Imagine… We are in 1988.
At that time, the world of video games was not what it is today.
It was not yet an industry. We had Amstrad CPCs, Amigas, Atari STs, Commodores 64s… Machines that have now disappeared and have contributed in their own way to the great history of video games…
The games were sold on floppy disks in specialty stores but were most often traded between friends and copied illegally. The games were cracked by beings with supernatural powers, demo makers were worshipped as gods and we would go to 3615 Joystick (french Minitel, the ancestor of the Web) to get game solutions or pokes… And we would go every month to buy TILT ! (Former french magazine).Eviral
And one fine day, in the middle of hundreds of games… Captain Blood (not the pirate ! the sci fi video game of course) fell into my hands. That was the revelation.
In 1988, I was 12 or 13 years old at the time and I had an Amstrad CPC 464… Captain Blood was a UFO from nowhere… No explanation, we had to manage by ourselves, to understand the goal of the game… There was however a notice and even the beginning of a novel to introduce the game (because the games were accompanied by a paper notice at that time…): ), but many people were put off by this game because it was so difficult to get into it… But when you managed to dive into it, it was magical…
The music of the game was signed Jean-Michel Jarre and the intro screen which presented the creators of the game in the manner of a movie… Script: Philippe Ulrich, Programming & graphics: Didier Bouchon, Music: Jean-Michel Jarre… Thanks to: Michel Rho for the additional graphics. ERE informatique 1988.Eviral
Created by ERE Informatique under the EXXOS label, the scenario was brilliant, the gameplay extremely innovative and the graphics absolutely sublime… Imagine, the Hydra, a huge universe populated by 32000 procedural planets inhabited by different races of aliens…
The player was Captain Blood, a video game programmer named Bob Morlock who found himself accidentally propelled into the game he was developing…
He had to find the five clones of himself, the Numbers… And destroy them before it was too late, before he was too weakened…
You find yourself aboard the Ark, this bio-mechanical ship inspired by HR Giger…Eviral
Everything is strange on board… The map of the universe rises in front of you… A planet… You land there… And you are in front of Yoko, a lost little Izwal looking for his daddy… Or maybe in front of a Migrax or a Buggol… It was different every time.
The whole thing fit on 2 floppy disks of 512k, to fit an entire universe and all its inhabitants in so little space was a real feat (and a technical constraint at the time).
An incredible space opera
In Captain Blood you could meet various alien races, each one stranger than the other…
The UPCOM (Universal Protocol of COMmunication) was an ideographic language allowing to dialogue with all the alien races of Hydra.
The thousand and one versions of the ark
Captain Blood was ported to different machines at the time.
The code and graphics were adapted or completely redone to take into account the particularities and limitations of the machines.
The most successful versions were on Atari ST and Amiga 500.
What they said about Captain Blood
Captain blood’s children
Several games have followed the Captain Blood arc without being true sequels and without necessarily having the same success.
Captain Blood nowadays
30 years after the release of Captain Blood, the memory of the game lives on on the Internet.