Stardust is an arcade shoot em up game based on the Asteroids games. It was developed by Bloodhouse for the STE and Amiga (OCS) computers back in 1995. The Atari STE version comes in three discs.
You control a spaceship (view from above) and you must destroy all the meteorites and other space objects that move around you. You use your laser guns and collision shields to accomplish each level. Each world is divided into 6 levels with different difficulty grades. At the end, you must confront a big mothership in order to fly to the next world. When travelling to the next world, the camera perspective changes and it takes you to a 3D-style shooter (you see the enemies coming from the background like in Space Harrier). The gameplay is very addictive, even if you are not a fan of the Asteroids series, since Stardust takes the series to a higher level. You must collect bonuses by shooting the enemies which will help you upgrade your weapons, gain energy and refuel your shields.
This game is very impressive, from the great introduction that looks like a Star Wars intro to the in-game action. The sprite animation is perfect and the graphics feature a great variety of metalic colors. The sprites (from ships to moving rock pieces) are all pre-rendered and they move smoothly around you. Although the STE version uses up to 16 colors on screen, graphics here look superb and quite close to the Amiga version! The sound features sampled in-game techno music (quite rare for the Atari ST computers) and sampled stereo FX (lasers, explosions, robotic voice that announces bonuses and more). The STE version is almost identical to the Amiga and it takes your Atari to its hardware limits.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit @ 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512 (520STE) -1024KB (1040STE) upgradable up to 4 MB / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 12-bit RGB palette (4096 colors) supporting resolutions of 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). Also features BLiTTER chip for copy/fill/clear large data blocks in memory (fill rate 4 MB/s) and Hardware-support for horizontal and vertical fine scrolling and split screen. SOUND: DMA sound chip with 2-channels stereo 8-bit PCM sound at 6.25/12.5/25/50 kHz, MIDI in/out