Also a very strange and unique computer game by Philippe Ulrich and Didier Bouchon of Exxos
, a French programming team who changed their name to Cryo
and went on to do the first 'Dune
' computer game. Blood
featured a short extract from Jean Michel Jarre
' as the theme tune - something that was quite revolutionary at the time - and is a tricky game to describe. The gameplay involved exploring a universe, flying probes through fractal
canyons, and conversing with strange alien creatures using an icon-based ELISA
-like language system. Much of it was baffling and revolved around saying 'ME BLOOD FRIEND PLANET' to various cute aliens, only for them to reply 'SMALL IZWAL FEAR SHIP'. Yes.
The game was released in 1988 for the (breathe in) Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Commodore C64, Sinclair Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, IBM PC and Apple II. The best version is apparently that for the Atari ST (the flying bits are fast and smooth, and the talking bits have a clever spoken language of blobs and beeps).
Its nearest equivalents are space epics such as Damocles and Frontier, although it is considerably more surreal than either. Here is an extract from the novella which accompanied the game:
"The medireport came through on the telox. An incadescent meteor tore through space with a scissors sound. Blood read the report slowly. Cellular degeneration was increasing since the last report. A frightening question came up from his synthetic throat:
"Honk, how long can I live without the vital fluid of the NUMBERS?"
"312 Universal Time Units", replied the bio-consciousness, "Permit me to augment your optimism levels: Your metabolism can't afford despair, and I've isolated a suicide impulse in the B Cortex of a bulb gene in your right brain.""
A sequel, 'Commander Blood', followed in 1994; a 'threequel', 'Big Bug Bang', appeared in 1996, but only in France.