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Cosmic Chasm

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Cosmic Chasm
Cosmicchasm

Vectrex Passport catalog entry for Cosmic Chasm.

Developer GCE
Publisher GCE
Release Date 1982
Genres Maze
Multi-directional shooter
Strategy
Modes Single player
1-2 players alternating
Media Cartridge
ROM file

GameplayEdit

With the beginning of a new game, a map screen is shown with the player's position, as they control a ship set in a series of interconnected caverns. They must first plan out the best route in order to get to the central area in each Mission.

After several seconds, the map screen changes to a cavern that the player is currently in, which each cavern has a core in the center that is constantly growing, as well as having several Planet Protector enemies. It is usually in the player's best interest to clear out each area of Planet Protectors by shooting them, then carefully inching their way to the protective barrier by an exit in order to drill through it. Once the barrier has been disabled by the drill, the player can then fly into the next cavern and thereby gets a step closer to the central area.

The view changes from a cavern to the map screen with each cavern that they pass, showing the player's(') progress. Once the central central area is reached, the player(s) must drop a bomb at the center core, which they have several seconds in order to escape from the area before the bomb explodes. If the player does not make it out in time they will lose a ship; succeed and they will start again on a new area/Mission.

Hitting a cavern wall, core or a Planet Protector will cause players to lose a ship and the game will end when there are no ships remaining. Exiting a Mission without leaving a bomb at the central core will cause the player to lose a ship as well, along with restarting the current Mission (if they have any remaining lives left). Also when the player loses a ship without clearing out all Planet Protectors in a cavern, that cavern's full complement of Protectors are totally replaced once the player's next ship comes into play. Players have a protective shield for use in emergencies, however.

ControlsEdit

Main menuEdit

  • Choose between one or two players–button one
  • Start game–button four

In-gameEdit

  • Turn ship–joystick or D-pad
  • Drill–button one
  • Shields–button two
  • Thrust–button three
  • Fire–button four
  • Drop off bomb--down on joystick or D-pad (central chamber only)

ScoringEdit

  • Destroying Planet Protector--80 points
  • Destroying Planet Protector after first cavern--80 points + 10 for each additional cavern
  • Drilling to next cavern--25 points
  • Getting to next cavern while escaping planet--100 points
  • Completion of successful mission-1000 points

TriviaEdit

  • This was the first home game ever to be ported from the home to the arcade, which it is usually the other way around as far as ports go. This ended up being Cinematronics's last released vector game ever before filing for bankruptcy. The tempo was a bit sped up, with players being able to deploy a much larger spray of fire (on this original version, they could only fire four shots at once), the drill function was replaced by having the player shoot and destroy doors, the map was constantly displayed overhead, the game was in color, and there was a brief cutscene added for each time the player made it to a new cavern.
  • In late 2012, it became known that bassist Rudy Sarzo (who has played in the heavy metal/hard rock acts Dio, Whitesnake, and Quiet Riot, among others) had a Vectrex on Quiet Riot's tour bus, due to an ebay auction selling off the collection, one of which games included Cosmic Chasm. The package also included an original controller, a Light Pen and a letter of authenticity of ownership.

LinksEdit

  • Review at vectrex.nl site (7.5/10)
  • Click on the tabber below for another review.

ReviewEdit

I always found Cosmic Chasm to be a fascinating game, which I borrowed from a friend of mine that had a Vectrex from back in the day until now as I play it on my Mateos Vectrex Rewritable Multigame Cart at the tail end of 2014 (and I'll have a physical copy of the cart one day as well!).

Although possibly not for everyone due to the game seeming plodding at times as you try to figure out the best route to the central core and back (and sometimes you'll have to do that in a really convoluted manner), I've never played another game like it before, due to you flying through a series of interconnecting passageways with growing central cores (kind of like the arcade game Reactor). You got a double-barreled shot motif going, but unfortunately those Planet Protectors can fit in between your shots for a bit of a challenge.

Then, interestingly, the final core doesn't move at all, giving you a pause, and then you have to get the hell out before everything...goes to hell.

Along with being plodding at times, there's really no reward for getting to the next Mission; an explosion similar to the one where you don't get out in time would've been good. However, this doesn't detract from the game too much, but without explosions, you don't really feel like you've accomplished that much. I also found it odd that an extra ship was never awarded, and not just with hitting 10,000 points or something, it could've been saved after the second or third Mission was completed.

This is quite the different game though. I'll have to agree with the linked review of giving this a 7.5 out of 10 as well.

(Review by Darrylb500)

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