Jukka Tapanimäki

Last updated
Jukka Tapanimäki
Born(1961-08-11)11 August 1961
Died1 May 2000(2000-05-01) (aged 38)
OccupationSoftware developer
Known forCommodore 64 games
Cover of "Netherworld" featuring Tapanimaki Netherworld Spectrum cover.jpg
Cover of " Netherworld " featuring Tapanimäki

Jukka Tapanimäki (11 August 1961 – 1 May 2000) was a Finnish game programmer from Tampere, Pirkanmaa. [1] Tapanimäki wrote his games for the Commodore 64 computer, and many have been ported to other computer systems. Tapanimäki was a reviewer for MikroBitti and "C" computer magazines; and a freelance writer of advanced-level computer programming articles. He also published a book called C-64 Pelintekijän Opas (or "C-64 Game Maker's Guide") in 1990.


Career choice

Tapanimäki was originally interested in a career as a graphic designer for advertisements. After failing the entrance exams to the University of Art and Design Helsinki twice, he instead started studying literature in 1984. In summer 1985, he purchased a Commodore 64 computer. Although he had no previous experience with computers, Tapanimäki decided to become a game programmer after a few months. He quit his studies and went on welfare to be able to concentrate on programming. Tapanimäki spent 1986 experimenting. One of his finished programs was named Aikaetsivä, a Finnish language text adventure in the style of Infocom, which the Tamperean retailer Triosoft bought publishing rights to but did not release.

The first successfully operating game written by Tapanimäki was Monolith, announced in the June–July 1986 issue of MikroBITTI. It was followed by Minidium, a Uridium -style shoot 'em up published in the January 1987 issue of C Magazine. The development of Minidium was extensively covered in the magazine. [2]

Early personal computer enthusiasts followed the development of Tapanimäki's career through his magazine articles.

Commercial game successes

Tapanimäki's first commercial game was Octapolis (1987, published by English Software). Octapolis is a mix of the platform and shoot-'em-up genres. Tapanimäki had created Octapolis completely by himself, except for the music.


The next year (1988) Tapanimäki had his game Netherworld published. The working title of the game was Abyss Zone. In it, the player has to pilot a spaceship through a series of caves while collecting diamonds. The game was published by Hewson, which used Tapanimäki's face as cover art (without first asking for his permission). The game's music was composed by Jori Olkkonen.


A screenshot of Zamzara Zamzara Screenshot.png
A screenshot of Zamzara

That same year, Hewson published Zamzara on floppy disk for the Commodore 64. Zamzara is a single-player platform game where the player takes the role of an alien, whose mission is to escape a laboratory complex before a time bomb explodes. The bomb has a time limit of 15 minutes. Various enemies, both stationary and mobile, hinder the player's progress, requiring the player to shoot them in order to advance. The player character is armed with a gun and various additional weapons, which have a finite supply of ammunition.

Many action game fans found Zamzara satisfying due to its various graphics styles. Some, however, complained about excessive difficulty. The music by Charles Deenen was generally praised.


In 1991, another game, Moonfall (inspired by Elite and Mercenary ), using wireframe 3D graphics, was published. [3] In the game the player steered a spaceship from the pilot's viewpoint. Because of agreements made with Hewson, the game could only be published two years after its completion[ citation needed ], and was a commercial failure. The publisher was 21st Century Entertainment (Hewson's new name).


Jukka Tapanimäki died 1 May 2000 due to heart failure caused by coronary heart disease.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles


Pelit ("Games") is a Finnish video games magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

Mikrobitti is a Finnish computer magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

<i>Paradroid</i> 1985 video game

Paradroid is a Commodore 64 computer game written by Andrew Braybrook and published by Hewson Consultants in 1985. It is a shoot 'em up with puzzle elements and was critically praised at release. The objective is to clear a fleet of spaceships of hostile robots by destroying them or taking them over via a mini-game. It was later remade as Paradroid 90 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST home computers and as Paradroid 2000 for the Acorn Archimedes. There exist several fan-made remakes for modern PCs. In 2004 the Commodore 64 version was re-released as a built-in game on the C64 Direct-to-TV, and in 2008 for the Wii Virtual Console in Europe.

