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The C64 version of Alien Syndrome is far from being a bad game. Actually the gameplay is quite compelling, and the strange music really enhances the atmosphere. The ingame graphics are varied and colorful. Probably above the average arcade conversion. But I think the background graphics lacked that extra shine that would have made Alien Syndrome a terrific C64 game on its own.

The title screen was made of a patchwork of ingame background graphics so it was the perfect experience for me. I tried to find out if I could come up with enhanced graphic schemes and I hope it is a success.

The Alien Syndrome logo looks good, but it feels a bit flat. I decided to put the arcade original aside and try to get a more fleshy look by changing the lights and shading. Now it almost looks like a baloon. Funny, isn't it?

The arcade title screen showed a different set of patchwork pieces each time it appeared, so I decided to replace the strange blue things on the right by some other scene. The same applies to the top strip. I just couldn't figure out what it was anyway. And yes I'm aware the colors aren't right, but as I already stated in the character selection screen page, I prefer an inaccurate but good looking game adaptation than an accurate but dull one.

The Pictures

On the left the original C64 screen, and on the right my own version.

Original screenshot Screenshot++
Click here for color version
Click here for larger version

Technical Bit

Ok. Now part of this picture seems obvious. The animated Alien Syndrome logo does not use the same color scheme as the rest and the background pieces appear by scrolling beneath it. It also uses less than 4 colors (2 actually) so my guess is that it is made of several multicolor sprites. The logo is exactely 8 sprites wide (maximum a C64 can display at a time) and it is taller than one sprite, so it looks like the multiplexor was used. I took for granted that I could use a third color in the logo (white) for a better volume effect. Hope that third color was not in use somewhere.

The background part is somewhat more complex. It is using multicolor character mode. In this mode, you can choose two colors that can be used freely (colors 2 and 3) anywhere on screen, and one additional color (color 1, also named main color) that can be different on each 8X8 cell.

A color split has been used between the top part and the rest, as the color scheme is visibly different. The left and middle right parts share the same colors (except for main color, that is). After some investigation from Shaun (thanks), it appears the bottom right part is made of sprites. That allows for a different set of three colors in that part. I changed colors 2 and 3 in the top and bottom parts, which doesn't hurt.

Finally, The SEGA logo is probably a set of monochrome characters. I just made it smaller, so that can't hurt.

Alien syndrome (select character)++ Back to Commodore 64 Barbarian (ingame)++