The Space Harrier Corps was a powerful and relentless arm of Intergalactic Law Enforcement; a team of highly trained soldiers who patrolled the universe, restoring peace using extreme force where necessary. Universal peace was eventually attained however, and the obsolete Space Harrier Corps was disbanded and soon forgotten.
Years passed, and peace reigned - until without warning, a race of aliens appeared from another dimension and took control of a small world at the edge of the universe. Not wishing this 'disease' to spread, the Intergalactic Federation reformed the Space Harrier Corps and sent them to dispose of the alien threat. But the years of inactivity made the soldiers 'soft' - they were no longer suited to the speed and horrors of battle and were quickly wiped out ... leaving a sole survivor to face the alien onslaught.
You take control of the last Space Harrier, and armed only with a powerful laser you must traverse the planet, cleansing its cities of anything remotely hostile. The action is presented from the first person perspective, as viewed from behind your on-screen alter ego.
Moot is the first city - its landscape consists of trees, bushes and asteroids, and alien formations sweep in and out of the screen, firing missiles. Colliding with a moving object kills you - although no lives are lost on this level as it is played against a clock which stops if you die. When the outskirts of the city are reached, a huge dragon appears. To reclaim Moot and progress to the next city, the dragon must be shot in the head until it is destroyed.
Eleven more occupied cities lie ahead of you ... Geeza'a landscape is littered with stone columns which cannot be destroyed - avoid them. Large missile-spitting rock heads appear at regular intervals with a ring of five rock heads concluding the level. Amar is an obstacle course, containing static pillars and flying geometric shapes. Ceiciel is a herbaceous landscape packed with plants, mushrooms and rampant mutant butterflies that come on the attack. This city is minded by a giant robot. Ida is cluttered with stone termite mounds and defended by robots. Defeat of the snaky alien here, lands you in Revi. This resembles Moot and is guarded by a ring of five mushrooms. Next on the trail are Minea, Drail, Asute, Vicel, Nark and finally Absymbel. By the time you have disposed of the large two headed dragon here, the alien horde has regrouped at its time to fly back to Moot to start all over again.
The arcade version of Space Harrier still is a fantastic game but its enjoyment is based on the beautiful graphics, speech, stereo sound and hydraulics. Sadly all these items have been taken away with the C64 version and all that is left is a very basic shoot-em up. The music is fair, but the sound effects are really dire - hitting something which can't be destroyed sounds like a flock of geese honking! The 3D graphics are fast, but jerky and the very well defined Space Harrier sprite is its only saving grace. The overall feel is claustrophobic and the poor collision detection can be frustrating. There are much better shoot-em ups for the Commodore, but this was a very difficult arcade game to convert.
|GRAPHICS - 5/10|
|Some clear definition, but jerky scrolling and poor collision detection.|
|SOUND - 6/10|
|Crap sound effects, but pleasant tunes.|
|PLAYABILITY - 5/10|
|Initially addictive, fairly playable - but tedium soon sets in.|
|OVERALL - 5/10|
|An incomplete conversion and an uninspiring 3D shoot-em up.|