Space Fury

Though character-oriented games like Mappy and Pac-Man were always popular and heavily merchandised, some of the most memorable arcade experiences could be found in space-themed games, which encouraged players to imagine themselves actually defending the universe. (This was taken to its natural cinematic conclusion in 1984's The Last Starfighter.)

While Space Invaders set the stage for the land-based defense of Earth, Space Fury sent you into the heart of stellar battle, against a one-eyed, vector-based alien nemesis who taunts you throughout the game, issuing blistering insults like "Is there no warrior mightier than I?" and "You are starting to annoy me, creature. My destroyers will annihilate you." At least his combat abilities are much more refined than his insults.

Gameplay: You start out with a basic ship, which you can rotate left and right, and drive forward with a thruster. The alien ships start out as vulnerable individual pieces, which quickly join together to become more powerful and deadly. Good players quickly learn to blast the aliens before they assemble into fireball-spewing warships.

Could be mistaken for: Asteroids, Space Duel, Ender's Game

Kids today might not like it because: Space Fury moves incredibly fast, and increases in difficulty so quickly, the designers didn't even bother to make it keep score past the fourth level.

Kids today might like it because: The one-eyed alien nemesis doesn't spawn-camp like the opponents they're used to facing.

Enduring contribution to gaming history: Space Fury was reportedly the first game to use vector-based graphics in color, which led to classics like Tempest and Black Widow. It's also one of the first games to have a monitor prone to bursting into flames, which led to lesser-known games like Insurance Fire.

 

Wil Wheaton once defended the Frontier from Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.

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