Day 7 – Caverns Of Callisto

 

This is the one Origin game I don’t actually own (I’ve pinched the cover image above from the Origin museum) and there is very little information about it on the web.  It came out in 1983, was the second game Origin published and was written by Chuckles himself. I can’t say much on the backstory. What I gather from a couple of reviews is that you are on the moon of Callisto for some reason and mutants steal 8 panels off your spaceship. You have to travel into the caverns on the moon, gather the panels and escape.

The game came with a map of the caverns, an image of which is on the origin museum site. I’ve blown up the jpg to a useable size for when I play the game.

I’ve found an apple 2 disk image of the game on the web. Technically I know I should own the game and given opportunity I’d pay good money for it but thats not likely to happen. So far, I’ve just had a quick go so I’ll save the screenshots for tommorow.

The gameplay consists of flying round the caverns on a jetpack shooting hoards of monsters picking up fuel cannisters for your jetpack and reclaiming the panels which are lying on the ground. There are also blue patches on the ground that surround me in a bubble and make me invulnerable for a time.

The controls are a little tricky to master. Your man always faces left or right – if you level him out and press alt-fire you can get him to face straight forwards and then the next direction you fly you will face. Its tricky to turn round and shoot things quickly when they are behind you.

Regarding the shooting, when you go fowards you point down, and when you reverse you point up. This makes it hard to actually hit anything. The hoards of mutants never stop coming either – this game is probably going to be difficult to finish but using savestates should stop it from being impossible.

Your fuel gradually runs out through the game but there are cannisters which refill it. I’m assuming I’ll have to get back to the start again when I have all the panels so I’ll try to be as frugal with it as possible. Your gun heats up as you fire it and stops working for a while if it gets too hot. Avoiding the mutants looks more likely to work than trying to shoot them.

First impressions are this is an average arcade game of the time but with dodgy graphics. My ZX Spectrum games looked better than this.

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