Starglider (Rainbird)

Starglider (Rainbird)

Information

Starglider is a colourful 3D wire-frame arcade game. Set on the planet Novenia, the player controls an AGAV (Airborne Ground Attack Vehicle) and their job is to destroy the Egron invaders or die trying.

The Egrons come in many different forms - Battle Tanks, Pyramid Launchers, Walkers, Stompers and the eponymous Stargliders to name just a few. The AGAV is equipped with a basic laser (which will overheat if you use it too often) and a couple of missiles.

Thankfully there are depots to dock with that will repair any damage and replenish your missiles, as well as allow the player to read data on the Egrons. The only thing depots don't service is the AGAV's energy levels. To replenish this, the player must fly along the energy beams that bounce between two corresponding energy towers on Novenia's desolate surface.

Some versions of Starglider include special missions. For example, the destruction of a newly constructed Egron Command Centre, destroying an Egron battle Crawler, collecting a Mk14 Proton Missile, locating an auxiliary inductive energy pod and destroying an Egron Military Munitions Dump.

To help navigation, the planet is divided into a grid, 100 units wide by 100 units long. The radar in the centre of the AGAV cockpit gives a readout indicating the ship's current grid location.

Firing a standard missile will switch to a missile-view. The player must steer the missile to its target via the camera on the missile's tip. Missile fuel only lasts a few seconds (unless you have collected a super missile as part of a special mission) so it's best to launch a missile when you are very close to the intended target (usually a Starglider, which needs three direct missile hits before it can be destroyed!).

Of course, the Egrons shoot at the AGAV at every opportunity, so the player must blast the enemy to pieces before they reciprocate!

 

4 thoughts on “Starglider (Rainbird)

  1. San

    On the Amstrad PCW8256, I never mastered the trick of shoting walkers – although the manual suggested there was a weak spot. Was there?

    Reply
    1. Richard Post author

      Well, it’s been a while since I last played Starglider but I seem to remember using missiles (replenished after docking with the silos) to take them down…

      Reply
      1. San

        Yeah, that’s what I had to do too. But I remember in the story that came with the book, they learnt a trick (that wasn’t described) where the characters were able to destroy them using normal lasers. I played that game a lot, and I fear that the devs forgot to put that weakness in, because I could never find it.

        Reply
        1. Richard Post author

          There were a few game features that were omitted from the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga versions (due to various reasons) that managed to get into the conversions written by Realtime Games (including the PCW version which was based upon the Z80 code from the Spectrum version). I’ll see if Realtime can recall anything, but it’s now 30 years since those conversions were published so they might not remember either!

          Reply

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