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When you can't remember who you are, where you are and even what year it is, then you know trouble cannot be too far away...
Held Captive for two hundred years in an orbiting space prison for a crime you didn't commit, you are desperate to escape from your electronic gaol.

Armed only with a briefcase computer found in the corner of your cell, you start sending out electronic SOS calls to the battling world outside.
Eventually you find a motley crew of four droids ready to help bring about your escape.. ..so begins your quest for freedom!
~from the back of the box

Captive, released in 1992 by Mindscape, is a pretty decent dungeon crawler with an interesting premise. You are a prisoner controlling four robots on a galaxy-spanning adventure to free you from your bondage thanks to a conveniently placed computer briefcase. Good luck succeeding as this huge often randomised adventure with tens of thousands of possible maps isn't likely to end any time soon if at all. Like the self-proclaimed wise people love to say, it's the journey that counts not the destination.

You begin the game in the middle of space, your first location vaguely blinking in the darkness. It's a bit obtuse of how to get there, but here's a little rundown on the opening moments...

First, you scour the dark expanse for a flashing green pixel. You can click on it to highlight the area and zoom in to find out it's the planet Butre. Obviously being your first port of call, you click on 'Orbit' to set your flight path and once you're there you can click 'Land' to launch your lander vessel and explore the area. Before you go any further, your droid will need activating. Right-click on the four-coloured icon to see your crew of four humanoid robots and activate them by dragging their chip into their brain and name them. I've called mine Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde but the stats will change depending on their chosen moniker.

From here, move in the first person, pick up a note which will give you the code to open a nearby door and enter the dungeon proper. I've put together a handy grid that you may find useful below.

1 -   Orbit - This will set your ship's destination on the map screen
       or turn left 90° on a planet's surface.
2 -   Land - Land on selected planet when on map screen or turn
       right 90° on a planet.
3 -   Droids - Individual droid stats. Left-click to mark leader with a
       crown, right-click to see stats or hold and drag to change
4 -   Directions - Move droids back, forwards or sidestep either
       way. Right-click forward to open doors.
5&6 - Ladders - Zooms in or out on map screen or goes up or
       down on planets. Press Up when on Lander to go back to
       the ship.
7 -   Disk - Save and load. You'll need this.
8 -   Multi Droid - See all droids' info at once.
9 -   Hands - Attack with each limb by right-clicking. Drag weapon
       onto them to equip.
10 - Sleep - Bypass time by snoozing.
11 - Hand - Pauses the game.

As you traverse the dangerous planet populated with dinosaurs, vicious gnomes and snarling shrubbery, you'll find it's a maze-like location with a number of dead ends. Some areas you come across look like regular walls save for a strip of circular balls at the bottom to differentiate it. You cannot just go forward - that will damage you. Instead, you'll need to right-click the forward arrow and what do you know? It's a door!.

Other quirks include frantic right-clicking the hand icons to attack and accidentally putting your posse to sleep. Perform a melee attack from the back row and they'll wallop whatever's in front of them - your droids in the front row. Until you find a vendor posted in the middle of nowhere, you'll be stuck with your fists. I recommend buying balls to start off with as you'll need some levelling up to wield more advanced weapons. This handy nomad also acts as a repair shop, if you have enough coin that is.

Ultimately, this control scheme worked rather well for its time. The visual presentation - particularly in the DOS port which boasts higher detail, in-game music and a nifty intro sequence - does enough to pull you in. It just takes a bit of a learning curve to get there.

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the PC version to modern systems and FS-UAE to emulate the Amiga version. Manuals included. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 92.3 Mb.  Install Size: 200 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ





Captive is © Mindscape Inc
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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