Saturday, February 23, 2019

Games that remind me of my childhood Number 31 : Total Eclipse (Commodore 64)

As most regular visitors to my blog knows, I have a massive soft spot for the Freescape 'solid 3D' adventure games from Incentive Software.  Released for most 8-bit (and some 16-bit) computers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. the series of games included Driller, Dark Side, Total Eclipse and Castle Master (as well as Total Eclipse II Sphinx Jinx and Castle Master II The Crypt available through the Home Computer Club), not to mention the many Freescape games people made with the awesome 3D Construction Kit, including myself!

Total Eclipse got a massive 94% in Zzap 64 magazine exactly 30 years ago this month, and it's still a great game to play today, providing you don't mind the slow screen redraw.  Moving away from the sci-fi setting of both Driller and Dark Side, Total Eclipse is set on the 26th October 1930, and you must (well, according to the game instructions) reach and destroy the shrine of the Sun God Re at the very top of the Pyramid (should that be Ra?) within 2 hours before the moon eclipses the sun, showering the Earth with massive meteorites and bringing an apocalyptic end to civilisation as we know it.

Virtual Reality - The nearest to actually being there.  It's probably the closest I'll ever come to visiting Egypt!

Inside the pyramid.  Watch out for traps!

Now, for anyone feeling a little pedantic, I've done a little bit of research, and it appears Egypt had no solar eclipse on that date.  There was a solar eclipse on October 21st 1930, but totality was only visible in Niuafo'ou, Chile, and a small part of Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. 

ANYWAY, I digress.  Total Eclipse was/is a classic game and a fantastic example of early virtual reality at its finest.

Front Box Art
Back Box Art. 
Instructions.  I wonder who won the competition to see the eclipse in Hawaii back in July 1991
The other side of the instructions.
The Commodore 64 cassette.  Total Eclipse was on side 1
Side 2 of the cassette featured Total Eclipse II The Sphinx Jinx
Zzap 64 review from 30 years ago!  Issue 46 February 1989