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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Mercenary - Escape From Targ
1985 Novagen Software

"TARG is a planet in trouble, the peaceful, native Palyars are fighting for their very existence against the invading Mechanoids, a race of robots who have seized the planet."

"In the militarily secure Colony Craft that orbits Targ, the Palyar council plans and waits, while brave Palyar resistance-fighters oppose the Mechanoids in the Central City, Targ's one major area of habitation."


Mercenary is, by no doubt, a classic. After playing for a while, you get a real sense of isolation, probably intended by the designers. The landscape is sparse, it seems as though there isn't much to do in this game, but that is just on the surface (of both the gameplay and the gameworld!) You really do have to give it a chance, and if you do, you might find yourself hooked in trying to either escape from the planet, or looking for some of it's hidden features.

The graphics are very basic by today's standards (hey, it's a C64!!!!), but when you think about it, look at how smooth they are. At least you do actually get a real feeling of motion. Occassionally you don't even get that in games today! You begin by crashing into the planet, you have no vehicle..... yes, you can get out and walk around, always nice in a game I think. You wander around a bit... what's this? another vehicle.... you get a message... you can buy the vehicle and fly around! Time to explore....

After flying around a bit, you might get a job offer. Just the thing for someone who is marooned, and spent over half of his cash on his new vehicle. You read your console, and note down where to go for your briefing. The location is given as co-ordinates. Off you go! Communication is provided via your console unit. You can receive and reply to messages here and view your speed, altitude and location. Like the rest of the game, simple, but effective.

As you take up job offers and explore a little more, you realise that you are becoming more and more tangled within a local conflict between 2 warring factions. You are sent on spying missions and asked to steal certain technologies. These missions help you explore the gameworld, supply you with needed credits, and give you more incentive to do your own thing and find new areas. Never forget your primary objective though... Escape from Targ!

The puzzles in the game are quite simple, but can, on occasion take some thought. It's only when you have explored do you realise that you have stumbled upon an item that could get you into a certain area, or solve a puzzle you came across earlier.

Sit back, explore and enjoy Mercenary. It may seem simple and too basic, but as I mentioned before, give it a chance and you will discover it has so much more to offer! If you enjoyed Mercenary, there is a follow up, The Second City, and a sequel on the Amiga called Damocles (one of the greatest games created IMHO).

Oh yes..... try and find 'the cheese' :)


Submitted by Tony Peters - a.k.a "Red Snapper" (20 July 2000)

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