Midnight Resistance, ZX Spectrum

The ZX Spectrum conversion of Data East‘s Midnight Resistance was created by Jim Bagley and Keith Tinman and was published by Ocean Software in 1990. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that it is probably the best run-and-gun shooter on the humble Speccy, and punches well above the machine’s weight.

Midnight Resistance on the Spectrum was released as two different versions: a 48K multi-load version and a 128K version. The 128K version obviously being enhanced with an additional soundtrack and having the advantage of it being a single load.

The arcade game is known for being simultaneous two-player cooperative shooting, but the Spectrum version is single-player only – for performance reasons. The arcade game is also known for its rotary-based controls, where you can turn a dial to alter the trajectory of your bullets, and you’d have to wonder whether that has been dropped too. But it hasn’t. The developers of this game actually got the rotational firing to work, which you do by holding down the fire button and pushing left or right to rotate. And it does actually make the game easier to play because you can fire diagonally in four directions and your enemies can’t. Well, they can’t fire diagonally at first…

The graphics in the Spectrum version of Midnight Resistance are a masterpiece of Spectrum pixel artistry and animation, and while they’re not entirely smooth when they move around, and screens push-scroll rather than scroll continuously, there’s very little colour clash because of the way the visuals have been designed.

While Midnight Resistance will not be to everyone’s tastes it is definitely a classic Spectrum game that is reminiscent of Jonathan Smith‘s Cobra in places. It also reminded me of Don Priestley‘s Popeye and The Trap Door, with large objects moving around without colour clash (because everything is defined as an 8×8 character square and they bolted together to make larger objects).

Midnight Resistance is like Metal Slug, but translated to a Spectrum, and it’s a fun shooter with a unique look and feel to it.

More: Midnight Resistance on Wikipedia
More: Midnight Resistance on World of Spectrum

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