The Game: One or two players, using a control knob and a thrust button, pilot their ships around a rectangular arena which is also home to a floating fortress. At the heart of the deadly fortress is a growing Eliminator, which will eventually, when it reaches its full potential, slip its bonds and zip around the arena, destroying everything in sight. The only way to destroy the Eliminator is to force it into the outer wall of the fortress with your lasers. (This also works on your fellow player, or the computer-controlled second player surrogate, as well.) You can also fire a well-placed shot down the launch tube of the fortress and destroy it before the Eliminator can fully form. (Sega/Gremlin, 1981)
Memories: What an exasperating and fun little game this was! With its seemingly Asteroids-inspired control scheme (and its blatantly Star Wars-inspired way of beating the enemy), Eliminator was a real hoot…if you could master the controls.
Whoever made this game obviously had a lot of fun with vector graphics – just watching the text position itself on the screen during the attract mode is mind-bending.
Eliminator was one of the last games released with the name “Gremlin” – Sega’s American partner – on the game marquee; the very last time that pairing would appear would be on the cabinet and marketing material for Zaxxon. After that, Sega had enough clout to open its own American operation…which was then caught up in the crash of the video game industry and sold off to Bally/Midway in short order.