The Game: The Space Fury Commander – a big one-eyed dude with a veiny green cranium – challenges you to a duel. One slight problem: you’ve just got one ship and can only shoot in one direction at a time, and he has a whole battle fleet bent on your destruction. After surviving a round of his contest, you get the chance to dock with an enhancement module that will allow you to fire shots in several directions at once, or fire more powerful shots. The Commander always comes back to taunt you. When you lose all of your ships, the game is over, and one-eye gets to gloat. (Coleco [under license from Sega/Gremlin], 1982)
Memories: A better-than-decent adaptation of the cult arcade classic, Space Fury is that rare raster title that makes a virtue of having been adapted from an arcade game with a completely different graphics system. Space Fury spoke in the arcades with a robust speech synthesizer; ColecoVision Space Fury puts the Commander’s banter on the screen as a scrolling subtitle. Arcade Space Fury drew its alien leader with crisp vector graphics; ColecoVision Space Fury can’t do that, but does pay it off by painting him with more detail and color than the arcade version. And amazingly for vector-to-raster adaptations at the time, ColecoVision Space Fury doesn’t suck. It really makes the best of the difference in displays, and serves as a fitting tribute to the original.
This incarnation of the imposing one-eyed Space Fury Commander also served as the unlikely inspiration for the mascot of our pals at Digital Press. Every year at the Classic Gaming Expo, you can usually find the “Space Fury Guy” wandering the Expo floor near the Digital Press booth – though he’s apparently mellowed out a bit, no longer challenging everyone to duels.