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|Hostages is an action video game developed by New Frontier and published by Infogrames. It was released for the Acorn Electron, Archimedes, Atari ST, Amiga, Apple IIGS, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, NES and ZX Spectrum platforms in 1988. The game was released as Hostages: Rescue Mission in the United States and Operation Jupiter in France.|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
Terrorists of unknown origin have taken hostages in an Embassy. You, as a special forces team leader, must arrange the deployment of six S.W.A.T. specialists, three marksmen and three DIC (Direct Intervention Combat) troopers. Your team of three marksmen must take positions to provide covering fire for the DIC. These positions are given on a map, which also shows where the men are currently stationed. You can toggle between the three teams (Delta, Echo, Mike) with F1, F2 and F3 keys. Positioning the men entails running along the street past the Embassy, dodging into doorways to avoid the terrorists' searchlights (which result in instant enemy fire). If one or more of the team gets shot, the game goes on, but with a greater risk of failure since the DIC men will later need all the backup they can get. Once dropped from the helicopter, the commandos abseil down the building to gain entry through a window. The marksmen can provide cover at this point as, at any time, a terrorist could be lurking inside the same window! OK the Embassy has three levels, each with the possibility of hostages or terrorists existence. The movement is then taking place inside corridors that look like a maze. Any hostages found and freed will follow you wherever you go. It is important then to clear out each storey quickly and go up to the third which is the extraction point. You then need to lower your men down with ropes, smash your way into the building and set the hostages free one by one. You will be involved in some close range combat as well and you need a quick trigger finger and a steady hand to succeed! Hostages, although its rather simple visuals (but great sound), is very addictive. Sneak, avoid gun-fire and hide whenever needed so that your team and the hostages survive is what is all about here. The plethora of tough levels, along with the whole suspense, is what Hostage's about.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The visuals on the IIGS look nice, but limited to repetitive details. Technically the game doesn't offer much, but everything is done right and moves smoothly. Hostages doesn't offer any special visual effects. It's a direct Atari ST port so the Apple IIGS offers limited color palettes and up to 16 colors on screen. The sprites are nicely animated though. Comparably, the Amiga version looks a bit better. The game's sound is good. There are some brief, incidental, tunes all "popping up" at the right moment, to add to or defuse the situation.
|CPU: 16bit WDC 65C816 running at 2.8 MHz|
MEMORY: 256 KB to 1MB RAM built-in, expandable to 8MB, 128 to 256 KB ROM built-in.
GRAPHICS: 12bit RGB palette (4096 colours) supporting 320x200 with 16, 256 colors, 640x200 with 2, 64 colors
SOUND: Ensoniq 5503 Digital Oscillator Chip, 8-bit audio resolution, 64 kB dedicated sound RAM, 32 separate channel (software paired them into 16 stereo voices)
|12bit RGB 4096-colours palette (16 on screen and up to 256)|
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