Captain Forever is a space shoot-em-up set in the vector-based void of classic '80s arcade games in space settings. The player pilots a small red command module, the Nemesis, and from this mobile base must construct a spaceship consisting of girders, boosters and lasers. While some modules are provided at the start, rival vessels are the only source of further components. These are destructible, and are only released intact upon destruction of a ship's attached command module. Enemies begin at a low level, but increase in power as the player destroys higher level ships. The objective is to reach the highest Law rating by destroying the most powerful enemies, but the game continues indefinitely until the player's command module is destroyed.
Once the player (or a rival) destroys another vessel's command module, any surviving components are detached and float in empty space. From there, they may be dragged with the mouse and orthogonally welded onto the player's ship. Each component has a class, denoted by the old military alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc.). The higher the class, the greater the power, mass and hit points of the component.
Movement is similar to Asteroids, and takes into account the inertia, mass distribution and thrust power of a ship's components, so asymmetric designs are unwieldy without careful planning, heavy designs without a sufficient number of boosters are very slow, etc. Lasers fire either straight or in a prismatic V, and are the only way to destroy enemy command modules. Lasers also will destroy other modules, whether they are attached to a ship or floating in space. Any attached components that lose their connection to a ship's command module will also be destroyed.
The player's ship design may at any time be exported and shared via hyperlink. Anyone using the link will start with the exact vessel exported. Creative design is encouraged due to the strategic problems posed by the mechanics: the player must learn to target enemy command modules without destroying their useful attached components. Building takes place in real-time, right in the middle of the action. Only when the Law level has been increased does the game provide the player a short breather from enemy harassment.
Credits (Browser version)
1001 Video Games
Captain Forever appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Related Sites +
official game website
- MobyGames ID: 44146
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by J. P. Gray.
Additional contributors: Sciere, FatherJack.
Game added December 19th, 2009. Last modified March 27th, 2023.