Saboteur (1985 video game)
Steve Ruddy (C64)
The player is set in the role of an anonymous ninja, tasked with getting into a warehouse to steal a floppy disk which has the names of rebel leaders on it. The player must make his way through the complex of rooms (consisting of the warehouse, dark underground tunnels and the secret command centre) to find the disk and escape. The player has an energy bar which is depleted by falling too far, crouching under water or being attacked - if the energy bar is completely depleted or if time runs out then it is game over. It can be replenished by standing still and resting if he finds a safe area.
The saboteur can crouch, climb ladders, run and attack enemies by punching and drop-kicking them. He begins with a single shuriken as a weapon and can also utilise improvised weapons (such as bricks and pieces of pipe) found in rubbish piles and boxes around the warehouse. The warehouse contains many security systems the player will need to defeat or avoid. These include guards (who can use hand to hand combat and guns) who stand still and will chase and attack the player if they see him or if he makes too much sound. The guards are assisted by guard dogs and automatic gun emplacements.
Saboteur! also has a difficulty level selection that can be chosen before a game begins. There are several of these and they determine how many guards are on watch, how much time saboteur will have to complete his mission and how easy the route to the disk and helicopter will be (i.e. how many security doors on the way are locked and will need to be opened in some way).
Saboteur! was based on routines and ideas from Clive Townsend's Death Pit, a game that was cancelled before development on Saboteur started. The prototype for Death Pit has been recovered and made available at World of Spectrum.
CRASH noted the sound, and the range of movements available, and concluded it is "one of the better releases on the Spectrum this year". C+VG said it was "a winner". The game was also voted number 55 in the Your Sinclair Official Top 100 Games of All Time.
The game was followed by Saboteur II: Avenging Angel in 1987.
Several developers worked on a third game (names such as Saboteur 3, Sabot3ur and Saboteur 3D), none of which were ever released.
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