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Dark Side (1989)      

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Shoot 'em Up



3.5" Floppy disk

Commodore Amiga

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Amstrad CPC
Atari ST
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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Your Reviews

Amiga/ST Format (Iss 12 Jun 1989)   4th Dec 2011 05:25
Almost 200 years have passed since the vents that took place in incentive’s previous release, Driller. Now the Ketars live on the moon Tricuspid which orbits your home planet of Evath.
On Tricuspid there has been built a huge weapon called Zephyr One (Did you know that Incentive are based at a place called Zephy One?) with which the Ketars intend to destroy Evath.
A massive amount of energy is required to fire the weapon and this is collected by a network of interconnected solar panels called ECDs (energy collecting devices). All you have to do is destroy the network and save the world.
To help you in your mission you hagve a jet pack, a laser and a force shield. Unfortunately fuel and shields are in limited supply and you must find a way to replenish them during the game.

In Driller, the pace of the game was very sedate and you had lots of time to do things, but Darkside is much faster paced. Initially the ECD network is charging at 100% and if you are going to stand a chance at all at completing the game you need to disable as much of the network as possible in the first few minutes of play. Disabling an ESD is not easy however, because you can only disable one if it is at a terminus. ECDs connected to more than one other ECD regenerate almost instantly.

The Ketars have not left the place unguarded though, they want Evath to be in lots of little pieces and so tanks, satellites and forcefields litter the planet. Forcefields deplete your energy if you hit them and shots from tanks and satellites do the same. Running out of fuel can be equally fatal when you are flying, because once gravity grabs hold of you it just won’t let go until you hit the ground and go splat.

Apart from disabling the ECDs and avoiding or destroying the Ketar forces there are other problems that you will face: collecting telepod crystals, finding hidden doors and activating switches to get to other sections of the moon.

In some sections of the planet there are sensors which deposit you in prison and the only way to get out again is by paying a fine. Inside the jail there are two letterbox-like objects, one takes fuel and the other shields when you shoot the slit. After enough shots have been fired the door will open and you can leave.
Make sure you choose wisely because the only way out of the jail is by going through a trapdoor.
Gary Barrett

Amiga/ST Format, Issue 12, June 1989, p.p.88-89

The static graphics in Darkside are very similar to those in Driller; buildings made up of blocks of colour with extensive use of shading to help enhance the three-dimensional effect. There is more animation in Darkside though and more of the Ketar forces move around rather than just sitting there gathering pixels 9dust!). Sound is a vast improvement over Driller’s which was distinctly eight bit. There are not only some very very good sound effects, but also an atmospheric tune that goes on for ages before repeating.

Graphically, Freescape games have always suffered from a very boring block structure and there is no change here. However, challenging strategy elements certainly keep your mind off of problems in the effects department.
Darkside has the one thing that was lacking in Driller, some pressure to drive your forwards and make sure that you do not waste time. The problems are more logical in their solution and the fact that your opponents move around makes a more challenging and demanding game.

The team behind Driller and Darkside are Major Developments. The main emmebers of this infamous team are Ian (Dan Ayckroyd) Andrew, Chris (Freescape) Andrew, Sean Ellis, Wally (Hagar) Beben and Robin Chapman. All bracketed comments are found inside Darkside along with digitised pictures of some of the above. Ian does not want us to tell you how to find them though, you will have to do that for yourselves.
Ian came with the plot for the game and this brother Chris is responsible for designing the Freescape system. Sean Ellis programmed the 16-bit versions of Darkside and also wrote STAC, the ST adventure creator.
Hagar (we are not sure if that is Hagar the Horrible) composed the music, as he has done on countless other games and Robin Chapman is responsible for the graphics.
Next month will see the arrival of Total Eclipse and after that? Well you will just have to wait and see because the next game is not due for release until about this time next year.





TextFiles.com (Unknown)   19th Jun 2012 02:54

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This title was first added on 2nd October 2006
This title was most recently updated on 19th June 2012

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