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Tactical Combat
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

In the last eight years or so there have been very few original games but one stands out in my mind as the best. That game is Mercenary, a speedy vetor graphics 'future sim'. No-one who's played this game could have failed to be pulled into it. When I first bought it, many aeons ago, I played it for months, very often for ten or 12 hours a day.

For those who need a reminder of the plot: you're a 21st century mercenary who, through battle damage, has been forced to land on the planet Targ. Most of the planet's inhabitants have wiped themselves out in a massive war, but the Mechanoids and the Palyars are still at each others throats - and you're in the middle of the conflict. All you want to do is go home, but you can't do that until you find a spaceworthy ship. But it doesn't hurt to do a bit of freelance work while you are stranded, and you're offered cash to carry out certain tasks.

Your only companion is Benson, a computer that goes everywhere with you and fills you in on the locations that you visit and is a communicator between you and the Palyar and Mechanoids.

It's a difficult game to complete - but the lastability's high because every minute is enthralling. Many people have escaped from Targ but I never quite made it. I got very close to finding the interstellar craft but couldn't pin-point it.

Playing Mercenary again brought back a lot of memories. Five or six years have passed since I first tried to escape from Targ and the game is as brilliant now as it was then. A Smash and no mistake.



Screenshot Text

Yikes! We've ground to a halt and we did so want to fly under Targ's bridge.