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In Driller, the Ketars attempted to blow up the moon Mitral, but you stopped them. Now, they have Energy Collection Devices collectively known as ECDs, and hope to stock them up to use towards the Zephyr One device, and direct its energy at the planet Evath, resulting in a catastrophic radiation overload.

Your mission is to beam onto their base on the moon Tricuspid, and destroy the ECDs. Destroying one will buy you more of your limited time. The problem is, many are connected to at least 2 others, and those can immediately regenerate, so you must tackle them in an order in which those with only 1 connection are attacked first.

You are inside a space suit, propelled by a Jet Pack with limited fuel, and possess lasers and a shield. Shield energy is limited, but can be recharged through pentagons and rods. In a world viewed through the the Freescape 3D system, you roam the verdant planet of trees, buildings and underground tunnels.

Gameplay in Dark Side has more action than its predecessor, Driller. The Freescape world has a third dimension - due to the jetpack you can leave the ground and look down on the view. You can also rotate the angle, change the length of your steps, make quick U-turns, and look up or down. The jetpack uses energy at a fast rate, so use this feature sparingly. You must avoid the security turrets called Plexors, which shoot lasers and weaken your shield, and deflector devices, which can beam you into prison.


Dark Side Commodore 64 Loading/title screen
Dark Side DOS Main menu (EGA)
Dark Side ZX Spectrum Control settings
Dark Side Atari ST Leaving the ground

Promo Images

Dark Side Magazine Advertisement Part 1
Dark Side Concept Art
Dark Side Magazine Advertisement Part 2
Dark Side Concept Art Scan of a photo of a print of the artwork.

Alternate Titles

  • "Dark Side featuring Freescape" -- Tag-lined title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

JOIN THE DARK SIDE! Commodore 64 Wurtzly (1138)

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Jul, 1988 10 out of 10 100
The Games Machine (UK) Amstrad CPC Jul, 1988 93 out of 100 93
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Amstrad CPC Aug, 1988 915 out of 1000 92
Sinclair User ZX Spectrum Jul, 1988 90 out of 100 90
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Commodore 64 Sep, 1988 904 out of 1000 90
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Jun, 1989 86 out of 100 86
Power Play Atari ST Jun, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Amiga User International Amiga Aug, 1989 8 out of 10 80
The One Amiga Jun, 1989 70 out of 100 70
Amiga Computing Amiga Aug, 1989 64 out of 100 64


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Driller - a prequel to Dark Side - was basically a technical demo showcasing the Freescape system but offering very little in the way of gameplay. Dark Side gained more depth and was enhanced with new features. Developers were also focused on engine optimisations - they created new procedures on 16-bit machines that were ported back to 8-bit versions what resulted in small speed increase (around 5%).


  • The deadly laser gun "Zephyr One" was named after Incentive's Berkshire office address.
  • Sphinx figure that could be stumbled into during the terrain exploration served no real purpose but was just a case of the developers saying "look at some of the cool stuff we can do


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • ST Format
    • January 1990 (issue #06) - Included in the list 50 Games of the Year

Contributed to by Martin Smith (76472) and BdR (7030)