Mirage was originally intended to be a simple static screen shooter as a free game for Compunet. The creator behind the game was none other than Mark Clements, who many of you will know from his music for Summer and Winter Camp for Thalamus.
Mark used to create a number of demos under the handle of GEM, and whilst developing his game for Compunet – it just grew and grew. The game was still a simple attack wave shooter, but gradually had power ups added, and mega-bosses added at the very end of the game. Mark tells us that he remembers playing a cool Phoenix clone on his friend’s ZX Spectrum and thought it would be fun to make it for Compunet – but somehow it turned into Mirage.
As you play the game, you will hear an audio cue, like a worble – followed by a blue asteroid shooting across the screen. Shoot this and collect as many of these as possible to help progress through the game. Completing a stage will show a status screen that shows how much ‘ore’ has been collected. The more you obtain, the more powerful your laser will be at the boss battle phase.
Once the game had grown so much, Mark decided to try and pitch it to some companies as a budget title. There wasn’t sadly much interest, apart from Codemasters, who liked the graphics and subsequently gave Mark the job of converting Jet Ski Simulator in 1988.
Thanks to Dan Warren and a video on another game called Make My Day, we got in touch with Mark who revealed he had created Mirage and very kindly sent a copy of the game for us to put on the site. The game was digitally preserved by Mat Allen as a favour to Mark. So here it is, for the first time in over 30 years!
With the download, run the first file then use the cursor to go over V1,2 or 3 and press enter. V1 is just the standard full game, V2 has collisions disabled and V3 jumps straight to the large boss ships.
Mark couldn’t remember what happened to the credited (and missing) music from Neil (Demon) Baldwin. He suggests that he must have spoken to him at some point about it, but didn’t arrange anything as no-one picked up the game.
We hope to hear a bit more from Mark about the game, finding out about the missing Neil (Demon) Baldwin tune that is listed in the credits. For now, check out this very cool shooter!
Contributions: Mark Clements, Dan Warren, Mat Allen