Backstory on Yar’s:
It’s a simple game, really. A Yar is this giant, flying insect. Its enemy is the Qotile, who hangs out on the right side of the screen. It’s protected by a shield, which can be shot or eaten by the Yar. Once there’s a “hole” in the shield, you can use the Zorlon Cannon, which appears on the left side of the screen, to kill it. There’s also a small, slow-moving missile that can kill you. It follows you relentlessly, like the Terminator. There’s a “neutral zone” in the middle of the screen, which will save you from the missile, but not the Qotile’s main weapon..the deadly “swirl”. The swirl is like a can of Raid. Kills Bugs Dead. At certain intervals, the Qotile will turn different colors and periodically shoot out toward the Yar. A really cool feature (and one you will NEED to use) is that Yar can fly through the top of the screen and “pop” out of the bottom, or vice-versa. The missile or swirl cannot do this.
OBJECTIVE: To reach 1,000,000 points, turning the score back to zero, and getting the revenge for the Yars.
I fire it up, and it still has that cool background music. Sounds a bit like an old refrigerator droning on and on before it dies.
Yar moves around very quick and smoothly, controls are nice.
You get more points for eating the shield than shooting, so I’m going to get in close as much as possible.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED 40 G- COOL HAND
(Eat 50 pieces of shield)
After there’s a hole in the shield, you have a couple of options: You can continue eating the shield for more points, or get right to the BIG points. It’s 1000 to shoot the Qotile while he’s sitting there; 2000 to wait until he turns into the swirl; or 6000 points to shoot him while he’s shooting toward you. The risk/reward of shooting him in mid-air is the way I like to go for a big reason: This is the only way to get a “free man”. You will max out with 9 lives, but you’ll need them.
I’m out of practice a bit, but I opt to eat a little shield, head back towards the left side of the screen, then wait for the swirl to turn red. After the color change, he’ll “swirl” in place for a second or two (2000 points), then attack. I have to time the Zorlon Cannon just right, then move out of the way so I’m not hit by it (Yes, you can kill yourself with your weapon)….AARRRGGHH!!!!! Got me! I am a little out of practice.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED 30 G- MAN IN BLACK
(Go Down in a Burning Ring of Fire)
After I get the hang of it, and the timing down, I hit my first flying swirl for 6000 points!
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED 50 G- JUST LIKE SHOOTING WOMP RATS
(Get your first moving kill)
There’s a lot of repeating until you reach 70,000 points. This is when the shield will turn from orange to blue. Now, the swirl will come at you 3 times more frequently. The missile will continually get faster and more relentless throughout the game, so now you have to use some skill.
I get on a roll and start knocking them out.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED 50 G- KESSEL RUNNER
(Destroy 2 swirls in less than 12 seconds)
This continues until I reach 150,000 points. The shield turns gray. The good part about this milestone is the swirl will go back to shooting at you at its normal frequency. The bad news…it now acts as a guiding missile, taking a 90 degree turn toward you.
The strategy here takes quite a bit of skill and hand/eye coordination. I mentioned before about using the top-to-bottom “gateway”. You’ll have to now or you’ll never survive. The idea is to be at the top when swirl shoots, then go through to the bottom. When the swirl turns straight down towards you, fire your cannon to time a direct hit. Don’t forget to move right quickly to avoid the 3-way collision. After I get the pattern down, it becomes fairly easy.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED 100 G- MAVERICK, YOU HAVE THE NEED FOR SPEED
(Reach the quickest level of gameplay)
At the 230,000 point mark, the guiding swirl remains, but the frequency is back up the 3 times normal. It’ll stay that way for the duration of the game.
It feels like I’m going to break my joystick, but I zig and zag this way for a while.
I lose a life on occasion, but after about an hour or so of game time, I finally turn it over.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED 200-G YOU ARE THE LAST STARFIGHTER
(Singlehandedly wipeout the entire Qotile fleet)
Nice to see I’ve still got it.
I grade on a 0-2 scale in 5 categories, with a max score of 10.
Pretty fantastic, with bright colors and a cool-looking, flying Yar. The explosion after a Qotile hit is a full-screen death-rainbow.
Background sounds are ominous. Unique sounds for Yar eating, swirl shooting, and explosions.
Yar moves fluidly and easily with just a simple joystick. 1-button to fire.
Off the charts for me personally. Insect vs. alien combat for universe supremacy.
I could pop this game in for a while every day. Even after you’re good enough to turn over the score, the fun factor makes this one of the best 2600 games ever produced.