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Game info

Phantom Fighter

Phantom Fighter
GenreShoot em up
Developer / PublisherEmerald Software LTD / Martech
Media1 x disk
Reviewed byndial
Phantom Fighter (or "If It Moves, Shoot It!" outside Europe) is a traditional 2D action shooter that takes you through six levels of fast and furious action, offering great visuals but rather tough gameplay. Released for the Commodore Amiga and PC (MS-DOS) and although there was announced for the Atari ST apparently it never released.
Phantom FighterCombat the Korts and free the lost settlers on an alien planet that resembles Mars. You fly through various stages from i.e. spooky cavers to sandy dinosaur graveyards and lava dribbling volcanoes, in either horizontal (Amiga only) or bottom-up scrolling levels with a rotund, and nicely polished in copper, spaceship. Aliens attack in waves and in random (!) formations swirling around in front of you! Formations are not common and predictability is low which makes it a constant and difficult challenge. Shooting down a attacking formation will leave you a bonus weapon pod. Shooting this pod will cycle through various bonuses such as speedup, and firepower add ons like multiple shots, homing missiles, side shots etc. Gameplay switches from horizontal to vertical when progressing to levels (i.e. level one is side-scrolling whilst level two is bottom-up scrolling). At the end of each level there is always a level boss waiting for you to ...shoot down...
Gameplay can switches from side-scrolling to bottom-up perspective which is rather impressive for a shoot em up. Nasties are moving way too fast and always towards you spitting firepower at the same time. More on that they appear fast from random edges of the screen, so there is no safe place to hide on screen, which makes it difficult enough to avoid from hitting either on them or their bullets. And you only have five lives... (no energy bar here). A very difficult shooter that is.

Graphics are colorful and very well detailed. Although there is no parallax scrolling, still backgrounds and sprites are very well designed and give a pretty good impression. Sprites are big and polished, and move smooth on screen without any frame-rate slowdowns. It is quite impressive the color-cycling effects being used in some levels i.e. in level 2 (bottom-up scrolling gameplay) the sand on the desert terrain is animated, resembling a sand storm! Note that there are some impressive static pictures in HAM mode (4096 colors) between stages loading too.
Sound is good, offering some nice in-game tunes along with several shooting and explosions SFX.
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Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to (indicated); others not
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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