The Commodore 64 amassed a large software library of nearly 10,000 commercial titles, covering most genres from games to business applications, and many others.

Graftgold Computer game developer

Graftgold was an independent computer game developer that came to prominence in the 1980s, producing numerous computer games on a variety of 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit platforms.

<i>Shoot-Em-Up Construction Kit</i>

Shoot-'Em-Up Construction Kit is a game creation system for the Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari ST created by Sensible Software and published by Outlaw in 1987. It allows the user to make simple shoot 'em ups by drawing sprites and backgrounds and editing attack patterns. The advertising promoted the Kit with the phrase "By the programmers of Wizball and Parallax".

<i>Raid over Moscow</i> 1984 video game

Raid Over Moscow is a computer game by Access Software published in Europe by U.S. Gold for the Commodore 64 in 1984 and other microcomputers in 1985-1986.

<i>Cauldron</i> (video game) 1985 video game

Cauldron is a two-dimensional (2D) shoot 'em up/platformer computer game developed and published by British developer Palace Software (Palace). The game was released in 1985 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC home computers. Players control a witch, who aims to become the "Witch Queen" by defeating an enemy called the "Pumpking".

<i>Netherworld</i> (video game)

Netherworld is a shoot 'em up video game published by Hewson in 1988. It was originally developed by Jukka Tapanimäki for the Commodore 64, and original music was composed by Jori Olkkonen.


Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine is a shoot 'em up developed and published in 1987 by Hewson Consultants for the ZX Spectrum, and was then ported to the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, NES, and Amiga. It was programmed by Raffaele Cecco. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad and Atari ST versions featured a main theme by Dave Rogers, while the Commodore C64 version featured a completely different theme by Jeroen Tel.


Armalyte is a horizontally scrolling shooter developed by Cyberdyne Systems in 1988.

<i>Light Force</i> 1986 shooter game

Light Force is a 1986 vertically scrolling shooter designed by Greg Follis and Roy Carter, developed by their company Gargoyle Games, and published under their Faster Than Light imprint. It was released for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum platforms.

<i>Alien Incident</i> 1996 video game

Alien Incident is a 1996 point-and-click graphic adventure game. It was developed by Finnish game developer Housemarque and published by GameTek for the MS-DOS platform.


C-lehti ('C-magazine') was a Finnish computer magazine targeted specifically at Commodore computers.

<i>Inferno</i> (video game) 1994 video game

Inferno is a space combat simulator video game developed by Digital Image Design and published by Ocean Software in 1994 for the PC. It is a sequel to the 1992 game Epic.

<i>Orion Burger</i> 1996 video game

Orion Burger is a computer adventure game developed by Sanctuary Woods and published by Eidos Interactive for the IBM-PC and Macintosh. It features a young man saving the Earth from an interstellar fast food chain through a time loop.

<i>Parallax</i> (video game)

Parallax is a shoot 'em up video game developed by British company Sensible Software for the Commodore 64. It was released in 1986 by Ocean Software in Europe and Mindscape in North America. The game was named after its primary graphical feature, parallax scrolling, which gives the illusion of depth to side-scrolling video games. On release, reviews praised the game's mix of traditional side-scrolling action and adventure game-inspired puzzles.

Video gaming in Finland consists of video game industry of 260 active video game developer studios, roughly a dozen professional players and countless enthusiastic amateurs.

<i>Judge Dredd</i> (1986 video game)

Judge Dredd is a platform shoot 'em up video game based on the character of the same name. It was developed by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House. It was released in Europe in 1986, for Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.

Octapolis is a 1987 video game for the Commodore 64, designed and programmed by the Finnish game programmer Jukka Tapanimäki and published by English Software. The game is a hybrid between a shoot-'em-up and a platform game.


  1. Tampereella on syntynyt pelejä 1980-luvulta asti – niitä pääsee pelaamaan Vapriikissa lauantaina Aamulehti (in Finnish)
  2. Tapanimäki, Jukka: Minidium, overview, development details and full program listing. C-lehti 1/1987, pp. 52-56. Available online at .
  3. "Moonfall for Commodore 64 (1991)". MobyGames.