RESCUE ON FRACTALUS by Lucasfilm Games
By Mark Nobes
Rescue On Fractalus! was originally released by Lucasfilm Games for the Atari 8-bit computers and the 5200 console. It was later ported to other computers such as the Apple II, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, C64 and Tandy Color Computer 3.
The game uses fractal technology (hence the name Fractalus) to create the rocky landscape.
The aim of the game is to land your Valkyrie spacecraft and pick-up the Ethercorps pilots, avoiding the aliens. The craft needs to be landed within walking distance of the pilot. However, the player needs to beware! The Jaggi aliens disguise themselves as distressed human pilots and need to be avoided at all costs - this idea came from George Lucas himself. You eventually learn to look out for the alien's green head, as he isn't wearing a helmet, but without knowing this it is a nervous wait as a player to see whether you have picked-up a Jaggi or Human. If you hear a tapping noise then you know you have a human waiting to board your craft, otherwise you must prepare yourself to see the scary alien jump in front of your screen - more about that in a moment!
The Jaggi Alien (Atari 800XL version)
Atari 8 Bit Version
COMMODORE 64 VERSION
This video (in the playlist at the top of the screen) is particularly good as it features narration by the uploader which explains exactly what's going on.
The C64 version appears to be less smooth than the Atari version but is still an excellent game, nonetheless, and the sound effects are almost identical. The reviews were mixed, with Zzap!64 awarding it an impressive rating of 91%, although Commodore User described it as "nothing special"
Screenshot from the C64 version
ZX Spectrum Version
Apple II Version
This full page advert for the game is from Crash magazine (March 1986)