Captain Blood (video game)

Captain Blood (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Captain Blood

developer = Exxos (ERE informatique)
publisher = Infogrames
distributor = Mindscape (US)
designer = Phillipe Ulrich (scenario)
Didier Bouchon (graphics & programming)
released = 1988
genre = Adventure, Simulation
modes = Single player
platforms = Atari ST, Amiga, Apple IIGS, IBM PC, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Thomson TO7, Macintosh, |media = Cassette, Disk
input = Mouse, Joystick

"Captain Blood" ("L’Arche du capitaine Blood" in French) is the name of a French video game from 1988 made by Imagitec Design Ltd and released by ERE Informatique, soon relabeled with their short-lived "Exxos" label. It was later re-released by Players Premier Software. The title tune is a stripped down version of "Ethnicolor" by Jean Michel Jarre.


"Captain Blood" was developed jointly by Didier Bouchon and Phillipe Ulrich, both contributing design and scenario, and Bouchon graphics and programming for the Atari ST version. Bouchon originally designed covers for ERE informatique's "Gazoline Software" label, but he learned to program in assembler for the Atari ST after Ulrich provided him with one. Bouchon then created fractal-generated realtime graphics that inspired both to do a sci-fi inspired video game.Daniel Ichbiah, "La saga des jeux vidéo". Chapter 5. Vuibert. 2004. ISBN 2-7117-4825-1]

After ERE's absorption by Infogrames in summer of 1987 (partly justified by preliminary versions of "Captain Blood"), Ulrich and Bouchon isolated themselves in the Landes in order to have the game ready for Christmas. Many adaptations for both 16-bit and 8-bit machines were developed in successive months, although none of them surpasses the original Atari ST version in graphics, sound effects or music.Fact|date=September 2008


The titular character of the game is a 1980s video game designer, Bob Morlock, who had picked "Captain Blood" as a nickname in tribute to the film starring Errol Flynn of the same name. Morlock develops a new video game about aliens and space travel. While testing for the first time his new project, he becomes warped inside the spaceship of the very game he had designed. Soon after, Blood is forced to go into hyperspace mode and, due to an incident, gets accidentally cloned 30 times. For 800 years, Blood tracks down every clone, as each one took a portion of his vital fluid. When the game begins, Blood successfully disintegrated 25 clones but he needs to kill the last five clones who turned out to be the most difficult to track down or he will lose his last connections with the human species.

The objective of the game is to track down and disintegrate five clones (referred to as Duplicates or Numbers depending on the version of the game) of Captain Blood. To find them, the player must speak to various aliens and gain their trust. Communication with aliens occurs via an icon-based interface known as UPCOM. This consists of around 150 icons, each representing a different concept. As each alien race discovered speaks its own language and reacts differently, the player must learn to negotiate using these UPCOM concepts in a style that suits the races.

Other unique facets of the game play of Captain Blood included changes in the player interface as the game progressed; as time wore on, the character's health deteriorated. This was represented in-game via an increasing amount of shaking of the mouse cursor, making the game more and more difficult to control. Disintegrating a clone would temporarily relieve the symptoms.

The player starts the game at the bridge of a biological ship, the Ark. The ship begins in the vicinity of one of four predetermined planets, each inhabited by a single alien. To make contact with an alien, the player launches an OORXX - a biological probe - to the planet's surface. The player must successfully navigate the probe over a fractal landscape, eventually reaching the alien at the end of a valley. The UPCOM interface then appears so that the player may talk to the alien and find out more information - most importantly, the coordinates of other inhabited planets.

The Ark also has the capability to hyperspace to other planets, scan planets for defences, destroy planets and teleport aliens to an area known as the Fridgitorium, for disintegration or transportation to another planet. An alien can only be teleported to the Ark after it has consented to do so.


Audio clips


The game was first released on the Atari ST, and was later released on the Amiga, Apple IIGS, PC and many 8-bit platforms, including the ZX Spectrum. The ST version is the only version that includes the full set of alien language sounds.


It was followed by the sequel "Commander Blood" in 1994 and later by "Big Bug Bang" in 1997, a French-only release.


External links

* [ ARGanoid's Captain Blood Worship Page]
* [ Captain Blood Shrine (includes Captain Blood novella)]
* [ features Amiga release (includes manuals, guides, trivia, screenshots, boxart, video and more)]
*WoS game|id=0000810|name=Captain Blood
* [ Video of one of the five Duplicates]

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