CAPTAIN BLOOD by Richard Karsmakers
When you look around, you see nothing but a vast darkness, here
and there dithered with diamond dust so it seems. All around you
is silence except for the on-board computer, Mr. Honk. And most
of what he says is hardly worth noticing either.
When you touch your skin you notice that it's teflon. When your
rub your hands, it sounds like two crocodiles having sex in a
packet of Cornflakes. When you dare to pinch your earlobe, you'll
notice it's made of silicon.
What has happened? This will probably be the first and most
logical question your plastic brain will come up with.
Really, it's too silly to explain. But let's have a go.
"Best wishes, your publisher", it read at the end of your most
recent royalty payment note of your latest mega-zapping computer
game. Thirty-five damn cents! And you didn't even want to think
about the everlasting time you needed to live on that meagre
amount of money...
That same night you went to a video arcade, impressed some
skinny youths and bumped into Charles Darwin (yes, the famous
bio-whatever). In fact, this man had warned you that Pacmen were
invading the earth - something totally and extremely utterly
sounding like pure nonsense. You had thought you were the centre
of some two-bit software reviewer's novel, but somehow believed
the old man.
And that very same night you went programming. There was but one
possibility to stop the march of the Pacmen: Give them a
formidable opponent: YOURSELF!
How it happened really is much too complicated to explain here.
But somehow, somewhere, you succeeded in physically disappearing,
finding yourself back in an Ark that had materialized somewhere
near Andromeda. Your being impressed by the beauty of the Ark you
programmed and designed yourself was only of a short duration as
you looked at the 3D screen and saw....Pacmen!
"Hyperspace!", you yelled at Mr. Honk, and immediately, youl
whole being was tlansfelled thlough the times and dimensions of
space itself to a place fal removed flom youl cullent leality.
You noted after a few seconds that you were beginning to talk
strangely, and with a shock came to the only plausible
explanation: Every spacejock's nightmare had come true during the
timewarp jump. You were cloned.
As you knew, the effects of cloning were not to be fooled with:
Apart from the fact that there now were several Bloods around in
the immeasurable galaxy, you knew that cloning was a synonym for
cellular desintegration in you. Your only hope for survival would
have to be to find all the clones (and only God knew where THOSE
would be) in order to recover the vital fluids.
Remembering the fact that here were 32768 stars to examine, you
really didn't feel all too optimistic.
Mr. Honk came up with his brightest idea since you had conceived
him: Your original organs had to be backed up, being replaced by
synthetic materials (like the aforementioned teflon, silicon and
plastic). Eventually, you would become a ROBOT...A robot with but
one mission: To find back five of his clones in an ever expanding
universe, so that he could be good old Mr. Blood again.
To heck with the Pacmen, Darwin, people, the earth....first
things first. You had to become a real human being again.
I know it's hard to believe, but that's what happened.
Several months ago, I first saw the French version of a new Ere
Informatique program called "Captain Blood". I was impressed by
the graphics and the plot of the game, but my obvious lack of
knowledge of French linguistics took care that I merely saw the
program and didn't dig into it any deeper.
How wrong had I been! If there had ever been a reason to start a
crash course French it would have been at that time. But that's
past now, and I could not know back then that it would be worth
having a go at in the first place.
No matter how absurdly ridiculous it may sound, but the
introduction story is indeed to be found behind "Captain Blood",
that has now also been launched as an English version! Apart from
some minor adaptations (a more extensive digital soundtrack by
Jean Michel Jarre and some playing improvements), the game is
about the same, and you are Captain Blood that has to examine an
entire galaxy for so-called NUMBERS (that's how his clones are
To assist you in this quest, your on-board computer (Mr. Honk)
has done some loathsome genetic engineering on a female Oorxx,
and has created a limitless amount of baby Oorxxs that can now be
used to examine planets, communicate with any of a vast
collection of local residents (Sinox, Tricephals, Kingpaks,
Buggols, to name but a few). Communicating is done in an
enchanting and humorous, even quite intelligent, way: Whenever an
inhabited planet occurs, an UPCOM (something to do with Universal
Communicating) is activated through which one can actually start
an intelligent conversation with a being. It's fun. It's a bio-
game. It's original.
But first you have to MEET the inhabitants, and this can be done
by flying an Oorxx over a planet's surface in excellent 3D
graphics, looking for the right canyon where they live. Not all
planets are safe for Oorxxs, as some are protected and the Oorxxs
have to hide to avoid being prematurely destroyed.
The Hydra galaxy exists of 32768 planets, of which only some are
inhabited. And on five of those planets, NUMBERS can be found. So
it's a question of strategy and good manners to get the
information you want, to teleport beings aboard your ship's
fridgitorium (where they can be stored in a Cryogenic state for
maximum security), and to bring beings together. Everything you
do to increase to happyness of any of the beings in this galaxy
will be rewarded. With information, names, coordinates, and more.
"Captain Blood" features great graphics, good sound effects,
superb color effects and a very humorous and enchanting plot.
Your disks (the game is supplied on TWO disks) come to life, and
I can assure you that "Captain Blood" is no ordinary game anymore
once you've played it for a while. It creates a 'relationship'
with the player that I have only previously seen in Activision's
"Little Computer People" (reviewed in one of the very, very old
vintage issues of ST NEWS Volume 1).
Name: Captain Blood
Company: Ere Informatique
Value for Money: 8
Overall rating: 8.5
Price: 99 Dutch guilders
Remark: It's almost alive...
Thanks go to Mr. Harry van Horen (from Homesoft, Haarlem,
Holland) for sending the review copy.