One of the best side-scrolling shooters for the early Amiga generation is Menace, R-Type, Denaris, and Inviyya. However, Stardust by Bloodhouse is one of the best asteroid games made for any platform. This is an intense shooter with some awesome 3D tunnels sequences that made me fall in love with the Amiga back in the beginning of the 90s.
In this article. I want to introduce to you one of the best asteroid-shooter game series ever made. Including the first Stardust game, there is also Super Stardust that was released for the AGA Amiga platform and the OVA’s as I call them for Playstation 3, PSP, and Playstation 4. But this article is all about the first Stardust game that can be played on any Classic Amiga with 1MB RAM or more. Welcome to Stardust.
Choose the Levels of your Choice in Stardust
In Stardust, you can choose which way you want to finish the game. You must have a strategy as well very good skills controlling your spaceship. Each of the levels has a difficulty level which you should follow in the beginning but as you progress with your gaming skills. You can choose as you wish.
Including seeing the difficulty level for each level you play on. You also can see what sort of extra obstacles that you will meet when playing.
In some, there can be a flame-throwing UFO, while in another there can be a transport spaceship that can give you a weapon upgrade if you manage to destroy it. It is important to know this so you can sort of build up a strategy while playing because you will need it when the final boss appears. This happens once you have played through all of the 6 levels. You can play them in whatever order, then when you are done. The final boss appears without any loading. You will see some bigger explosions and it appears.
Once you get the game itself. You can then start with one of the more difficult levels. Chose level nr 5 with the weapon transport ship. When it appears then try to destroy it. Once that is done, then make sure to upgrade your weapons.
Weapon Upgrade Guide
The weapon system in Stardust is what makes this an intelligent type of shooter. If you master this part of the game, you will also succeed. But this is on top of the difficulty level that the game got. Back in 1993, the games challenged the gamer a lot! Here I describe the weapon menu:
In Stardust, the main weapon is your first one as seen in the weapon selection menu above. If you press the spacebar while playing, you will get a weapon menu. Here all of the weapons that are available are displayed for you from left to right. Those weapons that you haven’t picked during gameplay got a 3D question mark rolling.
Also, there is a display showing you how much you have upgraded your weapon. If it’s 1/3 then the weapon is at its weakest. If it’s set at 3/3 it is at max. However other weapons got 6 levels to reach the max level.
The intelligent part of the weapon system in Stardust is that while you have one, you can upgrade the second weapon while playing. If you notice the two dots below the weapon that is selected. The left one means that this weapon is selected, however, the white dot on the right means that this is the weapon this is getting upgraded. To change that you have to be on the weapon you select and push the joystick either down-left or down-right to select. This mechanism works really great. Then you can hit the EXIT button or hit the spacebar again to return to the game
Master the controls as hits degrades you
Once you know the gameplay a bit better. You can go to the next level by becoming a master in weapon switching. When your good enough you can start at the weapon transporter level and then go to one of the easier levels to fill up your second weapon. But be aware!
When you die in Stardust, you will be degraded by one power level for the weapon that you use. If you have upgraded the other weapon to the max you can then switch back. But do it quick. This is good to know if you have managed to reach the final boss of the planet level that you’re at. This boss is not an easy task to kill as you can see in my video above here. The evil UFO needs tons of hits and there is no bar telling how far you are.
Because the boss is pretty hard to kill. You must master the controls. You will die a lot if you don’t have lots of experience with such games. While playing you also upgrade the controls of your ship. If you pick up too many engine powerups then your ship will become way too responsive. When you die, also the engine of your ship will be degraded.
The goal is the awesome 3D tunnel warp Sequence
When you have mastered the very first 6 levels + the boss. You need to go through a 3D tunnel were tons of asteroids and bombs try to hit you. It’s not easy, but mastering the game further.
Stardust is a very intelligent rewarding type of gameplay. To see this 3D tunnel sequence on my Amiga 500 with 1MB of RAM back in 1993 was mindblowing and still is. It is one of the gameplays that Super Stardust HD didn’t add, which is a bummer!
This is a very hard shooter but at the same time, it rewards you while playing. It gives this game a lastability like no other. The graphics were outstanding back in 1993 and is it still is together with the pump-techno-vibe to the music.
Here you have sound effects and music playing together at an audio level that very few Amiga games manage. Stardust is an Amiga-legend and if you had the right Hi-Fi system connected to your Amiga while playing Stardust, there was happiness all the way.
The worthy Stardust team
- Coder: Harri Tikkanen (SCY)
- Coder: Jussi Hartzell (WANTON)
- Coder: Mikko Hamalainen (WDO)
- Graphician: Celeborn Hagelberg (SCH)
- Graphician: Jani Isoranta (DESTOP)
- Graphician: Sampsa Virtanen (X-RAY)
- Musician: Risto Vuori (RIB)
- Misc : Petteri Putkonen (PETSKU)