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Cult Video Game Essentials: Transformers – The Battle to Save the Earth (1986)

In 1986 the Transfomers movement was in full swing and Activision did not want to be left behind! They soon developed their own action role-playing game in 1986: The Transformers The Computer Game Vol. 1: The Battle to Save the Earth. This game proved to be a success for them and led to Activision publishing Transformers games for the decades that followed.

The game involved players being shown a map with nine key sites that the Decepticons plan to attack. Your objective in the game was to move an Autobot to a key site so that they can battle with the incoming Decepticon:

Once the Autobot reaches the location, the player switches to first-person view to shoot down the Decepticons. Your Autobot has to stop the Decepticon stealing valuable resources, this in turn stops the Decepticons from building their ultimate weapon.

When you hot the middle point of the game you will discover that the Decepticons have stolen a mechanical Tyrannosaurus from Dinosaur Park and combine it with a stolen nuclear rod. This robot Tyrannosaurus is sent by the Decepticons towards the shuttle base.

You must stop the robot Tyrannosaurus from destroying the space shuttle in the complex.

After destroying the space shuttle, the Decpticons attempt to steal the cosmic dust that is left behind, as well as a laser from a research facility. The Decepticons then move onto the zoo to use the enhanced laser on the hippo exhibit to make it into a giant hippo, and it is sent to the pipe junction. Once the hippo arrives at the pipe junction it destroys it, and the game ends.

Points are accumulated by the Autobots by destroying the Decepticons as they attempt to steal resources, while Decepticons gain points for successfully stealing resources. Whichever side, Autobots or Decepticons, have the highest resource points at the end of the game, wins. A medal is awarded to the player depending on their performance.

The game was released in two versions; floppy disk and cassette.

The floppy disk version features an introductory sequence describing the back story of the Transformers with sampled speech narration and loads the “transformation” animations from disk in game.

transformers-battle-to-save-the-earth-commodore-64-media

The cassette version however omits the introductory sequence and gives the player the option to choose which of the Transformer characters’ animations should be shown during gameplay – the transformation sequence for this character alone will be shown and all other characters’ map screen icons merely change colour to indicate robot or vehicle mode. The cassette version also crashes when the player reaches a certain point in the game (the “Pipeline Junction”) meaning the game in not completable on this format.

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Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

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