Friday, October 23, 2015


Super Cobra.  Caverns of Mars II.  Vanguard... Vorrak?  Well, they're all "side-scrollers," as a turn of a phrase would have it.  Defender doesn't count because you can control the velocity at which the background scrolls by.  One thing that sets it apart is that it relies on the Basic cartridge to play... I probably should've put "Atari emulator" in the headline as I usually do, but I mean... it's Vorrak, man!  Vorrak.  It's an Atari thing; non-Atari people wouldn't understand.  Also, it's like the games of J.D. Casten or something: being a rock star game despite the severe Atari constraints.  Normally, you can barely do anything with Basic, but for those able to master the combination of Basic and machine language, well... the world was their oyster at the time.  Now, some of you originally played this as a game called "Zardon" or something stupid like that, but not me.  Besides, even Broderbund took the occasional "Spelunker" and "Landscape" and turned them into slightly better games.  So did Avalon Hill with Vorrak... I frankly can't vouch for any of their other titles, although I understand there are a lot of them, and I will look them all up on atarimania dot com someday.
Anyway, Vorrak is one of those annoying games... I mean, one of those classic games with that annoying feature of different ranks depending on what score you get.  While we may never know what an "Eradicator Honc" is, I'm older and wiser now and have the power to deduce that it's a truncated version of "Honcho."  You know, like the time Milhouse van Houten played "Bonestorm" using his gamer name, "Thrillhouse."  Now, we may never know how many ranks there are in Vorrak...
...why, there it is right there!  Alas, I couldn't do that with, say, David Lubar's "Pastfinder."  So we got "Ground Gripper"... whatever.  We got "Co-pilot"... I'm sorry, I mean "copilot".  We got "Shuttle Pilot"... hey, those can be tough jobs, man!  Of course, I'm not actually a pilot.  I guess that's how pilots rib each other.  "Ooh!  There's a kite for you to fly!" said the ace pilot to the novice, mockingly.  There's Fighter Pilot, Interceptor Ace, Eliminator Ace, and Eradicator Honcho.  Clearly, the makers of Vorrak underestimate the gaming prowess of their fans.  I scored 10,000 the other day, and I wasn't even giving it my all!  Imagine what I could do if I cheated!

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