Argonaut Games PLC

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Argonaut Games PLC logo

Argonaut Games is a defunct video game studio that created the Croc series. The company was founded by J. San in 1982, and went out of business in late 2004. They only developed the first two Croc games for the PlayStation, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos and Croc 2, released in 1997 and 1999, respectively.

History

When Jez San began work on the company, he named it Argonaut after the old story of Jason and the Argonauts. His initials, J San, made this almost a pun. The company produced its first game Skyline Attack for the Commodore 64. It later produced the 3D Starglider games for the Amiga and Atari ST platforms.

In 1993 Argonaut were working with Nintendo during the early years of the NES and SNES. They developed a prototype of the game Star Fox, initially codenamed "NesGlider" and inspired by their earlier 8-bit game Starglider, that they had running on the NES and then some weeks later on a prototype of the SNES. Jez San told Nintendo that this was as good as it could get unless they were allowed to design custom hardware to make the SNES better at 3D. Nintendo said yes, and San hired chip designers and made the Super FX chip (originally codenamed by then the “MARIO chip”). So powerful was the Super FX chip that was used to create the graphics and gameplay that they joked that the Super Nintendo was just a box to hold the chip.

Argonaut Software Limited became Argonaut Games and was floated in 1999.

Other games by Argonaut

  • Skyline Attack, 1984
  • Alien, 1984
  • Starglider, 1985
  • Starglider 2, 1988
  • Days of Thunder, 1990
  • Race Drivin', 1992
  • A.T.A.C, 1992
  • Birds of Prey, 1992
  • X, 1992
  • Star Fox, 1993 (programming)
  • King Arthur's World, 1993
  • Vortex, 1994
  • Stunt Race FX, 1994 (assistance in programming)
  • Creature Shock, 1994
  • Ren & Stimpy: Fire Dogs, 1994
  • FX Fighter, 1995
  • Alien Odyssey, 1995
  • FX Fighter Turbo, 1996
  • Scooby Doo Mystery, 1996
  • Buck Bumble, 1998
  • The Emperor's New Groove, 2000
  • Alien: Resurrection, 2000
  • Red Dog: Superior Firepower, 2000
  • Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge, 2000
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 2001
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002
  • Bionicle: Matoran Adventures, 2002
  • Bionicle: The Game, 2003
  • I-Ninja, 2003
  • Swat: Global Strike Team, 2003
  • Carve, 2004 (Xbox)
  • Catwoman: The Game, 2004
  • Power Drome, 2004
  • Malice, 2005
  • Star Fox 2, 2017 (programming, previously unreleased)