James Bond 007 (1983)
When it comes to fast-paced action and intrigue, nobody does it better than Bond. James Bond. But you can try when you reenact scenes from three great James Bond movie classics. 007's specially designed vehicle will take you on the ride of your life - over land, in the air, and under the sea! Through it all you must avoid obstacles, avert enemies, and accomplish three different missions! Illuminate the night for an oil rig rescue raid in Diamonds Are Forever. Get Stromberg and his undersea hideaway in The Spy Who Loved me. Save the Earth from cosmic catastrophe in Moonraker. Multiple levels and special effects add challenge and excitement. It's the best of Bond in one great game!
Released: 1983 & 1984
Published By: Parker Bros.
Developed By (Atari 2600): On Time Software
Atari 2600 & Compatibles
Design: Joe Gaucher
Programming: Joe Gaucher
Graphics: Kathy Von
Music: Dan Kurchevsky
In this game, you are Bond. James Bond, 007, the world's most famous secret agent. Renowned for your cool and confidence (not to mention your biting wit), you've been selected by the British Secret Service for three clandestine, utterly critical, and nearly impossible missions.
These will be accomplished at the controls of a specially designed multi-purpose craft that boasts extraordinary capabilities. It has the properties of a car, a plane, and a submarine. And it's equipped with the latest weaponry. We think you'll find it more than adequate. In brief, Mr. Bond, this is what lies ahead. First stop, Las Vegas in Diamonds Are Forever. No casinos, here. Rather, you've got to cross the desert in the dead of night. A very romantic place, indeed, when you're not being shot at.
In Moonraker, you'll recognize your old nemesis Hugo Drax and his poison satellites. From your position on the lake, you must stop the satellites from ever reaching Earth.
We know you like a change of scenery, Bond, so the next stop is Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me. Stromberg's underwater laboratory is your destination in this one. We're confident you'll know just what to do when you reach it. Oh, about the details, read on. We want you to be prepared for the assault... frogmen, missiles, submarines and the like. Not to worry. Good luck, Bond. And Bon Voyage!
Like a 00-agent, Parker Bros had to record two 'kills' before earning their status. Following the cinematic release of 'For Your Eyes Only',' Parker Bros acquired the licencing rights to produce the first James Bond videogame for the booming home market.
In-house programmer Charlie Heath worked on a prototype game based on the climax from the film 'Moonraker' during his tenure at Parker Bros between June 1982 to November 1982. "I'd prototyped a James Bond scene during my first few weeks, to see what I could do with an Atari 2600," he recalled. "You're in space orbiting earth in the space shuttle, chasing bio-terrorist pods to shoot them down before they break up in the atmosphere, while your shuttle and the pod are being buffeted about by reentry. You see something that looks a bit like a spinning earth bobbing about at the bottom of the screen. If you watch the movie 'Moonraker', it's one of the climactic scenes, but Parker wasn't interested in it for the Bond license because they wanted to do something that was more along the lines of Pitfall - little guy running around with various spy gadgets."
Parker Bros passed on Heath's single screen 1st person perspective shooter, and the code is believed to be long lost. With the new film 'Octopussy' in pre-production, they tendered the game development out to Western Technologies. Parker Bros advertised the tie-in title 'James Bond as seen in Octopussy', complete with mock-up screenshots, in their catalogue and trade press advertisements. However, Western failed to complete the game and Parker Bros pulled the plug on the Florida-based developer.
The publisher then turned to On Time Software to produce a completely new game for the Atari 2600. Joe Gaucher, who was the lead designer and programmer, recalled: "Parker let us have free reign on what the design was going to be. It just had to have the James Bond 007 opening, correct music and proper James Bond action. So, with that said, it was really our idea." The famous James Bond music was recreated on the Atari 2600 by Dan Kurchevsky and the game's graphics were created by Kathy Von.
The game was first published on the Atari 2600 in 1983. Versions for the Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit and ColecoVision (by Paul Crowley) followed a year later. Outside of the home consoles, a conversion to the new Commodore 64 home micro was also produced - but still on cartridge.
Gaucher based the game's three side-scrolling missions around 'Diamonds Are Forever' (rescue Tiffany Case from an oil rig), 'Moonraker' (destroy satellites), and finally 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (destroy an underwater lab). In every subsequent release after the original Atari 2600 version, the game switched the order of 'Moonraker' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and added a fourth and final mission based on 'For Your Eyes Only' (retrieve radio gear from a sunken ship). The later versions also added two player scoring.
