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I remember Dad playing this, I never played it in the end, but I assume it’s like most MPS flying games, pretty simple to learn, with randomly generated missions and a good difficulty curve?
MPS did so many flying games, looking them up now I didn’t realise they did 3 Stealth Fighter games, 3 F-15 games, Gunship + Gunship 2000, plus the very fun 1942 and B-17 games, very easy to play all of them, especially compared to 2000-era flying games!
With a quick bit of research, not to distract from the amazing Winter Games, Ski or Die and Ski Free, there are also:
The last one I have good memories of playing, and I think a lot of the mini-game style games you find the one you’re good at and play the heck out of it!
So I thought something was a bit off when watching the speedrun for Episode 1, I didn’t remember the game being that smooth of easy to control.
Turns out, the runner has set cycles to max for Jill 1, and 19,500 for Jill 2 and 3.
I just had a play with it, I didn’t notice a huge difference (except for some music glitching at very high cycles) so I’m thinking back in the day my machine maybe wasn’t up to the task!
I remember playing an EGA game similar to ,a href=”https://archive.org/details/SillyMasterBlasterPinballConstructionSet1985AnonymousAction”>Silly Master Blaster pinball but I don’t think it was it, but it was a long time ago. Ran off pin.exe and I think at least once I del *.* in c:\ and got rid of command.com trying to delete it when I got annoyed…….
Better late than never! I got lucky with cyborg conversion on 6 and 3, but had to look up 7s, and had to look up where the easiest 2 of the 3 final wire puzzles were lol. I have played it before, hence the time not being long (and I was happy to look up things and cheat that way…)
“That’s quite interesting Evil” you say, musing over this “Quite a lot of these cool games with great story and environment all seem to be developed by people who’ve worked together on Ultima Underworld and System Shock. But there’s one group of games that also come to mind. Modern games developed by Arkane, including Dishonored and Prey. Surely they have no connection?”
A small grin appears on my face.
Arkane Studios was founded in 1999 by someone called Raphaël Colantonio, and had worked in Origin Systems’ QA and Localization team for titles including System Shock. After differences with the company, he started up Arkane, with the goal of making a sequel to Ultima Underworld II. Not being able to secure the rights, and the game ended up being Arx Fatalis. The next notable game for this he worked on was helping with the design, animation and art for BioShock 2 after joining 2K Marin.
He had a friendship with Harvey Smith, the QA lead for System Shock at Origin. They worked together and developed Dishonored, Dishonored 2, and a game touted as a spiritual successor to System Shock, Prey.
“But Evil”, you say, “Surely your missing out on the best RPG shooter of the time, I love Deus Ex. That’s not connected to this, right?”
Well, you’d be wrong. Historians will remind you that Ion Storm was founded by people including John Romero, however, their Austin office was responsible for Deus Ex, and that office was headed by a gentleman called Warren Spector, who was working at Origin and produced tons of games, including Ultima Underworld I and II as well as System Shock. After being asked to setup Ion Storm Austin, Looking Glass Studios was in the process of dissolving and many of the team were asked to come along and work on…….Deus Ex.
As Studio Director, he oversaw development of Deus Ex Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows.
Fast forwarding, he is now working with Otherside Entertainment and helped with Underworld Ascendant and is currently helping with System Shock 3
Dollarone, if you haven’t done so yourself, I did a very quick difference on twitch just to show the difference.
I think you could get used to the keyboard controls after playing with them for 10 minutes, but of course in this day and age we’re much more used to turning around with the mouse rather than keys
I believe there’s a “Enhanced Edition” coming out by Nightdive, which should be really good and hopefully addresses a lot of the balance issues, as well as compiling all the HD mods people have made to fix that early 3D horrible look :D.
They’ve spoken about it on streams and things, but nothing official apart from press releases sadly 🙁
Those numbers you see when you destroy a computer node on a level? Take a note of those, it’ll save you time later.
