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The Eidolon - The Atari Times

The Eidolon


Lucasfilm strikes again
by Ken Sarmiento

August 18, 2004
Lucasfilm games have always released high quality games. The Eidolon is another example of a classic computer game gem. For those who have enjoyed games like Rescue on Fractulus and Koronis Rift that Lucasfilm had released, you'll also enjoy The Eidolon. I'm not too sure how popular this game was back in the mid 80's, but I'll probably guess that there aren't too many people that have played this amazing game. For those unfortunate to play The Eidolon, you can try searching on Ebay or from a vintage Atari Dealer. You'll be glad you made the investment.

THE STORY
Dr. Agon, a scientist from about 100 years ago, spends all his time in a cellular laboratory researching and performing on many strange experiments. After years of work, the Eidolon is finally created. Just small enough to fit one person, the Eidolon sports a spherical size that uses the user's mind energy to move. The Eidolon floats and navigates. Eventually, Agon disappeared and his family closed his mansion. Agon's work is still a mystery and the Eidolon was almost lost and forgotten.

Fast-forward almost a hundred years later, you discover the Eidolon from an old abandon house in Agon's laboratory. Your curiosity to hop in the bizarre machine sends you to a dark cavern in which you encounter jewels, fireballs, and exotic monsters.

OBJECTIVE
Going through the caverns, it's important to collect fireballs and gems. The fireballs help you fight off the creatures lurking in the caverns. There are several types of fireballs. Each different fireball has a specific purpose. The red fireball is the basic source of offense to use against creatures. Moreover, blue fireballs freeze your opponents giving you time to destroy them. Green fireballs transform a monster to another creature (especially if they're too powerful). And finally the gold fireballs help destroy the "top" dragon in some levels. As you move up through the levels, you'll have to learn which type of fireball to use. To accomplish a level, you must collect all the gems and defeat each dragon. Finding the gems, staying alive in the caverns, and actually finding the dragon (the caverns become larger and harder to navigate as you complete each level) with your detector before time runs presents a challenge. The game could be difficult to complete but not too hard to enjoy this game.

GRAPHICS
I dare to say that this game probably has the best graphics on the Atari 8-Bit computer. In my review of Alternate Reality for the 8-bit, I mentioned The Eidolon had excellent graphics for its large 1st person perspective. The 3-D graphics were amazing for this time and definitely helped advanced gaming to where it is today. The creatures look really unique. The caverns look realistic. Nevertheless, the graphics of the dragons look wonderful. Battling and beating the multi-headed dragon in the end reveals a really cool ending (which I'm not going to reveal) of the story. Yes, the ending may have to do with Dr. Agon.

CONTROL
Using the joystick and keyboard allows you to collect fireballs and navigate around the caverns. You'll have to learn the system of pressing which fireballs to use on the keyboard. Response is accurate on the joystick of your choice.

SOUND
Even the beginning intro from Lucasfilm sounds amazing. The sound and music of this game definitely sets the mood of this game. As a kid playing this game in the 80's, this game gave me the chills. There's a dark and eerie mood to this game that the sound effects and music does very well. For me, Alternate Reality sets the 10/10 standard. More music variation would have given this a 10. Nevertheless, it still ranks among the best sounding games on the Atari 8-bit computers.

GAMEPLAY
With a great story, wonderful music, battling creatures in 3-D caverns, racing for time, and fighting wicked looking dragons, this game makes a 10. What's great about this game is that it's not too slow for gamers that don't like to play slow role-playing games. It's a bit of shooter/strategy/role-playing game all in one. What other games do you know on the 8-bit that allows you to battle against dragons in a 3-D game?

OVERALL
The Eidolon was an amazing game for its time. The graphics were the best. The music themes and special effects work well with the overall package of this game. There were a lot of small details that this game had. The Eidolon was definitely in a league of its own. It's hard to believe that an Atari 8-bit computer could handle such a great game.



Not the world's most descriptive title, is it?
The 3D movement is really spectacular! Doom on the 8-bit!
Boo!
The Eidolon
System: 8-Bit
Publisher: Lucasfilm Games
Genre: Adventure
Graphics Score: 100%
Sound & Music Score: 95%
Gameplay Score: 100%
Control Score: 100%

Final Score: 99%



Reader Comments for The Eidolon

the eidolon rocks! by paul westphal on 2007-02-03 16:18:37
one of the best games for 8-bit atari. also try koronis rift (hard game) and the first two lucasfilm games ballblazer and rescue at fractalus ( the best one )
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