The Parker Bros' game was also ported to Sega's new home console, the SG-1000, the following year. Due to the overlap in underlying hardware technology between the SG-1000 and the ColecoVision, the port was swift. Japanese game developer Tsukuda Original (creators of the boardgame 'Othello') published the title in their native country, and it proved to be their last for the SG-1000. That year, the company launched their own console, the Othello Multivision, which was compatible with the SG-1000 due to a licensing deal with Sega.
Regardless of which system the game is played on, it is widely regarded as one of the worst James Bond games published, even taking into account the era in which it was released. Reviewers at the time often compared it unfavorably to the superb 'Moon Patrol,' which had obviously influenced Gaucher's design.
With the 'Great Video Game Crash' of 1983 in America and the collapse of Atari, Parker Bros did not release any further James Bond licenced titles. Instead, the action shifted to the UK where publisher Domark would release a series of 8-bit games for the popular home micros.
THE JOYSTICK CONTROLLER
The joystick controls Bond's specially designed multipurpose craft. The craft moves forward with a right motion and slightly back with a left motion. An up or down motion causes the craft to jump or dive. In either case, gravity or buoyancy returns the craft to a water or land surface line. Each press of the FIRE button either lobs a bomb to the bottom of the screen or fires a fixed angle shot to the top of the screen. These are released alternately.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
Mission: Land on Seraffino's Oil Rig arid Rescue Tiffany Case
There's lots of glitter in this adventure. But all that glitters is not gold.., it's diamonds and Seraffino's got them! Black market jewelry scheme you're thinking? Wrong. When attached to a communications satellite, the stolen rocks can harness solar energy, create a laser blast, and destroy targets on the Earth's surface. Therefore, Bond, you must get Seraffino. You'll find him on an oil rig off the Pacific coast. There, he controls the diamond satellites' guidance system. By the way, Bond, Serration's holding your.., uh... assistant, Tiffany Case. We believe she's desperately in need of rescue.
The Desert - First you must travel rugged desert terrain in the dead of night. The desert is filled with treacherous, glowing craters that you must jump over--or else be swallowed into its boiling radioactive material!
The Satellites - As satellites pass overhead, they'll drop lasers that will destroy you on impact. Your driving skills will be of the utmost importance in avoiding lasers since it's impossible to destroy the satellites.
The Helicopters - You'll notice, Bond, an occasional helicopter overhead. Sorry, old boy, it's not one of ours. That search light is looking for you, and when it finds you, the chopper drops a bomb. So don't be a sitting duck!
The Diamonds - Giant diamonds hang in the night sky. Hit one with your fixed angle shot to light your way (and to score points). And remember that only by the light of a diamond will you be able to see Seraffino's oil rig once you reach the ocean.
The Ocean - When you reach the ocean, continue to light the sky by hitting diamonds. Remember, you're looking for the oil rig. Helicopters and satellites are still active, too. This time, however, satellites drop lasers that cause a radioactive splash. Get caught in one, and you've splashed your last.
The Mechanical Frogmen - Seraffino's ultimate ocean weapons are his mechanical frogmen. They may look like marine biologists, Bond, but actually are robots designed to create a radioactive splash upon sensing the vibration of approaching crafts. So either clear the splash by jumping over it--or get the frogman first. A most difficult maneuver, even for you, Bond!
The Oil Rig - Seraffino's oil rig will be silhouetted against the sky when you hit a diamond. When it appears, move your craft just to the left of the rig, straight up over the top of the derrick, then down to land on the helipad. When this happens, you've stopped Seraffino and saved Tiffany Case!
Important - If you've already sighted the oil rig but are unable to hit a diamond as you get closer, dive under the oil rig quickly to avoid crashing and try again on the next one. Unless, of course, you can land successfully in the dark! Hint: As you approach the oil rig in the dark, your fixed angle shot will disappear right after firing. Take this as an immediate warning! Completion of this mission brings you the next with your remaining crafts.
Mission: Destroy Three Spinning Satellites
Billionaire industrialist Hugo Drax has concocted the ultimate scheme in international espionage: the depopulation of the Earth in order to recolonize it with his super-race. The destruction will occur through Drax's poison satellites that rotate through space. As they spin through the night, you must attack them from your vehicle's position on, above, or beneath the lake's surface. A deceptively difficult task.
