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c=64::fort ap0c4lypse

Copyright 1982 Synapse Software
Programming: Joe Vierra

The Story

Deep inside the Earth's mantle is an evil so great that man dares not speak its name. The Kralthans, lords of the inner Earth, have built Fort Apocalypse - a prison so filled with danger that all who have attempted to penetrate its secrets have vanished without a trace.

The Sky Dwellers have chosen you from their best assault pilots for a daring raid on Fort Apocalypse itself.

As you lift off in your Rocket-Copter and check the Navatron for enemy attack units, your nerves turn to ice. You've heard rumors that these vast underground vaults are defended by rock-boring Wormlings. whose digestive juice are powerful enough to dissolve Molychrome-III copter hulls. And in the Kralthan armories are the latest Servo-Tank Interceptors, as well as ultra-fast Robochoppers. You think of the hopeless captives, taken as slave-thralls by the Kralthans.

You must descend through the Kralthan Disruptor fields, capture weapons and fuel, and free the enslaved masses. The danger grows in the Vaults of Draconis. Where the very granite is locked in a temporal matrix. Then swiftly, you descend into the Rotating Field Envelope, where time itself is scarred and twisted back on itself.

Will you triumph or be destroyed by the iron fist of Kraltha? Encounter Fort Apocalypse!

Your mission begins at your fuel depot. After refueling your Copter you must fly to the portals of the Draconis caves and bomb through the access doors. After blowing an entrance the first level of defense you maneuver through the caves blasting through impact shields, into the Hyper-Chambers and subterranean elevators. You must rescue eight prisoners from the Draconis level.

After completing the Draconis level you descend into the Crystalline Caves. You must rescue an additional eight men, various locations in the Crystalline Caves and then proceed into the heart of darkness, Fort Apocalypse itself.

After the fortress is destroyed you must fly back through the Kralthan Caves to freedom in order to complete your mission.



Press F5 to display the option page. You may step through the options by pressing the F3 key. You then press the F5 button to step through your choice.

Once your gravity, skill level and number of pilots has been selected press F7 to begin game.

The Rocket Copter

Your rocket copter is controlled by the joystick. Moving the joystick in any direction causes your rocket copter to move in the chosen direction. As you change direction from right to left or vice versa the rocket copter turns to face forward and then continues the turn to the desired direction.

To fire your interceptor rockets press the joystick fire button you are facing front you will release plasma-bombs instead of interceptor rockets.

Interceptor rockets are used to destroy Kralthan tanks, missile drones, impact shields, etc. Plasma-bombs destroy access doors, SPM's, etc.


Your mission begins at your fuel depot. In order to fuel your rocket copter you must land on thefueling station. Upon landing, the top of the fuel tank will descend and you will drop down after it. Upon reaching the floor of the tank you will be refueled.

Your fuel level is constantly displayed at the left side of the command bar, to the left of the navatron. You may take on up to 2000 units of fuel at one time.

The Navatron

The navatron is a long range navigational aid. It will give you information about the terrain you are about to encounter as well as enemy units in the area.

Kralthan Tanks

Due to the advanced state of defense armor, tanKs can be destroyed only by direct hits to the tank treads, The tanks launch drone missiles which track your rocket copter and quite often destroy it.

Impact Shields & Access Doors

Impact shields and access doors will be encountered at various points in the Kralthan defense system. They must be destroyed by plasma-bombs or interceptor missiles.

SPM'S (Self-Propelled Mines)

SPM's contain plasma bombs and are deadly to your rocket copter. They float independently through the atmosphere and the Kralthan Caves.


The Kralthan robo-choppers are android controlled attack helicopters. They are armed with missiles and hunt you relentlessly. Treat them with great respect.


Prisoners are rescued by picking them up with your rocket copter.

You must rescue all the survivors in order to move to the next level. Information on how many men remaining is displayed under the navatron.

Landing Pads

White landing pads are scattered throughout the Kralthan Caves, the last place that you landed will be the spot (in case of destruction of your rocket copter), that your replacement copter will appear.

Hyper Chambers

Hyper chambers are distinguished from laser chambers by their glowing nudes. If you are zapped in a hyper chamber you will be transported to any one of four identical chambers on your level. CAUTION: If you rematerialize in another hyper chamber that already contains an SPM or robo chopper you will be destroyed.

Rotating Field Envelopes

There are horizontal and vertical RFE shafts in the defense network with energy blocks that move through them. You must enter and keep ahead of the blocks to order to survive. Pressing the fire button changes the direction of the block movement.

Fort Apocalypse

The fort is destroyed by a well aimed missile from your rocket copter.

My Opinion

Fort Apocalypse was created in 1982. Can you believe it? Probably yeah. But it still does not feel that old to me.

The scrolling is decent. Sound effects are effective, although somewhat plain. I've always found those caves to be very atmospheric, and even now I still like to fly my copter in that oppressive, hostile and cramped environment.

Although the game is rather short, it's quite hard (might I say unforgiving?) and contains several random elements that make it even more challenging. For instance, the last chamber, the heart of Fort Apocalypse, can be accessed from the left or right, through different odds, but one of the access is barred by an impassable wall. Which one? You won't know until you get there!

Up to now, it doesn't sound too good, does it? Well I can't really explain it. I've always loved this game, and I still do. Just try it to see if it grows on you too. Who knows...

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