Corridor 7: Alien Invasion
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|Corridor 7: Alien Invasion|
CD cover art
|Engine||Modified Wolfenstein 3D engine|
|Release date(s)||March 1994|
Corridor 7: Alien Invasion is a first-person shooter video game developed by Capstone Software and published by Intracorp and GameTek. It was widely ignored for its outdated Wolfenstein 3D engine, which was technologically surpassed by Doom at the time. A sequel, Corridor 8: Galactic Wars, was in development, but later cancelled.
The player takes control of the lone soldier who has infiltrated the alien invaded military base. Like all first-person shooters, the game is rendered from the player's perspective. Corridor 7 is not organized in episodes. Instead, there are 30 (floppy disk version) or 40 (CD version) levels to explore plus 6 more bonus levels. The gameplay slightly differs from that of most FPS games because the player, rather than finding an exit surviving the various enemies scattered around, is tasked with the duty of killing the aliens present on the level; once this objective is achieved he will be granted access to the next floor of the base through the lift by which he came at the starting point of each level. There are four skill settings available without manual input in the floppy disc version, which influences the percentage of aliens that need to be eliminated, and a fifth setting that is immediately available in the CD version which randomly scatters enemies and items throughout the game.
To help hunting down the aliens the player can activate the proximity map in one corner of the screen. This function shows a small section of the current level with all active aliens as yellow blips and can be expanded by finding the floor plan. Upon collecting this object the proximity map is extended to show the whole level and the position of every alien. On the corporal difficulty the full map is shown with no need to collect the floor plan.
Corridor 7 levels can be split into different blocks depending on their setting. The first twenty levels of Delta Base comprise a mix of offices, research labs, computer rooms and storage warehouses themed with appropriate decorations and furniture. Next comes the so-called alien converted floors: these 10 levels of Delta Base have been completely reorganized by the aliens who brought in their own devices and structures. The converted floors feature a darker light setting and the almost complete disappearance of human made equipment. A third section is made up by the six bonus levels accessible on specific levels throughout Delta Base using an alternate elevator. Such elevator is usually guarded by an alien boss. The total of these 36 levels makes up the original floppy disk release of the game. This version of Corridor 7 ends when the player destroys the Vortex on level 30. The CD version features 10 more levels: rather than destroying the Vortex, the player walks through it to reach the aliens' homeworld. The alien levels share some similarities with the alien converted floors, however the major difference is that no kill percentage is required to move on; an exit teleporter must be found instead.
There are some more differences from other Wolfenstein 3D engine based games: for instance the player is equipped with a visor capable of both infrared and night vision. Infrared is employed to detect invisible, energy draining force fields or other threats, while night vision is especially useful to better see when playing on dark levels. Ammunition and health are not scattered around the levels as objects to pick up, but rather as dispenser bays encased in the level walls. Health is also available in special rooms called "health chambers" where the player can obtain up to 100 hit points. Corridor 7 features two distinct ammo types as well: the projectiles dispensed from the bays are used to feed all human weapons while energy packs are available to power up the alien guns.
Locked areas do require a color-coded (blue or red) passcard to be opened. These cards are granted by operating special wall-sized computer terminals; since these terminals are also placed behind the color-coded doors, sometimes it is possible to lure an alien into opening such doors and, after dispatching the creature, quickly move in to get the access without having to wander around in search for another terminal.
Interestingly, some of the aliens names are common names re-arranged or backwards. (e.g. the Tenaj is Janet backwards and the Otrebor is Roberto backwards as well.)
The immense success of the multiplayer modes in Doom is probably the reason behind the addition of LAN and modem gameplay modes in the CD release of Corridor 7. The only multiplayer mode featured is deathmatch and an extra set of 8 multiplayer maps is included. Players can deathmatch impersonating either the Special Forces soldiers from the single player mode or as one of the aliens; playing as an alien results in possessing the distinctive abilities of the creature chosen (e.g. speed or endurance).
Excerpt from the Corridor 7 manual:
As a result, a dimensional gate (the Vortex) is opened in the midst of Corridor 7, allowing an army of alien invaders to reach Earth. The aliens quickly overrun the military base and took its control killing everyone. While the creatures are busy modifying the surroundings to better suit their needs, but before they can effectively cut off Delta Base from the rest of the world, a lone Special Forces soldier is able to penetrate their perimeter: his objective will be to stop the invasion and destroy the artifact.
Corridor 8: Galactic Wars, sometimes simply known as Corridor 8, was the planned sequel to Corridor 7. The game was in development and used the Build engine, though it was never finished because the developer, Capstone Software, went bankrupt along with their parent company, IntraCorp, in 1996. The game only made it to prototype stage. In 2005, Les Bird released the Corridor 8 prototype and source code to a Corridor 7 fan, who put it onto his website as a free download.
- Corridor 7: Alien Invasion video game manual
- Steven M. Schafer, Corridor 7 Official guide - Brady publishing 1994
- Capstone Software archive on lesbird.com