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Graphics Replacement by Mark Quinn
For Felix Rivero’s great game Rescue From Space Invaders.

You should be out looking for a job!!! — My Dad

Download version 0.4 now!

What is Rescue from Space Invaders?

Rescue from Space Invaders is a game by Felix Rivero. It is meant as a sequel to the original classic game Space Invaders, which was popular in the arcades in 1978, and the Atari 2600 home console version of the early 1980s.

In the game, the player’s mission is to rescue the prisoners of war, who were captured during the original space invasion so many years ago.

Your ship is more powerful than the old laser bases used in the original war, but so are the invaders! They no longer disappear with a simple “blip” like they used to. They have powerful shields, and can take up to four hits before dying. They can also repair the damage you inflict on them over time, so watch out!

Rescue from Space Invaders is currently up to version 3.4. It is an excellent game with addictive game play and plenty of power ups. It is a more than worthy successor to the original, and is fun for the whole family.

Visit Felix’s Rescue from Space Invaders web site to try out this wonderful game!

Why replace the graphics?

Although Felix’s game is great and a lot of fun, the graphics used in the game are reminiscent of the kinds of graphics I used to make up on graph paper myself for machines such as the Commodore 64 back in the ’80s.

I figured that with today’s machines, some better graphics would be in order. When I found out that it was indeed possible to change the graphics used by the game, I decided to get to work right away.

In addition, I must confess that I was never much of a fan of the Atari 2600, so I wanted to make new graphics based on my interpretations of the invaders from the classic arcade version, rather than the Atari version. I owned an Intellivision. Please don’t boo me.

The new graphics have been created using 3D CG models that provide an improved look over the originals. Great care has been taken in the design of the new invaders in order to make sure that they are appropriate to the game, and an actual improvement, not just a bunch of primatives thrown together.

Progress so far ...

Not all of the graphics for the game have been replaced as of yet. That is why this version is listed as 0.4, and not as version 1.0.

Four of the six types of invaders have been replaced so far. Half are based on my interpretations of the classic arcade invaders, and, due to the fact there are six types of invaders in this game, but only three types of invaders in the arcade game, half are based on interpretations of the Atari invaders.

The player ships have been replaced with renderings of a pair of jet models I picked up on the net. I know this is a little cheesy, but it is an improvement over the pixelated graphics that were there before. The eagle ship was constructed from more jet model parts and the wings off a Romulan warbird model.

The opening story graphics have all been changed. The invaders in it have been changed to resemble the invaders from the classic arcade game. The words telling the story have also been rerendered for better antialiasing. The title graphics have also been changed. The changed version can be seen at the top of this page.

One sound, the Atari ship firing sound, has been changed from the “POCK!” sound of the Atari 2600 to the “PSHT!” firing sound of the classic arcade game. This is to go with the new graphic, which resembles the laser base from the original arcade game.

NEW as of version 0.4!
I have finally gotten around to adding the replacement for the Solar Storm. It is a white ship, as oposed to the multicoloured Atari original, but what the heck, eh?

NEW as of version 0.4!
I recently changed the look of the bottom row of invaders. They are still skulls with insect like legs and glowing eyes, but I switched the existing skull model for a better one I found on the net, and added a NAZI helmet. This makes them look nastier, but also makes them look a little bit closer in form to the original arcade invader they are based on. Sadly, the colour of the bone translated to grey when the graphics were converted to the RFSI palette. Oh well.

NEW as of version 0.4!
For compatability with version 3.4 of RFSI, I have added replacements for the Atlantis tanks, using a model I had originally made for DeiM. I have also added the appropriate shots for the tanks as well. The animations for the barrels of the tanks recoiling when firing have not been done yet.

How to use these graphics replacements ...

First of all, I would like to say that I will accept absolutely no responsibility for any damage that may occur to your computer, to you, your family, your residence, your country, your continent, or any computers, people, pets, plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, rocks and / or minerals contained therein, due to the use of these graphics, and sound/s. If you somehow manage to screw things up, I will not be held responsible for the consequences of your boobery.

(Although it should be nearly impossible for anyone to cause havoc with these few graphics files, I am pretty certain there is at least one idiot out there who is somehow capable of doing it.)

The first thing you need to do after installing the original Rescue from Space Invaders game is to create a backup directory for all the original graphics. Go into the “bitmaps” subdirectory in whatever directory you installed RFSI to, and create a new subdirectory called “originals” in it. Now copy (not move) all of the graphics from the “bitmaps” directory into the “originals” subdirectory. This will preserve the old graphics if you want to restore them.

Next, create another subdirectory in the “bitmaps” directory called “replacements”. Unzip the contents of the zip file into this new subdirectory. This will serve as a backup for the new graphics.

Select all the files in the “replacements” directory except for “atarifire.wav” and choose “copy” <CTRL+C>.

Go up to the “bitmaps” directory and choose “paste” <CTRL+V>.

Each time the computer asks if you want to replace the current file with the new one, click on “yes”. This will replace the old graphics with the new ones.

The last thing left is the sound of the laser base firing. Go to the “sounds” directory and rename “atarifire.wav” to “atarifire.bak”. Now copy “atarifire.wav” from the “replacements” subdirectory to the “sounds” directory.

That’s it.

Now go play the game, and marvel at my genius.

What is being planned ...

Obviously, I plan to create new graphics for the other two types of invaders, which I haven’t done yet. New graphics to replace the jets that I have been using so far are needed. I originally put them in as a test to see if I could replace the original graphics, and they have kind of stayed in ever since. I am hoping to do something that looks similar to the gunstar from The Last Starfighter. An improved version of the laser base may be in the works soon. The firing animations for the Atlantis tanks will be needed too. Unless Felix Rivero decides to add in some new features that require more new graphics, that should pretty much complete this project. :-)

Screen shot

Here is a shot of what the game looks like with the current set of graphics being used. The second and third rows of invaders have not been replaced, so the originals still appear there. (This shot is reduced slightly.)

Issues with version 3.4

I am very happy with Rescue from Space Invaders, but I am not entirely happy with the new version, version 3.4.

The main trouble I have with the new version is the addition of two new power ups, which actually make the game more difficult. One of the main strategies of the game is to shoot the invaders until they are heavily damaged (red), but not killed, which encourages them to go into panic mode. Shooting panicked invaders is what makes the rescue cannon rise towards the top of the screen in order to release the hostage ships. Unfortunately, the two new power ups, the three shot spread and the Atlantis tanks, set up a cross fire that tends to shoot down the heavily damaged invaders before they can go into panic mode, and fewer panicking invaders means less opportunity to rescue captured ships. By the time you reach level 10, you pretty much require having the double firepower to survive, and having the eagle ship is pretty much the only way to survive beyond level 15, so by making it more difficult to rescue these ships the new power ups actually make it harder to survive to the higher levels.

This, of course, is only my opinion. Others may disagree, and are welcome to do so.

For the sake of argument, I may make a copy of version 3.3 available on this web site in the near future.