The Eidolon

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The Eidolon
The Eidolon Coverart.png
Cover art
Developer(s) Lucasfilm Games
Publisher(s) Epyx
Designer(s) Charlie Kellner, Lance Saleme (Apple II)
Engine Custom
Platform(s) Apple II, MSX, Atari XL/XE, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum
Release date(s) 1985
Genre(s) First-person shooter, Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution floppy disk

The Eidolon was one of two games that were part of Lucasfilm Games' second wave in December 1985.[1] The other was Koronis Rift. Both took advantage of the fractal technology developed for Rescue on Fractalus!, further enhancing it. In The Eidolon, Rescue's fractal mountains were turned upside down and became the inside of a cave.

The game was supplied on a flippy disk. One side had the Atari version, the other side had the Commodore 64 version. Due to the memory requirements (64kB), the Atari version would only run on an XL/XE with 64kB or more memory.

Plot[edit]

The player discovers the Eidolon, a strange 19th-century vehicle in an abandoned laboratory. As the player investigates this device, he is accidentally transported to another dimension and is trapped in a vast, maze-like cave. The creatures in this cave, sensing the energy emanating from the Eidolon, are awakened from a long slumber, and the player soon finds that his only chance of survival lies in this mysterious vehicle and its powerful energy weapon.[2]

Gameplay[edit]

Dragon guarding the end of a level

The objective of The Eidolon is to successfully navigate through all of the game's levels, defeating the dragon guardian at the end of each level. The player navigates through each maze and collects energy orbs, which come in four different colors (red, yellow, green and blue). Along the way, various enemies wake up and attack the Eidolon, attempting to absorb its energy. Each enemy is a specific color and can only be destroyed by firing orbs of that color, or by using special abilities. Some enemies also fire orbs at the Eidolon, which can absorb them if set to the same color.

Green orbs, in addition to dealing damage to green enemies, also have the power to transform other enemies into different kinds of enemies, usually changing the enemy's color as well. Blue orbs can freeze enemies temporarily, giving the player a momentary advantage in a fight.

Each level contains three diamonds, each guarded by an enemy of a specific color. After defeating each of these enemies and collecting the diamonds, the player can proceed to the dragon that guards the exit. There are eight levels in a game. The game is over when the player has successfully defeated the final dragon or runs out of lives.

Reception[edit]

ZZAP!64 gave the game a Gold Medal award, with an overall 97% score. The summary of the reviews from their 3 reviewers was "Lucasfilm's most original release yet, containing outstanding graphics and gameplay elements. The Eidolon is both immaculate in it's conception and execution. Not to be missed."

Computer Gaming World disliked The Eidolon. The reviewer stated that it was as difficult as Koronis Rift but with no save game feature. While praising the graphics and sound, he criticized the game for "a lack of imagination. You get transported to god-knows-where ... and you basically shoot everything in sight. Is this a reasonable—let alone responsible—way to explore a new world?"[3] The magazine later described the game as "one of the worst" of 1986.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Powell, Jack. 1985.
  2. ^ The Eidolon instruction manual. Lucasfilm Games. 1985.
  3. ^ Williams, Gregg (March 1986). "Atari Playfield". Computer Gaming World. p. 30. 
  4. ^ Ardai, Charles (December 1986). "Year in Review". Computer Gaming World. p. 20. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]