User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Rescue on Fractalus!

MobyRank MobyScore
Atari 5200
...
2.7
Amstrad CPC
...
2.0
Atari 8-bit
...
4.1

Trivia

Cancelled ports

There were plans to port this game to the Atari 7800. A prototype was started but it was never completed or released.

Credits

Rescue 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.

Development

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.

Graphics

As the name suggests, this game uses a fractal generator to render the mountains.

Jaggis

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.

Lucasfilm

Rescue on Fractalus! along with Ballblazer were the first games developed by Lucasfilm Games.

Piracy

Rescue 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.

Awards

  • ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
    • March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Original Games (editorial staff choice)
  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #82 on the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
Information also contributed by LepricahnsGold, Pat Cdr and PCGamer77

Contributed by Kasey Chang (3653) on Jul 22, 2004. [revised by : Patrick Bregger (115638), Jo ST (15017) and Lain Crowley (5405)]. -- edit trivia