At the rather uneventful, amazingly hum-drum game that was Rescue, we now arrive at a game that truly is the complete opposite – a game in the Your Sinclair Top 100 that is so full of action and colour that if your shoelaces aren’t done up tight enough your socks will be blown off! At No.#43 is Midnight Resistance from Ocean Software and it’s ruddy brilliant!
Midnight Resistance started its action-packed life as a Data East arcade game back in 1989, and it was brought to the ZX Spectrum by the Special FX team which included James (Jim) Bagley, Charles Davies and with some excellent music composed by Keith Tinman [listen to that here] in 1990; albeit it a conversion from the arcade game, it in a way was a completely unique game for the ZX Spectrum gamers.
As with most shooting games the plot behind it is one you could write down on a cigarette paper. Johnny Ford returns home from his last mission to discover his entire family, including his father who is creating a serum to stop people being addicted to drugs, has been kidnapped by the King Crimson. It’s up to you to shoot the place to pieces and get your family back! Throughout the game you’ll come across objects that look like lollipops, these are credits to buy bigger and more powerful weapons mid-game, and you’ll need them too as you’re not just facing the run-of-the-mill foot soldiers here – there are numerous armed vehicles appearing from all locations ready to cut you down.
As our plucky machines couldn’t keep up with the new 16-bit machines on the market, Jim Bagley and Co. decided to deliver a completely redesigned Midnight Resistance. Gone was the “realistic” looking appearance of Johnny Ford, the enemy soldiers and tanks, and in comes a chunky looking more cartoon feel to all on-screen. The ZX Spectrum wasn’t a fan of colour and most programmers and graphic artists liked to swing towards a full monochrome affair to reduce clash and keep the speed high. However Special FX treated us to waves of colour throughout, washing in across our mostly black & white monochrome game. Stuck on top of this we still had the excellent multi-directional shooting control system and flocks of enemies running at you – energy was everywhere in this Ocean Software release.
Midnight Resistance is a game that has lasted extremely well over the past quarter of a century. All of the excitement and power that Jim Bagley – along with the Special FX team – placed into Midnight Resistance must have a half life of a good thousand years or so. Play this today, oh and remember winners don’t use drugs!