Cosmic Crusader

Moby ID: 66
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Description official descriptions

Cosmic Crusader is to Galaxian as Space Strike (by the same programmer) was to Space Invaders. An alien space fleet has discovered the location of Earth, and - being an alien space fleet - immediately sets out on the attack. The only thing standing between the enemy and total Terran termination is you - the player, with your puny gunship that's stuck to the bottom of the screen and can only move left and right.

Each stage pits you against a contingent of alien ships hovering menacingly above you. Occasionally, an enemy will break formation and go out on a sortie, diving towards you while shooting - only to re-emerge at the top of the screen. The different ship types have different offensive maneuvers. Shooting them in the midst of a dive scores more points than picking them off in formation; some will bring their buddies along and go out in triads, which net you a special bonus if destroyed in the right order. Another bonus is awarded for eliminating the command ship that comes along once per level, shoots at you and runs off.

You can temporarily protect yourself by activating your shields (at the cost of your ability to fire) - knock down the occasional floating disc to get an extra one. You start with three ships, and gain a new one for every 2000 points scored. 9 difficulty levels are available.

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Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 3 reviews)

Man this was fun back in its day...

The Good
I remember playing this when I was about 6 or 7 years old on my dad's XT. I was awesome at this game, once reaching level 200-something (the low 200s) after playing for over 4 hours non-stop. When I lost my last life I immediately went to sleep! I wouldn't exactly call this a great game, but it was definitely fun, and if I ever get a working XT or similar computer I'll play it again (I've got over 200 games made in the early to mid 80s).

The Bad
This game literally takes forever to finish. I played to level 200 and it wasn't done, and since there are no saves, this takes a long time!

The Bottom Line
Cosmic Crusader is similar to Galaxian, but adds the twist of having a temporary shield. It's best to save the shields for later levels because they get REALLY hard. Then again, once you're past level 50 they're ALL hard.

PC Booter · by tritium4ever (37) · 2023

Challenging arcade from the beginnings of PC era

The Good
Cosmic Crusader is Galaxian clone for PC. Despite being "just" a clone, it came to PC one year earlier than official Galaxian PC port, so for PC players, Cosmic Crusader was sooner on their platform.

And hey, it's a very good clone. I say clone as it's not just direct copy. E.g. CC adds shield (which is not present in Galaxian) which is very important to save your lives in first waves (in later waves, attacking ships which just break your shield will be more prevalent).

From technical perspective, the game is using HW of those time very well, graphics is nice (for CGA), sound is good (short sounds, so no annoying beeps from PC speaker) and input is responsive, so you have everything needed for good arcading.

The Bad
One minor flaw is that you have to setup keyboard on every run anew. However, it was quite common in those times, so really hard to object.

Another flaw is that there's no "reset game" possibility (at least I not found any). Once you start your game badly, you have to spend your lives to start another new game. Can be quite annoying.

But worst for me is that the game does not save high-score table between runs. Those arcade games were MOSTLY about placing you in high-score table as high as possible. You can just workaround by remembering what's your best record, but meh, seeing your name on first place in table, especially when you play with your friend/brother/sister/son etc.. it's way way better. This is the only reason why I give it 4/5 and not 5/5. But again, this was common in first arcade games on PC, so I can't bash the game for missing feature, which was missing very commonly.

The Bottom Line
Very good arcade game from the year when arcade games (and especially good arcade games) on PC were very few and far between.

PC Booter · by Vladimir Dienes · 2023

Clean, classic arcade shooter fun.

The Good
Borrowing elements from Phoenix and Galaxian, Cosmic Crusader is an entertaining arcade shooter. We've been through it all before, but CC is a fun romp that plays well. The game has elements that are identical to Galaxian, but with the addition of a shield that can help out in tight spots.

The Bad
Nothing. It's a fun game.

The Bottom Line
If you want a classic arcade shooter for the PC and have an old machine lying around, boot up Cosmic Crusader.

PC Booter · by Trixter (8962) · 1999

Trivia

Technology

Cosmic Crusader (and its parent game Galaxian) get away with relatively high framerates on the original 4.77MHz PC because they don't use the entire screen for a playfield; the right fifth of the screen (64 pixels) is unused. Another side-effect of shortening the playfield to a width of 256 pixels is the optimization of game calculations, stemming from the fact that horizontal coordinates fit in a single byte instead of two.

Unofficial port

There is an unofficial DOS port of the game.

Information also contributed by Nélio

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 1, 1999. Last modified August 13, 2023.