Raptor: Call of the Shadows

aka: Mercenary 2029, Raptor: Call of the Shadows - 2010 Edition, Raptor: Call of the Shadows - 2015 Edition
DOS Specs [ all ]
Buy on DOS
Buy on Linux
Buy on Macintosh
Buy on Windows

Description official descriptions

Raptor is a vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up. It features smooth scrolling VGA graphics, a variety of enemies on ground, air and sea, and an original soundtrack.

After completing each level you have the option of upgrading your ship with a powerful arsenal of weapons and goodies. Some weapons are effective on only ground or air targets, while some are on both. There are some really advanced weapons like the auto-track mini-gun which can effectively destroy almost any kind of targets without aiming the ship.

Dying in shoot'em ups can be annoying, especially if you have to start all over the beginning. However, in Raptor you can save your game between each level. If you have enough credit you can even buy multiple shields for further protection.

The 2010 edition of Raptor: Call of the Shadows includes improved graphics and native support for higher resolutions (640x400, 960x600 and 1280x800). Standard graphics are also available.

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Credits (DOS version)

11 People (10 developers, 1 thanks)

Music / Sound Programming
Level / Scenario Design
Graphics / Artwork
Apogee Theme
Cover Illustration
Manual Design
Financing & Resources
  • Apogee Software
Special Thanks to
  • The Apogee Beta Testers



Average score: 76% (based on 14 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 106 ratings with 11 reviews)

Par for the course in a stale genre

The Good
Fast, smooth, and polished. Mindless fun.

The Bad
The pattern-oriented vertically scrolling shooter became very stale between 1983 and 1994. Raptor doesn't add anything new or interesting to this type of game. In fact, if you go back to the genre-defining Xevious from over ten years earlier, you'll find that it is more sophisticated than Raptor in many ways.

The Bottom Line
A vertically scrolling shooter with well-done VGA graphics. If you liked Raiden, you'll like Raptor.

DOS · by James Hague (10) · 2000

Amazing how some old games are still better than new ones.....

The Good
With the graphics of today, everyone has forgotten about old games. No one ever touches their Bio Menace, or Duke3D CD anymore. Instead they reach for Navy Seals and Counter-Strike. Raptor: Call for the shadows, I say, is better than a lot of games out today.

The graphics of this game are great (compared in its time). The ships look real, and you will love getting to the big explosion when you destroy a boss ship. The weapons all look good, so you wont be bored of them after a while.

The sound is also great, the music will keep you playing, and the sound effects also seem to be carefully made to sound very realistic.

There are mass arrays of weapons, each that must be bought, which is also another good aspect of this game. Players will love having to shoot and shoot to get more things to shoot with.

The Bad
The only thing wrong with this game is its repetitiveness. Throughout the game, you basically do the same old things over and over. They could have added special missions, like say you had to fly a ship into a certain building, but this is a minor problem.

The Bottom Line
This game is a great idea. And players should look for it, and get to play the greatest game (one of them) ever. I give RCOTS a 5/5 :)

Windows · by ThE oNe (180) · 2002

Wham and splatter

The Good
A description of Raptor is pointless, if you haven't played it you've probably played a million games like it. The vertical shooter is a genre that goes in and out of fashion (though mostly out), but the fundamental gameplay mechanics have gone unchanged from the classics like Xevious to modern-day releases like Ikaruga. Raptor is an evolutionary link in a series of games that are almost identical to one another. With that said, it's a very fun time-waster and a great example of the genre.

Planes fly down from the top of the screen and you have to shoot the hell out of them. In lieu of points you collect money for your kills. As the levels go by you have to deal with tougher, smarter and more numerous baddies and eventually a boss. This is all set to a senselessly bombastic soundtrack that you can hardly hear over near-constant explosions and gunfire.

It is a shmup in every good and bad sense of the word. Raptor isn't quite as intense as some of its contemporaries (movement speed of the planes is actually rather slow ), but it's a joystick-destroyer of a game nonetheless. And instead of being a 100% knockoff there are actually one or two nods towards creativity that warrant a mention.

I mentioned earlier you receive money for kills. In between levels (at the main console) you can buy and outfit weapons and armor for your plane. Buying and selling stuff gives the game a cool "Mercenary" flavor, rather then having the game randomly dole out weapon upgrades during the game like most other vertical shooters do. Repairs cost money as well, so you'll invariably be torn between wanting that shiny new Autotrak Minigun and the need for fix your damaged plane. The game isn't very generous with money so the stakes are pretty high. You can carry multiple weapons at once and equip them at your leisure (although the controls for this are somewhat awkward.)

On easier difficulties the game is fast albeit measured. On the harder levels it becomes so frantic and desperate you'll clutch at any advantage you can get against the relentless waves of enemies. Strangely, the most useful advantages is what would outwardly appear to be mere decoration. When an enemy arrives from the top of the screen, its shadow will appear a small amount of time before the enemy itself. This means you have a critical quarter-second or so to prepare for whatever's coming at you. If you see a shadow arriving that takes up more than half the screen, you're facing a boss. Er...yeah. A boss.

As you'd expect for one of Cygnus Studio's games the production values are excellent. You get treated to a stunning pre-rendered animation that's almost as good as the FMV characterised by the CD revolution. The graphics are top-notch. Explosions are bright, zany and colorful, and while the enemy planes aren't very detailed (what would be the point? They're on the screen for about one or two seconds each) this deficiency is more than made up for by the detailed and elaborate locations you play in.

Most vertical shooters take place in deserts, glaciers, or other empty environments, but in Raptor you fly across bustling cities complete with buildings, cars, bridges, oil refineries, gas stations, etc all of which can be blown up for quick cash. But while the backgrounds are extremely detailed, they aren't so eye-catching as to take your focus off the foreground, something many shmups forget about. A nice touch is how buildings blow up one piece at a time, or burn slowly and are then destroyed. This is really effective and evokes an atmosphere of pure mayhem.

The Bad
Like most games of its type Raptor has little replay value. Once you complete it once or twice and buy all the weapons and upgrades there's nothing left to do. Many shooters try to entice you into playing further with unlockables and bonus features, but there's none of those here. Seriously, is a 2-P mode too much to ask?

Being able to buy and sell weapons is cool, but it's not exploited as well as it could have been. Weapons are of the "strong, stronger, strongest" category, so your choice in buying weapons is not dictated by strategy but rather by your budget. Once you max yourself out and get the strongest weapon in the game you'll never need to touch any of the other ones, which is a shame.

And since it's a shmup (perhaps the lowest common denominator of video gaming) the standard "if-you-don't-like-the-genre-don't-play-this" disclaimer applies.

The Bottom Line
Whether you could call Raptor a classic is debatable, but it's a cool game with solid gameplay and (for its time) great graphics. Raptor is obsolete these days, but if you are into classic gaming and aren't one of the "playing 2D shooters are beneath my dignity" crowd I urge you to give it a try.

DOS · by Maw (833) · 2007

[ View all 11 player reviews ]


Origin of the game's name

The name "Raptor" came from the Cygnus guys going to see the original Jurassic Park movie with the id guys and thinking that "Raptor" made a better game name then "Mercenary" (working title).

Shareware version

In the shareware version (which contains 1/3 of the game), you can play indefinitely, if you managed to survive the final boss level. You are simply sent back to level 1, with your score intact!


  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Shareware Game in 1994

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by IJan.

Macintosh added by Sciere. iPhone added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: Kate Jones, Xantheous, Kasey Chang, Apogee IV, B.L. Stryker, lights out party, Patrick Bregger, Cavalary.

Game added December 2nd, 1999. Last modified September 19th, 2023.