Saturday, 10 December 2011

Golden Eagle (Amiga)

Another requested game! Golden Eagle, also known as L' Aigle D'Or - Le Retour (Golden Eagle: The Return). This is actually the sequel to another game also called Golden Eagle, released way back in 1985 on the Oric-1. Oh, and the box art is amazing: Golden Eagle box art (

The game came out for a few other systems like Atari ST and DOS but as far as I can tell they're all virtually identical, so there's no point comparing them. So I won't.

The on screen text claims this is Adlerberg Castle, 11h 30m. It was a pretty quiet night before the aliens came down and started blowing shit up.

Well, actually I'm just assuming that they're aliens. These humans may hang around in a castle but they're definitely not swinging broadswords, so who knows what year this is meant to be set.

A few minutes later and the (possibly alien) invaders have taken the castle. A bloke (possibly the alien leader) called Nnahmur arrives to grab... something not clearly shown (but very golden looking). And the surviving castle guards are all brainwashed to become slaves.

It's funny how everyone is a shadowy featureless silhouette, but we can see the detail on the brainwashing chair perfectly well. But wait, who's that poor slave walking over on the right there?

It's Friedrich Von Horgen, son of the Gunther Von Horgen, the last guardian of the Golden Eagle!

It looks a little like half the skin on his face has been burned away, revealing a grotesque metal endoskeleton and glowing red Terminator eye.... but I'm pretty sure that side's just in shadow.

Meanwhile, at the secret meeting room of the silhouette people, everyone is too polite to point out that there's only one face up on that screen. I'm not sure what they expect poor Friedrich to do for them seeing as he's been captured and turned, but I'm sure that'll actually turn out to be a crucial part of their scheme.

Okay, that is a cool looking sinister sci-fi fortress. I guess that spaceship is just arriving with our hero and the other slaves on board.

The on screen text claims this Odexa Base, at Alpha of the Centaure (Alpha Centauri?), in 'unknown year'. Not even the narrator knows when this game is set!

I can't tell if 'unknown year' means that the prisoners don't know how many years the journey took, or if human civilization itself lost track of what year they were in at some point, and couldn't be bothered to start a calender up again from scratch.

Life is simple on Odexa Base. Everyone gets matching jumpsuits and hairstyles and they spend their days marching around in step, looking very rotoscoped and well animated.

That is, until a freak bolt of electricity frees Friedrich from the mind control! And also bleaches his uniform. He still stomps around like a robot, but now I get to play as him.

Awesome, I've got a gun and everything! I have to press a button to draw it like in Flashback and Blackthorne, and while I'm holding it I can't do athletic moves like leaping forward or turning around, but I'm sure that won't turn out to be frustrating at all. Well, to be fair it's not like there are any ledges to climb up anyway, and I can't run even with the gun holstered.

Huh, more electricity? All these slaves marching around and they can't get anyone to check the wiring once in a while? You know, if that 'power' battery on the left is my health bar, then I should probably be worried about how quickly it's draining away...

Fortunately a kind robot took pity on me and drove my unconscious body back to the starting screen. I'm not sure yet though if I have limited lives or a time limit, so I'll try to stay clear of electrified flooring in future.

A little further to the left I come across a computer terminal and INSERT DISK A INTO DRIVE flashes up. That's game disk by the way, not a disk item in the game. And it doesn't seem to like my extra drive, so I'll have to do some swapping around.


Hey, I've got a whole menu here. And there's the Golden Eagle itself sitting in the middle of the screen. First the aliens steal it, then they put a photo of it as their desktop background just to rub it in every time someone logs on. I still don't know what the thing even is yet, or why everyone wants it.

Right, I'll check out 'news' first.

Does that mean that poor Friedrich's been stuck here for an entire year? At least now I know where to find the Eagle; it's apparently everywhere. They've broken it up and locked the pieces away in safes.

In other news, this unfortunate digitised degenerate was locked up for breathing too much.

The 'game' option took me to Reversi. I think I'll pass.

Damn, he's like a mutant Oompa-Loompa. Plus it looks like he's drawn a fake shirt onto his photo for whatever reason. Could this be the leader of the silhouette people we saw in the intro?

It seems that this Eagle is somehow the key to saving the day, though I don't remember it helping the people in the castle much. Anyway, I'm looking for safes then.

The map reveals... something. I thought those boxes were buttons, but apparently that's the legend for the map. I'm the yellow dot, so I guess the computer terminals are green. And if I keep walking left I'll end up in that big circle at the top, which then leads back down the other side to the green exit arrow, and zone 7.

I quit out of the computer screen, and got hit with INSERT DISK B INTO DRIVE. Oh no, don't tell me I have to swap disks twice every time I use a terminal.


The people in the rest of the base have completely ignored me up to this point, but as soon as I entered the dome this guy started chasing me.

Just as I'd made it to the other side and was about to make my thrilling escape, I seemed to walk into an invisible wall and got stuck. It seems that I wasn't quite exactly lined up with the exit door, and my blue stalker was able to catch me.

I've been allowed to continue at starting screen a couple of times, but it seems that the robots are finally tired of carrying me around, and have left me for the guards to deal with instead.

So now I'm in prison then. It looks like this place could do with a bit of repair too; someone could probably crawl out through one of those gaping holes in the walls. Not that they'd have to though really, as there isn't even a door attached.

