not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Friday, June 15, 2012

Atari ST, Starglider

The Atari ST is the next computer in my retro gaming spree.  Atari introduced the 520ST in 1985 to answer the Macintosh, but the ST’s main rival was the Commodore Amiga, introduced later that same year.

My picture is a 1040ST, which had 1 megabyte of RAM and an internal 3.5” floppy drive.  The green desktop is GEM, the ST’s Macintosh-like desktop environment.

I wrote a lot of Pascal programs on the ST in the day, but it also had great games like Jeremy San's Starglider.

You fly over the landscape attacking targets drawn with vector graphics.  Starglider is reminiscent of the Star Wars coin-op game, and the targets include walkers and stompers like Star Wars’ two-legged walkers.

Shields and fuel are the keys to survival.  You repair your shields by entering a dock on the battlefield, where you can also pick up another missile.

To refuel, you fly between the charging towers.

Starglider One is the main target. You spend most of the game flying around hoping to see it, but when you start on level 1, it's right behind you flying away, so you might be able to turn and catch it easily. Here, we're catching up to it.

You need to use a missile to bring it down, and here we’re about to hit in the missile's view. If you fly the missile directly behind it, it will destroy your missile with one of its own. Instead, come in where the wing attaches to the body.

Destroying it gives you 7,500 points, which is most of the 10,000 you need to advance to the next level. :)