Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold

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Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold
Blake Stone Aliens of Gold cover.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s) JAM Productions
Publisher(s) Apogee Software
Engine Enhanced Wolfenstein 3D engine
Platform(s) DOS
Release date(s) December 3, 1993
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Floppy disks

Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold is a first-person shooter computer game created by JAM Productions and published by Apogee Software. It uses the Wolfenstein 3D game engine to render graphics in first person, while adding many features, such as floor and ceiling textures. The shareware version of the game was released December 3, 1993. The registered version of Blake Stone shipped with a comic book, called a "Blake Stone Adventure". To date it is the only title in the company's product line to do so. In 1994, a sequel called Blake Stone: Planet Strike was released, which continues where Aliens of Gold leaves off.

Plot[edit]

The story is set in the year 2140. Robert Wills Stone III (a.k.a. Blake Stone) is an agent of the British Intelligence, recruited after a highly successful career in the British Royal Navy.

His first major case is to investigate and eliminate the threat of Dr. Pyrus Goldfire, a brilliant scientist in the field of genetics and biology, known for his outright disrespect of professional ethics. Backed by his own organisation, STAR, Dr. Goldfire plans to conquer Earth and enslave humanity using an army of specially trained human conscripts, modified alien species, and a host of genetically-engineered mutants. Agent Stone is sent on a mission to knock out six crucial STAR installations and destroy Goldfire's army before it can assault the Earth.

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot.

The gameplay of Aliens of Gold is very similar to Wolfenstein 3D. Playable areas are single-leveled, with orthogonal walls and textured floors and ceilings. Level features include: locked doors which can be opened by four colors of access cards (gold, green, yellow and blue) plus red access cards to enter new floors, one-way doors, secret rooms accessible through pushable wall blocks, and teleports that instantly take the player into another location within the level (or in one instance to the episode's secret level). Five weapons are available.

Dr. Goldfire appears periodically in certain sections and will attack Stone. After being hit a few times, he activates a teleporter on his watch and escapes. Conscript type enemies have the ability to pick up ammunition when they run out.

There are multiple food dispensers in each level, at which the player can spend tokens to purchase food that recharges Stone's health. There are also non-hostile 'informant' scientists who provide information, ammunition, and tokens when spoken to. Informants and hostile scientists look exactly the same, and can only be told apart when Stone speaks to them or begins firing in their direction.

In every level the player can boost points for score by destroying all enemies, collecting all points and keeping all informants alive which increases the three respective statuses. Total Points is affected by both the enemies destroyed and the treasure collected. The all informants alive bonus can only be obtained if all informants survive after the first two bonuses are obtained. Floor rating is affected by the other three statuses. Mission rating is affected by the overall statuses from floors 1 to 9. Killing informants decreases both Floor and Mission Rating.

Level structure[edit]

The game consists of six episodes, each with 11 levels, nine regular and two secret. A main elevator goes through levels 1 through 10 and is the only means of moving between the levels. The goal of each level from 1 through 8 is to secure a red keycard and use it to unlock the next floor. The elimination of all enemies and the collection of all treasure on the current floor are optional objectives which provide bonuses upon completion. ("Plasma alien" enemies, which spawn repeatedly from electrical outlets, do not count towards the kill ratio.) Blake Stone can take the elevator back down to previous levels to find missed items or kill any remaining enemies.

On level 9 of each episode, defeating Dr. Goldfire (who is stronger at that point than normal) forces him to drop a gold keycard. The key is used to unlock the way to the boss, which holds another gold keycard for the level's exit - the episode's end. Each episode features two secret levels. One of them, floor 0, can be accessed through a teleport hidden somewhere within the same episode. The other is floor 10, directly accessible through the main elevator. A red keycard is required to enter, and is usually hidden on floor 9. Secret levels do not have special objectives; their only purpose is to boost the player's score.

Sales[edit]

id Software released Doom one week after Apogee released Blake Stone.[1] Doom quickly eclipsed Blake Stone, which sold poorly after initial success.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]