Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold

aka: Blake Stone 3-D, Secret Agent Game
Moby ID: 786
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

Aliens of Gold, the first game in the Blake Stone series, pits the space-age British secret agent against Dr. Pyrus Goldfire; a madman bent on world domination. Using a mastery of genetic engineering and a tremendous reserve of wealth, Dr. Goldfire intends to unleash a mutant army upon the Earth.

The first chapter begins in Goldfire's S.T.A.R. Institute headquarters building. Each level has Blake fighting through guards to find an elevator keycard for the next level. Dr. Goldfire will personally appear along the way to fire shots at Blake, and his genetic creations also pose a tough challenge. Each chapter lasts 10 levels, and brings Blake closer to reaching Goldfire, only to have the mad doctor escape to a new installation in his network, and the start of a new chapter.

Blake Stone uses the Wolfenstein 3-D engine to render its levels. Basic gameplay and enemy AI is similar in most respects. Some of Blake's innovations include silent weapons that can kill guards without alerting others. Alerts are given to the player through text messages on the HUD. Health can be gained through use of wall-mounted vending machines, operated with tokens picked up off dead guards. An automap and stat-tracking are both available during gameplay. Finally, there are friendly AI characters who offer clues and powerups when you speak to them - provided Blake doesn't accidentally shoot them first!

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Credits (DOS version)

80 People (58 developers, 22 thanks) · View all

Engine Programmer
Engine Tools Programmer
Jam Productions
Contributing Artists
Music
Texture Mapping Engine
  • id Software
Cover and LINC Computer Illustration
Comic Book Illustration
Comic Book Storyline
Financing & Resources
  • Apogee Software
Special Thanks to [1]
Apogee Technical Support
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 10 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 65 ratings with 10 reviews)

Wolf3D to the left of me, DOOM to the right of me...here I am, stuck in the middle: the final words of Blake Stone.

The Good
Poor Blake Stone. How he tried. Although the game features a decent engine (an enhanced Wolf3D engine), with cool effects like light sourcing, texture mapped ceilings and floors, and switches you can actually flip, there was just a punch that it lacked...don't get me wrong! The game isn't all THAT bad! It is fun for a while to grab a few weapons and blow a few hundred alien beings to Kingdom Come, but...something's just....WRONG.

The Bad
Maybe this is what's wrong with this game: for the most part, it just tried TOO hard to be the so-called "DOOM killer", and ended up flat on its face. It tried creeping us out with eerie alien and mutant designs, but most of these "mutants" and "aliens" look more like they belong in the "Captain Action" or "Zapf Brannigan" crowds. They tried giving us ambient music with a low, slightly mysterious feel, but most of the music is rather dull and uninspired. They tried creating a cool futuristic environment with metallic walls, blood splattered organic tiles, and other touches like alien holding tubes and such, but the graphics look (at times) even worse than those of Wolf3D. They tried making smart enemies that would chase you, steal ammo, and maybe go jibaku (suicidal) on you, but most of these enemies just do one thing: stand there and let you kill them. If not that, they'll just fall into a predictable pattern of move, fire, move, fire...you get the idea. They tried making everything that would kill DOOM, but what this all did in the end was kill the game itself.

The Bottom Line
It's so sad...Blake Stone is the tragic tale of engineering a DOOM killer gone terribly wrong. The creation went mad and tried having itself sold for love and attention. But no one cared. Being stuck between Wolf3D and DOOM didn't help, either. If you wish to adopt this little freakish creation, be warned: it may one day snap. Get the cattle prod ready...

DOS · by Satoshi Kunsai (2020) · 2001

Wolfensteins future

The Good
This was my first shooter I have ever played. And I was addicted to it for weeks. Now I am say that it isn't much when you compare it to Quake, but for those ages it was a good game, the graphics were colorfull and it gots funny music. In the game you can't shoot every body, there are some professors that will help you. They can give you ammo, food tokens or hints. But be aware some of them will shoot you.

