Fort Apocalypse

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Fort Apocalypse
Fort apocalypse fair use.jpg
Fort Apocalypse cover art (U.K. edition, distributed by U.S. Gold)
Developer(s) Steve Hales, Joe Vierra
Publisher(s) Synapse Software
Designer(s) Steve Hales
Platform(s) Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64
Release date(s) 1982
Genre(s) action
Mode(s) single player

Fort Apocalypse is a 1982 computer game for the Atari 8-bit series created by Steve Hales and distributed by Synapse Software. Joe Vierra wrote the Commodore 64 version the same year. A contemporary of the Apple II game Choplifter, it featured similarities to that game as well as the arcade game hits Scramble & Super Cobra. Fort Apocalypse is a 2-D side-scroller that requires the player to navigate an underground Kralthan prison in their Rocket Copter, destroying or avoiding enemies while rescuing the prisoners.


Some prisoners to rescue

Like Scramble & Super Cobra, Fort Apocalypse is played within a side-scrolling "cave", and the player's helicopter will be destroyed if it touches the walls. Unlike Scramble & Super Cobra, in Fort Apocalypse the player is free to move in any direction they want, and are not dragged along as the map scrolls, beyond player control. The map is divided into sections by walls that can be broken open by firing on them. Other sections of the map include moving walls and other traps.

As in Scramble & Super Cobra the player has two weapons, a gun and bombs, but only one button on the joystick. Fort Apocalypse solves this problem by having a brief time when the helicopter is turning around where it faces directly forward, at which point the button drops bombs (similar to the interface in the classic Choplifter). Enemies are similar to scramble, but add a number of twists. Missiles will track the player's movements for a short time before running out of fuel and dropping back to earth, and the map is populated by a number of enemy helicopters similar to the player's own.


Softline praised Fort Apocalypse‍ '​s "game complexity and difficulty of play—just enough to keep you coming back and progressing a little further each time".[1]

Relicensing and Source Code[edit]

In 2007 the game was relicensed to a Creative Commons license and released on IgorLabs, a site founded by Steve Hales and other game developers.

On April 23rd, 2015, Steve Hales released the assembler source code to Fort Apocalypse on GitHub for historical reasons. A Twitter account was created for the release, claiming if enough people followed a version for iOS and Android would be made.


  1. ^ Christie, Andrew (Nov–Dec 1983). "Synapse Takes Off". Softline. p. 21. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 

External links[edit]