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Alpha Storm (DOS)

Alpha Storm DOS
Genre: Action, Simulation, Strategy / tactics
Perspective: 1st-person, Top-down
Gameplay: Shooter
Vehicular: Space flight
Setting: Sci-fi / futuristic
Published by: Psygnosis Limited
Developed by: TAG
Released: 1997
Platform: DOS

The game is based on such a plot. There is a certain galaxy - well, it is said loudly: only under a hundred stars. And here in this "galaxy" there was, to put it mildly, a serious disaster. A super-ship of an unknown race appeared, which everyone calls the Black Creatures. Who they are, where they come from, of course, is unknown. Their ship is shaped like a dried Alien carcass from the horror movie of the same name - a tail, a skeleton and a skull. A weapon of destructive power is hidden in the head (skull) of the ship. With the help of a mysterious ray, it is capable of burning any planetary system with a star together. Why the Black Creatures are doing this - no one knows, however, the number of stars in the "galaxy" is getting smaller and smaller. Of course, someone must put a decisive end to this.
Alpha Storm DOS title

And then Shaal appears, or rather, you are in his role. Little is known about him either, he seems to be a hyperspace reconnaissance - yes, this is such a responsible job. Shaal's abilities are highly developed; using a special energy - mana, he has superpowers, or rather to shoot from his hand: ball lightning, powerful clots of dark energy, freezing snowflakes, pulses of psi energy, he also knows how to swing a lightsaber. In total, Shaal has five varieties of combat abilities. And Shaal, using mana, can activate the following themes in battle when landing on enemy ships: the most powerful theme is Molten Man - the mode of an invincible super creature (it is very expensive - 950 mana units), which does not care, however, it lasts only one minute; there is also a reflector of impulses, there is armor, there is regeneration (additional slow replenishment of health) and a healing injection (20 units of mana) - an instant portion of health in battle. There are also five topics in total.

Shaal has a ship called the Eradicator. It has elevators, rooms, a wheelhouse, compartments, a hold, a teleporter - everything is as it should be; not knowing the map of the ship, at first you can even get lost in it - it is so spacious. To see a map of the ship, just walk up and turn on one of the many monitors built into the walls.

The ship has pods for various types of weapons and devices, there are only four types of weapons: lasers, missiles, magna and disruptors. There are also basic devices: a reactor, a scanner, a computer and an energy shield. There are also additional devices: a hacker - hacks into the enemy's electronic systems, a jammer - interferes with devices on enemy ships, an imposter - deceives the enemy's scanner and interferes with identification like "friend or foe", a clocker - makes the ship invisible, allowing you to slip past enemy ships; there is also a declocker, divertor and several other devices. There are 18 varieties of vital (and not so) devices or weapons. Each device or weapon has a class from 1 to 8. The higher it is, the more serious and effective the device is. Shaal starts "light". Here, the developers applied the main idea of ​​the game: what you do not have - take from the ship you defeated (this is an honest expropriation). The main task of the space battle is not to destroy the ship, but first, carefully bring the ship's energy shield to zero with shots, at the same time immobilizing it, then get to the ship through the teleporter, recruit fresh and technologically more advanced devices there, return to your ship, and only then finish it off completely cleaned out space vessel. The reason why you have to do this is trivially simple - the fact is that devices often fail over time as a result of hits in combat, and sometimes just from wear and tear. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly engage in monotonous work - to monitor devices and devices, replace them before a fight, destroy or extract mana from hopelessly worn ones so that they do not take up unnecessary space. This is all the daily worries of your protagonist - Shaal.

In addition to Shaal, many more ships of three races fly in space. Each ship, of course, has the same instruments and devices. Each race has its own unique trait. Imperials are like stormtroopers from Star Wars. Their ships are powerful but primitive, often using a powerful blast of energy as a signature move. The pirates are similar, oddly enough, to ordinary sea pirates - a cheerful people using a variety of weapons from sabers to rocket launchers. Their signature technique in space combat is the use of imposters, hackers, jammers, and cloakers on ships. And finally, Vargs are reptoids, they are dinosaurs, they use cloakers and declockers well, but they do not have imposters. Each race is divided into four distinct subspecies: weak with ranged weapons; weak, medium, or strong with melee weapons and a special additional special ability; heavy strong subspecies - dull and armed with some kind of powerful cannon; and the last subspecies are captains, quite hardy and strong, sometimes they may not be armed.

