LGR – Paratrooper – PC Booter Game Review


[LGR Theme plays] [fizz, sip] Aahhh… [typing] It’s time for yet another one of those timeless classics that I played endlessly as a young lad. Paratrooper by Greg Kuperberg
and Orion Software from 1982. This is one of those games that it seems
everyone with a DOS machine had, since it will run on any fully-compatible
IBM PC and takes up almost no space. Most seemed to get the game from a local BBS or shareware compilation disks,
like me when I was a kid. But I recently found a version
of this Keypunch Software disk. I’ll cover Keypunch some other time, but they were one of those companies
that distributed games on disks separated by genre. It’s worth noting that I’ll be playing
this on an orginal IBM 5150 PC with the CGA card’s composite output and a microphone sitting near the PC speaker. [typing] [PC speaker music plays] Ah, Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue” in PC speaker form. Classy. The game gives you three options to choose from: instructions, start with a keyboard,
and start with a joystick. The instructions give you a short mission
briefing and the controls and that’s about it. And that’s fine because this is one of those games that is so simple it doesn’t matter. You play the role of an admittedly phallic
gun turret at the bottom of the screen. The goal is to shoot the crap
out of everything until you die. You can swivel your gun left and
right to cover most of the screen, shooting down helicopters and the game’s namesake and most devious enemy: paratroopers. The goal is to last as long as you
can and rack up the highest score, with each object giving you a different score. So keep shooting, shooting, shooting, and do keep in mind that although your ammo is infinite, each shot will take away one point, taking you down to zero if you’re not careful. You can shoot the helicopters, shoot the paratroopers, or shoot the parachutes, which will drop the little bugger to his doom. Heh heh heh… What you don’t want is for the
paratroopers to gather to your left and right. If four of them gather on any one side, they will form a paratrooper ladder and light a fire under your butt
with no chance of escaping, blowing you to bits. [PC speaker beeping] [PC speaker music plays] It’s a horrible death. I hate those guys. If you’re gathering paratroopers, ah, not all is lost. You CAN kill them indirectly by a rather devious act of your own. Shoot the parachute of a falling paratrooper and drop him on top of one of his buddies. Two for one. Or even three for one, if he lands on
some of his cheerleading buddies. Sadly, this is not all you have to worry about. Occasionally, you’ll get a break in helicopters. And then the jets come. And, oh, man, I am telling you, this is some heart attack crap right here. Like their New York counterparts, the jets are relatively easy targets, but the thing is, some of them drop bombs. And yes, they are perfectly accurate
every time and frickin’ tough to hit. At least until you figure out their falling trajectory. If you do not have a joystick, you will not last during these sections, I promise you. The game is pretty much unplayable with a keyboard. You have to be perfectly accurate or you’re dead. Once the jet passes, it’s back
to choppers and paratroopers. Repeat ad infinitum. So that’s Paratrooper. It’s a freaking classic on the PC world and it’s an absolute blast to play even today. It has that timeless arcade mentality, racking up points, trying to
last longer than you did before. It’s so simple, but with just enough twists to make the gameplay varied and addicting. It’s not the only game in its genre, for sure, and has been copied endlessly over the
years by so-called “Paratrooper clones.” In fact, Paratrooper is itself a clone
of the 1981 Apple II game Sabotage. And there’s also the Atari 2600 game
Commando, which is very similar, and about a million other ones. It’s been cloned over and over throughout the years, but there is a reason that almost all of
them are known as “Paratrooper clones.” And I would that’s because as far
as most people are concerned, Paratrooper is the original, and the best. [PC speaker music plays]

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