The Game: As the pilot of a mechanical firefly, you must pilot your bug down to the lowest depths of the screen to rescue a pixie being held hostage by bees. Once you’ve retrieved that hostage, you face a barrage of bizarrely-shaped enemies, ranging from bats to snakes to flaming airborne pumpkins. You can dispatch these obstacles with a laser blast from your firefly’s maw, and once conquered, these adversaries leave behind prizes such as rings, treasure chests, bags of money and so on – precisely the sort of things that you would expect these natural enemies of the common mechanical firefly to be carrying around with them. Once you’ve done away with an entire wave of bad guys, the game begins again at the “pixie” level, only slightly more difficult. (Mythicon, 1983)
Memories: Considered among the rarest games in the Atari 2600 library, the three titles released by Mythicon were a Johnny-come-lately attempt to cash on on the 2600’s popularity. Whereas some of the earliest third-party software houses, such as Activision and Imagic, had hoped to expand the variety and quality of games on the market and make a buck in the process, Mythicon was one of several fly-by-night “software” outfits that bypassed the whole business about variety and quality and simply settled for making a buck. Dumped onto the market at under $10 each, Mythicon’s games were awful when it came to game play. And Fire Fly is no exception.
The sad thing is, I like, at least in principle, the idea of a multi-stage game where you’re having to go in an perform unarmed rescues in some stages, and do the usual shoot-’em-up honors in other stages. Then along comes a game like Fire Fly, which gives you both of the above ideas in the weakest possible form, and it can sour your taste for all that is good and decent in a classic video game. If you’ve seen those cheapo knock-off military/police/firefighter/paramedic “action figures” at grocery stores, clearly meant to be cut-rate G.I. Joe toys but at a cut-rate price with quality to match, Mythicon’s games, Fire Fly included, are the conceptual cousins of those toys. A perfect example of a game with a relatively high value as a collectible, but not worth ever plugging into a cartridge slot.
On the other hand, Fire Fly does have more airborne flaming pumpkins than any other game I can think of, so there is that to recommend it. If you’re into that sort of thing.