Operation: Inner Space is an action-adventure strategy game set inside the player's computer, which has been overrun by viruses and floating icons, where different teams vie for superiority. The game was developed by Bill Stewart at Software Dynamics, Inc. and released in 1992, it has been actively sold worldwide on the Software Dynamics website ever since, an early example of Digital Distribution.
Operation: Inner Space begins with the player selecting a spaceship to launch into their computer. Each ship belongs to a team, and the player has both an individual relationship to other ships and other teams; depending on the team, relationships with other teams and ships can start out positively, negatively or neutrally. These relationships can change over time, depending on the player's aggressiveness or willingness to help.
Once the player enters "Inner Space," inside the computer, they are given the full run of the entire file system of one drive in Windows. The files in each directory become icons which can be collected as a resource on missions with the ship, up to eight icons appear within each mission. Within certain missions, electrical viruses float around, infecting the icons and rendering them worthless. In addition to the viruses, each directory may contain hazard blocks, stationary turrets, and asteroids which must be dealt with or avoided.
The player enters the game with default ship guns, and can purchase additional weapons and defenses inside the ambulance in exchange for collected icons. Locomotion and certain weapons use fuel instead of ammunition, which can be found floating throughout each mission. If the player breaks the law by destroying healthy icons or killing and looting other ships, a member of the Enforcers team may enter the directory and attempt to arrest the character and bring them to the Hall of Justice, where they will be penalized.
In addition to the default mission style, certain directories will randomly become races, where the player must face off in one of three pre-constructed race tracks; the winner of the race receives all the icons in the wave. There is also an arena directory where disputes between the player and rivals can be settled without the rule of law.
The game includes an internal "online help," which serves as a codex with general information and specific information about the other unique ships the player has met.
At random points throughout regular missions, the player will get sucked into a black hole, where they must combat the Inner Demon and its Dragons. Each dragon contains a virus, which when destroyed release a "Noble Weapon," a powerful ability unique to the player character and the Inner Demon. Once all four noble weapons have been collected, and all icons in the file system dealt with, the player may then enter the Demon's Gate directory to face off against the Inner Demon. If the player can destroy the Inner Demon, they are released from the computer, and added to the hall of fame.
The Avengers concern themselves more with collecting resources than fighting. They prefer to avoid combat rather than to claim vengeance.
Eager for battle, this team is filled with ships that resemble natural predators from the animal world, and also some cars and planes. They are more interested in combat than collecting resources.
A docile team filled with somewhat weak ships that prefer to avoid conflict until provoked. The Fuzzy Ones ships are never particularly powerful, but are very durable and annoying.
Actual space pirates that love to fight and kill rather than collect. Their strategy involves ambushing ships that they have an advantage over to steal resources, but often show cowardice in the face of greater resistance. They are habitual rule-breakers and find themselves constantly in conflict with the Enforcers.
The Knights try their hardest to be honorable and defend their allies and the weak. They usually avoid destroying ships and simply subdue them, and are relatively powerful compared to their allies, the Avengers and Fuzzy Ones.
The Speed Demons are an aggressive team with finely tuned ships. They are obsessed with the races and competition and are apathetic at best to the cares of ships that are not their allies.
Chaotic, villainous, and aggressive, the Renegades concern themselves only with destruction for the fun of it. They have no interest in assisting even their teammates and destroy whatever they want.
The only non-playable team, each Enforcer ensures that members of every team follow the laws of Inner Space. Though it is intimated that they are strong, they are actually fairly weak and often have a hard time actually enforcing any laws, especially as law-breaking ships grow stronger.
Upgrades and Weapons
|Double Guns||4.5||Doubles the default gun.|
|Upgrade Armor||2.0 - 6.0||Allows each component to take more damage before failure. Can be taken multiple times.|
|Upgrade Guns||4.0 - 8.0||Increases default gun damage. Can be taken multiple times.|
|Upgrade Thruster||4.0 - 8.0||Increases thruster output. Can be taken multiple times.|
|Dumb Missiles||4.5||Simple missile that travels in a straight line.|
|Ring of Death||6.0||Ring of fire that erupts around the ship.|
|Grappling Hook||10.0||Grapple that draws in resources and swings objects around wildly.|
|Lightning||9.5||Highly damaging lightning bolt that erupts from the ship.|
|Snowballs||6.5||A freezing projectile that can freeze icons solid.|
|Fireballs||7.0||A burning projectile that will burn up icons and hazards.|
|Targeting Missiles||11.0||Missile that travels toward the ship or hazard in focus.|
|Heatseeker Missiles||8.0||Missile that travels toward the nearest heat source.|
|Radar-Guided Missiles||7.5||Missile that travels toward the nearest active target.|
|Death Heads||5.5||Mine that spins and shoots guns until random detonation.|
|Rear-Deployed Mines||4.5||Simple mine that explodes on contact.|
|Fire Demons||5.0||Mine that spins and shoots fireballs until detonation.|
|Batteries||9.0||Battery-shaped radar-guided missile that releases lightning as it closes in on its target.|
|Handcuffs||7.5||Limp grappling hook that drags its target behind the ship.|
|Doughnuts||5.0||The Banana of Inner Space. When absorbed by an enemy it will cause loss of control.|
|Protective Pellets||6.0||Quick, weak pellet projectile.|
|Beer Bottles||6.5||Straight firing projectile that causes a shock on impact.|
|Boomerangs||7.0||Projectile that returns to the user if it misses.|
|Spud Missiles||5.5||Large, slow projectile that deals significant damage. Shaped like a potato.|
|Throwing Stars||6.5||Very fast, lightly damaging projectile.|
|Inspiration||Noble Weapon||Heat-seeking firework that explodes brilliantly on contact.|
|Uncertainty||Noble Weapon||Causes an earthquake that shakes the entire zone.|
|Wildcard Defense||7.5||Turns all projectiles into harmless fruit.|
|Repulsive Force||Noble Weapon||Force field that repels projectiles aimed at the front of the ship.|
|Attractive Force||Noble Weapon||Force field that attracts nearby objects to the sides of the ship.|
|Inner Force||Noble Weapon||Force field that combines Repulsive and Attractive forces.|
- Windows 3.1, 95, NT, XP, or Windows for Workgroups
- 386 or equivalent processor
- 1.3MB free HDD Space
- Sound Card Compatible
- Joystick Compatible