DescriptionAttack of the Empire is 2D side-scrolling shoot'em up game, clone of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back from Atari 2600, (with control similar to Defender) but without a Star Wars licence. Story is loosely based on Empire Strikes Back - The rebels planet is under attack from evil empire.The player is pilot of space fighter ("the rebel's last hope"), he must destroy several 4-legged walking machines ("At-At" counterparts), avoid their shots and missiles, and rescue rebel soldiers - for this, he lifts them and carries to base for points.
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Developer commentaryDeveloper Nick Ayre writes:
Attack of the Empire was written using the compiler package MCODER II published by PSS and a dedicated assembler function to perform the scrolling of the mountains in the foreground. It was written in the summer of 1983, but was not completed in time to be submitted for the MCODER II competition where PSS would publish the best game developed using the compiler (the winner of this competition was the game Mrs Mopp).
An early version of Attack of the Empire was submitted to PSS for publishing and they requested that the 'Defender' elements of saving rebel ground troops be added to improve gameplay. However, towards the end of 1983 the release of titles such as Manic Miner, Ant Attack (and anything by Ultimate Play The Game) had significantly raised the bar in expectations of quality for ZX Spectrum titles, and PSS ultimately decided that Attack of the Empire would no longer be viable.
CHIBUR was a minor publisher based in Leicester which made contact with amateur game developers through the city centre computer shops who became aware of the Attack of the Empire in 1984 and was very keen to publish it (having a lot more confidence in the title than the developer considering the quality of the other ZX Spectrum titles available at this time!)
I don't know how many copies of Attack of the Empire were duplicated, but I received 1 as a memento and 5 were stocked by an independent computer shop in Leicester called Dimension Computers. I received a grand total of £5 in royalties for the copies sent to retail and this was the end of my professional game development career(!)