Two players alternating
Eagle was a bit of a different game upon release, as it was still new to have a game where enemies and their attack patterns would change with every screen or two, as games with enemies and attack patterns that remained the same (such as with Space Invaders and Galaxian) were still popular. The game was also unique by not having three lives per game (as most did back then), but three different ships ("rockets") that varied in size and firepower, plus players could also dock their ships (if they made it far enough in the game) for extra firepower, predating this well-known feature later found on Galaga.
Enemies start off at the top of the screen and fly around in various attack patterns, making their way towards players’ rockets located at the bottom of the screen. An enemy will re-materialize at the top of the screen if they get past a player’s rocket without being destroyed. After several screens, players will get a chance to dock their rockets for bonus points and additional firepower. The current stage rocket that is in use will be raised up to about the middle of the screen while the next stage rocket appears at the bottom. Pressing the fire/retro button will cause the current stage rocket to thrust away from the next stage rocket. If the player is successful with a docking, upon entering the next stage, the two rockets will be joined together, adding to the player’s firing capability.
Colliding with any enemy or not docking correctly will cost the player a rocket and the game will end when there are no more remaining rockets.
- Green and Pink Mantas–50 points each
- Pink and Blue Tegors–30 points
- Red and Blue Eagles–60 points
- Pink and Green Volars–100 points
- Comets–200 points
- First stage docking–100 points per remaining second
- Second stage docking–200 points per remaining second
- Move ship–left/right buttons
- Fire/thrust–fire/retro button
- The first stage rocket is small and only shoots one missile from its center. If the player gets rammed by an enemy after docking with the stage 2 or even stage 3 rocket, the stage 2 or 3 rocket can be destroyed, leaving the player with having to start over with the stage 1 rocket again.
- Although made famous by Galaga, Eagle predated the increased firepower function via docking sequence by a year. However, with Galaga, ships were side by side after docking, but with Eagle, the ships were stacked on top of each other vertically.
- Eagle is a copy of Moon Cresta.
Well, Eagle was quite the different game when it hit the arcades. I didn't fully release that, but then I was pretty young at the time.
First off, having different waves of enemies with different behavior was new; with the bottom of the screen shooter genre exploding due to Space Invaders, there were many games out there due to that (a lot of which were Invaders rip-offs), but this game was still way different than most of the other offerings out there. Also, docking to increase your firepower also made it different as well.
The sounds during the first wave were annoying as hell though, even for back then! Other than that, the sounds weren't too bad, the controls worked well (if I remember correctly), the graphics colorful, and the game was definitely a challenge...TOO challenging, if you ask me. The difficulty level was a bit high, as enemies moved rather quickly for the most part, and your puny first ship that only fired one shot at a time didn't help much, hence why I can't give this a rating as high as a 7, which it definitely would deserve due to how unique it was (well, ok, it was a copy of Moon Cresta, but I played this frequently at a movie theatre in Houston at the time, which I knew of this more than Moon Cresta. So that's why I look at this as to being different). The difficulty factor stripped down the fun factor a bit, as it was a bit brutal, in my opinion. 6.5/10
(review by Darrylb500)
This article was featured from September - October, 2018.