Captain Blood

Journal de bord d'Eviral, développeur du jeu vidéo amateur The Bloodian Chronicles, un fan game qui rend hommage à l'arche du Captain Blood, un jeu vidéo de science fiction sorti en 1988 sur Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad, Commodore...

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
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.

Eviral

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.

All the ideograms of the UPCOM of the ark of the captain Blood

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.

Commander Blood released in 1994 by Cryo Interactive
Big Bug Bang released in 1996 by Cryo Interactive
Captain Blood Legacy, project finally abandoned on which I worked with Philippe Ulrich and Didier Bouchon from 2010 to 2013

Captain Blood nowadays

30 years after the release of Captain Blood, the memory of the game lives on on the Internet.

Arte TV has dedicated a series of documentaries in 2019 on retro gaming made in France
directed by Jean-Martial Lefranc co-founder of Cryo Interactive
In 2019, Lord Paddle dedicates an issue of the adventures of paddle to Captain Blood
In 2018, McShelving published a reloaded version of the famous UPCOM ideograms on deviant art
https://www.deviantart.com/mcshelving/art/Captain-Blood-UPCOM-Logograms-727109080
The den of geek website published in 2015 the article The Strange Life of Captain Blood
Kroah recoded in c# the raytracer of the fractal mountains of captain Blood and did some retro engineering on the game
Kroah’s Game Reverse Engineering Page
The Captain Blood Who’s Who lists the meaning of all the UPCOM symbols and all the races of Captain Blood
ARGanoid has a very complete page on Captain Blood
Captain Blood is on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris
as part of the new 2013 festival devoted to imaginary languages from February 20 to March 6, 2013.
Rom Game : Captain Blood at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris in 2013
GameBlog : Captain Blood in a museum !
In 2017 wasabim published a 1920×1080 wallpaper of the captain Blood

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