LucasFilm Games‘ classic space shooter, Rescue On Fractalus, was first released on Atari 8-bit computers in March 1984, and this Commodore 64 version came a year later, in 1985.
Although very simple by today’s standard’s, Rescue On Fractalus still plays a good game of “rescue the space pilot”, with a first-person, cockpit style view, and fractal graphics used to generate the 3D landscapes.
The aim is to basically rescue downed pilots from a war-torn planet, by locating them using your on-board systems, then landing, then turning off the shield (allowing them to pass safely), then opening the airlock to let them in. They are at least courteous enough to close the airlock for you. And when you have a few rescued pilots on board you can then return to the mother ship and drop them off. Provided the mother ship is in range.
In later levels the aliens become wise to your plan and send infiltrators to try to punch your windshield through. Turning your shield back on will kill them, but you have to do it quick before they break the glass.
And, if you fell off your chair when the alien first rose up, you’ll be needing the S key…
If you can see a pilot running towards you, you can tell whether he is an alien or not by the colour of his head. If it’s green: he’s an alien. It’s subtle things like that that make Rescue On Fractalus so good.
Rescue On Fractalus is still a great little game. Early LucasArts at its best.
Rescue On Fractalus C64 keys:
<> = Speed up or down
L = Land
S = Shields On/Off
A = Airlock
B = Return to Mother Ship