Captain Blood [1988]

Home Forums Game Suggestions Captain Blood [1988]

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  • sorceress

    This is a bizarre space travelling game from the late 80s, that was ported to many platforms at that time. I have never seen another game quite like it.

    From the comfort of your captain’s chair, you have to navigate your ship around the galaxy looking for your clones, which are scattered far and wide.

    On your voyages you discover many planets, and the characters living there can help you on your quest, with information.

    Though befriending them is not at all easy — there is a lot of politics going on in the galaxy and it’s unscrupulous inhabitants are all eager to take advantage of your ship’s abilities in return for the information you seek, though some should not even be trusted. Every action has consequences, making the game notoriously difficult to complete.

    The game was developed by a french studio, and like a lot of french games at that time, it feels very experimental, innovative, and unique.

    The music for the game was made by the famous Jean Michel Jarre, taken from his zoolook album.

    I think the uniqueness of this game makes it worthy of a visit by Dos Game Club some time.

    Happy gaming 🙂



    Captain Blood had a truly unique dialogue interface with a fairly large predefined set of words/terms that presented the illusion that the player had the ability to express themselves in complex ways and actually be understood.

    It straddles the divide between static/predefined lines of a dialog tree (which limits queries to a fixed set) and full free text parsers (which limits queries to simple keywords).

    It’s implemented as an interpreter with scripts for each NPC with a large number of responses, that are linked to queries in specific ways – it’s roughly keyword based, but just a bit more complex than that.

    The result… doesn’t really work I’d say. You are still left to guess what to say to prompt a response, and the responses range between tangentially related to what you said and entirely random, and are usually hard to understand as well. Mostly, it’s the worst of both worlds.

    But dammit they tried. On some days, I still think the system has potential to be revolutionary… if you tune it just the right way… and write the right scripts… in the right contexts…then maybe?

    More details of their implementation at


    I also remember this game as one, if not the first, open world game I ever played. You can literally travel to any planet in the galaxy in any order. The game even leverages on this and the start is randomized from a bunch of key planets, since you can pick up the main plot at any point.
    The comm system is clever, but I agree that in the end is kind of tedious and can very well be replaced by a parser like in Sierra games.
    Another thing that caught my attention back in the day is the amount of tech in display, from the procedural planet rotation to the fly-by sequence.


    OH wow, this game is nuts. I was around when The Adventure Gamer blog covered it, and just listened to the Top 64K Games podcast on it. I’d love to hear the hosts be tortured by, I mean, enjoy, this game.


    Canageek, what “Top 64k Games” podcast do you mean? I can’t find any podcast like that, or one that covers Captain Blood.


    I would also highly recommend the sequel commander blood. It is more accessible and perhaps even crazier with fmv and puppets.

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Home Forums Game Suggestions Captain Blood [1988]