The Bad
The AI is worse, the creature are too stupid. And after awhile you get bored by the levels, it's to much of the same.

The Bottom Line
It almost hte same as Wolfenstein, but it is not better. It is just in space and you can shoot creatures instead of nazi's. And this is the perfect game for older computers, if your's to bad for games as Quake, Unreal.

DOS · by Buuks (197) · 2001

Wolfenstein 3D meets 007...but in a good way!

The Good
What I like...no...what I love about this game is that it transcends its FPS roots to give you an experience that you cannot find anywhere else! Gone is the level-grinding, bone-smashing tedium that is Doom! Return to a simpler time and enjoy the Wolfenstein 3D-like search for Dr. Goldfire to seek revenge for your family's untimely death! Yeah, it's kinda cheesy, but in a good way this time.

The Bad
What's there not to like about this game. Sure...it LOOKS cartoony compared to games like Wolf-3D and Doom, but in reality it's just as serious. It's a pity that it came out in the same year as Doom, since Doom naturally and completely overshadowed it in nearly every way.

The Bottom Line
This may look like nothing but a Wolfenstein 3D clone, but looks can be deceiving. Much more vibrant than its predecessor of sorts, the overall presentation and backgrounds are much more appealing to the general audience despite its somewhat gory overall content. Taking features like saving scientists (or in other words, the ones you don't want to shoot), playing "cat and mouse" with Dr. Goldfire, and throbbing music by Bobby Prince of Doom and Wolfenstein fame and combining that with a good overall story (you have to read it to believe it), you may find here what you couldn't find in Wolf-3D or Doom - charm! It's just that plain and simple. And if you're lucky enough to find a copy of the game that still comes packed with the comic, you're in for a special treat!

DOS · by Blast Vortex (45) · 2007

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Before it's time ? GAMEBOY COLOR! (1990) Mar 16, 2008

Trivia

Comic

The original documentation for the game included an 11 page comic book which introduced Blake and his arch-enemy, Doctor Goldstern.

Dr. Goldstern's name

The main antagonist of the game was originally named Dr. Goldstern, however, this had to be changed to Goldfire after Apogee received a complaint from a watchful customer, as Mike Maynard recounts:

Dr. Pyrus Goldfire was originally called Dr. Goldstern. One person sent an email to Apogee complaining about how the name "Goldstern" portrayed Jewish people as evil. So we had to change the name.

Were the name kept as it was, it would have served as a bilingual bonus of sorts, as Stern means 'star' in German, and Goldfire's research centre where the first episode of the game takes place is called The S.T.A.R. Institute.

This change had not prevented the developers from playing with words though: the new -fire part of the name is echoed by Goldfire's first name, Pyrus, which is obviously derived from Greek pyros, meaning 'fire'.

Screen shots from the beta of the game that show the original name of Dr. Goldfire can be found here.

Engine

While Blake Stone uses an updated version of the Wolfenstein 3D engine, it is not the significantly upgraded engine that appeared in Shadowcaster.

German index

On January 1, 1995, Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS for being extreme violent. The game group offers more information about this topic.

Release

The programmers that developed Blake Stone (JAM Productions) were friends of id Software from when both teams worked at Softdisk Publishing as employees. JAM Productions was aware DOOM was going to be released and that it would kill all sales of Blake Stone, so the game was released early, 1 month before DOOM to hopefully see some sales. The first 30 days of sales brought in a good $100,000 for the development team. Once DOOM was released all income dropped to below $10,000 a month. The company struggled to release Blake Stone: Planet Strike then later the company broke up.

Information also contributed by Jim Row, Xoleras and Zovni

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  • MobyGames ID: 786
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Omniscia.

Windows added by Cantillon. Linux added by Sciere. Macintosh added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Apogee IV, vedder, Patrick Bregger, MrFlibble, Kayburt.

Game added January 24, 2000. Last modified February 14, 2024.