Operation: GAMMA VELORUM (Part 4) by Quantum P.Title Screen
Rounding off a nice three months of excellent installments and sequels is Quantum P.'s final game for the very successful Operation: GAMMA VELORUM series, a great graphics-oriented sci-fi adventure spanning four files, three of which have now won this award - Part Two was beaten by Commodore's The Living Dead, way back in ...
... my god. Way back in August 2002, three months after I started the award. I need a hug.Meeting "Mr. Arcturus"?!
His patience finally pushed too far by the terrorists threatening to destroy the Allies, GEORGE W BUSH Commander Arcturus is assembling forces and making plans to attack the enemy's base. Seized information in the form of a floppy disk from his last mission with the heroes - the quarter-martian Cor and his purebred human friend Meagan - offers a shortcut to the decoding of the base's location, and since time is limited with the terrorist threat of an asteroid being hurled through a wormhole at Gamma Velorum, he must work quickly.
Computers are useless for the analysis of this particular battlefield, unable to entertain the effects of the wormhole, so Arcturus and his generals must make the plans by hand, and there isn't much time. The objectives are to prevent Gamma Velorum's destruction, and to destroy the terrorists once and for all.
So of course, he does what every good commander should: sends two teenage recruits off into the depths of space in the new X-7 bomber, telling them to destroy the terrorists' base and disable their unnerving WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION asteroid weapon.Drydocks hot
Reminiscent of Frost 1; Power, it takes a long time for the action to actually start. There are a lot of cinema boards and cutscenes, in which Quantum P. has already proved and continues to prove his competence. He can draw, and he's obviously damned proud of it; his mechanistic style of artwork fits his chosen genre very well, and has only improved from past instalments, with the adoption of new perspectives and character poses. He's also put more thought into the cutscene animation that was not much more than a blossoming idea in the past instalments of the series. This is not something that I think generally works all that well in art boards, and I tend to avoid it, but Quantum P.'s work in this regard is here very good, and it seems to work all right.
If the introduction is a little long, as least we've got an interesting story to go by. Though Quantum P. is first a programmer, secondly a writer (and he knows it) he has developed a classic-vein sci-fi story involving the classic elements of mystified teenage recruits, a charismatic commander, a group of terrorists, and a potentially apocalyptic weapon threat.
Quantum P.'s complex gameplay engines for the bombing raids and asteroid/weapon dodging sequences throughout the series should have him noted as an excellent programmer. They are cleanly and accurately programmed, and very original. There is a standard RPG battle engine in the same vein as those in parts 1-3, and inventory item use (without a +i engine) for a few boards at a latter point in the game.3-2-1, I'm the bomb.
To tell the truth, the only thing that has disappointed me a little about this series is that a lot more could have been made of potentially very good and rather interesting characters. There is no internal conflict within the important character triangle of Arcturus, Meagan and Cor; the three get along pretty much perfectly at all times, and it would have been a lot more interesting if they didn't! This isn't to imply that Quantum's writing is completely wooden and scaffolded, though; he obviously has the right idea in that he hinted at something more than a friendship developing between Cor and Meagan at the end, and the references to divine intervention in this final game. But when I say that's the only thing that I didn't like about the series, I'm being completely serious!
Congratulations, Quantum P., you've made what I consider one of the best - arguably the best - sci-fi series in ZZT, right up there with the legendary Madguy's Wartorn. And I'm pretty sure you can draw better than him, too. See you at the Gold MTPs!
9 / 10