Rescue on Fractalus has been out and about on
the Atari for quite a while now and, under the alternative
name of Behind Jaggi Lines, has become almost
legendary and a game which a threatened Atari owner
could always show a doubting Commodore owner and say
'look at THIS then chum'!
right he'd be too, but now Activision have secured the
rights to the Commodore conversion . . . but does it
stand up to the Atari version at all?
puts you in a seek and rescue situation. Starting
from an orbiting mothership, you blast down to the surface
of Tepidi Vad Neroleil Rahcri, a barren planet in one
of the darker sectors of the galaxy. You have to seek
and rescue pilots who've crashlanded and been stranded
on the surface, surrounded by the marauding J'Haggari
Kachatki, an evil bunch of intelligent thingies who
aren't too keen on the human race.
your Valkyrie fighter is equipped with all the latest
instruments to help you in your task. Anti-Matter Torpedoes
(AMB's) can be fired from the front of the craft and,
if they're on target, will destroy anything, including
heat-seeking missiles and gun emplacements. To protect
you from enemy fire and crashing into the rocky surface
is a Driac mirror shield; this is indicated by an energy
bar, if it reaches zero then the next hit from a laser
blast or bump into a rock will destroy the craft.
also have the newest weapons warning system and radar
scanner available and during the game these are vital
to your survival.
you fly down to the planet, the first thing that strikes
you is what a totally miserable place it is. The atmosphere
isn't so fresh either, in fact it's Cyanitric acid gas
-- not something to be sniffed at by any means. The
surface is horribly mountainous, with towering peaks
and thin canyons which you have to negotiate to reach
some of the pilots.
the surface are gun emplacements that fire laser beams
and heat-seeking missiles which drone around and home
in on your craft. If a laser blast or missile hits you
then you'll get a considerable amount of energy knocked
off your supply.
you pick up a pilot on your scanner, move towards it,
although be careful of any jutting outcrops of rocks.
When you get near enough to it, the blip on the scanner
will flash. Land and switch off the external shield
-- if you don't, then the pilot won't emerge from his
wrecked ship. Once the shields are off, the pilot will
run towards you in perfect 3D, walk round the back of
the ship, climb up the stairs and bang on the airlock
door. If you open the door he'll climb in and the door
will shut automatically. Be careful of not switching
on your shields when the pilots are outside -- this
will kill them. Leaving a pilot outside is a good laugh,
he/she gets really cheesed off and eventually practically
smashes the airlock door in.
a pilot has been picked up you can then lift off and
search for the next pilot. You have to collect a certain
amount of pilots on each level, the higher the level
the more pilots you have to collect. Once enough are
collected, you can return to the mothership, although
you can stay and pick up more pilots for a bigger bonus.
really high levels you have to start rescuing pilots
on the south side of the planet, the side always shrouded
in darkness where there isn't enough light to activate
your visual display and where instrument flying is a
There are quite a few controls on the panel under the
cockpit window, and all play a vital role in the game.
There are two bars on the altimeter itself, one light
blue and one red. The red one indicates the height of
the actual landscape as you fly over the rocky peaks,
and the blue one indicates your height. If the blue
bar disappears then it means you're scraping along the
surface of the rock.
This blue screen is situated in the centre of the control
panel and has a cursor in the middle of it. It will
pick up anything alien and indicate it on the screen
as a blob. Move the craft until the cursor is over the
blob and fire. If you have got it right then the enemy
thing will be destroyed.
This series of dots at the bottom of the screen tell
you if the enemy are tracking you. They do this by picking
up stray radiation from your craft. If they lock on
successfully then all dots will be lit and they will
fire at you accurately and your energy will diminish
swiftly. To evade lock-on, fly erratically until the
dots flash randomly.
This is a radar and has to be used as you fly around.
It will indicate the presence of any stranded pilots
and show them up as a blip on the scanner. You can then
direct the craft towards the pilot and move close enough
to be able to land and pick him/her up.
When you blast down to the planet's surface you have
a full quota of energy. If you hit the sides of a canyon,
top of a mountain, or get hit by an enemy laser or missile,
then you'll have energy knocked off your total. If this
energy reaches zero then your craft will explode and
the game will end.