Author Topic: A Crush of Lucifer - Lost Prototype Game for the Vectrex  (Read 74 times)

Online TrekMD

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A Crush of Lucifer - Lost Prototype Game for the Vectrex
« on: November 15, 2020, 16:29:03 PM »
This was posted on YouTube by Shishkaboss.


What you are seeing is A Crush of Lucifer- a prototype game for the Vectrex video game console that has been completely lost and unknown throughout the entire community for nearly the past four decades. After finding this prototype, I combed all over retro gaming forums and anywhere else related on the internet looking for any information about this game, but I wasn't able to find a single thing. After making my initial posts revealing the game to the community on Facebook and Reddit, no one came forward with any prior knowledge of this game so by all means my posts have been the first this game has ever been seen by the public.

As for where this game comes from: over the past few years I have been piece by piece purchasing the Vectrex collection off of a person whom I met in my local area, this person had originally worked for Milton Bradley during the 1980s when they bought GCE- the company that the Vectrex originates from. My contact told me that this prototype was among an assortment of loose materials that came over to MB's offices during the transition and wound up unclaimed in his possession at some point. From what my contact has told me and referencing the copyright date on the game's title screen, it appears this game was programmed at GCE before MB bought the company (the merger took place in early 1983, however the date on the title screen shows 1982).


As for the gameplay, it is very reminiscent of the second stage of the Atari Star Wars vector arcade game where you fly above the surface of a planet ("Death Star") and shoot at different targets scattered across the surface. My video here only shows the first section where your targets are passive vertical lines or "towers", similar to Scramble after clearing a section of these enemies they then change to large "lollipop" shapes that eject their heads into space when the stalks are shot, followed by a field of indestructible boxes that serve to make up an obstacle course (and that's as far as I've been able to make it in the game). From what I can tell, only button 4 on the Vectrex controller is used during gameplay for firing your weapon, and the joystick controls are strafe left, strafe right, speed up, and speed down for left, right, up, and down respectively.


The game is playable, however it does feel rather incomplete. The scrolling effect of the playing field is rather choppy compared to similar effects in other games I have seen (possibly due to the large number of vectors needed to create the effect, however it could also be a lack of optimisation as well). Collision detection is very inconsistent; you can be flying along well away from any of the enemy targets and randomly loose a life. The middle icons in the HUD seem to be a coordinate system somewhat similar to the compass in the Vectrex game Dark Tower (with the arrow pointing you to zero and the digits counting the number of spaces away from that point), however I haven't noticed any effect on gameplay based on your position relative to zero. I have not been able to determine any function of the two bars and dots that make up the upper right section of the HUD, they seem to remain the same no matter what happens during gameplay. The game appears to use some assets from the Vectrex game Minestorm (the Asteroids-clone that is built into the console) as placeholders, namely most of the sound effects and the ship icon used for your life counter. There is also no title screen music unlike many other games in the console's library.
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline zapiy

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Re: A Crush of Lucifer - Lost Prototype Game for the Vectrex
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 22:22:21 PM »
This is bloody awesome find..
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Online TrekMD

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Re: A Crush of Lucifer - Lost Prototype Game for the Vectrex
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2020, 02:32:52 AM »
It sure is!  There is more information on it in FB, apparently.
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


 

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