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Could you identify this game? From 1984-ish


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I've made a few attempts in the past to find out what arcade game this was, and it's not a biggie really as I would have no means to obtain and play it again and if i did I'd probably be bored with it in the middle of the first attempt. But it still bugs me.

 

I played this on the Isle of Wight in 1984 or 1985 in the Whitecliff Bay holiday camp's canteen area. It was impressively 3D to me though it'd probably make my nephew laugh himself to death if he saw it. It kind of seemed like the end scenes from Star Wars IV, in the Death Star trenches. It wasn't a Star Wars tie-in though, it was just a rip-off thing. But you were piloting a ship going down a trench with baddie lads coming at you.  You didn't see the action from above, and you saw the ship in front of you rather than seeing from its window. This is as much detail as I can give you. I had a ZX81 at the time so it really made my holiday, that and getting my 12 metres swimming badge. In your face, 5 metre swimming badge people.

 

I had a Bowyers Cornish pastie a few metres from the machine - not on the same day, I wouldn't have been able to cope with that - and have similarly looked for these ever since to no avail. In all likelihood it'd be a disappointment if I had one now, though the first time I had a Cornish pastie in Cornwall itself a few years back it was the worst one I've ever had, so there is always room maybe for the factory conveyer belt pie from Bowyers to stun me once again. I find Bowyers sausage rrolls and Walls pasties but never seem to 'get my ducks in a row' as far as the pie goes.

 

It's my dream to play that game again while eating the pie. A terrible dream but you can't help your dreams, can you. But regularly, every eight to eleven years or so, for about forty seconds, maybe fifteen, I find myself thinking about this game.

 

I would be somewhere between sub-non-plussed and slightly beside myself if anyone can identify this game for me. I will keep looking for the pie, no need to name somewhere you've seen one as I'd guess most corner shops won't do mail order. To be honest I hadn't intended to mention the pie when I opened this tab but it all came flooding back.

 

Thanks.

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I think it looked so swish that it wouldn't even have run on a home computer from that period - it must have been very memory-intensive indeed for 1984. There was nothing miniaturised or compromised about it, within the limitations of the tech of the time, I'd say.

 

I definitely didn't dream this. Although holidaying with my particular parents in the mid-1980s would definitely cause vivid dreaming involving shooting things.

 

I feel we're getting warmer. Don't let your dinners get cold, I will be hoovering, ironing, buying spuds and all sorts of stuff in the coming days. But i do need to know this.

 

It's not Uridium (Iridium?) either by the way, wrong perspective. (It did have the same viewpoint as I Robot.)

 

 

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Pretty close but there was no quasi-photo-real background (never seen that before, interesting). The trench aspect was pretty constant I think.

 

Put yourself in my shoes - a 14 year old boy saw this game and was thinking, "What?!? WHAT?!?!!?!? How are they doing this?!?! This is amazing, Richard's Dragon 32 would literally melt and cause a house fire if it tried to run this." That's how advanced it was.

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The spaceship that you're controlling is pretty big in this game, must take up about a quarter or a third of the width of the bottom of the screen. I do remember it feeling very big. And the 3D-ness of it, it was more 'straight ahead' than some of these, not so scroll-y.

 

The Peter's Cornish pasties I've seen in Morrisson's are quite close to the Bowyer's, I suppose I could wean myself back onto them. There's no oven here. Microwave for a minute then crisp them up by applying an oven lighter for a couple of minutes. If it's that and Tube Panic - nice though it looks - then my Bucket List starts to fall apart. At the top is 'Kill a man' - do I have to water that down to 'kick someone in the shins' as well? It does seem a shame when we're only here for about 75 years.

 

Odd that such a chicken-in-a-basket holiday destination had this game if these others come to mind more easily. That canteen owner must have really had his finger on the pulse.

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The nearest so far is probably Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom, which I watched a bit of on YouTube, but in all honesty that looks quite crude compared to what I remember.

 

On the one hand our memory is deceptive, and grim middle age can make us romanticise anything. But on the other this awed memory feels vivid, and I had embarked on learning programming myself, writing two modest games on the ZX81 and then the Dragon 32, so I feel I have some kind of kernel of impartiality/ distance. You know like when you're learning any kind of skill a bit of your brain is looking coldly to learn. I wasn't just thinking wow and can I get onto the next level of this, but probably wondering about how far beyond 256x192 the resolution was, etc. I know how to holiday.

 

So I think my memory is relatively pure based on that.

 

I'm thinking also that the name would have stuck if it had been one drawn from established sci-fi/ space fantasy stuff, which i was very into. Also, everything from Q-Bert to Pettigrew's Diary is quite preserved in my mind but somehow this game hasn't been preserved by name.

 

To clarify if this was overlooked, this was a standalone arcade machine I was playing, not anything on a cartridge/ casette/ disk. 1984/85 is almost certain but there is a very slight chance it was 1986.

 

I've just remembered Zaxxon but it wasn't that either, too crude again and wrong viewpoint.

 

It would be a swine to admit defeat for about the fifth time. It's conceivable that this game was handbuilt and bespoke-programmed for Michael Jackson, that he loaned it to Whitecliffe Bay for ten nights - for reasons best known to himself - and that it went back into his sole possession straight after, and that this is why you don't know of it. It rests now in the storage vault of an American court alongside the fatal medication and Bubbles' gimp suit.

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Similar again, certainly. Still looks too blocky to me and there was definitely, for most of the game or level that I saw, a trench where I'd call Thunder Ceptor's thing more of a tunnel. A few of these are not far off though.

 

I am a bit scared I dreamt this, above all else because it means I dreamt once of being on holiday in the Isle of Wight playing an arcade game, which seems like misuse of the subconscious. But no, it was real. How can such a flashy and advanced game be so obscure, it is dead weird. Surely people were also in awe of it like me? Could it be that most here are younger than me, know these games from emulators mostly and maybe this game was too demanding of the tech to have been put out on any domestic machine? I'm only a layman now, I defer to your communal wisdom really, but it's a thought.

 

Early last year I passed someone in the street I haven't seen since 1987. She recognised me straight away even though I weigh twice as much, have a beard and long hair - I think if I see this game I'll recognise it in a second in the same way. And then where will we be? Back wrestling with the void, the endless insoluble void.

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If it's none of the above, I think I know the game. It has much more basic graphics than the games people are guessing here, if I'm right. Closer to Galaxians/Phoenix. And it did the 3D effect by some sort of mirror or screen-tilting or something - giving a sort of perspective. 

Does that sound right ?  

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