Aug 18 2009


zorro @ 10:38 pm
In 1987 Manfred Trenz was a part of the huge European Amiga coding scene. Then he and a few like-minded coders and artists formed a team. Factor 5 was born. Their first game Katakis, led to a conversion deal for home computer versions of Irem’s R-Type, but it was Turrican that really put them on the map.Turrican is similar in many ways to the seminal hit – Metroid on NES, but Turrican had cutting edge Amiga graphics and sound. And it went off!

Massive levels, frantic blasting and some great platform action combined to make an impressive package that when first released on Commodore 64 jolted jaded gamers from their reverie.

The first world is a futuristic structure built in a wasteland, the second is an underwater prison. In the third world, the gameplay takes a slight departure transforming into a vertically-scrolling shooter with your jetpack assisted armour. The fourth world is very alien as you get closer to your goal and the final world is a giant tower leading to the final boss, MORGUL (Multiple ORGanism Unit Link).

It looked and played like an arcade game using great graphical trickery like blowing leaves, huge bosses and smooth animation. This graphical benchmark, combined with a steep difficulty curve and beefy weapons made Turrican a huge hit.

Like Metroid, Turrican’s power-suit could be ‘morphed’ into a ball, though Turrican’s was more akin to Sonic’s offensive spin which allowed access to some secret areas by smashing through walls.

The music is worth a special mention, the soundtrack for the Amiga version was created by Chris Hulsbeck and, like David Whittaker and Yuzo Koshiro, his scores stand apart from the games which accompany them.

“The graphics are, to coin a term, arcade quality.”
CU Amiga – 91% [Jun 1990]

Factor 5 have remained in the gaming scene for years, mostly in the background with development tools and design work, but chances are you’ve played one of their games.

Check out their list at Factor 5’s Homepage

“This is original arcade action at its best,
fully making use of the Amiga’s capabilities.”
Zzap! – 94% [Aug 1990]

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