I'm assuming that these two suspiciously placed floor switches have some part to play in my daring escape, but I'm not seeing much effect from this one. Oh by the way, I can't actually walk close enough to the wall to step on it. I have to turn around so that I'm standing far enough back to activate it. The guy seems to pivot around his belt buckle.

I made a run for the exit, but for some reason Friedrich didn't want to leave just yet. So the hubcap robot hovered back down and knocked him out while he stood there like an idiot. And then the guards dragged him from his prison cell... to his prison cell.

Eventually they figured out that Friedrich wasn't going to stop trying to break out, so they just fixed his hypnotic module and sent him out to march around in circles with his friends again. Game over.

Okay I'm fairly certain this game isn't going to end up getting a gold star from me, but it seems a bit premature to give up on it here. So I'm swapping back to DISK A, and then swapping back to DISK B, and then giving this another shot.


Uh, I'm sure this place wasn't so crowded the first time around. Fuck it, I'm making a run for the exit!

I went out of that dome through a door heading right, and I came into this corridor through a door heading left... that's just confusing.

Okay what's in this room? A picture of a guy with a beard, an advert for Reversi, and a mysterious new terminal. Looks worth checking out.

That's no terminal, it's a safe! One of the precious pieces of the Golden Eagle itself may lie within. All I have to do is crack the combination.

How the hell do I do that?


I decided to check my email at a nearby computer terminal (INSERT DISK A) to look for clues about the safe's combination. Well that guy has three stars on his hat, and two of them are in colour... man, this is hopeless.

How do these people keep getting hold of my email address? Why does she expect to see me soon? Why is she in black and white, when she's in front of a coloured background?

This really isn't getting me anywhere. I'll disconnect from the terminal (INSERT DISK B), leave the safe locked for now, and continue exploring the corridors of zone 7.


How the hell was I supposed to avoid that trap? It's right at the edge of the screen!

Okay, maybe I can get to the safe from the other side by heading right instead and going all the way around the corridor loop.

This side of the corridor looks a little dangerous too. I think I'll backtrack and go another way. I can always come back when I've figured out how to crawl. It seems that instead of separate levels I'm free to explore most of the base from the start.


Hey this is interesting, I get to collect a new gun. I guess it wants me to trade in what I'm holding first.
"Do you want to take your weapon back? Type: Y or [ESC] to quit."
Uh, no I want to take that other weapon. Duh.

After playing around with the machine for a bit I figured out that I have to try to take my original gun back out before it'll let me take the other one instead.

This new gun is awesome though, it totally vaporises enemies with one hit! Though actually, now that I think about it, so did my old gun. In fact except for this shooting lasers instead of darts I can't tell the difference.

There definitely seem to be more enemies walking on screen to shoot with it though. I've gotten into the habit of walking into rooms with the gun drawn, and immediately ducking down to avoid the enemy gunfire.

Of course walking into a room with my gun drawn is a fantastic way to make myself completely incapable of dodging a robot racing across the floor. I took damage first time, and had to remember to keep my weapon holstered and jump the next time I came through.

Oh by the way, there's rails like this all along this corridor. But I may only hang from this one. Every other time I've tried it he just jumped a bit.


"We hardly know each other"? I don't know this person AT ALL. She even made a point of mentioning that in her last creepy email. But there's no reply button, so I'm afraid this is going to remain a very one sided correspondence.


Damn, that shot nearly took my head off. Just as I was about to step out of the room too. Annoyingly I have to wait for the walk animation to finish before I'm allowed to duck, and I have to draw my weapon before I duck if I want to be able to defend myself. Because if I don't the enemy will just walk into me and I've lost.

That red light under the envelope on the bottom left of the screen means I've got a new message I can check at the nearest terminal, but I think I can live without swapping disks again for a while.

Oh come on, what am I supposed to do here? Put the gun away and jump over his bullets?

Great, another safe and I'm still no closer to figuring out... wait. That light just flashed when I reached '4' on the dial. The light flickers on 2, 4 and 8, and that's enough digits for a combination code! I have figured this out, I'm sure of it.

The safe opens! And... it's empty.

Those sons of bitches.



And so I ended up back in my old cell, with the drafty walls and the missing front door. But they didn't even bother to confiscate my gun! I just strolled right out of my open prison cell and started shooting. And look, another safe! Maybe this will actually all work out for the best.

Dammit, it was empty again. And then the enemies killed me again straight afterwards.

No prison cell for Friedrich this time. They're reinstalling his brainwashing, and presumably giving him a replacement blue jumpsuit.

Whoa, I've gotten 40 kills and seen a third of the rooms. I guess this base really is the entire game. And of course I found 0 piece(s) of the Eagle.

Well there ain't no way I'm going to INSERT DISK A even one more time, so I'm done with it. Onto the next game.

1 comment:

  1. The box art defies belief - it's as if they were trying to cram in characters from every sci-fi franchise they could think of. Clockwise from top there's Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, a cross between Lee Majors and Gil Gerard as the hero, the Discovery from 2001, Moonbase Alpha from Space: 1999, a badly-drawn generic Bond girl holding what looks like a scoped laser revolver, and I have no idea what's going on in the bottom left.

    Spandex skydiving SAS men with Jawa rifles who seem to be having a short-range gunfight with each other. The box art is half of a two-page advert, the left half has some Giger-esque alien heads and the sky from Dune. Nowadays it'd probably be a big Photoshop montage with filters and stuff.


Semi-Random Game Box