Space shuttles - Another of Drax's brilliant but dastardly inventions is the Moonraker fleet of space shuttles. Launched from the bottom of the lake, they will destroy you on impact. And remember this: when a space shuttle rises into orbit toward the top of the screen, it turns into a poison bomb and falls back down again. If you're above the water surface when it turns into a bomb, your craft is finished. How to handle a space shuttle? Blow it out at its launch position, dodge it and submerge before it becomes a bomb, or shoot it down in flight. And stay clear of the poison bomb when it hits the surface line and explodes--unless you can shoot it down first!
Submarines - Drax has sent a fleet of torpedo submarines to patrol the depths. The torpedoes are fired from behind so avoid them or destroy them before they destroy you. Better yet, try to get the subs before they fire at all! Completion of this mission brings you the next with your remaining crafts.
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
Mission: Destroy Stromberg's Undersea Laboratory
Shipping magnate Karl Stromberg uses huge oil tankers to swallow nuclear submarines right out of the water. It just so happens he's captured a British sub not to mention your fellow agent Anya Amasova. Stromberg must be stopped for good. You'll find him in his undersea laboratory off the coast of Sardinia.
Rockets - Stromberg has rigged the ocean floor with rapid rockets that rise into the air, turn into fire bombs, and explode on the surface line. So stay clear of the rockets, shoot them down in flight, or bomb them out at their launch position. And eliminate or avoid the fire bombs, too.
Submarines - Like Drax, Stromberg has also sent a fleet of torpedo submarines to get you. As you well know, they're killers, Bond. But you've escaped them before and you can do it again!
Helicopters - Stromberg has sent his trigger-happy chopper pilots on a bombing mission.., and you're the target. By the way, Bond, like Seraffino's, these choppers are indestructible, too.
Oil Tankers - When you see one of Stromberg's oil tankers, dive under it. It's simply planted as an obstacle in your path.
The Undersea Laboratory - When you see Stromberg's laboratory at the bottom of the screen, lob a bomb onto it. The explosion will release a capsule that carries Anya Amasova. Swoop down and touch the capsule and your mission is accomplished. Stromberg is destroyed and Anya is saved. If you should miss the laboratory (or the capsule), try again with the next one. Note: You must touch the capsule within four seconds. Otherwise, you must try again. Also, if the capsule floats away from you, lob a bomb onto it to make it float back again.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
Mission: Retrieve Radio Equipment from a Sunken Fishing Trawler
A British surveillance ship has been sunk off the Greek mainland by a WWII mine. Somewhere amid the wreckage lies a top secret ultralow frequency transmitter that launches ballistic missiles on command. You must find it before it falls into the hands of enemy agent Gonzalez.
Terrain - First, the shoreline requires expert piloting to avert the mountain peaks that rise dangerously from the ocean floor.
Underwater Enemies - Only by the light of flare bombs can you see the enemies that lurk in the darkened waters. These include armed frogmen and the same mine-releasing mini-subs that Drax employs. You've escaped them before, you can do it again!
Helicopters - Occasionally, a helicopter comes onto the scene. Sorry, old boy, it's not one of ours. The chopper's tracking system makes it a deadeye shot. And the radius around the gunfire explosion is a killer. Consider yourself warned.
The Sunken Fishing Trawler - When you see the sunken trawler, maneuver your craft onto the circular radio antenna in the middle of the deck. Do so. and you've retrieved the radio equipment. But if you hit any other part of the trawler, you're sunk! Completion of this mission ends the game.
The game ends when you complete the last mission or when you lose the last craft. In either case, you'll receive your final score. The following screen shows a number at the top. This is your AGENT RATING.
The British Secret Service rates each of its agents on his or her performance at the end of each game. Our rating method is computer-analyzed and highly confidential. (Enemy agents must never learn our training secrets!) The highest rating in NOVICE is 006. The highest rating in AGENT is 007, of course!
Your score is displayed continuously at the top of the screen. Your final score appears at the end of the game.
Targets - Points
Diamond - 50
Frogman - 200
Space shuttle - 200
Poison bomb - 100
Submarine - 200
Torpedo - 100
Spinning satellite - 500
Rapid rocket - 100
Fire bomb - 100
Mission accomplished - 5,000