(standing for Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation) is a video game written by John Van Ryzin and published by Activision for the Atari 2600 in March 1984 It was ported to the Apple II, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit family, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, and later the Sega SG-1000.
The player uses a helicopter backpack and other tools to rescue victims trapped deep in a mine. The mine is made up of multiple screens using a flip screen style.Gameplay:
The player assumes control of Roderick Hero (sometimes styled as "R. Hero"), a one-man rescue team. Miners working in Mount Leone are trapped, and it's up to Roderick to reach them.
The player is equipped with a backpack-mounted helicopter unit, which allows him to hover and fly, along with a helmet-mounted laser and a limited supply of dynamite. Each level consists of a maze of mine shafts that Roderick must safely navigate in order to reach the miner trapped at the bottom. The backpack has a limited amount of power, so the player must reach the miner before the power supply is exhausted.
Some mine shafts are blocked by cave-ins, which require dynamite to clear, but Roderick must not stand too close when the dynamite explodes. The helmet laser can also destroy cave-ins, but it does so much more slowly than dynamite. In later levels, the player must contend with magma, which, like cave-ins, can be dynamited to clear a path, but like the mine creatures, is lethal when touched. Later levels also feature solid walls of magma, with openings that alternate between open and closed. Skillful navigation is required to fly through the opening without touching the magma.
Some deep mines are flooded, forcing players to hover safely above the water. Later levels even feature monsters striking out from below the water.
Some mine sections are illuminated by lanterns. If the lantern is somehow destroyed, the layout of that section becomes invisible; exploding dynamite will light up the mine for a very short time.
The mine shafts are populated by spiders, bats and other unknown creatures that are deadly to the touch; these creatures can be destroyed using the laser, or will also be destroyed if they are close to exploding dynamite.
Points are scored for each cave-in cleared and each creature destroyed. When the player reaches the miner, points are awarded for the rescue, along with the amount of power remaining in the backpack and for each remaining stick of dynamite. Extra lives are awarded for every 20,000 points scored.