Today’s Old Shoebox feature is a game that brought me a ton of joy in the mid-90s. The game is Raptor: Call of the Shadows and the CD I originally found it on is called “Aztech’s Super Games,” a red CD-ROM that came bundled with my first 4x CD-ROM drive many years ago. The CD first exposed me to Duke Nukem (which Aztech spelled Nuk’Em) I and II, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, Biomence and a somewhat successful first-person shooter game called Doom.
Raptor: Call of the Shadows is one of the best Dos-based vertical shooters ever made. The concept was simple and quintessential to a period of gaming where you configured your sound card and never stopped shooting.
It was also fairly advanced for its April 1, 1994 release date. It had stunning graphics, background music and tons of individual sound effects from machine guns to missiles to explosions.
The plot was simple — you were a mercenary paid to eliminate “MegaCorp’s” competitors. Take it from 3D Realms: “In the future as a mercenary flying the super-tech Raptor, you’ll be sent on interplanetary missions to knock off top competitors of MegaCorp. Battle against hordes of relentless enemies. Spend the bounty you receive from their demise to expand your devastating arsenal, which can be upgraded with 14 hard core weapons!”
Raptor was mostly a keyboard-controller game but it supported mouse movement, joysticks and gamepads.
The came is divided into three sectors, giving you some new enemies and scenery in each: Bravo Sector, Tango Sector, and Outer Regions, with 9 levels in each region.
The first episode, the Bravo Sector, is largely urban/jungle, ending with a large enemy oil rig.
Tango Sector, the second campaign, includes some more variety including a chemical plant, farms, city environments and an airbase. In the final episode, Outer Regions, the player travels through moons, ice worlds and volcanic wastelands. The last two sectors also have a “night wave” where you fight at nighttime, adding to the game’s detail.
The Bravo Sector is the easiest of the three, and it allows players to save up money to weapon and shield upgrades to fight effectively in the other two campaigns later.
Ye Olde System Requirements:
- 386DX/40 Computer (486DX2/66 strongly recommended)
- 2 meg of free memory (A 4 meg machine is recommended)
- 7.1 meg of Hard Drive Space (for shareware)
- 15.8 meg of Hard Drive Space (for registered)
Updated: 12/7/07: Here’s a GREAT gameplay video.