There were plans to port this game to the Atari 7800. A prototype
was started but it was never completed or released.
comes from the time when Atari would not allow game developers to have credit in their games, so like many games of that era credits were hidden inside the game. Typing "author" on the title screen of the Atari 800 version would display "BY D.FOX L.CARPENTER C.KELLNER P.LANGSTON" on the bottom of the screen. The manual describes the Jaggi as coming from the Tepdi Vad Neroleil Rahcre star system, which, reversed and shifted over two letters, reads Charlie Loren David Peter. Finally, the symbols on the shirt of the alien Jaggis are the letters LC DF CK PL, the initials of the team, rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise.
According to designer David Fox
, the game was originally meant to be set in the Star Wars
universe. However, Lucasfilm Ltd. did not allow this because at the time the real money was earned with licensing fees. Also the first prototype of the game did not feature a fire button because of Fox's pacifist attitude. It was added after a meeting with George Lucas
during which he asked if the fire button is missing because of gameplay or philosophical reasoning.
As the name suggests, this game uses a fractal generator to render the mountains. The use of fractals was suggested by Loren Carpenter. Carpenter was not actually part of the game development team but had previously worked on computer graphics used in films such as Return of the Jedi.
The name of the alien menace, the Jaggi, is derived from a rivalry between the Lucasfilm Games and Lucasfilm Computer divisions. The term "jaggies" refers to the visible pixels on the edges of objects that are most prominent on low resolution displays. Since Lucasfilm Computer were working with high tech rendering computers, and millions of colors, they could blend the colors of an object and the background with anti-aliasing, making the individual pixels less noticeable and removing jaggies. Lucasfilm Games, working on the Atari 800, had only four colors at their disposal, which made anti-aliasing impossible. Therefore they named the aliens Jaggi, because that was the only way they could destroy jaggies in the game.
Rescue on Fractalus!
along with Ballblazer
were the first games developed by Lucasfilm Games.
was released to software piracy circles months before the game's release. According to David Fox the leak came from somewhere in Atari, because their near-final beta version of the game was mailed to Atari on a disk with no copy-protection.
Information also contributed by
Pat Cdr and
- ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
- March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Original Games (editorial staff choice)
- Commodore Format
- May 1991 (Issue 8) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #82 on the “150 Best Games of All Time” list