There’s no harm in moving unknown items closer to lifts if you have inventory space, they’re probably plot items and you’ll save yourself some time
You can look at items in the main viewscreen, including the decapitated heads lying around. There’s one head in particular on level 3 you’ll need to grab later on, luckily that person has left you some logs to help identify them…
Levels 8 and 9 do not have a cyborg conversion chamber. Good thing you got all those medkits, IL-CAD batteries and level 3 shield, right?
Hints for players:
If you want to have a laugh, you can actually fire the laser yourself and destroy Earth, and enjoy spending the rest of eternity serving SHODAN as her own personal Cortex Reaver
Walls of grey pipes in this game can be climbed like ladders. This is required in some sections, but is not overly clear
If you’re really worried about ammo, you can always check weapons you’re not going to use and unload them
On that note, given your limited inventory it can be useful to create stashes of items in easily accessible areas
Citadel Station has lots of hidden doors. Usually you can spot them on the map, but also sometimes by their different textures.
If you’ve seen a new item or monitor text and you don’t know what it’s for, it’s most likely a plot item. Mark it on your map and move on
Some parts of the station you don’t have to explore or visit too much, and other parts will become painfully familiar. Try to make sure you have appropriate weapons for those locations
Mark down healing chambers and power stations on your map, power use will become important later on with some very useful items
Your big consumable items like health kits and batteries are very useful when you haven’t unlocked a cyborg conversion chamber on the current level. Some later levels don’t even have one of those…
Logic probes are not overly useful compared to these.
Cyberspace can be a pain at times, but you should try and get everything you can out of them. The Decoy software is limited but is useful when facing lots of enemies
Certain types of enemies respawn in certain places. You’ll be seeing a lot of zombies, but not necessarily a lot of turrets respawning on level 1 for example.
Spoilers to follow
If you have it on Steam or GOG, you should have the Enhanced Edition, which includes “Classic”, that would explain the size, given the original was on floppies! (There was a later CD release with digitized sound)
The main difference is that with the Enhanced Edition, you’ll have easier WASD and mouselook controls, the original was a bit finnicky with looking around, if you’re familiar with Ultima Underworld it’s essentially the same problems with looking around, and given that this is an RPG shooter, looking around is kinda useful!
You’ll also get higher resolutions on Enhanced, as well as remappable keys.
Nice work Firefyte, after I played it once I couldn’t figure out why my craft was so slow, but turns out each craft has different stats! (higher is more)
| Accel | Top Speed | Mass | Turn | -----------------------------------------------| | AG Systems | 4 | 2 | 2 | 3 | | Auricom | 2 | 3 | 4 | 2 | | Qirex | 1 | 4 | 3 | 1 | | FEISAR | 3 | 1 | 1 | 4 | ------------------------------------------------
So maybe the Auricom is the best?
I had to use that AI in my playthrough on the GOG 25th edition, and it lost 5 times in a row – I ended up using the book to skip it in the end, it was so frustrating.
I’d be interested to figure out if there’s an advantage to starting second in the game, but regardless on my modern PC I was always struggling with the AI to maintain parity against Stauf.
*insert grumble about always programming your AI to be bad in games where a player is supposed to beat you*
Finished it this morning, geez, what a rough game.
Half of the puzzles are fine, some incredibly easy enough, others you can brute force through.
The other ones though, DAMN. I know the book in the study can tell you what you are supposed to do, but bugger me if the navigation in the game (the 25th version) was so painful I’d rather look up what the solve condition was – I’m looking at house final puzzle.
I have a problem in that now I’m old, I have no patience, especially for puzzles when I know what the answer is, but don’t want to spend time brute forcing it.
I think out of the last 5 puzzles, I solved one of them legitimatly, and that was just stumbling around on the painting puzzle.
I feel that in the day the puzzles would have been OK and interesting, but really, really not aimed at the common person (yes you bishop puzzle).
The navigation caught me a few times with the overlapping clickable zones, and without help I would have never found the art gallery.
