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Phoenix (Minion Software)

Phoenixtitlescreen

Developer Minion Software
Publisher Freeware
System PC
Release Date 2007
Mode Single player only

BackgroundEdit

Phoenix was fairly unique when it was released in the arcades in 1980 due to having five distinct stages, continuing music pieces playing during the beginning stage (which in-game music still wasn’t very common at the time), and an early video game boss during the final stage.

Gameplay involved players shooting at a variety of birds of different sizes and attack patterns. Players also had a shield to protect their spaceship with temporarily, although it would be several seconds before the shield could be used again.

This version is a modern day remake with improved graphics, having only a few minor changes with gameplay from the original game.

Gameplay/stagesEdit

The first stage involves shooting several small space birds (also known as scouts[1]) that quickly zig-zag towards the player’s spaceship while dropping bombs. The birds can also "walk" from side to side and fly back up to their formation at a diagonal. The second stage has the same birds, although they are in a different formation.

The third and fourth stages begin with several large eggs floating about, which then turn into larger birds (known as soldiers[1]) that have to be hit right in the middle in order to be destroyed; hitting them anywhere else will cause a wing to be shot off, but it can grow back within a few seconds.

The final stage includes a large mothership with a moving belt that has to be shot through in order to try to destroy the space creature that resides inside. The mothership slowly moves down towards the bottom of the screen and many scouts from the first two stages also appear during this wave. If the player is able to kill the creature then the game will cycle back to the first stage.

Getting rammed by any birds or their fire will destroy the player’s spaceship and the game will end when there are no more remaining ships.

Differences from arcade versionEdit

The sounds and in-game music for the opening of a new game was changed from the original game. The player starts off with five spaceships, rather than three. Enemies’ shots also split off in angles, rather than being a cluster of bombs like on the original, and there are no double shots during the second wave. Also, the shield glitch was fixed (as, at times the player could press the shield button, they would lose a spaceship, yet the sound of the shield being activated could still be heard), as well as a high score table was added, which, not only did it allow several scores (unlike with only one top score on the original), but it also allowed up to 15 characters that could be added, along with the game originally being able to upload the scores to an online high score page automatically if enabled (note: the Minion Software web site is gone as of early 2013, so this is now not possible). The game also has three selectable skill levels as well in the Options menu.

Controls, in-gameEdit

  • Move ship–arrow keys (left/right)
  • Fire–spacebar
  • Shields–right control key
  • Exit game–escape key

Note: these are the default controls that can be changed from the Options menu.

(main menu)Edit

  • Options screen–o key
  • Play game–spacebar
  • Exit game/program–escape key

ScoringEdit

  • Scouts–20, 40, or 60 points
  • Scouts while flying–200 points
  • Soldiers–50, 100-600 points
  • Mothership creature–1000-9000 points

TriviaEdit

  • When the Atari 2600 version of Phoenix was released, a free poster was included in an issue of the Atari Age magazine. A rendition of the poster appears during the game startup.
  • On the options screen, "shield" is misspelled as "sheild".

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Per readme file on game download.

LinksEdit

ReviewEdit

Well, what much can be said about a game that has two wiki pages devoted to it (so far)? Not much, except that this was one of my favorite games in the arcade, and this update wasn't ruined.

Only things wrong with it is that it seems wrong not to have the beloved same music piece in the beginning as with the original, along with there being no double shots during the second screen (what gives? This was also done with the plug and play version)! It can also be hard to see the birds during the first two screens until you run into them by accident. So, I barely give this a 7/10 for that, as it still has its charms, along with its challenge to it, and those GRAPHICS are great to look at now!

(review by Darrylb500)

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