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[Emilio Pablo Salgueiro Torrado]
Emilio Pablo Salgueiro Torrado
(1970 – 1996, softography)

Emilio Salgueiro was born in San Fernando (Cádiz, Spain) in 1970, though subsequently moved along several Spanish port towns during his childhood, due to his father's job. One of those destinations was Castellón, where Emilio spent two years of his adolescence and where Emilio met Enrique Cervera, who was the programmer of "Phantomas 1", "Dustin" and "After The War", and also a beloved friend of him.

Their common interest in programming led them to independently start programming a platform game, while trying to outdo one another. Enrique's game plot was centered on a thief, while Emilio's one was a ghost story with vampires.

Although their games were initially conceived for being released under Dinamic's "Future Stars" label (which was aimed to young Spanish programmers' promotion), the quality of both games was so notable that Dinamic's main chiefs decided to release them as 'full' titles. They both were just fifteen years old at the time.

Since the conception of both games had a lot of things in common, the people at Dinamic suggested them creating a shared main character, which was called Phantomas. Due to the fact that the development of Enrique's game was slightly ahead of Emilio's, they called it "Phantomas 1" while Emilio's was called "Phantomas 2".

Both games were released for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1986. Besides, "Phantomas 2" was converted to Amstrad CPC and MSX by Emilio, and to C64 by Adrian Sheppard. The game was re-released in UK by Code Masters, under the name "Vampire". With relation to this, Richard Darling (from Code Masters once commented in an interview for the Spanish magazine "MicroMania" that the game caused them such a deep impression that, contrary to their usual politics, they re-released the game in a nearly unmodified form.

After that, Enrique began the development of "Dustin" (once again, the main character was a thief) and Emilio began "Freddy Hardest", one of Dinamic's most celebrated games. "Freddy Hardest" was released in 1987, with graphics from Luis Rodríguez, and again ported to Amstrad CPC, C64 and MSX and even (!) PC with CGA graphics. The game was re-released in UK by Imagine, except for the last two conversions.

After this short stay in Castellón, Emilio moved once again, this time to San Fernando, near Cádiz (Spain). During the following years, he took his degree in Telecom Engineering in Vigo (Spain), which he got magna cum laude.

While at it, Emilio also started working in the development of a sequel for Freddy Hardest, using a Commodore Amiga. In fact, he thought of releasing the game only for 16-bit computers. However, since he wasn't able to get enough spare time to finish its development, he finally sent everything he had worked in to Dinamic. The result was "Freddy Hardest in South Manhattan", developed by Iron Byte and re-released as "Guardian Angel" in UK, which had very little things in common with the original game, except for the scenery, which reminds a lot to the harbour of Cadiz, a town which Emilio was sentimentally linked to. The game was finally also published for the ZX Spectrum.

He also interleaved his studies with some stays in Germany, where he did some research in parallel computers, fuzzy logic, artificial vision and AI. Indeed he got some interesting research achievements, which let him issue some papers in the field of robotics, and more concretely, artificial vision. He finally came back to Spain to get a research position in the University of Sevilla.

Emilio died in 1996, when he was fatally knocked down by a car while he was cycling.

Acknowledgements: Juan Pablo López-Grao for the above article. He would in turn like to acknowledge Maripaz Salgueiro Torrado, Enric Cervera, Enrique Mengíbar, Mauricio Muñoz, and José Luis Veiga aka "Karnevi" for their inputs.

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