )?…