I was delighted, then, when Firebird released, with surprisingly little fanfare, an isometric 3D adventure on the C64 called Chimera. Set in the future, the game saw the people of Earth thrown into panic when an undoubtedly hostile alien craft was found to be orbiting the planet. It had to be stopped, and the only way to do that was by beaming you onboard in a robotic space suit, with the aim of finding a way to destroy the ship from within.
|This is how it started.|
Author Shahid Ahmad was responsible for a number of other games, including the C64 port of Jet Set Willy... which would be very interesting to discuss. He also wrote the Spectrum and Amstrad versions of Chimera... the latter of those being done in just a week, with no prior experience of the machine! Remarkable stuff. There were versions on other platforms, too.
|And this is how it looks now! Which do you prefer?|
Two years later, and it's finished. Or, at least, the first playable version has been released. You can download it on Shahid's blog page for either PC or Mac. It's pretty faithful to the original, and quite basic as games go these days, but it's fun to potter around in that world again. It has an appropriately spooky opening, with some random atmospheric sounds playing, and the famous speech makes a return. Other than that, not much has changed... yet. You still eat bread and drink tea and die because of radiators and try and make missiles to blow up the ship.
|Hurray, I've created a missile! Hang on... where the hell am I?|
Tell you what, the first one of my readers to finish Chimera 2010 gets a free Steam game from me, from my stockpile of gifts. How can you refuse?