Cult studio Llamasoft blazes onto PS Vita with TxK


Nearly 20 years ago, in 1994, one of the best-known Llamasoft games ever was released on the Atari Jaguar – the seminal Tempest 2000. This title came to be recognised as one of the finest games on the system. Based upon an early ’80s arcade game, T2K aimed to be more than just a port of an older game. Instead, T2K took that old classic game as an inspiration, and offered up something entirely new and modern.

The original coin-op game was based around a colour vector display – a look it was impossible to replicate on raster displays and with graphics hardware of the day, so T2K defined a style all of its own. The floating platforms in space that defined the play areas were created using Gouraud-shaded polygons, as were the enemies that populated them – in that pre-PlayStation era such polygonal graphics were considered cutting-edge.

T2K also introduced design elements that were to become Llamasoft trademarks – flowing particle systems, full-screen video feedback effects, and objects that shattered into thousands of glowing particles.

100 levels of intense shooting action were interspersed with gentle, floaty bonus/chillout rounds. The package was completed by some of the best music ever to appear in a videogame, a perfect partner to the onscreen action. T2K is rightly remembered as a classic and a perfect treat for the player’s eyes, ears and thumbs.

Now Llamasoft and the original designer of T2K are back to do for T2K what T2K itself did for its ancient arcade ancestor. The new game – TxK – will draw on the spirit of the classic T2K, extending and enhancing it using the fantastic graphical power of the PS Vita system, resulting in what we hope will be a new modern classic arcade shooter.

New terrains, new bonus rounds, new enemies and weapons will be wrought together into an exhilarating whole. The PS Vita’s beautiful OLED screen will blaze with colour and light as we bring to bear 30 years of experience in designing both games and music visualizers, to bring you a game that feels excellent to play and looks stunning and unique. An array of musicians are already at work creating original music that will fit the gameplay perfectly.

We’re already off to a good start getting familiar with the PS Vita development system, and we aim to finish and release the game this year. It’s very much a labour of love for everyone involved – we all loved T2K and the opportunity to create a new game in a similar vein on some really great hardware is something that we are all enjoying immensely.

We’ll be releasing more information and media as we move forward in the development process, so keep an eye out for updates in the coming weeks and months.

0 Author replies

All of the screens you have shown us look great…

…Oh, wait.

Haha ChazzH69. Seems gamers can’t read these days, they need images. ;)
Check the end of the article and you’ll understand why its missing.

Less talk, more coding!

Tempest X (never played the Jag version) is one of my all time favourite games, and I can’t wait to play it on my Vita!


I am glad you’ve got the opportunity to do it. I don’t have a Vita, hopefully it comes to PS3/PS4 at some point.

Ahh…the 80’s :D I wish all the games made in the 80’s & 90’s could be played on the PS3 & PSVita :( I love Retro games. Thank god for ‘MAME’ i say :P

Fantastic news, glad to hear you’re coding for the Vita too. I hope all goes well and this becomes the first of many Llamasoft games on the platform.

Can’t wait to be flying the bacon again (at least I hope that is still in) though I might dust of the Jag in the meantime.


@ (2) Golwar: I know and completely understand as to why there are no pictures, it just seemed strange to go on about the graphics and look of the old game but show nothing of the new one. I’m a fussy individual sometimes.


I think it would have made sense to maybe show images of the original.

I was born in ’91 so I was in the MegaDrive/PlayStation Era. From what i’ve read here, i’ve taken an interest in what is to become of this.


Tempest? That was my favourite game in the Atari Anthology.


Now if they only release pong for vita.
I finally be happy to bought this console.

Really? This is a story/blog post? Good luck with actually getting anything out before the PlayStation 5 is announced. I met Jeff Minter at a Retro show about 10 years ago. I tried to speak with him about his then GameCube project that never came to light. Everything Llamasoft say now should come with a pinch of salt.

This is great news – T2K is the main reason I still have a Jaguar.
Even my enthusiasm for DYAD can be traced back to this game.
Do it, and yourselves, justice and I’ll be a day 1 purchase.

More news please!

Looks like a perfect fit on the Vita. Looking forward to this ;]

Stewart Gilray 25 April, 2013 @ 11:37

I remember being at the Jaguar Launch in the UK, and being asked to play it on camera for some TV show. I so can’t wait for TxK.


I think the reason you’ll find gamers want pictures is because :-

a. It’s nothing more than a concept unless there is some in game footage.

b. Games that are talked up with no graphics are usually poor.

c. Cover art instead of in game suggests game isn’t as good as developer hoped.

d. Reading is all fine and well, but if you use your imagination on how graphics will look you’ll likely to be dissapointed when the actual graphics are show.


VECTORS!! cant wait for them, as i loved Asteroids…


Is Jeff Minter still alive ?!!

MealtimeStrateG 01 May, 2013 @ 14:52

The Gamecube project (Unity) never happened because Microsoft paid Minter to transfer the tech and the work so far into what is now the ” Neon Light Synth” on the 360 (the visualiser when you play music)

Jeff has released at least 10 games since then too, across loads of formats; PC, mobile, PSP, DS, and 360.

I know he has a reputation for being a lackadaisical hippie, but he’s actually pretty prolific in terms of the number of games he puts out.

We close the comments for posts after 30 days.

Edit history