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Rescue on Fractalus!

Available Platform: Atari 8-bit

Rescue on Fractalus! is a sci-fi combat game created by Lucasfilm Games (aka LucasArts) in 1985, initially for Atari 8-bit computers.


85/100 based on 7 Editorial reviews. Add your vote

OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10, MacOS 10.6+
Updated12 September 2022

Game Review

Rescue on Fractalus! is a sci-fi combat game created by Lucasfilm Games (aka LucasArts) in 1985, initially for Atari 8-bit computers. Later it was ported to Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and other platforms.

Fractalus was one of the first two games (the other one is Ballblazer) created by the famous game studio founded by George Lucas as a spin-off of his main company. The designers of this game include David Fox and Gary Winnick, that would later work with Ron Gilbert on Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, and other famous adventures.

Rescue on Fractalus! was meant to be set in the Star Wars universe. Still, for commercial reasons, Lucas preferred to sell the license to other companies rather than develop Start Wars games internally. That's why we would need to wait almost eight years to see a LucasArts Star Wars space combat sim: Star Wars: X-Wing would be released in 1993. However, many of the design elements of Fractalus, including the ship cockpit, are copied from Star Wars.

Of course, we are talking about an 8-bit game, so we cannot expect a very advanced flight simulator. But in many aspects, Fractalus was ahead of its time. In particular, it made a surprising use of fractal algorithms to generate the mountains of the planet you see in the background. Loren Carpenter of the graphic division of Lucasfilms, the same team that created the famous "Genesis" sequence of Star Trek II, worked on the game's code. The result was incredibly realistic and a complete change to traditional graphics. The studio would use this solution again for the following title, Koronis Rift.

But Rescue on Fractalus! was excellent in terms of gameplay too. It's not just a shooter: you will have to save pilots lost on the planet, avoiding evil aliens called Jaggis, which will require some strategy.

Even though the game wasn't a commercial hit, it is a real milestone in the history of video games, and it's highly recommended.

Review by: Manu
Published: 14 September 2022 4:38 pm

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Download Rescue on Fractalus! - Atari 8-bit Version

Download for PC

Atari 8-bit version 1.3 - Language: English - Size: 0.97 Mb

Download for Mac

Atari 8-bit version 1.21 - Language: English - Size: 9.72 Mb

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