Buck Rodgers: Countdown to a Better Ship

So, when I was growing up, I played all of the gold box games. One of the ones I don’t remember if I finished or not was Buck Rodgers: Countdown to Doomsday. One of the things that rankled was that you couldn’t upgrade or otherwise modify your ship. Also, in the course of the game, depending on how you play, you could destroy or capture dozens of enemy ships, many more powerful than yours. But you couldn’t fly one of them instead…

I did a couple of modifications which allowed you to have higher ship hitpoints (your ship has hitpoints in 6 areas: ‘Hull’,’Sens’,’Ctrl’,’Life’,’Fuel’,’Engn’), and more ship weapons. At the time, I wasn’t able to determine the hex location for the ‘current’ hitpoints, so I could only modify the maximum. This seemed reasonably game-balancing for me, as your party would salvage parts, then have to repair them themselves. (The one irritating part here was that when you went back to base for free repairs or fuel, they would ‘repair’ the current status back to the original values, so you had to fight space combats and repair it all the way back again.)

Now, with my recent success understanding and modifying the Pool of Radiance series (and probably more diligence now that I’m older), I’m going to try these games again, and see how it’s different with a snazzier ship (and different with the passing of time).

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