(Work in Progress)
Paradroid is without a doubt one of the most iconic games from the 1980’s. It was released on the Commodore 64. It was written by Andrew Braybrook and was published by Hewson Consultants.
So I set myself the challenge of recreating the game. You can follow its progress on my blog.
Enemy forces have hijacked a space fleet by turning its robot consignment against the crew; your job is to neutralize all the robots, thereby rescuing the humans. You control a prototype influence device that allows you to control the hostile robots.
The game is set on a spaceship viewed from a top-down perspective. The ship consists of numerous rooms and levels, each one populated by hostile robots or “droids”. The player, in control of a special droid called the “Influence Device”, must destroy all the other droids on the ship. Each droid (including the player) is represented as a circle around a three-digit number. The numbers roughly correspond to the droid’s “power” or “level”, in that higher-numbered droids are tougher to destroy.
The Influence Device is numbered “001”. The primary way in which the Influence Device destroys other droids is by “linking” with them, effectively taking them over. When the player takes over another droid, the previously controlled droid is destroyed.
Taking over a droid is done via a mini-game involving basic circuit diagrams and logic gates. Each droid has one side of the screen, with a series of logic gates and circuits connected together. The droids have a number of “power supplies” that can apply power to one circuit. Higher-numbered droids have more power supplies. At the end of a short time period, the droid supplying the most power to the circuit “wins”. The logic gates are the key to allowing lower-numbered droids to beat higher-numbered droids. There is also a strategy in timing when power is applied to a circuit (as two supplies of power to the same circuit result in the later supplier of power gaining control of the circuit).
In either case, the droid being controlled by the player is destroyed. If the player beats the droid in this mini-game, he takes control of that droid. If not, either the droid is destroyed and the player returned to the game as just the Influence Device (if he was previously controlling a different droid), or the player is killed, ending the game, if he was not already controlling another droid before the takeover attempt.
While in control of another droid, the player effectively acts as that droid, meaning the player has access to that droid’s maneuverability, armor, weapons and “power supplies” (used during the droid-control mini-game). If the droid has weapons, the player can destroy other droids by shooting them instead of taking them over, though higher-numbered droids can require several shots to destroy and might fire back. The player has control of a droid only for a limited amount of time (which is inversely proportional to the droid’s number). If that time elapses, the controlled droid self-destructs and the player reverts to the Influence Device (001).
The spaceship has several decks, and each deck can have several rooms. Doors and elevators connect the rooms and the decks. Only droids in the player’s line of sight are visible, although doors being operated by out-of-sight droids can be seen moving. Many rooms have computer terminals that provide access to maps of the current deck and the entire ship as well as droid information. Each droid can access information about itself and all lower-numbered droids (this access is available to the player based on the droid being controlled).
Goals and challenges
As well as achieving a high score, Paradroid players can aim to completely clear one or more ships of robots and to achieve a successful transfer from the 001 Influence Device to the unstable 999 droid. Despite the instructions referring to a finite fleet, the Commodore 64 game never ends. When you clear the eighth ship called “Itsnotardenuff”, you’re just placed back on the ship with higher-ranking droids on each deck.
Text from Wikipedia