Computer Gaming World has a review in it’s August 1993 issue. It’s been a while since I read something talking about DMA conflicts – there was a patch on launch from BBS for owners of soundcards and motherboards that use a “Mediavision” chipset, crazy
Cannon Fodder was recently run in the RGL DOScathlon #3 – they raced the first 4 missions as part of their 10 game marathon (and I took part)
It is a amazing game, British satire of war over the top of everything, but after the shareware missions some of the missons are just damn unforgiving, but of course, at this point we can save/load and finish the game in a sane way 😀
I played this game “live”, and in modern DOSBOX it does have issues in both the jungles and the mountains!
Each game is swearing at flying your plane towards the easy photography sessions then picking your least-favoured missions from the Jungle jumping, mountain climbing or cave-avoiding minigames – in a properly timed machine I found the mountain to be OK enough once you knew the patterns, but the same applies to jungles (but caves, too scary!)
I really thought Z would be a cool genre of game, it is really tough though if you don’t start each of the harder mission in a near-perfect way.
Z forces you to understand what units you have, what the map is, and what production structures are in which segments of the map very quickly, and once you have that, you’ll have fun. The much later remake I thought was a lot more accessible (easy) 😉
SimAnt is a kinda interesting game, in the “Sim-X” universe, where the educational aspect part of the game comes first on top of the gameplay. Indeed, the game can be “beaten” quickly if you know how to expand your colonies, but the concept of exploring the ‘hive’ and ‘scent trails’ are good for learning
I really enjoyed SWOTL, playing the experimental Luftwaffe aircraft (with rockets) was fun, like the wooden Gotha. The Allies planes were not so much fun, with the B17 gameplay done much better by Microprose imo.
Regardless, a very fun Lucasarts game capitalizing on their experience of flying games
Hi Don, the ships don’t quite turn on a dime, but it should be a bit more responsive than it sounds like you’re experiencing.
The ship you take into battle has a maximum number of cannons, you can have more, but of course some ships are better at fighting than others.
If you take too much damage in a fight, either in naval battles or sword fighting, you’ll lose, but your character should at least ‘surrender’ on screen after taking a few hits on low morale – after that, yes, you’ll have lost the battle and will suffer whatever outcome the game gives you
Yeah I think there’s some sort of timing problem with the dancing, and it goes on for about 2 sections too long. The sneaking minigame is not that interesting either, and maybe they could have at least made a few different sword fighting animations 😀
All of the games are essentially the same thing, which is quite interesting given the 17 year gap, but I guess what else would you put in? Multi-ship battles? Naval Boarding strategy minigames?
For overwatch in UFO Defence and TFTD, overwatch is based on a solder’s reaction stat, as opposed to an explicit skill. Xenonauts I think is the same.
Having more troops on the field really makes it easier to send out rookies intentionally to die, which is kinda lost in the newer xcom games sadly
I’ve pre-ordered Phoenix Point, I’ve seen a few streams from earlier in the year but don’t want to play it now so not to spoil it. I’ve finished XCOM2 LW and am in the middle of the first LW (both on the default difficulty though, I’m not that much of a sadist).
It’s a tricky balance between making you feel clever in the combat layer without making it feel unfun with your mistakes and the RNG
Have you ever wanted to be James Bond? Well, an American CIA agent who is tasked with taking down international state-sponsored crooks and terrorists via a series of four mini games and logic.
Many who have played this game will say there is one game and the rest is decoration. Each scheme you’re trying to foil will give you the options to break into safehouses, trail suspect vehicles, conduct wiretapping and decrypt messages. The breaking in is the main part of the game, and you will spend most of your time top-down, sneaking around photographing files and safes to find plot evidence, arresting suspects and confiscating plot items, neutralising guards and when things go bad, grenades.
The game is repeatable until your character “retires”, similar to Pirates, as you get more “00” levels each time you win. Take down masterminds every few missions (although there is a way to cheat that I found….)