Stavros Fasoulas

Stavros Fasoulas
Stavros Fasoulas.jpg
Other names {{{Other_names}}}
Birth date Late 60's
Birth place
Death date
Residence San Francisco (rumor)
Nationality Finnish
Known for Sanxion, Delta, Quedex

Stavros Fasoulas was one of the most well-known game developers for the Commodore 64. He’s remembered by Sanxion, Delta, and Quedex, which were published by the British company Thalamus. They hired him in 1986 after he attended a PCW conference in London. In November the same year, Sanxion was published. It was the first Finnish game that ended up in the international markets.


First games

Stavros Fasoulas was born in Finland towards the end of the 1960s. His father was Greek and his mother was Finnish.[1] The name Stavros means "cross" in Greek, referring to the cross that symbolizes Christianity.[2]

Fasoulas grew up in Finland and started learning Basic coding on a computer at his school in 1982. After that, he moved on to using his friend’s VIC-20 to learn machine language. Fasoulas kept asking his dad to get him a Commodore 64, and finally his dreams came true in 1984. As a result, Commodore 64 became Fasoulas’s preferred tool.[3]

Fasoulas published his first Commodore 64 game, The Odyssey, in 1984, which he distributed free of charge. It was a sword game with a lot of elements borrowed from the Ancient Greek mythology.[4] Fasoulas’s first commercial game Joe the Whizz Kid was published in 1985. Along with game development, he also worked as a magazine assistant at MikroBitti from even before the first issue was out.[3]

Joining Thalamus’s payroll

Fasoulas tried to enter the British game market many times, and on the third try, he even got all the way to signing a contract with a company, only for it to soon go bankrupt. His fourth try brought him more success: Fasoulas signed a contract with a company called Thalamus after meeting them at a PCW conference in London in 1986.[3] Zzap!64 magazine describes the meeting as follows:

But better still was a program brought by a strange looking longhaired fellow in chequered golfing style trousers. He approached me and said "Hello-o-o, I am from Feenland and haf got wery bit good gem to show". Indeed, Rainbow Warrior as it was then called was very impressive, but it was several months until it was finally released...

Zzap!64 had already made fun of Fasoulas’s bad English, and while waiting for Sanxion to be published, the magazine published his comments about the game in its October 1986 issue.

Is good wideo game. I wery pleased with it. I hope you too like Sanxion. You don't - is tough. My memory, she is full - I can't do no more.

It took two and a half months for Fasoulas to finish Sanxion, and the game was published the same year. It became the first Finnish game that entered the international markets.[4] Sanxion was well received and in the December 1986 issue of the game magazine MikroBitti, Niko Nirvi called Fasoulas the Paavo Nurmi of computer games.

Fasoulas spent four months in 1987 creating a space shooting game called Delta, which was the same type of game as Nemesis. At the time, Fasoulas was on 19 years old. The same year was published Quedex, which took him five months to develop. He had spent the first three months building the basic routines, and the rest two on building the ten fields in the game. Speaking about programming, Quedex was the most difficult game that Fasoulas had ever made. In his own words, he mentioned that the game represented the best that he was able to make at the time.[5]

After Quedex, Stavros Fasoulas seemed to have joined a group called Duck Software. They’re known for a game called Rainbow Dragon, which was published by Firebird in 1988.[6] The group was also working on a game titled Cargo, which however was never published.[7]

The era of Amiga

Fasoulas went away to join the army, and after he returned from his military service in the early 90s, he created a game called Galactic for Amiga together with Jussi Pietilä (music) and Antti Toivainen (sound effects).[8] The game was noted in industry press, but they didn’t find a publisher for it. In the end, Galactic was published in 1993 as a Christmas giveaway for a British magazine The One.[9]

Together with a gifted graphic designer Janne Oksanen (Stratos), Fasoulas started designing a game called P.I.D (Private Investigator Dollarally) in 1991.[10] He also established a game company Terramarque together with Ilari Kuittinen[11], and paused working on Private Investigator Dollarally as he spent all his time and energy supervising the development of Efmania.

Elfmania was published in 1994 and Fasoulas didn’t want to be listed as one of the developers of the game, but apart from supervising the development, he was also responsible for the game’s artificial intelligence.[12]

Once Elfmania was ready, Fasoulas returned to finish up Private Investigator Dollarally, but after Amiga died off, the planned publisher Renegade decided to scrap the game in 1994.[13] After this, the 26 year old Fasoulas decided to quit making computer games. Despite the tentative plans that he had with Sony to publish P.I.D. in connection with the launch of PlayStation, the development of P.I.D. was terminated. It became the last game that Fasoulas coded and designed.[10]

According to some sources, Stavros Fasoulas lives in San Francisco without any access to computers, the Internet, or email.[14]


Commercial games

Unpublished games

  • 1988 Cargo (Commodore 64)
  • 1994 Private Investigator Dollarally (Amiga)

Other games

  • 1984 The Odyssey (Commodore 64)
  • 1993 Galactic (Amiga)
  • 1994 Elfmania (Amiga)


A brief history of Stavros Fasoulas.

See also


  1. Leo Kaiserlidis, Datormagazin (3/87), "Stavros lägger av!".
  2. Stavros, Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-06-05
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 MikroBitti (12/86), "Suomalainen teki listahitin".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Juho Kuorikoski, Sinivalkoinen pelikirja, "Nepulin ratsastajat" (page 13). Fobos 2014, ISBN 978-952-67937-1-9.
  5. Kim Leidenius, C=lehti (3/87), "Quedex - viimeinen taidonnäyte" (page 5).
  6., "Rainbow Dragon". Archived from the original on 2015-06-05. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  7. GTW64, "Cargo". Archived from the original on 2014-12-08. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  8. The One Amiga (kesäkuu 1992), "Galactic: The Vision Game" (page 33).
  9. The One Amiga (January 1994), "Galactic" (pages 5-6).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Hall of Light, "P.I.D. (Private Investigator Dollarally)". Archived from the original on 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  11. Juho Kuorikoski, Sinivalkoinen pelikirja, "Suuret muinaiset syntyvät" (page 39). Fobos 2014, ISBN 978-952-67937-1-9.
  12. Hall of Light, "Elfmania". Archived from the original on 2014-11-26. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  13. Miha Rinne, "P.I.Dollarally". Archived from the original on 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  14., "Thalamus History". Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-06-05.

External links

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Last modified on 10 October 2016, at 06:01