Have no fear, Bombadiers, as I plan on doing a proper blog this week that will somehow link Lego Batman 2 and Asura's Wrath, of all the possible combinations in this great medium of ours. In the meantime, I'm getting a little esoteric with a look at Antony Crowther's 1990 sci-fi RPG Captive. Like most of the previous games this series has covered, Captive is a real-time first-person pseudo-3D dungeon crawler. Unlike the rest, you're controlling a band of previously inactive droids in a spaceship as directed by an amnesiac with a briefcase computer that has just awoken from a court-mandated 250 year cryogenic sleep. The goal is to direct the droids to an enemy base, find the probe that will reveal the location of the next base and then destroy the generators that are providing power to the shields around the space-station where the eponymous captive patiently awaits to be rescued. There's a few unique features to Captive that this Brief Jaunt (man, does that name not initialize well) will explain in further detail, but the major point (and one that ties in with the Roguelike-like discussion i had earlier this week) is that the bases are procedurally generated every time you start a game: The level of enemies remains consistant (so weaklings in base 1, tougher enemies in base 2, etc.) as does the mission in each base (find or buy explosives, find the planet probe that points out the next base and then find the generator room and skedaddle before the whole place explodes) but the actual layouts, items and obstacles will be different.
Back when I was a wee nipper with my beloved Atari ST, Captive was one of those games along with Elite and Space Crusade (both of which I intend to feature here at some point) that I poured days into. It certainly set a precedent for my future gameplaying habits, which of course lead to the slow transformation from a bright-eyed youth with his best years ahead of him to the tired, brow-beaten adult with nothing to live for and no future oh God what have these games done to me full to the brim with happy gaming memories that I am today.
The PC version of Captive, like Dungeon Master, can be found for free on many an abandonware site (though I'm not entirely convinced of the legality, since Mindscape was still a thing until it got annexed by EA relatively recently) and runs fine in DOSBox.
Part 1: "You're a Droid and I'm Annoyed?" That's the Worst Joke Ever, Guinan.