Each race (except for Black Creatures) ships by tonnage are divided into four classes: light, medium and heavy, and there is always the most ambitious space structure - an orbital base. The map of each of the ships in the game can be found in three to five different modifications, just the main map in various places is blocked by partitions (you cannot jump over them in any way), but the Shaal who disembarks on the ship is always guaranteed access to some teleporter so that he can return to his native ship. In various nooks of the ships, devices, instruments and weapons are hidden, in fact, behind which Shawl is forced to make dangerous landings (sea - boarding) on ​​enemy ships. If the hold for the devices becomes completely filled (and it is not rubber and holds only 12 different spare devices and devices), then Shaal can extract valuable mana from the expropriated devices of the enemy on the spot. In the captain's cabin of any ship, there is an abundance of enemies plus a strong captain, but there is something worth capturing the wheelhouse for - this is a monitor with a map of the entire ship, which shows not only corridors and nooks, but also compartments where valuable devices and devices are installed. True, in various card modifications due to partitions, some of the devices will be inaccessible, but this just adds a drop of romance and risk. Before disembarking, Shaal sees through the scanner that the ship has a device of interest to him, disembarks on the ship, does not find the device, suffers a fiasco and returns home to his "Eradicator" with nothing. All ships near the stars are hostile to Shaal's ship and always shoot at him when he tries to cross a star system controlled by any race. There will definitely not be friends and associates in the game.

What is the system. There is a star in the center, around it - from 3 to 6 planets. The movement between the systems is step-by-step - along the network of hyperspace links. A base can be located on planetary bodies, such a planet is marked with an asterisk. Landing on a base is similar to landing on a ship, but only before that, all enemy ships in the system must be destroyed and the planet must be within reach. There are 18 planetary base maps in the game. On planetary bases, parts of the protective superdevice Stasis and parts of the superbomb Nova are hidden and guarded.

Due to its complete impenetrability, it is simply impossible to defeat the ship of the Black Creatures with conventional weapons. We need a special approach. There is such a bomb from the TV series "Andromeda" - it is called Nova (consists of 4 parts). By simple manipulations with the space-time continuum in the bowels of the star, the bomb promotes a supernova-type explosion with the release of an appropriate amount of energy. This energy is just capable of tearing down the impenetrable protective shield of the Black Creatures ship. But in order to prevent Shaal's ship from being blown to pieces by such an explosion, it must have a protective device. This is Stasis (consists of 6 parts). The task of the game is to first collect Stasis, then collect Nova, meet with the ship of Black Creatures in some star system, come closer to the star and release Nova into it; an explosion will occur, and the protective shield of the ship of the Black Creatures will be ripped off, then Shaal will be able to get on board. Unlike the rest of the ships in the game, this one is divided into three independent compartments: tail, torso and head. First, Shaal falls into the tail, then into the torso, and then into the labyrinths of the ship's head (skull), where there is a nuclear reactor from a deadly beam installation. You just need to get there and press the red button. Then the explosion of the ship of the Black Creatures is inevitable. On board the ship, he is very unfriendly greeted by Black Creatures also in several of their biological species: soldiers, rolls, pterodactyls and black captains. All Blacks are disgusting creatures, all very much like Aliens. The hint on the star map always tells about where the ship of the Black Creatures is headed at the current time. In general, they fly very chaotically from one star system to another. If they destroy about half of the systems, then the game will be lost. Therefore, you must act quickly, collecting Stasis and Nova piece by piece.

About level maps. This is a typical Duma architecture without inclined planes. Sectors, ceiling-floor, ribs-walls. There are opening doors, switches. There are also blocks (pistons, blanks) periodically moving from top to bottom. Elevators, monitors with the image of the ship map, rising grates have been implemented. There are keys and keyboards that open different doors. All of this adds a lot of variety to the game, covering up the relatively primitive architecture of the cards. Even the absence of backdrops (the stars are drawn from the windows of the ship ... right on the windows) does not repulse or discourage the desire to play Alpha Storm!