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DescriptionYou play a small green guy who needs to blow up eight towers, because their presence is somehow poisoning the water of planets which could potentially be ideal colonies. Unfortunately you need to get to the top of these towers to blow them up.
You make your way up to the top of the tower via walkways around the outside of the towers. You need to jump over, kick, and run from various enemies in your journey to the top. Most vertical movement is achieved by jumping onto moving ledges at the right moment.
The game was considered revolutionary in its time for its graphic technique. As the main character walked around the outside of the tower, the character was fixed in the middle of the screen while the tower itself rotated. This gave it a pseudo-3D effect.
Towers are linked together via a voyage through the sea in your trusty MK.7 submarine. This plays out as a side-scrolling collect-'em-up in which bonus points can be obtained.
There are no promo images for this game
- "Nebulus" -- European title
- "Kyorochan Land" -- Famicom title
- "Castelian" -- GB/NES title
Part of the Following Groups
|Dismal instructions and some random elements try but fail to scupper a classic||Atari ST||Martin Smith (67715)|
|A graphically impressive game, especially for the time it came out, but much too difficult in a frustrating way||Amiga||BdR (6309)|
|Zzap!||Commodore 64||Dec, 1987||97 out of 100||97|
|ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)||Commodore 64||Jan, 1988||943 out of 1000||94|
|The Atari Times||Atari 7800||Jul 30, 2007||90 out of 100||90|
|Atari ST User||Atari ST||Dec, 1988||9 out of 10||90|
|The Games Machine (UK)||Commodore 64||Dec, 1987||90 out of 100||90|
|Computer and Video Games (CVG)||Game Boy||Aug, 1991||88 out of 100||88|
|Retro Archives||Commodore 64||Aug 10, 2018||16.5 out of 20||82|
|Retro Archives||DOS||Aug 10, 2018||16.5 out of 20||82|
|Happy Computer||Commodore 64||Dec, 1987||79 out of 100||79|
|Commodore User||Commodore 64||Nov, 1987||7 out of 10||70|
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1001 Video GamesNebulus appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Extra levelsIn the Amiga, Atari ST and Acorn versions on the title menu screen, players can select Mission #1 or Mission #2 using the function keys. Mission #1 has the same 8 towers as the 8-bit versions, and Mission #2 is essentially a hard-mode with 8 new towers.
Atari ST portHewson gave the port to the Atari ST to an external company, but after three month there still was no progress. So John M. Phillips took over the conversion and finished it in a single month.
Canceled portsJohn Romero actually did the Apple IIe port of Tower Toppler but Epyx canceled the port along with all their other game ports when they were strapped for cash because they were pouring all their money into Atari Lynx launch title development. The Apple IIe version was in 16-color double-res and used page-flipping. Romero showed it off at the 1989 AppleFest in Kansas City.
The game was also ported to the Atari XE Game System, but never released. Copies of the cartridge surfaced in the late 90s, and it turned out that the XE version ran in black and white on PAL systems, except on poor display systems, where the black and white patterns turned into colours due to cross-talk on low-bandwidth colour signals. On any NTSC system the game would run in full color, looking pretty close to the 7800 version. Since the prototype uses the Tower Toppler name it probably was intended for US release, so the developers would be expecting the game to display in color and not black and white.
GraphicsFor some reason, the title screen is in 16 colors only in the EGA version. The Tandy/PCjr version uses the 4 color CGA title screen, however all other screens (including the game itself) are in 16 colors.
Japanese versionIn Japan, where the game was released as Kyorochan Land, the green colored frog was replaced by Kyorochan, a parrot-like cartoon bird who serves as the mascot of Moringa & Co., a confectionery company.
RemakeA remake of this game has been written to work on modern hardware/OS. See the related sites section for a download link.
- October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
- Amiga Power
- May 1991 (Issue #00) - #14 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
- Commodore Format
- April 1991 (Issue 7) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
- January 1992 (Issue 16) - Cf's all time Top Ten Essential Mega Games
- March 1994 (Issue 42) Heaven – The Path to Righteousness: 20 Essential Games
- November 1994 (Issue 50) – #35 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
- Computer and Video Games
- May 1988 (issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Winner in category Best Original Game of the Year
Related Web Sites
- Tower Toppler on the Game Boy Advance (On April 5, 2004, a programmer operating under the alias of "Foxy" released version 1.1 of a port of this game for the Game Boy Advance. )
- Tower Toppler port on Sourceforge (A free, downloadable re-implementation of the game for many modern computer platforms.)