Martwa Strefa

1995 Seven Stars

Platforms: PC (DOS), Commodore Amiga

A neat sounding RPG that was being produced by Seven Stars for the PC and Commodore Amiga back in 1995. The game was highlighted to us thanks to LiqMatrix.

ms 002 large
Early PC demo that has managed to sneak out

Seven Stars was based in Poland and had produced a number of games, including Kajko i Kokosz and Desert Wolf which were released the same year. Martwa Strefa (Dead Zone) had the following story within a news snippet in a Polish magazine:

“A prison escapee goes to a deserted bunker base and tries to unravel the mystery of the disappearance of all its staff. The task is so difficult that the base is under surveillance by aggressive combat robots ready to fight …”

Nothing much more at this stage was mentioned, apart from the fact that the game would be released in December of 1995.

After a gap of a few years, the game eventually turned up for review in a September 1997 issue of Secret Service magazine. This was just for the Amiga and was now known as W Potrzasku (Trapped), sold by LK Avalon and is available online at HOL.

It seems that the PC DOS version by now had been completely dropped, or at least we haven’t been able to find anything more.

wpotrzasku amiga
The eventual Amiga release – W Potrzasku

The game had been changed, with a new storyline around the basis of being kidnapped by aliens. The general look and feel was the same, apart from a move around with the interface. But how do we know this?

When LiqMatrix highlighted the game, it was of an obscure demo which was being hosted by Retro Stories. The demo was MS DOS based and is in fact an early development build of Dead Zone/W Potrzasku that you can navigate around.

Within the archive, the Seven Stars team give the following description:

“A role-playing adventure game. We control the hero who is escaping from captivity she got ‘to the base deserted of people. It turns out ‘that bases’ the strangers took over, leaving the military robots on guard to guard the secret disappearance of the service of this database. Being in the nooks and crannies of our mysterious object the hero slowly discovers the secret, but getting rid of ‘completely aliens from the base is a task more serious than playing detective.

So here is a field to show off for you dear Player. The presented demo of the game Dead Zone is only limited demo-preview. Graphics originally ray-traced to a small number of colours on the Amiga will be recalculated to 256 colors for PC.

In this version we can navigate the corridors using the cursor keys or mice by pressing the appropriate arrows. The door that appears’ sometimes open by pressing the appropriate button next to the door in the game window. For moving we can shoot by clicking in one of the two guns. The preview version works only from the Sound Blaster tab for now.”

At the moment, this is the only trace so far of the PC development. Could there be a more complete version out there yet to find?

Also, why was it decided to abandon the PC version, and was it anything to do with the change of technology around the time?

At the very least, the Amiga version was released, so you can get a good glimpse of what could have been. If you know anything more, please do get in touch.

With thanks to LiqMatrix for heads up about the game.




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